About 1500 members attended this year’s Children’s Holiday Party, held at the historic Burnaby Village Museum. Attendees enjoyed a magic and juggling show, free seasonal treats and gifts for children. Burnaby Village itself was decked out in its holiday finest, with festive displays all around the open-air museum.
Now in its 22nd year, this annual tradition is hosted in collaboration with UFCW 247. It brings together members and their families for a night of entertainment and celebration. “My kids came here growing up and loved it. I now help organize it because I like to see the smiles on kids’ faces,” said union representative Darrell Causey. “It’s just magical.”
For Causey, this annual union holiday tradition is all about giving thanks. “It’s a chance for the union to engage with our members and their kids at a time of the year when we want to express our thanks. We want to thank our members for being as hard working as they are and for supporting the union,” he said.
“This is a great event. It’s now part of our family tradition,” commented Clint Walker, a member from Save-On-Foods who has been attending the holiday party with his daughters for five years. Walker appreciates the opportunity to mingle with other members and reconnect. “It brings everybody together. I have the opportunity to catch up with old friends while walking through the village.”
Jack Lambley, a retired member of over 40 years from Safeway, is thankful to the union for being included in this tradition. “It’s very much appreciated to still be invited to this event. Even though as retirees we are not working and dues paying members, it’s nice to see we haven’t been forgotten. Now I get to bring my great grandchildren!”
About 250 pounds of of non-perishable food items for the Surrey Food Bank were also collected during the event, thanks to the generous contributions of members. “Our members understand what the holidays are about: giving thanks and giving back,” said President Ivan Limpright. “As a union, we’ve always helped out the less fortunate in our communities, especially around the holidays.” That’s why UFCW 1518 also donated 2880 bottles of manzanillo olive oil, hand bottled by President Limpright and staff volunteers, and the same amount of peanut butter and canned salmon, to the BC Federation of Labour Christmas hamper project. “In the labour movement, we take care of our own – and anyone who needs our help!”