Loss of Sudbury Union Hall a great tragedy, historical records lost - Wayne Fraser

    SUDBURY, ON, Sept. 19 /CNW/ - United Steelworkers' (USW) Ontario/Atlantic
Director Wayne Fraser said the loss of the USW union hall on Frood Road is a
tragedy, not just for the union, but for the community that has used the hall
for banquets, weddings, town meetings, and thousands of other events since its
grand opening in November, 1965.
    "I am brokenhearted by this loss," said Fraser. "A large part of the
history of Sudbury and the United Steelworkers has literally gone up in smoke.
I grew up going to meetings in that hall, as did tens of thousands of other
USW members. It is where we worked, socialized, fought and made up. We were
educated there. It was our university and our home for over 40 years."
    Fraser said the blaze is still under investigation and the union will do
everything possible to replace the hall for the benefit of union members and
the community.
    "This is a tremendous loss to all workers in Northern Ontario," he said.
"We will ensure that service to our membership is not interrupted by the
destruction of the building, but there is no way to replace the records, the
photos, the memorabilia or the history that has been lost. The only good news
is that no one was inside."
    Retired USW activist Homer Seguin writes in his upcoming book that
Steelworkers Don McNabb and Gib Gilchrist were credited with acquiring the
former Canadian Legion Hall at 92 Frood Road in the mid-'60s following the
turbulent period leading up the international merger of what was then the
United Steelworkers of America and the Mine Mill and Smelter Workers Union.
    "It turned out to be a fantastically good move," said Seguin. "The Legion
was a shrinking organization; they couldn't keep the hall going. So we worked
out a very reasonable deal. When we moved in there we made some renovations
and our grand opening was on November 25, 1965.
    "Forty-plus years later it's still one of the leading halls in Sudbury,
very popular for community events. The rentals are great, you can hardly book
a place there. It's centrally located and there is ample parking..."

For further information:

For further information: Wayne Fraser, (416) 577-4045

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