CRIES of VICTIMS – VOICE of GOD… Ginger Goodwin – 100 years, A WORKERS FRIEND
At a Regional Park on Comox Lake near the town of Cumberland, British Columbia, the Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers Union erected a sign memorialising labour martyr Ginger Goodwin, who is buried in the local cemetary under a stone inscribed “A Workers’ Friend”. One side of the sign carries the words to “The Ballad Of Ginger Goodwin.”
BALLAD OF GINGER GOODWIN
Ginger Goodwin is a name you don’t often hear or see.
They don’t say a word about him in our country’s history.
He was a labour leader and he wouldn’t go to war.
“While the army breaks our strikes at home, its strikers I’ll fight for.”
In Trail back in the summer of 1917.
Ginger fought against conscription even though he was class D.
But when he led a miners’ strike to spread the eight hour day
Conscription checked him out again and found he was class A.
Ginger hid from cops and soldiers in the hills near Cumberland.
Miners brought him food and sheltered him, they knew he was their friend.
So the bosses hired special cops when their power was at stake.
Dan Campbell murdered Goodwin at the head of Comox Lake.
The whole damn town of Cumberland turned out for the funeral hike.
Vancouver’s workers shut her down for a one day general strike.
Soldiers back from foreign wars then attacked the labour hall.
Both the bosses and the workers knew who caused the Czar’s downfall.
You can still see Ginger’s grave along the road to Cumberland.
He didn’t win no medals and no one understands.
Don’t tell me that a hero has to die in foreign lands.
We lost heroes here in labour’s wars and they all had dirty hands.
Song and Lyrics by Richard von Fuchs
Victoria Catholic Bishop Remi De Roo speaks at ceremony at Comox Lake (on June 27, 1987) to dedicate the memorial plaque to slain unionist Albert “Ginger” Goodwin, killed by a conscription officer in 1918. Behind de Roo is Leo Nimsick, a former Mine Mill and Smelter Workers organizer and Mines Minister in the NDP provincial government of Premier Dave Barrett.
Remi De Roo, now 94, also gave a tribute to Dave at his memorial on March 8, 2018 at the University of Victoria Farquhar Auditorium. Remi was a spiritual advisor to Dave Barrett after he left office.
“Just as the church in our day has to disassociate itself from structures of domination, so also must Western culture change its model and goals of social power, learning instead to trust and serve the needs of ordinary people. . .
Nor should we be misled by the East-West ideological confrontation which tends to obscure the deeper reality of structural injustice that threatens global stability. it is tragic that political experiments regarding alternative models, such as Nicaragua for example, are given little chance to survive because of this ideological straight jacket.
Having sat at the same table with peasants and leaders of the Third World, listened to their aspirations and learned from there wisdom, I have no hesitation in saying their hopes and desires are not a matter of being communist or capitalist but of being more self reliant through community ownership and control.”
Excerpted from Cries of Victims, Voice of God – by Bishop Remi De Roo, 1986
Cheers ~ Bruce