Long-time Kelowna activist, feminist Eileen Robinson has died | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Long-time Kelowna activist, feminist Eileen Robinson has died

Eileen Robinson, July 1931 – August 2021
Image Credit: Dignitymemorial.com
August 09, 2021 - 9:00 PM

Eileen Robinson, a stalwart of community activism in Kelowna, has died at the age of 89.

Robinson carried the banner for the NDP in a number of provincial and federal elections and was a key member of the party executive, but she was also heavily involved in the city’s cultural and community organizations.

Born in July 1931, she was raised in a suburb of London, England before travelling on her own to Canada in 1955, where she married and moved with her husband, Jim, and four children to Kelowna in 1968.

“Eileen was not your typical housewife, not even close,” her obituary on Dignitymemorial.com says. “Her political interests and aspirations sparked a lifelong advocacy role.”

She served as the president of the arts council, was a founder of the Pro-Choice Action Committee and Okanagan Mission Residents Association.

Robinson was active with the Save the Eldorado and Laurel Packinghouse groups, and sat on the Mayors Task Force on Athens Pool, chaired the Court of Revision for School District #23 and the Orchard City Three Links Care Society and more.

“She was a painter, potter but it was her love of fibre arts that soon found two looms in the living room,” the obituary reads. “Of course, she became president of Ponderosa Spinners, Dyers and Weavers Association.”

Later in life, she was active with the Kelowna and District Genealogy Society and led trips to Salt Lake City and New Brunswick.

“She has left us a legacy of knowing who we are and where we have come from,” the obituary reads. “She also taught her grandchildren many choice swear words.”

She participated in the Kelowna’s first Gay Pride march.

“A stanch believer in the underdog, Eileen flew the feminist banner high,” the obituary reads. “Eileen didn’t dance to the beat of a different drum; she was the drummer.”

Robinson was pre-deceased by her husband, one son and a granddaughter. She is survived by three children and their families, which includes four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

“In lieu of flowers, please feel free to donate to a local women’s, arts or community association,” her obituary reads. “She would love that. A celebration of her incredible life to be held at a later date.”

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