It is with sadness that the ILWU Canada acknowledges the passing of Brother Frank Kennedy, a former Secretary Treasurer to the ILWU Canadian Area. Brother Kennedy was born on May 3rd, 1928 in Oak Ridges, Ontario, and passed in Vancouver, British Columbia on February 18th, 2012.
Frank Kennedy began longshoring in 1951, eventually becoming a member of Local 509 after a membership vote changed the affiliation from ILA to ILWU. During his membership with ILWU Local 509 he was elected to many positions and worked to bring about the amalgamation of the Vancouver locals into what we now know as Local 500. Brother Kennedy was then elected the first Vice President of Local 500, and at one time served a term as the President of Local 500.
In the 1960’s Frank Kennedy was elected Secretary Treasurer of the ILWU Canadian Area, and served that office for the majority of years until the 1980’s. He also served two terms as a Union Trustee of the Pension and Welfare plans.
In addition, Frank Kennedy was also prominent in other areas of the labour movement. He was elected Canada’s representative on the International Executive Board. He also took leave from ILWU Canada in order to pursue a full time elected position as Secretary Treasurer to the Vancouver and District Labour Council. Brother Kennedy was the founding President of COPE (The Committee of Progressive Electors), and the founding Chair of EAR (End the Arms Race) Committee. Representing the ILWU Canada, he was a Director of B.C. FORUM (British Columbia Federation of Labour Committee for Retired Union Members). Frank received an appointment by the CLC, and an endorsement by the Federal Government as a worker’s representative on the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, and lastly, was narrowly defeated in his run for President of the BC Federation of Labour.
On behalf of the Officers, staff and membership of the ILWU Canada, we wish to send our condolences to Frank Kennedy’s family and friends. He will be greatly missed.