Long-time labour activist passes away

July 4, 2013

It is with great sadness that we learned this week that Brother Tom Bleasdale has passed away.

A memorial service will be held on Friday July 5/13 at 14:00 hours at the Manitoba Masonic Centre, at Osborne & McMillan (420 Corydon Ave., Winnipeg)

.Brother Bleasdale’s obituary:

THOMAS BERNARD BLEASDALE Thomas Bernard (Tom) Bleasdale, passed away at the Bethesda Place Nursing Home in Steinbach, MB on June 27, 2013 at the age of 79. Tom was born in Lancaster, England on February 9, 1934, upon graduation from St. Peters Cathedral School, Tom entered into a five year apprenticeship with the Lancaster Council as a painter and decorator, upon completion he worked for the Lune Valley water board for the next 10 years, while also working as a self employed decorator. During this time Tom also served on the local fire brigade as a volunteer between 1958 and 1962. In September of 1967 Tom emigrated to Canada choosing Winnipeg as his new home, he quickly found work with Freeman and Jackson decorating working there for a year before moving on the general painting and decorating. Seeking a more secure position Tom started work for Manitoba Telephone System as a Painter in 1969. During his tenure with MTS Tom became active in the union, his first official position was as vice president of the Manitoba communications union, although only a volunteer position he soon realized his passion for negotiation. Then in 1972 Tom traded in his paint spattered clothes for a suit and tie when he became full time business manager for the Manitoba communications union. In 1974 he moved on to the Canadian Labour Congress to become the representative for Manitoba, while serving at the CLC. Tom had the privilege of representing Canada as a labour representative in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1981 Tom joined the Manitoba Government Employees Association as director of education where he stayed until 1987, where upon he became Assistant Deputy Minister of Labour for the Manitoba Government up until his retirement in 1997. Even after retirement Tom kept himself busy serving on several boards and presiding as president of the Manitoba Government Retired Employees Association for seven years. Tom is predeceased by his wife of 46 years, Mavis Bleasdale (nee Patterson) 1934 to 2000 and grandson Sean Cory Bleasdale 1982 to 2007. He is survived by two sons Christopher Thomas and Keith Richard, four grandchildren Crystal Chubb (nee Bleasdale), Brent Bleasdale, Justin Bleasdale and Aric Bleasdale and seven great-grandchildren Damon young Bleasdale, Austin Bleasdale (Sean Bleasdale), Cole, Dylan and Everleigh Bleasdale (Brent Bleasdale) Aimee Mae Chubb (Crystal Bleasdale), Janelle Bleasdale (Justin Bleasdale), and finally his dear and special friend Ida Rocan who kept his last few years full of joy.