Past Heroes: James McCurdy

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James McCurdy spent most of his life fighting for workers rights, and sees the men and women who continue that fight today as his heroes.

James McCurdy, 74, worked in the labour movement for most of his life, and he says the men and women who continue to fight for workers rights are his heroes.

"The people that I met in the labour movement were my heroes, and ended up being mentors to me," said McCurdy. "Those guys did an awful lot and I certainly wanted to be more like them. There were many heroes that I met in my life."

McCurdy, who spent most of his life in the Kitchener area, was the labour leader on the national executive board of his union, and spent much of his life fighting for those that needed the help. And he says it was often not an easy task to undertake.

"It took an awful lot of your time. You better be prepared to give up a lot of yourself and be inconvenienced and get those phone calls at 3 o'clock in the morning. You sacrifice an awful lot of your personal life. Especially the leaders; a lot of them have wrecked marriages and kids they don't see because they have devoted their lives to fighting for others."

As well as being a big part of the union, McCurdy also started a drug and alcohol addiction program for the workers at his company, something he says he started due to a personal connection to those issues.

And while he is now retired and out of the game, he says that the men and women who continue to fight for the workers rights will always be seen as heroes in his eyes.

"These are people that were doing things for other people. Fighting for others right."

And in his eyes the future is bright for our society, as he thinks the new generation will truly strive for equality among all.

"The young people and students who are going out and digging in and finding out a lot about our society and social structure; they are going to make a difference."



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