The Formative Years

Leonard Day began his career as an apprentice in the 1980s and became a journeyman in 1986 with Local 437 in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Leonard was also appointed as a Trustee of the local at this time and held the position for six years. He then became the Vice President of Local 437, a position that Leonard held for nine years. He served as Business Manager from 2002 until 2014, before becoming the International Representative of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART), which he continues to hold today.

The Benefits of Unionized Labour & GPMC | NMC

Leonard has always felt that the union is where he wanted to be. He started his trades career as a welder before exploring other trades. However, when he became a sheet metal worker, it challenged him and immediately, Leonard knew it was the right fit for him. He believes that when you are united, you can collaborate with different ideas from all sources, and there is no issue which cannot be resolved. Being part of a union ensures higher financial compensation and benefits that are far superior.

The Role of GPMC | NMC

What Leonard likes about the GPMC is how welcoming the members were when he joined in 2014. He sees the GPMC as being a group of very experienced individuals from all the building trades, with open and engaged discussions that result in consensus most times.

Leonard also sat on the Charity Committee, a subcommittee of the GPMC which provided him with the opportunity to see firsthand the generosity and commitment to improving the communities where our members work and live.

Overcoming a Health Crisis

In 1998, while working at a papermill, Leonard was gassed with SO2 and six months later was diagnosed with throat cancer. Initially, he thought that he had contracted the flu as his throat was extremely sore, not realizing it was cancer. His doctor noticed a mark on Leonard’s uvula, and when the mark remained months later, Leonard was sent to a specialist immediately. Three operations and five years later, Leonard received the best news possible. He was cancer-free.

Giving Back is a Family Affair

Leonard has been married for over 27 years to his beautiful wife Della, and together they have two adult children, Justin and Len Jr. In 2002, Leonard and Della purchased a 60-acre farm, and completed the construction of the family home in 2015, as they both near retirement.

While Leonard was on the GPMC Charity Committee, he was fortunate to work with some incredible non-profit organizations, including Workers 4 Wishes (W4W), a charity that is dedicated to granting wishes to children in New Brunswick, who face life-threatening illness. W4W was originally comprised of volunteers from the local building trade unions, as well as friends and family. Over time, W4W added community partners from local businesses across Saint John. W4W takes pride in working personally with each child and their family to create custom wishes. Because W4W is operated by volunteers, funds raised can go directly to donating wishes.

Service to others is important to Leonard’s family, including his wife, Della. She spent over 10 years as a board member of Fresh Start, a charity in Saint John for battered women, and for the past year, has sat on the board for the local St. George Food Bank. In addition to her volunteer work with charities, Della has collected discarded cans and bottles during walks, and helped to clean up her neighbourhood for over 20 years. The proceeds earned by Della from recycling the bottles is donated to charities including the Salvation Army during the Christmas holidays. During one visit to the recycling centre, Della used the proceeds to purchase pizzas for the workers at the bottle recycling centre which made their entire day.

Coaching the Community to Gold

Leonard spent many years in the community of Saint John coaching baseball and hockey. He is especially proud that his baseball team brought gold back to New Brunswick in the Canadian Nationals in the Pee Wee division in 2000.

Today, Leonard’s son, Justin, has taken the reins, and proudly coaches both of Leonard’s grandsons (Timothy and Mitchell), in both hockey and baseball.