On behalf of the members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union I offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Lorraine Logan who passed away on January 23, 2018. An activist through and through, and right up until the end, she was a champion of workers' rights, LGBTQ+ rights, women's rights and seniors' rights.
Lorraine Logan grew up in Vancouver. Her family was small, but supportive and both her mother and grandmother encouraged her to be strong and independent. She developed a personality which embraced each of these characteristics. She was also a gifted athlete and travelled the world representing her country on the Canadian Women's' Field Hockey team during the late 1960s and early 1970s. This was followed by her taking up the position of International Umpire in the sport. Lorraine's field hockey days saw her develop many close friendships, but the sport also taught her teamwork, fairness, comradery and the need to work together.
A BCGEU member throughout her 31-year career in government service, Lorraine was first employed at Jericho School for the Deaf, then she went into the Ministry of Education and finally to the Ministry of Transportation and Highways. Lorraine's sense of fairness, equity and social justice led her to getting involved in her union. She would often credit the BCGEU for helping her to develop the skills to organize, advocate, agitate and mentor others. Starting as a shop steward, Lorraine later became active on the local 1203 executive and being a delegate to the District Labour Council, Area Cross Component Committee and to Multi Union Pride Committee. She was so proud to be designated a Life Member of the BCGEU.
In retirement, Lorraine stayed connected to the BCGEU through her participation on various Fight Back Campaigns, political rallies and activism on LGBTQ+ and other human rights. Her advocacy and activism on issues of social justice then took her into the boardrooms and legislative offices and her focus was now directed towards seniors' issues. She worked tirelessly for many committees and organizations including: New Vista Housing Society, Seniors Services Society, TransLink's Access Transit Advisory Committee, BC Government Retired Employees Association and the Council of Senior Citizen's Associations of BC (COSCO). Somehow, she still found time to give to her neighbours (strata council), many different NDP election campaigns and her family.
Lorraine's confidence, dedication, sense of fairness and perseverance was instilled in her through her family and field hockey, but it was her labour sisters and brothers that helped shape her into the proud social and political activist she became. She was honoured to hold many different positions and titles in various organizations, but she always loved being addressed as "Sister."
As a leader on issues affecting seniors Lorraine was the president of the Council of Senior Citizens' Organizations of B.C. (COSCO) representing 85 seniors' organizations throughout the province. The quotes below provided by her colleagues describe the immense impact she had:
"Her wonderful sense of justice helped her to celebrate the gains and give the losses another try. I think she practiced the art of the possible…" Sheila Pither (First VP COSCO)
"Lorraine's persistent work on transportation and mobility issues is just one example of the energy and determination she put into making life better for others. She was a force of nature, truth to power, not taking 'no' for an answer." Soren Bech (former COSCO News editor)
"The news of Lorraine's death hasn't really sunk in yet… Our sincere condolences are with her family especially her partner Sharon Bard. Lorraine is already missed but the inspiration she provided will continue to empower others. No one could have asked for a more supportive leader at the helm of COSCO. Collaboration and teamwork is what she practiced. Principled values, passion and discretion guided her in her work with the Council of Senior Citizens Organizations' of BC since she became our President in 2014. COSCO benefitted immensely from her leadership. Personally, I will miss her wise counsel, unerring BS detector, wicked sense of humour and friendship." Gudrun Langolf (Pres COSCO)
I have, and will continue, to cite Lorraine as one of my 'femtors' and a reason for my being where I am today. As a tireless advocate for equity and making positive change, she will be missed dearly. My thoughts are with Lorraine's partner Sharon Bard as well, and I thank her for providing biographical information about Lorraine's life for this tribute.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday February 17th @ 11:00 am at the International Union of Operating Engineers Hall, 4333 Ledger Avenue, Burnaby.
In Solidarity and Respect,
Stephanie Smith, President