A former employee of Lakehead Marine and Industrial says government should have done more to save the ship repair and machine shop business.

The business declared bankruptcy earlier this year and auctioned off its assets in Thunder Bay on Wednesday.

Hank Wieteska

Hank Wieteska worked as a machinist for 20 years. He says he's disappointed "no one seems to care" and no political action was taken to save the business.

"It was a great place to work," Hank Wieteska said of his 20 years as a machinist at the waterfront workplace. "I'm really disappointed it went this way [with] no help from government or anyone else.

"It seems like no one cared," he said. "It's really sad."

Wieteska said he came to the auction to see his friends who were interested in buying some of the items, and to "kill a few more hours" in a place where he has fond memories of hard work, done well.

Jason Delaqua also remembers Lakehead Marine as a hive of activity.

Jason Delaqua

'We did a lot of dealings here," says Jason Delaqua of LTL contracting. "It's sad to see it go." (Jody Porter/CBC)

"We did a lot of dealings here," said Delaqua, a manager with LTL contracting. "So you used to come here and there were 100 people flying, those people were working. So it's sad to see it go, terrible."

Delaqua said items were going for "decent prices" at auction. He was planning to buy machinery for making bushings, pins, bucket pins and other parts for LTL's own equipment.

"Obviously these guys did a lot of big ship work so what is here is maybe overkill, but we'll use it definitely," he said.