Port Hawkesbury to name Airport Road in honour of “municipal icon”
The Town of Port Hawkesbury lost one of its longest serving former municipal politicians in December of last year with the passing of Donald Hector MacInnis at the age of 88 in Dartmouth.
Red Hector MacInnis
Now the town wants to name the Airport Road in Port Hastings in his honour.
MacInnis, also known as “Red Hector,” was a WWII veteran who served the town for more than 30 years as councillor and as deputy mayor.
Former town councillor Jim King and current Port Hawkesbury mayor Billy Joe MacLean both remember MacInnis for his accomplishments, particularly for his contributions towards building and improving the Port Hawkesbury airport.
“His great accomplishment was certainly the airport. He was close friends with (Senator) Allan J. MacEachen. He served the town well and was very close with the seniors, and he was great with the staff,” said King.
“Hector was great friends with MacEachen, whom he admired very much, and Hector was able to accomplish much towards improvements to the airport over the years, to the point where he was sometimes known locally as ‘Mr. Airport’,” said MacLean about his old friend and one-time political rival.
At the regular monthly meeting of town council last week councillor Joe Janega moved that Airport Road be named in honour of MacInnis, and the motion was seconded by Brenda Chisholm-Beaton. With unanimous consent the motion carried.
“We’ll now leave it to staff to put everything together, and we hope to include the MacInnis family in some sort of recognition,” MacLean added.
During WWII, MacInnis volunteered into the ranks of the First Special Service Force, also known as the “Devils Brigade” where he served the army proudly.
His obituary notes that the men of the First Special Service Force were among the first Allied troops to enter Rome and are credited with the liberation of that city. MacInnis was awarded numerous military honours as well as his latest recognition, which is yet to come when the American Congress awards the Congressional Medal of Honour to the Canadian members of the First Special Service Force.
Hector was also a retired lockmaster with the Canadian Coast Guard at the Canso Canal, Port Hastings.
Former Port Hawkesbury mayor Almon Chisholm also remembered MacInnis recently as “a great friend and a municipal icon.”
“He had a very deep knowledge of the town because he was involved with it for so long. With Hector family came first, and municipal politics was right after that. He was a very honourable and dedicated gentleman who wasn’t shy of expressing his opinion. He left a great mark with the town, and with his passing goes a loss of much of the town’s history,” said Chisholm.
MacInnis was a lifetime member of the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 43) and the Knights of Columbus.
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