For 53 years, Lise West’s calm and patient demeanour has been a welcome respite from the busy, and sometimes hectic, pace of work at the BCTF office. Members and staff have benefited greatly from Lise’s steady hand in everything from planning governance meetings to organizing communications.
Congratulations on your retirement, Lise, and thank you for your contributions to the BCTF.
When did you start working at the BCTF?
July 2, 1968. I was one of seven support staff hired right after high school. The vice-principal at my high school was on the resolutions committee at the BCTF and gave me the phone number for the BCTF office a few weeks before I finished high school.
What was your fist job at the BCTF?
I worked in what was called the Publications Department. I was typing journals and newsletters for the provincial specialist associations. Sometimes, there were illustrations in the journals and newsletters. I couldn’t draw, so after a year and a half I requested a change and was placed in the General Office. That was the name for the Communications and Campaigns Division at the time.
What has changed at the BCTF office since you first started?
The biggest change is that everybody has their own computer now. We used to share computers and used electric typewriters for most of our work. If you made a mistake on the electric typewriter, you had to rekey the whole page. There was a lot of paper around all the time.
What has changed at the BCTF as a whole?
I think the Federation has grown to be more inclusive and more open to all members.
What did you love most about working here?
The ongoing learning makes the work here interesting. The work is always challenging, and there’s a lot of variety. But the best part about working here is the people. We work as a team. We back each other up, we share knowledge and information, we help each other. It’s a great place to work.
It has been a privilege to work at the BCTF.