List of CAW National Union and CAW Council Bursaries

December 22, 2006

CAW National Union

Jim Ashton Memorial Bursary (2 Bursaries awarded)

In memory of Brother Jim Ashton's passion for his principles and his loyalty to the labour movement and social justice, the CAW has instituted the "Jim Ashton Memorial Bursary."

Brother Jim Ashton, former CAW National Executive Board member and president of the London and District Labour Council, became involved in the labour movement in the Phillips Electronics organizing drive in London where he was first elected to the negotiating committee, then later plant chairperson. His activism led Jim to serve as President of CAW Local 27 from September 1985 until his appointment as CAW National Representative in October 1994.  Jim passed away suddenly October 25, 1994.

Dan Benedict Memorial Bursary (2 Bursaries awarded)

Dan was an outspoken advocate for greater social justice, workers' rights and education, quality public health care, justice for seniors and a tireless campaigner for international solidarity.

In 1977, after working for CARE in France and with Walter Reuther at the CIO, he moved to Canada to join the United Auto Workers (UAW-Canada) education department. In that capacity, he developed the union's Paid Education Leave program, the largest single adult education program for working people in Canada.

As a retired CAW staff representative he remained active as both president of the Organization of Senior Citizens of Ontario and co-chair of the Ontario Health Coalition.

In 1998 he was awarded the Order of Canada.

Dan Benedict died September 16, 2003 in Ottawa, ON.

Cesar Chavez Memorial Bursary (1 Bursary awarded)

Cesar Chavez struggled from a child to find justice for migrant farm workers. He was responsible for organizing farm workers in California in the sixties.

The struggle was not easy, but under the leadership of Cesar Chavez, the United Farm Workers made historic achievements by appealing to the best in people from all walks of life, to help farm workers.

While his childhood school education was not the best, later in life, education was his passion. The walls of his office in La Paz (United Farm Worker Headquarters) are lined with hundreds of books ranging from philosophy, economics, cooperatives, and unions, to biographies on Gandhi and the Kennedy's. He believed that, AThe end of all education should surely be service to others, a belief that he practiced until his untimely death.

Cesar Chavez, who insisted that those who labour in the earth were entitled to share in the rewards of their toil, will never be forgotten.

Nelson Mandela Bursary (2 Bursaries awarded)

After a lifetime of sacrifice in the struggle against the racist system of apartheid in South Africa, Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa in the country's first non-racial elections in April, 1994.

Throughout the 1950's, Mandela was repeatedly harassed by the apartheid authorities because of his active role as President of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League. He was banned from attending public gatherings and forced under the racist laws from holding elected positions in the ANC.

Arrested at Rivonia in 1963, Mandela was tried for sabotage and sentenced to life imprisonment along with seven other liberation movement leaders. Held at the notorious Robben Island prison, the international community joined in a worldwide campaign to free the people's leader. That campaign finally succeeded and Nelson Mandela was released without conditions on February 11, 1990.

His vision of the new South Africa is captured in these words:

"Let us reconstruct South Africa in the vision of the Freedom Charter, as a country that belongs to all its people, black and white."

Victor Reuther Memorial Bursary (2 Bursaries awarded)

Victor and his brothers Walter and Ray played a pivotal role in building the UAW into a powerful voice for working people. But it was at the time of the CAW's formation in 1985 that Victor's support for the Canadian union and its progressive brand of social unionism was brought to the forefront.

During UAW organizing campaigns he played a key role in establishing the right of workers to bargain with automakers. Retiring from the UAW in 1972 he received the union's highest honour - it's Social Justice Award, and in 2001 he received Sweden's highest civilian award, the Knight of the Polar Star. Victor died on June 3, 2004.

Dennis McDermott Memorial Bursary (2 Bursaries awarded)

Dennis McDermott's life in the trade union movement began in 1948 at the Massey-Ferguson plant in Toronto. He joined Local 439 of the UAW and quickly became a union activist.

McDermott organized what is thought to be the largest public demonstration in Canadian history, a rally of 100,000 people to protest Canadian economic policies on Nov. 21, 1981 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

He served as a national representative and Canadian Director of the UAW until his election as President of the Canadian Labour Congress in 1978. McDermott was later appointed Canadian Ambassador to Ireland. He died in Peterborough on February 13, 2003.

Tommy Douglas Memorial Bursary (2 Bursaries awarded)

Tommy Douglas made the move to politics in 1935 when he was elected as an MP of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). After nine years in the House of Commons Douglas was elected the leader of the provincial CCF in Saskatchewan. In 1944, Douglas found himself head of North America's first-ever socialist government.

