With deep sadness, we announce the passing of UFAWU-Unifor Vice President, Helen-Anne Beans.
Helen passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, September 25th. Born on March 30th, 1990, Helen was 32 years old at the time of her death.
After many years of Membership in the Union and taking an integral role in a 2018 organizing campaign, Helen was elected as UFAWU-Unifor Vice President at the Union Convention in January 2021.
As Vice President, Helen attended an essential and highly regarded role in the Union. She was always thinking of and fighting for a better life and industry for fellow workers in an industry she loved.
In 2022, she notably spearheaded a Union campaign which pushed for the return of a search-and-rescue plane to the BC coast.
The campaign was a success and saw the return of a fixed-wing SAR aircraft to Comox — likely saving lives and averting potential tragedy for fish harvesters and other mariners.
Those at the Union who had the privilege of working alongside Helen were often struck by her intelligence, positivity, and empathy for her fellow fish harvesters. Her passion for justice in the fishing industry was genuinely contagious.
Helen grew up fishing with her family and was especially close with her Grandfather Stevie Beans, the owner and skipper of the FV Ocean Predator. She participated in a variety of fisheries, from salmon to herring to prawns and halibut, and was proud to have recently achieved the position of Vessel Master.
Helen’s activism in the fishing industry also extended beyond her role as UFAWU-Unifor Vice President. As a fourth-generation fish harvester and member of the B.C. Young Fishermen’s Network (BCYFN), Helen fought for the future of B.C.’s next generation of fish harvesters.
Helen’s passing is a heartbreaking loss felt broadly across our coast and beyond; she will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by all who had the privilege of knowing and working with her.
We extend our deepest sympathies to Helen’s family, friends, and community during this difficult time.