It is with deep sadness that we inform Brother Howard Ellis-Toddington passed away Saturday, April 18, 2020 at the age of 65.
Derek Ellis-Toddington (son) advised that his dad was cremated and they will not be having a service. Howy wished to be taken to his home town of Moosejaw, Saskatchewan to be laid to rest. R.I.P. Brother Howy. You touched so many lives and made us better because we knew you.
Richard Arsenault, Grand Lodge Representative
Howard Ellis-Toddington started his career as a Commercial Sheet Metal Technician in the 1970’s. When there was a downturn in the oil industry in the 1980’s the government offered cross trades, which enabled Howard to transfer his skill to that of an Aircraft Sheet Metal Technician and he then became a member of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local Lodge 1579 (IAMAW Northgate Aircraft Lodge No 1579).
My employment at North West Industries (NWI) started in 1986. Within a year I became active in the Union and immediately became friends with Howard. Howard had an easy going nature, which gave him the ability to keep everyone calm during stressful situations. He helped me immensely with my career in the labour movement by taking me under his wing and teaching me that same calmness in dealing with the most stressful situations. I will always be grateful for that.
Howard became involved with the Union by becoming a Shop Steward and participating on numerous negotiating committees, as well as sitting on the IAMAW District Lodge 14 Executive. He became the President of IAMAW Local Lodge 1579 in the early 1990’s and held that position until the closure of what started as NWI in June, 2009. He had guided the local through various company changes from North West Industries (NWI), to CAE Aviation, then Spar Aerospace and finally L-3 Communications, none of which were easy tasks as each company came in with guns a blazing wanting to change everything including the Collective Agreement. Howard reassured the membership he had it under control and he did.
His sense of humour kept you on your toes and he always had the one liners that broke the ice on the most difficult of situations. He also enjoyed a good cigar and glass of rum, of which we had many during our years.
It is with heavy heart that I write this for my brother and friend. You will be missed. R.I.P. Brother.