It is with profound sadness that we grieve the passing of Mr. Donald Cameron, age 80, who served as the first Mayor of the amalgamated Municipality of North Grenville. Mr. Cameron passed away peacefully at his home last Sunday.
“On behalf of all residents and business leaders in North Grenville, my Council colleagues and I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Mr. Cameron’s family and colleagues,” said Mayor Nancy Peckford. There is no doubt that Mr. Cameron’s legacy looms large. We join in mourning the loss of this leader who demonstrated tremendous dedication and foresight, and who helped to shape what our community is today.”
Mr. Cameron was deeply committed to public service throughout this life. He served as an influential Councillor and Mayor with the Township of Oxford-on-Rideau, and was elected North Grenville’s first Mayor after amalgamation in 1999. He also served as a Warden of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville.
“We appreciate how pivotal Mr. Cameron was to the acquisition of the Ferguson Forest Centre in the late 1990s. As Mayor of Oxford-on-Rideau, he fought tenaciously to ensure that such a valuable asset was not sold by the province to private developers, but instead retained by the community. In fact, it was the Township of Oxford-on-Rideau that purchased the Ferguson Forest Centre,” Mayor Peckford added.
As North Grenville’s inaugural Mayor, Mayor Cameron’s first task was to ensure a smooth transition in the aftermath of amalgamation, which required a great deal of trust and leadership. Bruce Harrison, who served with Don and was later Mayor of North Grenville, said: “Don Cameron was the best person to be elected as Mayor of North Grenville in our inaugural year of amalgamation. It was a pleasure to work alongside Don in laying the foundations of our community, building the future with action and vision “.
It should also be noted that the first North Grenville Council meeting coincided with the 1998 Ice Storm – a no doubt difficult way to start a new chapter. But Mayor Cameron rose to the challenge, and he did throughout his tenure.
During this past week, North Grenville’s flags at the Municipal Centre have been lowered to half-mast in Mr. Cameron’s honour.