Lydia Bastian & Alma Faulds
Mrs. Lydia Bastian
Bastian was raised on an isolated farm in Saskatchewan. She worked the fields there and only left the farm to attend church. She was married in 1936. Lydia, her husband, and her sister moved to B.C. in 1937. She did a variety of menial jobs – housecleaning, laundry and picking tomatoes – while her husband was unemployed. She finally got a job at an Oliver apple packing house working various production line jobs. She worked for thirty-five seasons for 10-12 hours a day. They moved for a short time to Osoyoos when her husband got a job at Annacis Chrome. Lydia took on work as a cook. Lydia returned to the packing plant on their return, but lost all seniority.
Alma Amelia Faulds
Alma Amelia Faulds nee Schmidt was born in 1915 in Zorra, Saskatchewan, an Austrian settlement. Her parents were both immigrants to Canada and worked a farm. At 14, the family moved to Manitoba. She worked hard to get an education, hoping to go to nursing school, but lack of openings derailed her into housemaid work. During these years, and as a waitress at the posh Manitoba Club and joined the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. She married in 1940. Three months later her husband was sent overseas. He returned with severe arthritis so they moved to Oliver, British Columbia, where the climate could offer him some relief. She worked for a time in the fruit canneries and was instrumental in unionizing the packing houses. She spent the next 20 years as part of the union executive and, from 1959 to 1973 business agent of the Fruit and Vegetable Workers Union, Local 1572, CLC. She is noted for her activism in other areas, including in opposition to residential schools.