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VICTORIA—Recently retired CUPE 410 president Ed Seedhouse never sought the limelight during his 33 years as a public library worker and union activist. But he couldn’t avoid it during a warm and affectionate tribute from the dozens of friends and fellow activists who gathered in his honour at a downtown pub on April 23.

CUPE 410 secretary-treasurer Holman Louis thanked Seedhouse for his inspirational leadership of the local—on whose executive he served for most of his working life—and for his personal support and friendship over the years. Helen Hughes, the current CUPE 410 president, recalled being hired as a 16-year-old by Seedhouse. Thanking her mentor for bringing her along as a union activist, she pledged to lead by his example and “try as hard as I can to be as good a president as you were for all of us.”

CUPE National president Paul Moist, in town for the B.C. division convention, thanked Seedhouse for his many years of selfless commitment to CUPE 410 and its members, for his steadfast principles of fairness and respect, and for the solid example he set for all his members during last year’s strike and pay equity campaign for Greater Victoria Public Library workers.

“Ed, you are a Rock of Gibraltar,” Moist told Seedhouse, handing him a CUPE fleece jacket and a biography of CUPE National’s first woman president, Grace Hartman.

Seedhouse, in his usual style, deflected attention from himself and responded to Moist’s gift by describing Hartman’s tremendous influence on his life and career as a union activist. Thanking everyone present for their support over the years, he urged CUPE 410 members and their allies to continue pushing for better working conditions for library pages.