Community shocked, saddened by sudden death of Councillor Blair George

By Helen Murphy    

GUYSBOROUGH – Family, friends and constituents of longtime MODG Councillor Blair George are in mourning this week after his sudden passing on Saturday, Jan. 26. The 30-year councillor for district four died as a result of an ATV accident.

Canso RCMP responded to the crash at 7:58 p.m.

“Preliminary investigation revealed the lone rider of the ATV drove over a large embankment on his property,” the RCMP said in a news release Sunday. George, 59, was pronounced deceased at the scene. Police say there were no other vehicles or people involved and that the investigation into the cause of the collision is ongoing.

“Blair was one of the most remarkable people I have been blessed to know,” former District of Guysborough Warden Lloyd Hines and current MLA and cabinet minister said in a written statement as news of George’s passing spread Sunday.

“Remember how strong he was when his dear wife Marlene was stricken with cancer, and how hard he fought for her to the end,” Hines said. “The same way he fought for people and issues that were important to him and his friends and neighbours.”

Hines said “we have all suffered a blow” with George’s passing.

A statement from MODG on Sunday afternoon noted George’s accomplishments.

“His support for the offshore gas industry, coupled with his support for our historic industries like fishing and forestry, through to his support for reinvesting into the renewable industries like Sable Wind are all well documented. He supported his constituents and made decisions in the best interest of the entire municipality.”

The municipality noted George’s commitment to family, adding: “At MODG, we are mourning his loss as well. He was a huge advocate for his residents’ concerns, a huge supporter of his fellow councillors, and he supported our staff and families at every opportunity."

Warden Vernon Pitts spoke of the acts of kindness George did for people in need.

“Councillor George would go and get a load of wood for one of his constituents at no cost, or would bring gravel for their driveways when their driveway washed out,” he said.

George served on numerous committees of council, including the board of the Milford Haven Home for Special Care for 27 years.

In Nov. 2018 he was honoured by the Federation of NS Municipalities for his 30 years of service as councillor.

His other community service roles included the Chedabucto Volunteer Fire Department, past treasurer for St. James Anglican Church, Halfway Cove, and a volunteer for the Canso and Area Minor Hockey Association.

George, originally from Queensport, was a resident of Halfway Cove for 36 years. He was retired from the Department of Transportation and Public Works, where he worked for 30 years and had since owned and operated a small quarry business in his home community.

In reflecting upon his friend and colleague’s passing, Hines recalled a conversation he had with George last Wednesday: "Lloyd, I am an optimist, not a pessimist " he quoted George as saying as they discussed the municipality, the province and the country.

“Blair had everyone's best interests at heart, and he wasn't afraid to say so,” Hines said in his statement.

“Blair was one of the most remarkable people I have been blessed to know.”