Frank Collins: union leader and black activist in 1940s Vancouver
(Photo: Four members of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, Canadian Pacific Railroad Division, posed standing: Frank Collins, Joe(?) Hudson, L.M. Alexander, and Sam Lewis, ca. 1943. Frank Collins became President of the Vancouver Division of the Union, as well as the BC branch of the Canadian League for the Advancement of Coloured People. Library of Congress photo, 90715591)
At an “overflowing” mass meeting in Vancouver, A. Phillip Randolph, one of the founders of the Brotherhood, set up the city’s division and established a branch of the Canadian League for the Advancement of Coloured People (CLACP), later named the British Columbia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (BCAACP).
Frank Collins, the eldest Collins brother, was elected and served as President of both organizations. By 1956, he changed careers and became a bus driver, but continued to serve the labour movement in the role of business agent and representative for the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), as well as retaining his role as President of the BCAACP well into the 1970s.
- Prepared by Bailey Garden, Project Manager, BC Labour Heritage Centre