Fonds F1140 - Patrick Lenihan fonds

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Reference code



Patrick Lenihan fonds


  • 1936-1973 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

6.5 cm of textual records. -- 10 photographs. -- 4 posters. -- 1 audio cassette

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Patrick Lenihan, 1903-1981, was born in Kanturk, Ireland, where he was active in the Sinn Fein movement, which opposed British rule. He moved to the USA in 1923 and to Calgary in 1930. He joined the Communist Party and spent the 1930s organizing workers, farmers and the unemployed throughout the province. In 1933 he married Anne Belkin, 1910-1994, who was born in Russia. They had three children, Dennis, William and June. Patrick was elected as a Calgary alderman in 1938, as a Communist. From 1940 to 1942 he was interned for opposing Second World War. He became a labourer for the City of Calgary after the war, and by 1949 was president of the Civic Employees Union. In 1945 he was instrumental in the formation of the National Union of Public Employees, a predecessor to the Canadian Union of Public Employees. He was the western Canadian director of CUPE when he retired in 1968. For further information see Gilbert Levine's article, "Patrick Lenihan and the Alberta Miners", in Labour. - no. 16 (Fall, 1985); and Patrick Lenihan : From Irish Rebel to Founder of Canadian Public Sector Unionism / edited by Gilbert Levine, with an introduction by Lorne Brown. -- St. Johns : Canadian Committee on Labour History, 1998.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gifts of Pat Lenihan and Gilbert Levine, 1966-1986.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds consists of a manuscript based on extensive interviews done with Lenihan in 1977, compiled and edited by Gilbert Levine; a recorded interview (1966); labour union and civic election speeches, reports and posters (1936-1973); and photographs of P. Lenihan with labour, civic and NDP groups (1951-1966).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

No restrictions on access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

    Script of material

      Language and script notes

      The material is in English.

      Physical characteristics and technical requirements

      Finding aids

      No finding aid

      Allied materials area

      Existence and location of originals

      Existence and location of copies

      Related units of description

      Library and Archives Canada has an interview with Patrick Lenihan conducted by Gil Levine. A copy is available at Glenbow.

      Related descriptions

      Notes area


      Title based on contents of records.


      The NAC interview is RCT 211.

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      Level of detail

      Dates of creation revision deletion

      Thursday, September 13, 2018




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