Doug Robinson passed away last October but the legacy he left behind continues to shape Cumberland County and the rest of Nova Scotia.
His continued influence from a 13-year tenure as mayor of Parrsboro was recognized during a special presentation to his wife Shirley and their family last Friday at the Cumberland Regional Economic Development Association (CREDA) in Amherst.
"Doug contributed so much to the community of Parrsboro but he also promoted the County of Cumberland and in recent years we started a co-operative effort between the municipalities and Doug was a big part of that," Parrsboro Mayor Lois Smith said before the presentation.
"We certainly wanted to give something that the family could pass down from generation to generation and we all know how much Doug loved sitting in his living room or out on his deck and looking out at the beautiful scenery of the lighthouse in Parrsboro," added Smith. "So we have a token of appreciation to give thanks to your husband, your father and your grandfather."
With those words, Rhonda Kelly, the executive director of CREDA, said, "Doug always admired some of the custom pieces we had done from Nova Scotian Crystal for the Cape Chignecto project. So this is a stylized lighthouse from Nova Scotia Crystal."
She then presented the crystal lighthouse and flowers to Shirley.
The inscription on the crystal says, "In memory of Doug Robinson, dedicated volunteer, community champion and municipal leader. From the councils and staff of Cumberland County's five municipal units and CREDA."
Mrs. Robinson said thank you but was too overcome by emotion to continue.
After the presentation, the various mayors talked about Robinson's legacy.
"When we look at tidal power he was a champion of tidal power," Springhill Mayor Allen Dill said. "He made us look at a good energy strategy and gave us some real challenges for the future."
"John Woods, who is the vice-president of Minas Basin Pulp and Power, said to me at a meeting we had about tidal power that if there's one man who has given more support and co-operation on the tidal power project it would be Doug," Smith said. "Anything John needed to find out or had to set up a meeting for, Doug would do it for him. And this was when Doug's health was deteriorating.
"Doug's dedication and support helped facilitate the introduction of harvesting tidal power in Parrsboro," Smith added. "He was so enthused about tidal power."
Terry Rhindress, the deputy mayor of Amherst said, "He was a great leader, a great spokesman and a man of his word. If you needed advice you could call him and he was always there."
Cumberland County Warden Keith Hunter said, "Even though he was the mayor of Parrsboro he was very concerned about what happened in all the municipalities in Cumberland County. He was a champion for Parrsboro but he fought for all small towns in Nova Scotia."
Dill also recognized Robinson's focus on the issue at hand.
"Any time we had difference he was always friendly and accept other points of view," Dill said. "If there was an issue we argued about, when we came on to the next issue he didn't hold it over. He didn't bring in other issues. He was focused and kept them separate."
Before she left the CREDA office, Mrs. Robinson said, "This recognition is unbelievable. I don't even know what to say. It's overwhelming.
"Doug passed away on the 26th of October," Shirley added. "I'm still trying to cope with the changes and, with the support of my family and friends, it's working."