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After working more than 50 years to make life better for workers across Ontario, 1006A Director Roland Lapins has retired.

“I will miss the satisfaction that comes from helping people,” Roland said.

A lifelong union member, Roland got his start in 1974 working part-time in a meat department at a Loblaws in North York. Soon after, he became a steward, and in the years that followed, he was elected as President of the Toronto Loblaws Divisional Board and as Vice-President to the local union’s Executive Board. He also served as a volunteer organizer, the local union’s first youth network coordinator, a Special Project Union Representative and a member of numerous Loblaws bargaining committees. In 1996, the local hired Roland as a full-time organizer.

“There are many things that motivated me but most importantly, was the ability to help people in need and crisis,” said Roland.

In the mid-2000s, Roland became the union’s Director of the No Frills sector and eventually, Director of the Eastern region.

“My approach was relatively simple – respond to the needs of the membership quickly and as thoroughly as possible,” he said. “The fact that I had experienced and diligent union representatives, divisional officers and shop stewards to assist me, made doing my job that much easier.”

As for the key to his success representing the membership, Roland said: “I think honesty, integrity and the ability to listen is very important ­– I hope that I have lived up to that.”

Roland is ready for the next chapter in his life.

“It is both sad and exciting at the same time,” he said. “I will be able to spend more time with my wife Krista and all of my family.”

As he retires, he will hold the memories he shared with many staff, stewards, and members close to his heart.

“I will miss the staff and stewards who are all exceptional individuals,” he said. “Working for the union is a large commitment but at the same time, extremely rewarding. I would like to thank all of the staff and Executive officers that I’ve worked with and learned from over the years.”

President Wayne Hanley congratulated Roland on his retirement.

“Roland can be proud of the immense difference he has made in the lives of union members across Ontario over the last 50 years,” said President Hanley. “Thank you Brother Roland for your lifetime of service to our great union and we wish you the best in your retirement."

As for the years ahead, Roland said: “I look forward to relaxation, traveling with my wife and golf.”

Congratulations on your retirement Roland!  

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