Gravestone, Dawes Rd. Cemetery, 3169 St. Clair Ave. E. (near Pharmacy Ave.), Toronto; Section III United Jewish People’s Order, Line 1, Plot 2 South

The inscription “A Tribune of the People” on the gravestone of Beckie Buhay (1896-1953) is well merited. She was born in London, England of working class parents, her mother a seamstress. Growing up in the East End of London she was attracted as a teenager to Keir Hardie’s Independent Labour Party. She emigrated to Montreal during the First World War, and with her brother Mike was in the forefront of the struggle against conscription, on one occasion addressing thousands gathered in an anti-conscription rally at Champ-de-Mars, the square in front of Montreal’s City Hall.
An early fighter for women’s liberation, she believed that socialism held out the greatest promise for equality for women. Later she would excel as an organizer of unions and farm organizations and as an educator and leading member of the Communist Party of Canada.