Labour activist Richard (Dick) Bews dead at 76

'With his warmth, friendliness, generosity and wit, Dick touched many lives both inside the labour movement and in the general community.' - Warren (smokey) Thomas.

Labour activist Richard (Dick) Bews died Oct. 2, 2010, in Kingston, Ont.Kingston (15 Oct. 2010) - Richard (Dick) Bews, one of Kingston’s best known labour activists, passed away, on Oct. 2 at the age of 76. He leaves to mourn his five sons and their families. Dick was predeceased by his beloved wife, Madolin.

"With his warmth, friendliness, generosity and wit, Dick touched many lives both inside the labour movement and in the general community,” recalls Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE). “Dick was a dear friend and he will be sorely missed.”

He worked for many years at the public health lab in Kingston and served in several executive positions with Local 432 in the 1980s and 1990s, taking joy in working with and showing his solidarity with other labour groups. He was widely and fondly remembered for organizing hospitality suites at OPSEU’s Region 4 conferences and during annual conventions.

In recognition of his service Dick was made a honourary life member of OPSEU.

“If there was a demonstration or lobbying campaign happening anywhere in the Kingston area, then Dick was a likely to be part of it,” says long-time friend and OPSEU member Jeannie Eberle.

Dick enjoyed many interests and hobbies outside his labour activities, including ice boating, furniture re-finishing, gardening, model-making and maple syrup harvesting. He took particular interest in researching the Bews and Madolin family histories in Kingston, Bath and Prince Edward County.

A reception of remembrance was held on Oct. 8. Donations in his memory may be made to the Kingston Humane Society, 1 Binnington Court, Kingston, Ont., K7M 8M9.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE