Our volunteer of the week is Jules Paivio. Born into a socialist Finnish family in Ontario in 1917, Paivio was the last surviving Mac Pap when he died in 2013. Jules' father, Aku Paivio, was a prominent Finnish Canadian socialist journalist and poet who composed the poem "To My Son in Spain" when Jules volunteered.
In honour of International Women's Day, our volunteer of the week is Florence (Tew) Pike, a nurse who joined the Communist Party of Canada in January 1937. In addition to her training as a nurse at Toronto Western Hospital, Pike also studied public health at McGill University. Pike was one of two Canadian women who officially joined the International Brigades, and she was head nurse at an English hospital near Albacete from September 1937. She left Spain for the United Kingdom due to illness, and worked as a civilian nurse in London during World War II.
Joshua Ward Cluny was a gardener and longshoreman who served as a stretcher bearer/scout with Company 3, Section 2 of the Mac Paps. He was born in Hillsborough, New Brunswick, a few kilometres away from the birthplace of Prime Minister RB "Iron Heel" Bennett. Cluny survived and returned to Canada in 1938. See record.
Terrence Cunningham of Vancouver was a miner, logger, and resident of the relief camps for unemployed men. He served with the Mackenzie Papineau Battalion, and was rejected from the Canadian Army during World War II because of his service with the International Brigades. See Record
Joseph "Gamble" Campbell was a leather cutter by trade. He fought in World War I, was active with the Canadian Labour Defence League, and wrote for the Communist Party of Canada's Montreal-based journal Clarté. He was reported killed in action on February 27, 1937 at Jarama. See Record
We have been uploading some exciting new material to our website's Digital Repository. We are in the process of transcribing these documents, but they are ready to be viewed. Here is a highlight of some of our newer material.
Istvan "Steve" Kovacs was a Hungarian Canadian born in Romania. He spoke 5 languages, and served as a mechanic and driver in the Rakosi Battalion and the Mackenzie Papineau Battalion. He was wounded in action twice, but survived to serve in World War II. He was an active member of the Mac Pap Veterans Association after the war. See Record
Boleslavas Alksnys was born in Lithuania, where he served in the Lithuanian Army. He immigrated to Canada, where he was active in organizing unions and the unemployed in Alberta. He fought with the Mackenzie Papineau Battalion in Spain. He was reported killed in action on July 6, 1937 at Belchite. See Record
Sam Kalle Huhtala was a Finnish Canada and a journalist for Vapaus, the Finnish-Canadian Communist newspaper. He was one of many Finnish-Canadians in the Machine Gun Company of the Mackenzie Papineau Battalion. See Record