In Memory: Ken Davidson

Brother Ken Davidson passed away today on February 14. Fittingly on the day that symbolizes love as Ken was someone who expressed his love of humanity through his tireless activism, fighting for the rights of workers here and around the world. Ken twice participated in CoDev delegations – to Cuba and to Colombia – where he deepened his understanding of solidarity and made friends with people through his empathy and his laugh! Our world is truly a better place today thanks to the efforts of Brother Ken. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Barrie and to Ken’s family and friends. We are honoured to be the recipient of donations made in memory of Ken.

A celebration of Ken’s life (a “roast” as requested by Ken) is being held on Thurs, Feb 21st at 2pm at the Pacific Coliseum, Pacific Dining Lounge, PNE (main entrance on Renfrew).

Kenneth Gordon Davidson:  Oct 23, 1955 – Feb 14, 2013 

Reprinted from online posting.

After a lengthy illness Ken passed away at home surrounded by love and laughter. He is survived by his partner Barrie, her family and his bulldog Winston. His family of origin is in Woodstock, Ontario and California. Ken hitchhiked to B.C. when he was 16. After various jobs around Vancouver he was hired by the City in 1980. One of his first Union experiences was the Strike of 1981, when Metro Vancouver was shut down for 12 weeks. Ken was a committed Trade Unionist. He has held various positions on CUPE 1004 executive including President. He was the President of CUPE Metro Council, GVP for CUPE BC and sat on the Vancouver District Labour Council for many years.

Ken’s passions were the labour movement, politics and Barrie. He lived life on his terms and went out the same way. He worked tirelessly for his members and for social justice. He cared deeply for the poor and disenfranchised everywhere in the world. To his last breath he never gave up trying to create a better world for his family and fellow man. He has left us with great memories of his sense of humour, his tolerance, generosity and simple human kindness. We wish to thank his many friends for their love and loyalty over the years and for the good times spent together. [Instructions from family] In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to CoDevelopment Canada at #260-2747 East Hastings St. Vancouver BC V5K 1Z8 

“Courage, my friends; tis not too late to build a better world.” Tommy Douglas

Messages from CoDev Latin American Partners

SNTAP Nacional (National Public Administration Workers Union, Cuba)

“We received the sad news, and would like to send our deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Ken Davidson, on behalf of Dulce Maria Iglesias Suarez, General Secretary of the National Office of the Public Administration Union of Cuba (SNTAP National). We are saddened by the loss of this good friend of our organization, who will stay in our memories. We will honour him through our daily commitment to our duty to Cuban workers. SNTAP sends support, solidarity and brotherhood.” Milexsy Guizado Fáez, International Relations 

From Sergio Laredogoitia, former president of SNTAP Havana

I am very sad, it’s painful, what a loss for my friends and brothers at CUPE. I will write more when I feel less shaken up, but for now, please accept all my solidarity and affection in a difficult moment. I’m sending my greatest energy to Ken’s family, and his sisters and brothers at CUPE, along with my best wishes from a distance. As Jose Martí said, Death isn’t real when a life’s work has been well accomplished. In Solidarity, Sergio Laredogoitia” 

From SNTAP Havana

“Please give our sincerest condolences to Ken’s wife – we are thinking of her in this difficult time.” Mirtica, Marilyn, Marilú

From ex-FENALTRASE President, Colombia

“I first met Ken several years ago in 2005 in Canada. From the moment I met this wonderful human being, I knew he was dedicated to solidarity and full of joy and charisma. In the visit he made to Colombia, accompanying public sector unions including FENALTRASE Antioquia (National Federation of State Workers – Antioquia Branch) and other victims and he shared in their desire for peace in Colombia. He is a personal friend and great friend to Colombian workers. We will remember him always!!!!” Mariano Jose Guerra, ex-President FENALTRASE Antioquia (National Federation of State Workers – Antioquia Branch) and human rights lawyer

From Carlos Gonzalez, NOMADESC member

“Please do me the favour of telling Ken’s compañera that Ken left his mark in this far away land. He always showed his solidarity and commitment to our class and supported the difficult process of globalizing our resistance. For our trade union movement in Colombia, Ken is one of those who continues to inspire the struggle. His memory and humourous comments will be with us always. It was special for me to have the opportunity to know Ken and to host him here and to be so welcomed by him on my visits to Vancouver. Please accept our condolences and hugs of solidarity during this difficult moment.”Carlos Gonzalez, university worker, President of the university workers’ union (SINTRAUINCOL) and member of NOMADESC 

Click photo for a special message and photos from NOMADESC in Colombia!


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