Lifetime: from the editor

You never know when you’re going to run into a good story and this cover story of Lifetime is a great example of that.

Recently someone told me about a group of South Asian women who meet regularly at South Vancouver Neighbourhood House. The women quietly give back to this city by donating knitting to help with fundraising at hospitals and who are quick to pull out their wallets when it comes to giving cash to worthy causes, most recently to organizations assisting people displaced by the wildfires burning across the province. The group is just one example of the many in this city who give back with no expectation of reward or even a thank you.

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I thought that alone was worth a story, but then while dropping in on the group Courier photographer Dan Toulgoet struck up a conversation with someone who told him about a member of the group, retired farm worker Pritam Kaur Hayre, who, as it turns out, was instrumental in the Farm Workers Union movement in the 1970s and 1980s. Seeing first-hand the appalling treatment many berry, fruit and vegetable pickers faced at the time, Hayre took it upon herself to get involved and she helped organize rallies, walked picket lines and became a shop steward all in an effort to better the lives of others. At age 92, Hayre is still a force to be reckoned with and still picks berries, but now only to help others.

Of course if you simply passed Hayre on the street, you’d have no idea the elderly woman played such an instrumental role in this province’s history, which is exactly why I find her and her story so interesting. I hope you do too.

sthomas@vancourier.com

@sthomas10

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