Thunder Bay Boilermakers help Local Hospital while working on Boiler

Boilermakers presenting a cheque to the Atikokan General Hospital

Boilermakers presenting a cheque to the Atikokan General Hospital

26 Boilermakers from the Thunder Bay union hall and their employer Venshore Mechanical Ltd raised $1,070 for the local hospital while performing annual maintenance on the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) generating station biomass power boiler in Atikokan, Ontario.

Brother Lindsay Gannon, a second-generation Boilermaker with Local 128 who has been in the trade for 15 years and is the Boilermaker Superintendent for Venshore Mechanical Ltd, explained the job “We are working on a biomass power boiler doing mostly tube section replacements on the waterwall and superheater elements, some tube overlay to replace lost wall thickness and tube shielding as well. This boiler was recently converted from coal fuel to wood pellets.” He added “With that conversion the boiler burns a lot cleaner with less accumulation of particulate on the walls. They no longer need to run the wallblowers to clean their waterwalls as a result of this new fuel, so we are removing them and their wall tube openings and replacing those areas with new tube sections. This will help eliminate the repairs in those areas and make this power generation facility more efficient and hopefully continue its success for this community that relies on its operation.”

OPG’s staff hosted a charity luncheon in support of the Atikokan General Hospital during the maintenance outage at the generation station in their staff lunchroom. OPG was kind enough to invite the Venshore Mechanical crew to participate. To attend each person was asked to donate ten dollars with all proceeds going to a local charity of their choice.

Lindsay said “My site contact Braden Fischer gave me the invite about a week prior to the luncheon taking place so that morning after our regular toolbox meeting had wrapped up, I mentioned to the crew when the luncheon would be taking place and asked if anyone was interested to let me know. Instantly everyone was for it and eager to donate their ten bucks.” Lindsay continue “I sent an invitation to Venshore management back at their head office in Thunder Bay to see if anyone else wanted to participate in the event. Venshore Mechanical President John Jurcik responded by picking up the tab for the crew’s luncheon and wanted to know if Venshore could offer up any additional support for the cause.”

Venshore donated $750 along with the crew’s donation of $320 for a total of $1,070 to the Atikokan Hospital.
Darrel Bray, Business Agent for the Thunder Bay Union Hall, said “Boilermakers see that their role in serving the public goes beyond building, maintaining and repairing local infrastructure.”

Brother Gannon wanted to make sure the Boilermakers were recognized. He said “The quality of work and safety is very high with this crew. Morale is great and the trades are working well together. We did a collection for the family of a very well-known and liked pipefitter who recently lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. Boilermakers are the tightest knit group out there and they are always willing to help out any brother or sister in need.” He added “I’ve noticed a lot of mentoring from the experienced members to the next generation on this job and that is great to see that knowledge being passed down! It is vital to our future success.”

The Boilermakers who worked on the project are as follows:

Joe Nykorchuk – Foreman
Marc Stocco – Foreman
Curtis Degagne – Job Steward
Ryan Whalen – Welder
Steven Phillips – Mechanic
James Depaulo – Welder
Austin Fenelon – Welder
Spencer Melnick – Welder
David Hirvela – Mechanic
Peter Berardi – Welder
Wendy Muzyka – Welder
Adam Caldwell – Mechanic
Robert Cook – Mechanic
Jared Carson – Welder
Wade Carson – Welder
Scott Robinson – Mechanic
Mike Burrows – Mechanic
Dave Gillon – Welder
Brian Gillon – Welder
Bill Barton – Welder
Claude Courtemanche – Mechanic
Jordan McDonald – Mechanic
Darren Tetreault – Mechanic
Bill Laframboise – Mechanic
Blaine Embury – Welder

Venshore Mechanical is an industrial multi-trade contractor for over thirty years in Northwestern Ontario. To learn more about them click here. The Thunder Bay Union Hall & Training Centre is shared by both Lodge 555 & 128 due to the division between Western Canada & Eastern Canada for the IBB goes through Thunder Bay.