CAMERON, Donald William

Obituaries

CAMERON, Donald William – It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of our father Donald (Don) William Cameron, 74, of Kings Head, Nova Scotia. He passed away peacefully on May 2, 2021, with us by his side, at the Aberdeen hospital. Dad was born in Egerton, Nova Scotia to William and Helen Cameron. He lived and worked on the family dairy farm with his parents and sisters. His parents instilled an amazing work ethic in him that he kept until his last days. Dad attended the one room schoolhouse in Egerton before graduating from East Pictou Rural High School. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science and Agriculture, attending both the Agriculture College in Truro and McGill University. Dad played for the McGill University Varsity Hockey team, which was an accomplishment and a source of pride given that Dad learned to skate on the pond in Egerton in his early teens. It was at university that our parent’s love story began. Dad met our mother, Rosemary, on campus. They married in Quebec City in 1969 and then moved to Dad’s childhood home, Sunny Cove Farm in Edgerton. Anyone who knew our father, felt the deep love and connection he had with Mom. It was difficult to think of one without the other. They were so wonderfully different but fit together like two perfectly matched puzzle pieces. Their love was that of a fairy tale for 51 years of marriage. Dad was deeply devoted and by Mom’s side throughout her battle with cancer until she recently passed in Jan 2021. Dad deeply loved and supported, each one of us, Natalie, David and Christine, until his very last day. He checked in on us on a regular basis, knowing what we were up each day. He encouraged us to pursue our passions and be devoted to our own families. As his children, he taught each of us the true meaning of integrity, loyalty and honesty. The qualities of humbleness and kindness he worked to instill not only in us, as his children but also in his beloved grandchildren. He was committed to showing them how to work hard but also how to love hard. He took interest in everything that they did and was their biggest supporter. His grandchildren were a deep source of pride for him, and this was witnessed among his closest friends. He will always be remembered first, as the amazing man he was as a father, husband, grandfather, brother, uncle and as a loyal friend. However, with this, we also shared him with the Province of Nova Scotia, and as a private loving family this was not always easy. We are so proud of Dad’s contributions as a public servant. He was always motivated to contribute to his community and beloved Nova Scotia. Dad was first elected in 1974 for the Progressive Conservative party in the riding of Pictou East. He remained a loyal champion to the constituents of Pictou East, even while holding a series of cabinet portfolios including the Ministries of Fisheries, Recreation and Industry, Trade and Technology. In February 1991, Dad became the province’s 22nd Premier after winning the Conversative Party’s leadership convention. He was passionate about equality and democracy and become recognised even nationally for dismantling political patronage traditions. As Premier, he modified the public servant hiring and appointment processes, to be transparent and apolitical. He significantly broadened the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act to include protections pertaining to sexual orientation, Aboriginal origin and those living with HIV/AIDS. He altered electoral boundaries to create the riding of Preston to facilitate better representation of African Nova Scotians, resulting in the election of Nova Scotia’s first black MLA in 1993. During the Federal Beaudoin-Dobbie Constitutional Consultations, Dad was the only Premier to include provincial opposition party leaders directly in the process. Following his government’s electoral defeat in 1993, he was appointed Canada’s Consul General to New England. After his tenure in Boston, he returned to Nova Scotia and worked in the private sector until retirement. During his years of retirement, he spent each day with the love of his life, our mother, Rosemary. Together they, traveled to visit their family and friends abroad. Dad was an avid gardener and kept his farming background alive by teaching his grandchildren about planting vegetables and raising chickens. He spent time watching us and our own children enjoy the pool at ‘Papas’ and ‘Grandpas’, depending on which grandchild, as well as time on the water and in the home he and Mom built and created themselves. As a family, we always gathered around the kitchen table to tell stories and support each other in times of difficulty. His true legacy is not that left by his political impact but by the kind of human being he was, honest, thoughtful, and kind. These qualities are what he left for those he loved. He will be affectionately remembered by those closest to him for being down to earth, in his rubber boots, cut off jeans and ball hat, driving his tractor at his home, which he took such pride in maintaining and where we were raised. Dad is survived by us, Natalie (Glenn) Karlsson, David (Sarah) Cameron, Christine (Andrew) Williams. His grandchildren: Isaac, Abraham, Salomon, Angus, Grant, Lawrence and Kendal. His sisters, Margaret, Elizabeth, Lois (John), and Bonna. As well a very special bond with his niece, Stephanie (Mark) Nickerson and other nieces, nephews and friends who were like family to him. He is predeceased by our loving mother, Rosemary just months ago. His parents, William and Helen Cameron and mother and father-in-law, Guy Francis and Dorothy Simpson. Our family wishes to extend our sincere gratitude to the Emergency Room Team and Palliative Care Team at the Aberdeen Hospital. Genuine thanks to Dr. Anne Krawczyk for her unending support during our mother’s illness and our father’s unexpected passing. Her support is a gift. As well, we profoundly thank Dr. Gerry Farrell, for not only being a true friend to both of our parents but for also his incredible assistance to our entire family. As well Dr. Aaron Smith for continued support as not only a medical professional but as a true friend. As their children we would like to make special acknowledgment a very heartfelt thank you for the care and support from Mom and Dad’s dear friends Alan and Cynthia Grant. A private family grave side service will be held in Little Harbour with H.W. Angus Funeral home handling the funeral arrangements. In recognition of Dad’s lifelong commitment to agriculture, donations to the Alumni Family Bursary at the Faculty of Agriculture (formerly NSAC) would provide critical support to students. Gifts can be made online at giving.dal.ca or by cheque, made out to: Dalhousie University and sent to: Office of Advancement, Faculty of Agriculture, PO Box 550, Truro, NS, B2N 5E3 Or, Dad would want nothing more then to continue our mom’s legacy, and in that light, Donations in Don and Rosemary’s Memory can be made to: The New Building for the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Cheques can be mailed to: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Halifax, PO Box 2262, Halifax, NS B3J 3C8 (902) 424-0073.