An emotional Joe Redshaw brought the curtain down on 36 years of service to Local 793 at a special retirement lunch organized by Business Manager Mike Gallagher at the OE Banquet and Conference Centre in Oakville on Monday, November 27.

Business Manager Gallagher opened the occasion by showing a video tribute to Brother Redshaw, before sharing his own personal acknowledgement in front of the large gathering of officers, executive board members and staff of Local 793, OEBAC, and OETIO.

Having joined the Union staff just a week before Brother Redshaw in 1987, Business Manager Gallagher highlighted Redshaw’s many achievements with the Union over the following years. He also spoke warmly of the personal bond they had formed.

“As is clear from the video, Joe has always been there at my side. No-one says you must be friends with the people you work with, but I’ll always have a friendship with Joe because it is so easy to be friends with him,” said Gallagher.

“We had so many things in common; both of us sons of labour leaders with big shoes to fill (Jack Redshaw was a labour relations official with Local 793 and has the scholarship fund named in his honour, which Joe will continue to oversee). Joe, I can tell you for sure that your father is looking down very proud of you. You’ve certainly filled those shoes.”

Business Manager Gallagher added, “We are a family and you’ve been part of that. So, thank you Joe, we’re going to miss you and we are going to have to work really hard to make sure we don’t lose the momentum you have helped us build.”

Looking back on his 36 years of service to the Union – which has included roles as Business Rep, Social Services Director, OEBAC Executive Director, Local 793 President and countless committee assignments – an emotional Redshaw thanked Business Manager Gallagher for his kind words, saying, “You start working for the Local for a reason: you come because you want to help people – OETIO does that, OEBAC does that, Local 793 does that. It’s so rewarding to think that every day you get up to go to work you are going in to help somebody.”

A third generation Operating Engineer, making things better for people has always been at the core of Redshaw’s mission with Local 793, whether by ensuring members get the workers’ compensation they deserve as head of the Social Services department, or by encouraging and supporting the staff who worked under him.

Having been asked by Business Manager Gallagher to head the newly formed OEBAC four years ago, Redshaw took a moment to acknowledge all those who had helped him make the organization such a success.

“The accomplishments I’ve had – I didn’t do any of it by myself. That’s the one thing with Local 793 or OEBAC, it’s all a team and everyone works together. I’m very proud of where it is today.”

Brother Redshaw closed by saying that his near four decades of service had been built upon a deep sense of gratitude.

“It’s a career I’ve loved – my dad loved it, my brother was a member, my grandfather was a member. As my dad taught me, Local 793 has been good to my family and so anything I could do to give back has been my goal.”

Brother Redshaw has certainly done that. And so much more.

Happy retirement, Joe!