The OFL Women’s Caucus gathered to pay tribute to a woman who has been working in the labour movement for over 30 years. Dozens of women took to two microphones to celebrate Carrol Anne Sceviour, who is now retiring.
Sceviour was commended not only for the work she has done on issues such as sexual harassment and pay equity, but also for her mentorship of other women across the labour movement.
The tribute was a surprise to Sceviour, as the caucus is usually a place for women from OFL affiliates to gather and discuss issues of concern to them. Several women mentioned as they spoke that the women’s caucus grew out of small and somewhat secretive meetings in days gone by.
“I’m hijacking the meeting because there is someone very special, a long-time member of the OFL who is retiring,” said OFL Secretary-Treasurer Patty Coates, who called Sceviour an amazing advisor and described her as instrumental in the creation of the Pay Equity Act.
Other words used to describe Sceviour included committed, tireless, and instrumental to creating change for women in the labour movement, in the province of Ontario, and in Canada.
Many cited Sceviour’s support as instrumental in their trajectory in the labour movement.
“You opened up the space for feminists to talk about alternative organizing models in the labour movement,” said Jan Borowy, co-chair of the Equal Pay Coalition.
Some of Sceviour’s OFL colleagues also stood to offer praise for the work Sceviour has put in as a co-worker.
“When I think of Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman I think of you,” said Ogho Ikhalo.
“You have such a pure heart and you just take all of us under your wing.”
Friends and colleagues also took time to thank Sceviour’s partner, Shirley, for the sacrifices she made.
For her part, Sceviour reminded those in the room to think of the past when they are looking towards the future.
“The Conservative agenda is not going to defeat us. It didn’t defeat us then and it won’t defeat us now,” she said. “Support a sister, listen to a sister. Reach out, provide a shoulder, supply an arm, and if need be, join with them to kick some ass.”