Union, School Honor Legacy of Late John Fay


June 2015


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Check out photos from the dedication HERE


The newly refurbished auditorium at the SIU-affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education has been dedicated in memory of a long-serving, no-nonsense official who worked for decades to improve the lives of all mariners.


Family members cut the ceremonial ribbon May 4 at the John Fay Memorial Auditorium to conclude a brief but uplifting ceremony immediately preceding the monthly membership meeting. Offering remarks were (in order) Paul Hall Center Vice President Don Nolan, SIU Secretary-Treasurer David Heindel, SIU President Michael Sacco and John Fay Jr.


John Fay’s SIU career spanned 56 years, the last eight as the union’s executive vice president. He died in office in 2005, at age 73. His work in international maritime circles, particularly with the International Transport Workers’ Federation, created a legacy as a well-respected industry leader and a true friend of the world’s mariners.


Nolan opened the ceremony when he said, “We’re here for a special day, and a special dedication. A few months back, if you haven’t seen it, we’ve done a remodeling and renovation of our auditorium here, and today we’re going to dedicate it to a very special individual, John Fay. It’s my honor and privilege to announce that.”


Heindel, who worked closely with Fay, stated, “John has a special place in the SIU, and we wanted to do his honor correctly. With the work that we’ve done in the auditorium, we think he’ll be very happy knowing that the auditorium is named in his honor. As you know, we named the (school’s training) boat after him a few years ago, and it wasn’t quite enough because if the boat goes, so does the name. This will be here forever and ever, and we’re very happy that we have the opportunity to again honor John that way.”


Sacco shared some personal stories about his work with Fay, whom he described as “a great leader…. I never had a person so close to me that would advise me on a lot of things that I wasn’t aware of. And because of John’s guidance and his influence on me, a lot of the decisions I made to move this union forward were his decisions. So to you, John – I know you’re looking down on us – this is for you.”


John Fay, Jr. then said a few words about his father, and shared some humorous memories of ill-fated fishing trips. As the nameplates were revealed over the entrances to the auditorium, guests hurried in to view a memorial plaque placed just inside a doorway, and to pay their respects again.


The auditorium’s main interior features brand new carpeting and chairs, plus upgraded sound and projection systems.



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