By David F. Rooney
Fire fighters, CP Rail employees, foresters and other workers gathered at the Workers’ Memorial at Centennial Park on Friday for a brief but poignant ceremony to mark the National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job.
This year’s speakers included Mayor David Raven, Teamsters’ representative Les Daley and Revelstoke Teachers’ Association President Jennifer Wolney.
“We all have t take the time remember those workers or colleagues who have fallen in the past,” Raven said.
Daley said it’s incumbent on experienced workers to always take the time to perform their jobs with safety in mind. Young and new workers take their cues from those with experience and seniority; it’s very easy for workplace veterans to pass along the wrong habits such as taking shortcuts that may be risky to junior workers who could be injured or killed if they do the wrong thing.
For Jennifer Wolney, the meaning of the National Day of Mourning is especially poignant.
She told the crowd of 45 men and women who attended the ceremony that her own father was badly injured while working on a dam in the 1960s. He was off work for an extended period of time and “we went for a year without any income,” she said.
The family eventually recovered from this period in their lives but Jennifer realized “our family was just one of thousands” of working class families that had to deal with serious injuries.