Ladysmith will remember Joseph Mairs

The 10th annual Joseph Mairs Memorial will be held Jan. 22 at 1 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church at 1135 Fourth Ave. in Ladysmith.

Joseph Mairs was a trade unionist and coal miner who died when he was 21, and this month, people will gather in Ladysmith to honour his life and work.

The 10th annual Joseph Mairs Memorial will be held Jan. 22 at 1 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church at 1135 Fourth Ave.

“Come and join with other working people to honour Our Labour Martyr, Joseph Mairs,” the Joseph Mairs Memorial Committee states in a press release. “As always, our general theme for the day is ‘Our Common Condition.’”

Mairs died one month short of his 22nd birthday in 1914 after being arrested by government troops during the Occupation of Ladysmith.

Mairs rests in the Ladysmith Cemetery beneath a cairn his fellow miners erected in his honour with the inscription “A Martyr to a Noble Cause — The Emancipation of His Fellow Men.”

During the Joseph Mairs Memorial at St. Mary’s, Dr. Ingo Schmidt will address “The Class Language of Economics.”

Schmidt is an economist and co-ordinator of the Labour Studies Program at Athabasca University. He earned his PhD from the University of Göttingen and wrote a doctoral thesis on trade unions and Keynesianism.He has taught at universities in Germany and Canada and was staff economist with the metal workers union IG Metall in Germany. He has co-authored and edited a number of books.

After the talk, Schmidt will lead a floor discussion focusing on issues arising from the debt crisis and the urgency for an accurate analysis and response to the agenda of the rich.

Again this year, there will be live music by local musicians linked to the labour movement.

Following the indoor program, attendees will form a procession behind long-time piper Frank Nichols and walk to the cemetery to place flowers at the graveside of Joseph Mairs.

For information, call Alastair at 250-889-8903 or 250-748-3274, e-mail josephmairs@shaw.ca or find Honour Our Labour Martyr Joseph Mairs on Facebook.

— Submitted