RETIRED IVP-WESTERN CANADA Richard “Rick” Albright was well-known for his fun-loving sense of humor, his energy, his gritty determination, and his devotion to the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers — a dedication that extended well beyond his retirement in 2005. The Boilermakers lost a loyal Brother and tenacious champion for Boilermakers in Canada when Albright passed away last summer at his home in Phoenix, Arizona, after a lengthy battle with multiple myeloma.
Albright began what became a full and fruitful career with the Boilermakers union in 1967 at Local 146 (Edmonton, Alberta). He served L-146 as a business agent before being appointed as an International Rep in 1976; and, in 1986, he was elected as International Vice President of Western Canada — a position he was re-elected to at the next three Consolidated Conventions.
“Rick always worked hard on behalf of Boilermakers in Canada,” says retired IVP-Canada Joe Maloney. “He was very strong in apprenticeship development and building our pension plan. He worked tirelessly to improve working conditions, and he improved health and safety for Boilermakers across the country.”
With an eye toward constant improvement as a leader and for the Boilermakers, Albright was a graduate of the Harvard Trade Union Program. He served in a variety of leadership roles for the union, including as Chairman of the Building and Construction Trades Department’s Canadian Executive Board; President of the Saskatchewan and Northwest Territories Allied Council and of the Western Conference of International Representatives; Director of Growth Works; Co-chair of the National Construction Bargaining Committee; and as a Trustee for the Boilermakers’ National Pension Trust, National Training Trust and Local 555 (Winnipeg, Manitoba) Apprenticeships and Training Trust.
Honoring his dedication to the apprenticeship program, in 2008, the Canadian Boilermakers Apprenticeship Competition Award of Excellence was renamed for Albright and his friend and colleague Retired IVP-Eastern Canada Sandy MacDonald. Each year, the “Richard Albright – Sandy MacDonald Industry Award of Excellence” is presented to a person who has substantially contributed to advancing Boilermaker apprentices and the apprenticeship training program in Canada.
“The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers is stronger today — not only in Canada but everywhere — because of the work Rick accomplished throughout his career,” says International President Newton B. Jones. “His advocacy for the apprenticeship program, for safety and for elevating Boilermakers in Canada has left a lasting legacy that touches each local lodge and will forever benefit his Boilermaker Brothers and Sisters.
“As we honor the life and work of IVP Rick Albright, we think of his family and friends, and we are grateful his life was shared so richly with our Brotherhood.”