SPRINGHILL - A plethora of the province's movers and shakers from the past 30 years stood beside the constituents of Cumberland County and their final respects to Springhill's "people's politician."
Former MLA and Mayor of Springhill, Guy Brown passed away April 4 at 74. Services were held at Brown's Funeral Home in Springhill on Thursday, drawing hundreds of family members, friends, colleagues including provincial Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil, and those whose lives were touched by Brown.
A member of the legislative assembly for 25 years after first being elected in 1974, Brown held several portfolios under the Gerry Regan and John Savage governments.
"I remember at the cabinet Guy would always speak up for the little guy and the rural parts of the province," Regan said during a reception at the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre.
"He reminded us it was not always about Halifax. He was astonished when I asked him to come into cabinet."
As his career moved into the public spotlight, former Amherst Daily News managing editor Doug Harkness recorded the progress of the man he considered a friend.
"I was in the press galley when Guy was first elected," Harkness recalled. "He was green but he had a great work ethic. He got along great with everyone and was a totally honest guy. If there was a good cause, he was there."
At home, people were proud of Brown and many would say the feeling was mutual. He was as much a mentor as he was a politician.
Retiring from provincial politics in 1998, Brown dedicated his time to charities including the Kidney Foundation and helped spearhead raising public funds to build Springhill's community centre. In 2004, he entered municipal politics, winning the mayor's chair.
"When I was first elected in 2004 I was very enthused to work with Guy. He was a very caring individual and did his very best to get Springhill up and going," former Springhill councillor Clarence Falconer said.
Brown is survived by his mother, wife June, sons Dale and Glenn, step-daughter Debbie, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
He will be interred at the Mapleton Cemetery at a later date.