White grew up in Surrey and attended high school in Newton. On January 10, 1961, at the age of 19, he got his first work as a longshoreman. He became a member 4 1/2 years later in 1965, and became the business agent for the local in 1970. For an unspecified period in the 1980s he served as a vice-president and then president of Local 502.
Interview with Gerry White
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