Community says goodbye to long serving dentist

    PORT HAWKESBURY: Over 1,000 people attended a visitation last week to remember a family dentist who served the Port Hawkesbury area for over four decades.

    Dr. Joseph Royden Trainor passed away this month at the age of 88.

    “Dad was a dentist in the community for 42 years as his father had been for 30 years before that,” said his son, Royden Trainor Jr.

    Dr. Trainor began his practice in 1956 after graduating from the dentistry program at Dalhousie University.

    “I think his father passed relatively young in his early sixties, so Dad kind of took over his practice almost immediately after his death,” said Trainor.

    He retired in 1997, but he passed the family tradition on to his daughter Patty who has been practicing dentistry in Port Hawkesbury for over 20 years.

    Trainor served on Port Hawkesbury Town Council, the local school board and was a third degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He also served on the Tamarac Education Centre School Advisory Council until he was in his eighties.

    “Dad was a profound believer in educational opportunity,” said Trainor. “He believed that he was very fortunate… but with that came a greater responsibility to contribute and to be there for other people.”

    Trainor said that although his father was a humble man and stayed out of the spotlight, he cared deeply about his community. He said the family has been touched by the many stories they have heard since his father’s passing about his quiet generosity.

    “There was a fairly large strike at the mill years ago and on one occasion all the strikers had ended up at a restaurant somewhere,” said Trainor. “They went up to pay their bill and it had already been taken care of. Dad had seen them there and picked up their tab because they were all on strike. He had said not to tell anybody.”

    Family was a central part of Trainor’s life. He and his wife Mary were married for 59 years and had eight children. Trainor was very involved as a father and grandfather.

    “I was big into judo and my brothers were into hockey,” said Trainor. “Dad was always the first to take a load of kids to wherever they needed to go. We never missed a hockey game or a baseball game.”

    Family friend Richie Mann, originally of St. Peter’s, first met Dr. Trainor over 50 years ago when he was having a tooth pulled. Mann said Trainor regularly went out of his way to help his patients and never turned anyone away.

    “If someone had an appointment and couldn’t make it because of travel arrangements or inaccessibility then he would go and get them,” said Mann. “He would do the dental work that was needed and then take them home. He was also well known for often doing that without charging people if they had an inability to pay.”

    Mann came to know the Trainor family in a different way after he became an MLA

    “He was certainly an avid supporter of the Liberal Party of which I was a member,” said Mann. “He was a character. He was never afraid to give you his opinion on things, or to show a little passion, whether it was for politics or other things.”