L-627’s Royce pays tribute to father

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MY DAD, HENRY Royce, was a shipyard Boilermaker out of L-614 (New London, Conn.) for 30 years before his retirement in 1981. When he died on Jan. 28, 2011, at 92, he left behind two generations of Boilermakers — and a legacy of inventiveness.

My dad worked on Liberty ships in Maine during WWII and became a welding instructor. He even taught my mother, Verniece, to be an excellent welder. Dad enlisted in the Army in 1944, and after his discharge in 1946 went to work at the General Dynamics Groton, Conn., shipyard, where he welded on the first nuclear submarine, Nautilus. He was instrumental in perfecting welding techniques such as the E.B. Ring, a consumable insert invented by General Dynamics for welded joints on nuclear ships. He made many of his own tools and once even built a tractor for my grandfather.

My four brothers and I all learned to weld. Terry, a 30-year L-237 (Hartford, Conn.) member, is retired. Wayne (now deceased) and Lyle both worked permit out of L-237. I have worked 34 years with L-627 (Phoenix), of which my brother Paul is also a member. Third generation Boilermakers Mark (Lyle’s son) and Terry II (Terry’s son) both work out of L-237. Dad’s strong work ethic and pursuit of perfection have left their mark on us all.

Local 627
Morrisville, Vermont