Elected to five terms, he introduced Saskatchewan residents to social welfare, universal old age pensions and mothers' allowances, public car insurance, labour reforms and his long-standing dream - universal Medicare.

Under his leadership the CCF extended the vote to all Native peoples, he was also responsible for the 1946 Bill of Rights, which prohibited discrimination on grounds of race, color, or creed. In November 2004, Canadians voted Tommy Douglas the Greatest Canadian of all time following a nationwide contest. Tommy died in 1986.


CAW Council Bursaries

Terry Fox Memorial Bursary (2 Bursaries awarded)

An active teenager involved in many sports, Terry was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with bone cancer and forced to have his right leg amputated six inches above the knee in 1977.

The night before his operation, Terry read an article about an amputee who had competed in the New York Marathon. Indirectly, that story along with Terry's observations of the intense suffering of cancer patients, set the stage for what would ultimately become the most important decision in his young life.

In 1980, Terry Fox inspired the nation by attempting to run across Canada on an artificial leg. He called this quest the Marathon of Hope. Its mission was to raise money and awareness for cancer research. It was a journey Canadians never forgot.

Terry passed away on June 28, 1981. The heroic Canadian was gone, but his legacy was just beginning.

Patrick McEvoy Memorial Bursary (2 Bursaries awarded)

While Pat was President of Local 174, International Moulders Union, he came to realize the only way workers could control their own destiny was through building a sovereign, democratic trade union movement in Canada.

When Pat met with some of the workers of Griffin Steel on June 14, 1964 to found the Canadian Association of Industrial Mechanical and Allied Workers (CAIMAW), he knew it would be a daunting task to break away from the International Union.

Pat McEvoy not only founded CAIMAW, he was instrumental in shaping its successful destiny. In 1991, he would tell the CAIMAW membership:

"Because we have been a forward looking union, the merger with CAW is a natural extension of our own political and social values. There is no other union that meets the criteria we have set for ourselves. The CAW is a natural step in our evolution. Solidarity with this fine organization can only be beneficial for all our members."

On March 30, 1998 the CAW National Executive Board established a bursary to recognize the fine, outstanding contribution Pat McEvoy made to establishing democratic, sovereign, Canadian trade unionism. He could not have wished for a finer tribute.

Patrick passed away March 27, 1998.

Rosemary Brown Memorial Bursary (2 Bursaries awarded)

Jamaican-born, Rosemary Brown was a social worker before becoming the first black woman ever elected to a Canadian legislature. In 1972 Rosemary Brown was elected to the B.C. Legislature as an NDP candidate and served her Vancouver riding for 14 years.

In 1986, Rosemary Brown left politics to become a professor of Women's Studies at Simon Fraser University and in January 1997 accepted a position to the CAW Social Justice Fund Board. Her passion for justice and equality was unparalled.

Rosemary Brown died on April 26, 2003.

Tom Pickford Memorial Bursary (2 Bursaries awarded)

Tom served as an RWDSU International Representative and Vice-President and later RW/USWA Key Staff from November 24th, 1980 to his untimely death on August 1st, 1998.

Most of his working life was spent trying to make life better for the working people of Nova Scotia where he resided and Atlantic Canada where he was Regional Director.

Larry Bauer Memorial Bursary (2 Bursaries awarded)

As a tribute to Larry Bauer's tireless dedication to improving the lives of working people, the CAW Council, at its April 1995 meeting, endorsed the establishment of the "Larry Bauer Memorial Bursary."

Brother Larry Bauer actively served CAW Local 444 from 1967, when he became a shop steward, to his death on May 28th 1994, through the positions of committee person, plant chairperson, 1st vice-president and president, representing Chrysler active and retired members and Marine Division workers. He was Chair of the CAW Chrysler Council, Chair of the CAW Chrysler National Bargaining Committee, Trustee of the CAW Council and Member of the National Executive Board of the CAW.

Bud Jimmerfield Memorial Bursary (2 Bursaries awarded)

"Eight children lost their father, and our union an activist, when Ralph "Bud" Jimmerfield died of esophageal cancer caused by exposure to metalworking fluids on January 31st, 1998. Many others carry on the fight for healthy and safe workplaces and just and fair workers' compensation. The path has been well paved by Brother Jimmerfield."

A long time member of CAW Local 89, Bud Jimmerfield worked for the same employer, an auto parts manufacturer, for 31 years. He spoke of his strong belief in training and the need to be proactive on health and safety matters. The sad irony is that someone who worked tirelessly to improve the health and safety of others lost his battle to a disease caused by the hazardous conditions he fought against.

Sari Sairanen, CAW Director of Health and Safety, says, "Bud made a major contribution to health and safety throughout the province and the country... He used his health and safety activism and his own experience as a lesson to inspire others."

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