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Arnold James Mccallum

Passed on: May 25th, 2008

77, of Digby, N.S., passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 25, 2008, after a courageous battle with cancer. Born and raised in Charlottetown, Arnold was an avid hockey and baseball player and coach throughout his youth and adulthood. Arnold played semi-professional baseball in Ontario and Nova Scotia and semi-professional hockey in Nova Scotia from 1949-1956. He moved to Digby in the mid-1950s where he met his wife, Eileen Woodman. Arnold returned to high school in 1956-57 to complete Grade 12 and then went on to teachers’ college in Truro. A gifted and well-respected educator, Arnold taught school in Digby from 1958 until 1964 when he and his family embarked on a journey to Canada’s north to teach school in Yellowknife, N.W.T. and then Fort Smith, N.W.T. During the summers, Arnold attended Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S., earning bachelors of arts and education degrees. After spending several years as a school principal in Fort Smith, Arnold entered the arena of territorial politics in 1974, winning a seat in the constituency of Slave River and becoming an MLA in the first fully-elected Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories. Soon after the election, Arnold was named the first ever minister of Education of the Northwest Territories. After spending four years commuting to Yellowknife in order to fulfill his cabinet duties, Arnold was re-elected in 1979 and named to cabinet again so he and his wife Eileen moved their family to Yellowknife in order to be together. Arnold was elected to a third term in 1983 and retired from politics in 1987. Although they loved the north, Arnold and Eileen also loved the Maritimes and returned to Digby in 1987, 23 years after embarking on their great northern adventure. Arnold once again immersed himself into the community. He was involved in hockey, curling and golf, and once again became involved in municipal politics. Arnold was passionate about many things, too many to detail, but one of the most important things to him was being a contributing member of his community, wherever that was at the time. A great volunteer, Arnold was involved at various times in his life with the Royal Canadian Legion, Lion’s Club, Knights of Columbus and municipal politics. He believed that the best way to improve any situation was to get involved with it. Anyone who knew him knew he was also passionate about sports. In his youth he earned his living playing hockey and baseball. Arnold spent most of his adult life either playing, coaching or officiating hockey, baseball, golf and curling. He started the Digby minor hockey program in the 1960s because he felt so strongly about kids being involved in sports. He was also heavily involved in minor hockey in the N.W.T. for the same reason. After retiring to Digby, Arnold was instrumental in creating the Digby Sports Hall of Fame and was recently inducted to the Hall in honour of a lifetime of sports achievements. Arnold is survived by his loving wife, Eileen; sons, Ross of Inuvik, N.W.T.; Scott of Digby; daughter, Nancy Robert (Ivan) of St. Albert, Alta.; grandsons, Daniel and Luke Robert of St. Albert, Alta.; siblings, Joan Henry (Ron) of Guelph, Ont.; Janet Lapierre (Jerry) of Georgetown, Ont.; Carol Rose (Bill) of Pierrefonds, Que.; Brian (Marg) of Calgary, Alta.; Margo Ellis (Ed) of Calgary, Alta.; and Alan (Glenna) of Nanaimo, B.C. A true believer in following the right path, even though it may not be the easy path and one of the kindest men you could ever meet, Arnold impacted the lives of so many people. He will be remembered fondly and missed terribly by his family and countless friends from all over Canada. Visitation Wednesday, May 28, 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Jayne’s Funeral Home, 7 Birch Street, Digby, N.S. Funeral mass Thursday, May 29, 10 a.m., St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Queen Street, Digby, N.S. Reception to follow. Interment in St. Paul’s Anglican Church Cemetery, Marshalltown, N.S. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Canadian Cancer Society www.cancer.ca or to the charity of your choice.


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