Jay Bueckert acquired his love for the north as a child, growing up on a farm near La Crete, Alberta. This love for the north has stayed with him in his life here in Fort McMurray.
In his twenties, Bueckert lived in Northern Ireland, where he worked in Catholic and Protestant schools, striving to break down the barriers between those groups. “It was such a formative experience which I draw on to this day,” said Bueckert of his time there.
After moving back to Canada and completing his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at King’s University in Edmonton, Bueckert and his wife Sharlene made their way to Fort McMurray. Here he took a position as Union Representative with The Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC).
“It was a baptism by fire, to say the least,” said Bueckert. “The town was booming and optimism was everywhere about the future. Our Union was experiencing exponential growth and I was proud to be a part of that. But it was hard work and I was in danger of burning out.” At this time, he and his wife also had their first child. “Like all new parents we wondered how anyone thrived when starting a family. I don’t know if we ever felt rested in those first couple of years,” recalled Bueckert.
Eventually, Bueckert and his family found balance: “Now we have three sons and life is a blast!”
Bueckert is now the Regional Director with CLAC, and proudly serves as Board Chair for St. Aidan’s Society. Said Bueckert, “it’s hard not to be grateful to live in this community.”