The Kamloops & District Labour Council is excited to announce the opening of our 2023 bursary application cycle. Once again, we are offering five $1,000 bursaries.
Jack Kerssens Memorial Bursary
For students in a Skilled Trades program
Jack Kerssans 1925 – 2013
Jack emigrated to Canada in 1953 from Holland. Early on he found employment in the forest industry as a logger. When Jack started working at the Canoe Saw Mill near Salmon Arm, it was here where he nurtured an interest in employee rights and advocated for his fellow workers in the trades. Soon he became a business agent for the International Woodworkers Association (IWA) and then was elected President of the Union. After his retirement in 1989, he was appointed as an arbitrator for the Employment Insurance Board of Referees and also served on the B.C. Assessment Board. Jack loved volunteering and was a 30 year member (lifetime) with the Kamloops District Labour Council. He was also very involved with the Child Development Center, YMCA , Community Futures the Credit Union and most dear to his heart was The Kamloops Hospice House. This bursary is in memory of a strong a man of strong character, always willing to lend a hand and offer advice to others.
Cynthia Friedman Memorial Bursary
For women in a S.T.E.M or Trades program
Cynthia Friedman 1971 – 2018
Cindy’s distinguished academic career included awards for teaching, research and service and many publications. She was recognized for her commitment to social and environmental justice. She appreciated the respect of her peers in the scientific community but was most proud of her role in mentoring and inspiring students. Cindy was an active member of the Kamloops & District Labour Council and the TRU Faculty Association and advocated tenaciously for workers’ rights. She strongly believed that scientists have a duty to effect change through public engagement, an undertaking she embraced fearlessly throughout her life.
Bill Ferguson Memorial Bursary
For students in Environmental or Natural Resource Sciences
Bill Ferguson 1929 – 2021
Bill was a staunch socialist and had principles second to none in defending workers rights, peace, disarmament, and social justice. Bill worked for the city of Kamloops, then became a business agent and was a founding member of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). He loved the working class and fought for them relentlessly. In 1982 he returned to work for the City until his retirement in 1994. After retirement he continued attending union and Labour Council meetings and was awarded a lifetime membership. He was a founding member of the Kamloops Peace Council, often a spokesperson at the annual Walk for Peace, and always a participant. Until his last breath, Bill still had hope we could make a better world for the next generation. Bill left a legacy for working people, not just in Kamloops, but across this country.
Two General Bursaries
For students in any field of study (academic or skilled trades)
Bursaries are granted based on essay answers to a labour related question. This year’s question is:
“How has the labour movement promoted awareness surrounding truth and reconciliation in Canadian workplaces?“
Go to the Kamloops & District Labour Council’s Bursary Page, for more information and submission detail. Pay particular attention to the submission requirements to ensure that your submission is received properly
Together, let us continue to support and recognize the important contributions of the labour movement to workers’ rights and workplace safety in our community.