Viola Pilkey Receives Oshawa Community Legends Award

July 11, 2013, 9:30 AM EST


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The City of Oshawa recognized former CAW Local 222 Family Auxiliary president Viola Pilkey for her lifetime of volunteer work and community activism by awarding her the 2012 Oshawa Community Legends Award at a ceremony on June 24.

The award is given to those who have made a "significant contribution in an activity, sport or community initiative; contributed to improving the quality of life of the Oshawa community and/or have made an impact on the Oshawa community at a grassroots level."

Pilkey, who turns 89 years old on August 2, is the first female recipient of this prestigious award. Her volunteer work spans nearly six decades in the community of Oshawa, including the local Meals on Wheels program, Oshawa Community Chest (later to become the United Way), and the Autoworkers Community Credit Union, where she was the first woman to sit on the board, among other initiatives. 

"It is wonderful to see such a devoted trade unionist and social activist recognized by the City of Oshawa" said CAW Local 222 President Ron Svajlenko.

"Viola's stories of the early days of union organizing and the fight to get political respect for workers' candidates are inspiring. Our local, and our entire community, offer thanks to Sister Pilkey for her years of commitment to working Canadians."

Pilkey's late husband Cliff is the former president of CAW Local 222 and a former Member of Provincial Parliament in Ontario.

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