ANTIGONISH: A long time community leader passed away last week.
Former Antigonish County Warden Russell Boucher passed away on May 22. The 65-year-old has been serving as warden since 2012 and served as a councillor in the community for 32 years.
Boucher retired from instructing at the NSCC Strait Area Campus four years ago and is still remembered fondly by his colleagues.
“He has shaped many careers in the local electrical industry through his passion for teaching and commitment to students, even long after they completed their program,” said Lawrence Boyd, academic chair for the school of trades and technology at the NSCC Strait Campus.
“He was well respected by his peers, as well as the hundreds of students that passed through his door. His loss is felt by many at the campus that have worked closely with him over the years. He will be missed but he has left such a tremendous legacy.”
Boucher also served as the chair of the Havre Boucher Veterans Association for a number of years. Brian Melong, who is also a member of the association, said Boucher was instrumental in getting the organization started.
“Russell and myself, we stepped in and organized the Remembrance Day ceremonies held each year and maintained the cenotaph and built a wall of remembrance,” said Melong. “[Boucher’s passing] was a shock to the organization. I don’t know where we are going to go from here. I’m hoping that we’ll certainly keep it alive and going.”
Owen McCarron, Antigonish County deputy warden, called Boucher a great leader and an advocate for the both the county and Havre Boucher.
“He showed a lot of compassion for each and every member within the county,” said McCarron. “He was a very caring individual and full of life. He was a good guy to work with. He understood municipal politics well, he knew the community well, and he’ll be missed.”
McCarron said council’s thoughts and prayers are with Boucher’s family, including his wife Germaine, and kids Ricky, Michelle, Danielle, and Renee.
Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher said the loss hit both councils hard, noting Boucher’s passing is a loss to the entire Antigonish area.
“He’s a guy that you could always rely on and had good advice,” she said. “He was always smiling and happy and always brought something to the table. He’s going to be missed and on behalf of the town council and town, I would like to express our condolences to county council, county staff, and his family.”