Union leader MacNally dead at 63
Gabe MacNally was a devoted union man who especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. MacNally, 63, died in his St. Catharines home July 14 of natural causes. A funeral was held Saturday.
He was the president of the Canadian Auto Workers Union Local 199 in 1996-97 and then became a CAW national representative. MacNally retired from that position in 2006. He was also a past president of the St. Catharines and District Labour Council and sat on the United Way of St. Catharines and District board of directors.
In the 1990s, he ran unsuccessfully for a seat on city council in the St. Patrick’s ward.
MacNally was born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, and spent his teenage years in Port Dalhousie. In 1974, he started working at General Motors in St. Catharines and became heavily involved in union activities.
“He got affiliated with the union and that pretty much was his career,” said his son,
Ryan MacNally. “I can’t tell you the endless amount of people that came to his
funeral and said what an asset he was to the union. He was an excellent professional arguer for the union. “Politics was also always a big thing for him.”
When his sons Ryan and Paul had children of their own, Gabe MacNally became heavily involved in the lives of his grandchildren. “He always wanted to be around his grandchildren; take them up to the cottage, take them fishing, to Toronto Rock (lacrosse) games,” Ryan MacNally said.
CAW Local 199 president Wayne Gates paid tribute to his predecessor.
“The one thing from his family, and people I’ve talked to, is how much Gabe loved our union, our local and our community,” he said. “I believe we all owe Gabe a great deal of thanks for his integrity, honesty and hard work,” Gates said. “He improved the lives of our members and helped make the community a better place to live and raise our families.”
From the St. Catharines Standard: