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Hon. Paul Whitfield MacEwan

Hon. Paul Whitfield MacEwan

Born: April 8th, 1943

Passed on: May 2nd, 2017

Hon. Paul Whitfield MacEwan, E.C.N.S., age 74, passed away peacefully at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, Sydney, after a long-term illness.
Paul is survived by his wife, Carol (Osborne) MacEwan; children, Deborah (James Chevrier) MacEwan, Kimberly MacEwan, Richard (Rose) MacEwan and Edward (Cindy) MacEwan; siblings, Faith (Robert) Daley, Eunice Hope (Stewart) Moen, Martha Joy (Raymond) Ide, Rebecca MacEwan and Philip (Mary) MacEwan; as well as many nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Paul is preceded in death by his parents, Rev. Horace Frederick MacEwen and Alyce (Drake) MacEwen.
Paul was born on April 8, 1943 in Rockville Centre, New York, United States to Rev. Horace Frederick MacEwen and Alyce (Drake) MacEwen. He was educated at Sydney Academy, the Nova Scotia Teacher’s College, Saint Francis Xavier University, Mount Allison University, and Cape Breton University, from which he held a B.A. degree.
Paul studied music with his parents, both graduates of the Juilliard School in New York City, and became an accomplished pianist and organist. He was especially adept at improvising and could play any piece, no matter how difficult, after hearing it played once.
Paul began his career as a teacher and held positions at Ashby School, Central School, and Whitney Junior High from 1963-70. He coached the hockey teams at all these schools, having played juvenile hockey in Sydney and for the Nova Scotia Teacher’s College Varsity Hockey team. He also learned the skill of artificial ice making and maintenance as a rink rat at the Sydney Forum under the mentorship of the late Raymond ‘Romeo’ MacNeil.
In 1970, Paul was elected as MLA for Cape Breton Nova and served that riding for the next 33 years, the longest record of continuous service ever provided by any MLA/MPP in Canada.
Paul was originally elected as an MLA for the New Democratic Party. He later formed his own party, the Cape Breton Labour Party, and was elected under that banner in 1984. Paul subsequently served as an Independent MLA in the
provincial election of 1988 before joining the Liberals in 1990 and remained a Liberal MLA until retiring from politics in 2003.
Paul was elected Speaker of the House in 1993 and served in that capacity until 1996. He was subsequently Government House Leader, Chair of the Committee on Private and Local Bills, Deputy Government House Leader, and Caucus Whip. After 1999, he served as the Liberal Deputy House Leader and Whip, and was critic for the Department of Labour and the Workers Compensation Board.
Paul was the author of three books, Miners and Steel Workers: Labour in Cape Breton (1976), Confederation and the Maritimes (1976), and The Akerman Years: Jeremy Akerman and the Nova Scotia NDP, 1965-1980 (1980). The first book, Miners and Steelworkers, has become a classic in the field of Canadian labour history.
Paul was a member of St. Andrew’s United Church in Sydney and later, St. Alban’s Anglican Church in Whitney Pier where he also served as organist.
In recognition of his outstanding contribution to public life, Paul was made an Honorary Member of the Executive Council of Nova Scotia in 2014.
After much study, thought, and prayer, Paul concluded that Christianity offered the best explanation of the human situation and placed his trust and confidence in Christ.
Visitation for the late Hon. Paul Whitfield MacEwan will be held on Sunday, May 7, 2017 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at the Pier Community Funeral Home, 1092 Victoria Rd. (entrance on Church Street), Whitney Pier.
Funeral service to celebrate the life of Hon. Paul MacEwan will take place on Monday, May 8, 2017 at 10 a.m. in Holy Redeemer Church, 1135 Victoria Rd., Whitney Pier, concelebrated with Fr. Paul Murphy and Archdeacon Brenda Drake. Interment will take place in Hardwood Hill Cemetery, Sydney. Following interment, family and close friends only are invited to gather in the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 128, 10 Wesley St., Whitney Pier, to celebrate Paul’s life and legacy.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Diabetes Canada at http://diabetes.ca/ or to Hospice Cape Breton at http://hospicecapebreton.org.
The family would like to thank the staff at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in the palliative care unit and intensive care unit for their efforts, care, compassion, and dedication.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care and direction of Pier Community Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be forwarded to the family at www.pierfuneralhome.com.


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