PORT HAWKESBURY: Larry Evans has presided over his last town council meeting as Port Hawkesbury’s municipal solicitor.
A partner for 35 years in the Granville Street firm now known as EMM Law, Evans was saluted for his 43 years in the municipal solicitor’s role during last week’s town council meeting at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre’s Shannon Studio.
Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton described Evans as “a great asset to the town” and “a constant and stable presence” throughout a career that has seen him serve three different mayors and 14 consecutive town councils, while raising four children with his wife Lucille and contributing to a wide variety of volunteer causes.
“Since the moment of his arrival, Larry has been contributing to our Port Hawkesbury community,” the mayor said of Evans, who came to the Strait area after receiving arts and law degrees from the University of Saskatchewan.
As town officials presented Evans with a lighthouse-shaped paperweight from Nova Scotia Crystal, Mayor Chisholm-Beaton suggested that this gift reflected their outgoing municipal solicitor’s best qualities.
“For our town, you have been both a beacon of light to show us the best way forward,” she told Evans, “and you have been the keeper of our town’s municipal history, as our town’s landscape has changed throughout the decades.”
While he joked that his pending retirement would give him time “to sit out there [at council meetings] and heckle you and throw things,” Evans expressed gratitude for the cooperation he has received from elected and non-elected Port Hawkesbury officials over the past 43 years.
“The real gift, to me, has been the opportunity to work for so many outstanding and dedicated elected officials and staff,” Evans declared.
“This council in particular, right now, is – I think – moving the town in some new directions and has a vision for what the town ought to be.”
Evans also marvelled at the changes that have come to Port Hawkesbury since he first took the reins as municipal solicitor in the mid-1970s.
“My former partner, the late Justice William Kelly of the [Nova Scotia] Supreme Court, was the solicitor before me, and we started together at the old Town Hall on Granville Street,” he reflected.
“It was not very fancy, but it served the needs of the town in those days, until they moved to the provincial building, and we were up there for a long time, and now we’re here. And that gives you the sense of the town moving in a new direction.”
With a lengthy volunteer checklist that includes such posts as founding member and chair of the Port Hawkesbury Food Bank Society, founding member of the Corinthian House Society that evolved to become L’Arche Cape Breton, past chair of the Festival of the Strait and St. Mark’s United Church, and past president of the Rotary Club of Port Hawkesbury, Evans told the council meeting that he expects to continue donating his time to the community after his official retirement from EMM Law on June 29.
“The town always has volunteer opportunities,” Evans smiled.