We are putting a personal spin on our final blog post for Black History Month 2022 and discussing the dearly departed Fitzroy Boyd.
Fitzroy Boyd was born in 1945 in Jamaica. In 1975 he immigrated to Canada and became a Transit Operator in Calgary. In the 1990s he became interested in Union stewardship. He worked his way up the ranks and became an Executive Board Member for Operations. He would also go on to become Chair of the Social Committee as well as a Representative on ATU’s Latino Caucus.
Fitzroy was well known for bringing a great deal of joy and warmth to his positions. One particular memory is of Fitzroy teaching some of the Northwest Conference delegates how to square dance before a Stampede Breakfast. He also planted a garden at the Union Office. Some of his rhubarb is still thriving! So much so that we have a couple retirees who stop in and ask to cut some to bring home for baking.
Fitzroy never backed down from a challenge he felt strongly about. One example is his desire to have the Union Office be non-smoking. This was at a time when not only was it acceptable to smoke inside while at work but, 50% of the Officers and 80% of the staff were smokers. Ever willing to come to a resolve, he agreed to better ventilation in the office, however when that didn’t prove to be effective, he was adamant about a smoking ban. He was able to convince enough of his fellow Executive Board Members that smoking was not something that should be done inside the office – and was successful in creating a non-smoking work environment at ATU Local 583.
Another achievement was his being instrumental in creating fundraising opportunities within the Latino Caucus that still exist today.
Fitzroy was very involved in the local Caribbean community and was a long serving President for the Caribbean-Domino Ace Club. As with every group he was associated with, Fitzroy always managed to bridge the gap and have members of each of these groups associated with each other. His heritage was important to him and being engaged in that community was something he cherished and was proud to share.
Fitzroy brought a lot to ATU Local 583. Years after his passing he is still talked about, reminisced on and missed. We are so proud to have had someone as special as Brother Boyd working for Local 583.
Thank you for joining us these last four weeks for Black History Month. We hope the stories and information we’ve shared has struck a chord with each of you.