Lake Cowichan Women’s Auxiliary
Eva Wilson, Lori Belin, Lil Godfrey, June Olson and Mary Greenwell were active in the Women’s Auxiliary of the International Woodworkers Association at Lake Cowichan, Vancouver Island, during the 1930’s and 1940’s. The women came from very differenct experiences and from strong trade union families (Nanaimo miners) and others from anti-union backgrounds. Most came to “The Lake” as young women married to loggers. June Olson, however, came as a teenager and grew up in Lake Cowichan. Conditions in the 1930’s were primitive: couples lived in shacks without plumbing or electricity, the hospital was in Chemainus and the road was terrible. The Women’s Auxiliary was pulled together in the 1930’s by Edna brown with the help of some of the organizers for the union. It helped to cut across the isolation many of the young wives experienced and to draw them into the struggle to organize the woods.