VIVO Media Arts Centre Archive > Jeanne Ouellette

Jeanne Ouellette

Jeanne [Jean] Ouellette nee Wilson (01 February 1910 – 20 November 1986) was born in Larkhall, Scotland. The family immigrated to British Columbia shortly after she and her twin sister’s birth. She was raised in a strong trade union family rooted in the coal miners’ struggles of Vancouver Island. The family settled in Ladysmith by 1916. Her father worked in both mining and logging industries during his lifetime. Jean married Walter George Ouellete, a native of Galiano Island, in Vancouver in 1929. They soon returned to Ladysmith where he worked as a boom man in the logging industry and Jean joined the I.W.A. Women’s Auxiliary. Jean raised her two children in Ladysmith. She was widowed in 1984 and passed away in 1986.

Audio Interview [1979]


Ouellette discusses how she actively supported the trade unions in the 1935 Longshore strike; her husband’s work as a longshoreman in Chemainus; their move, with other strikers, to Ladysmith to secure low-cost accommodation; supporting the men on the picket line; whist drives used to raise money for the strikers; police bringing in strikebreakers to break up the picket line; her activities in the I.W.A. Local 1-92 Auxiliary; the Auxiliary’s C.C.F. political leanings and concerns with wages, building a community, support for the 1946 strike and the march to Victoria; the decision in 1948  by the Ladysmith Auxiliary to stay with the I.W.A. despite the split and maintain control of their own finances; the reorganizing by the I.W.A. of the auiliaries following the break, making them more centralized and dismantling the sub-local structure; the negative effect of the reorganization on the Ladysmith Women’s Auxiliary.


Full transcription: Ouellete, Jeanne

Title: [Jeanne Ouellette – 1/1]

Creator: Diamond, Sara

Contributor: Ouellette, Jeanne [Jean]

Subject: Women–Employment–British Columbia ; Women labor union members–British Columbia ; Women–Employment–British Columbia–History–20th century

Date Created: 1979

Type: Audio recording

Genre: Interviews

Extent: 1 audio cassette

Format: audio/mp3

Language: English

Identifier: OBJ_652_sideA_01

Is Part Of: Sara Diamond fonds

Series: Women’s Labour History Project

Source: Original Format: Simon Fraser University Archives. Sara Diamond fonds

Rights: Media provided for research and reference use only. Permission to publish, copy or otherwise use of this media must be obtained from the Crista Dahl Media Library & Archives.