Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust

Expanding Job Opportunities for Ironworkers and their Contractors

Just wanted to say that Mark, Michael and Stuart from FMI and Trevor from PWC did an excellent job engaging the classroom in discussion each day, and had a great program format for teaching. The information they brought forward was extremely useful now as I'm sure it will be throughout my career. This was only my 2nd IMPACT course that I have attended, I would like to commend IMPACT on organizing these events for Ironworkers and contractors alike, IMPACT always put on an amazing program, and does a very good job at making these events comfortable and welcoming to attend. I plan to attend more IMPACT events as the information is always very useful and IMPACT does a great job of finding the right instructors for the occasion. I would like to thank everyone at IMPACT for the work they do to set these events up and providing the opportunity to attend these courses.

Regards,

Jacob Wicks
Chief Estimator
JCT Metals Inc.

News

NEWS(1)

Sparky Harper, Hamilton ironworker, looks back on his first hundred years

04/25/2019

By Jeff Mahoney, The Hamilton Spectator

Sparky Harper has always been good on his feet.

You kind of have to be when you're standing on a steel girder 100 feet up in the air with no fall protection harnesses like the ironworkers have now. Equally so on the dance floor, where there's never been a safety net, and if you're not sure of your steps, you look a bit foolish and everyone knows.

Sparky has always danced exceedingly well, and as recently as last year, at age 99, he was still hoofing it up at the regular clog hops.

"He was out-polka-ing us into his 90s," says daughter Shirley Kossowski, who is a formidable dancer in her own right and maybe the only person I've ever met who's used the word "out-polka-ing," which should definitely be accepted in Scrabble.

"I always knew how to dance," he says, when I ask him if he'd ever had lessons. "Nobody had to teach me."

But most of the climbing he did was as an ironworker, helping build schools, bridges and other structures, here and in Toronto. He did jobs for Stelco and Dofasco, and earlier in his career, he did work in the United States.

"We put the peaks on buildings," says Sparky, who came to Ontario from Alberta as a boy, with his parents and their large family — 13 of them stuffed into a truck. He lives in Brantford now but lived most of his life in Hamilton, with spells in towns like Tweed and Wiarton.

"At the legion, when you lived in Wiarton, all the ladies would line up to dance with you," says daughter Lorraine Harper.

His ironworker job often meant getting up high, in the cold and the heat, and it was as perilous as it sounds.

"We used to work in our bare feet to get more grip," Sparky remembers. He saw a man fall to his death once. He also fell. "Actually, I was knocked off," he explains, by a load of lumber that swung into him while he was a couple of storeys up. He broke his ankle and heel.

But, mostly, he got through in one piece, did Sparky.

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