TUBRETT, Earle Oliver
It is with profound sadness that we confirm the passing of Earle Tubrett on Saturday, August 24, 2019, at Buchanan Memorial Hospital in Neil’s Harbour, NS. Although more sudden than expected, he died in his sleep due to complications from advanced esophageal cancer.
Born in Whitney Pier on November 9, 1943, Earle was the youngest child of the late Joseph and Gertrude (Oliver) Tubrett. He was raised on Catherine Street until the age of ten when he went to live elsewhere in Sydney with his newly married sister Helen and her husband Gerald Aucoin. Their love for him made him the man we all loved.
A great student of history, he was a graduate of Xavier Junior College, St. Francis Xavier University (B.A., Class of 1964), and the University of New Brunswick (M.A.). During his Xavier years, he was enrolled in Canada’s first officer training program (COTC – Air Force) where he achieved the rank of Pilot Officer. His enthusiasm for flight was enduring, surpassed only by his passion for public service.
Following his graduation, Earle taught history at Xavier College until, at the age of 28, he was elected Mayor of Sydney, the city’s youngest ever. Resoundingly re-elected in 1975, he served two terms in office from 1972-1978 during which time he oversaw the opening of the building he was most proud of, Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High School. Along with the Civic Centre and the Seniors Highrise on the Esplanade, they remain the tangible evidence of his legacy, yet of greater importance to him was improving the lives of the citizens of Sydney.
It was with a heavy heart then, when after a couple of unsuccessful runs for the provincial Liberal party, a further political loss at the municipal level, and work in the private sector, Earle left his beloved city in 1986 to join the Executive Staff of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union in Halifax. He remained with the NSTU for twenty years, working without fail to help protect the interests of teachers across the province and to improve the quality of education for students. Among other things in Member Services, he engaged skillfully in contract negotiations with the provincial government, worked with the Group Insurance Trustees to define member benefits, and established The Sheonoroil Foundation to support school anti-violence programs. When he retired from the Union as its Assistant Executive Director in 2006, it was to return home to Cape Breton.
Always a lover of the outdoors, Earle enjoyed fishing and hunting with his family and close friends. They had many adventures together in the Highlands, Stirling, and Malagawatch, some of which he immortalized in his stories but most of which will now be buried forever with him and with the siblings who predeceased him: Ed, Gorman, Sonny, Bobby, and Peggy.
Always a sportsman, he was a great fan of baseball, golf, and hockey. He enjoyed playing ball as a younger man and golfing at Highlands Links the rest of the time. Come hockey season, he cheered for the Penguins like Sidney Crosby was his own son.
Always a concerned citizen, he remained ardent about issues of local representation and access, especially with respect to medical care in rural Nova Scotia and the centralization of authority. As a member of the Board of the Buchanan Memorial Hospital Charitable Foundation, he was committed to ensuring that those living north of Smokey receive quality health care without compromise, as he did as a patient there himself.
But what mattered most to Earle was having his family around him in Ingonish, especially his seven grandchildren: Liam, Luke, and Maura Kell; and Kalayna, Alexei, Nikolai, and Larissa Tubrett. From his deck in every direction, he waited for them to arrive and hated to see them go.
He is further survived by his wife of 53 years, Margaret (Henderson); his children Helen (Brent Tucker, Calgary), Elizabeth (Robb Kell, Antigonish), and Brian (Josephine Gentry, Grand Forks, BC); his sister Helen (Gerry Aucoin, Dartmouth); his sisters-in-law Carmel (Sonny), Theresa (Gorman), Anne Kennedy (Ed), Mary Jane Henderson-MacDonald (Harris); his brother-in-law Allan Henderson (Pat); and his many nephews and nieces. We will miss him beyond measure.
Cremation has taken place. A wake will be held at Branch 105, Royal Canadian Legion, Ingonish, on Friday, September 6, from 3-7pm. A funeral mass will take place at St. Peter’s Church, Ingonish Beach, on Saturday, September 7 at 2pm. Burial to follow in St. Peter’s Cemetery.
Family flowers only. Memorial donations may be made to Buchanan Memorial Hospital Charitable Foundation, Neil’s Harbour, NS, or to St. Peter’s Parish Cemetery Fund, Ingonish Beach, NS.
Expressions of sympathy may be forwarded to his family at www.jmjobesfuneralhome.com
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Earle Tubrett..
Décès pour la Ville: Sydney-Mines, Province: Nova Scotia