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Writer & Historian

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Canadian

Sandon – A Podcast About a BC Ghost Town

1
December 17, 2016
Sandon – A Podcast About a BC Ghost Town

There isn’t much to see when you visit the former mining metropolis of Sandon, BC, just east of New Denver in the Slocan Valley. But you can almost smell the labour history as you stroll through what’s left of BC’s version of Deadwood, the US mining town that was so authentically depicted on TV...
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Organizing Immigrant Workers – A History Essay

1
November 10, 2015
Organizing Immigrant Workers – A History Essay

My article on organizing immigrant labour at the lead, zinc, and fertilizer smelter in Trail, B.C., during the Second World War has been published by the Pacific Northwest Quarterly, a respected journal that has been providing insightful articles on the history of the region for more than 100 years. My thanks to managing editor John Findlay...
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Labour history novel – A Book Review

0
August 26, 2015
Labour history novel – A Book Review

Mick Lowe, The Insatiable Maw: A Story of Eco-Resistance, Volume 2 of the Nickel Range Trilogy (Montreal: Baraka Books, 2015), 153 pages, paperback, $19.95 CDN.   On the heels of his first novel about Northern Ontario mine and smelter workers of the 1960s, journalist turned novelist Mick Lowe has released a thin second volume...
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Blaylock’s Bomb – A History Essay

2
July 23, 2015
Blaylock’s Bomb – A History Essay

“Blaylock’s Bomb – How a Small BC City Helped Create the World’s First Weapon of Mass Destruction” is now available in BC Studies No. 186 (summer 2015). Four years into the Second World War, the citizens of Trail, British Columbia, a small city with a large smelter in the moun­tainous West Kootenay region near...
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New film on B.C. labor martyr Ginger Goodwin

0
May 11, 2015
New film on B.C. labor martyr Ginger Goodwin

A new documentary film takes us back to the early 1900s in the coal mining regions of Vancouver Is. where labor martyr Ginger Goodwin spent his last days before being shot and killed by a special police constable. Goodwin’s Way revisits that labor history through a modern-day lens focused on the struggle to keep...
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Italians join Local 480 – Immigrant Workers’ History

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February 5, 2015
Italians join Local 480 –  Immigrant Workers’ History

Arthur “Slim” Evans could see that there was a problem. So could his eventual replacement John “Noisy” McPeake. As union organizers, they knew that the largely immigrant workforce at the Trail smelter would not easily be persuaded to join Local 480 of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers (Mine-Mill). The arrival...
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Trail in 1937 – A Brief History

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February 5, 2015
Trail in 1937 – A Brief History

At the beginning of 1937, Trailites were promised that “Television is on its way toward widespread realization,” as noted in a Trail Daily Times editorial, but no one knew quite when. “The Company Store” continued to supply the local population with all its retail needs. Local cinemas offered movies like The Charge of the...
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Oregon’s Doukhobors – A History Essay

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March 13, 2014
Oregon’s Doukhobors – A History Essay

  When American Legion commander George Love spoke to a gathering of concerned residents at Junction City, Oregon, in late August 1924, he warned of the imminent danger of allowing a group of Russian immigrants to establish a colony on the rich farm land along the Willamette River. Some of the local residents were...
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The Smelter Poets – A History Essay (Updated)

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June 4, 2012
The Smelter Poets – A History Essay (Updated)

When celebrated Wobbly troubadour Joe Hill purportedly visited the Rossland Miners’ Hall in the early 1900s to lend his support to the first Canadian local of the rugged Western Federation of Miners (WFM), he no doubt shared some of his inspired verses with the mine workers who are said to have protected him. Claims...
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Go Smokies Go – A hockey legend

5
March 16, 2011
Go Smokies Go – A hockey legend

Shivers went through me as I watched Norm Lenardon score the fifth and final goal to clinch the world amateur hockey championships for the Trail Smoke Eaters. I could feel a tear forming as I re-listened to a CD of the voice of CFRB Toronto’s Bill Stevenson calling the game on the radio from...
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Books

Radical Rag by Ron Verzuh Underground Times by Ron Verzuh Selling Labour Down Under by Ron Verzuh Changing Images by Ron Verzuh Feasting With Love by Ron Verzuh Tea Leaves by Ron Verzuh Remembering Salt by Ron Verzuh