Most of the families were dependent on the work the men got at the paper mills that sat on the edge of the Welland Canal.
Consequently, Labour Day with its show of force by the unions, was one of the most important holidays of the year.
But the factories are gone now and in recent years the unions have been in such disfavour that the Labour Day Parade was renamed 'The Community Days Parade' or something sad like that.
And the unions were only allowed to march after the parade was finished.
It was a grim state of affairs.
But this year was different.
Labour was back and in a big way.
Peter Kormos led the parade and it gave everyone a chance to say thanks for his years of public service.
No more relegated to the back of the parade, the blue collar (and yes white collar workers, too, Debra), marched at the front, in the middle and at the end.
There was a reminder that with the loss of so many manufacturing jobs Niagara is still hurting
But it was a big day the unionized workers.
Hard to say.
I don't hold out much hope for the big unions.
But I would sure be happy to be wrong!