Ginger Goodwin was a coal miner who came to Canada from England before World War I. As a union organizer, his inspired oratory got him blacklisted in the mines of both coasts – Cape Breton and Vancouver Island. Broke and unemployable, he found work in the smelters in Trail, and led a strike in support of the 8-hour day. World War One was in progress. The draft was in force.
A frail man with bad teeth and tuberculosis, Goodwin had been declared unfit for military duty. He was reclassified. Fit for duty.
He fled to the mountains west of Cumberland. Fellow miners brought him supplies. The Provincial Police hired Dan Campbell, a local barkeep and hunter, to track him down. Campbell killed Ginger Goodwin with a bullet to the throat. He claimed self-defense. There were no witnesses.
Led by Joe Naylor, BC workers marked Goodwin’s funeral with Canada’s first general strike.
WATCH:“Ginger Goodwin” from Working People video series, BC’s Knowledge Network:
Stonebanks, Roger. Fighting for Dignity: The Ginger Goodwin Story. Edmonton: Athabasca University Press, 2004.
Mayse, Susan. Ginger: The Life and Death of Albert Goodwin. Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 1990.
Mickleburgh, Rod. The Ginger Goodwin General Strike. Mickleblog, August 2, 2018.