PORT HAWKESBURY: A community leader greatly respected for helping families through end-of-life situations has left this world far too early.
“He was someone who cared about people, and I don’t know if you can say something that’s a greater tribute,” said former Premier Rodney MacDonald, after it was discovered that John Green (41) had died at home on November 25.
“He cared about people and wanted to do the right thing for the community. John reflected those attributes on a daily basis. What you saw was what you got with John.”
MacDonald and Green were long-time friends. Over the last two decades, the men were stalwarts for the Progressive Conservative Party in Inverness and Richmond counties. MacDonald rose to lead the Tory party, but Green’s contributions were significant as well.
On two separate occasions (2006 and 2009) he was an impactful candidate for the PCs in the riding of Richmond. During his first bid, Green came close to beating Liberal heavy weight Michel Samson. He also put his name forward for municipal office in Port Hawkesbury in 2012.
In addition to his political aspirations, Green was a very successful business man. He owned and operated Green’s Funeral Home, having set up the business in August of 1999.
Indeed, just five days before Green passed on, the funeral director was given a well-deserved pat on the back at the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce’s Fall Awards Dinner. He was presented the Chamber’s Excellence in Business Award.
“As the business grew, John maintained a commitment to providing the highest quality service to families and loved ones,” stated the chamber’s executive director, Amanda Mombourquette.
“He remodeled and eventually expanded the facility on Bernard Street, adding pre-need service, and broadening the service area to include the entire quad-county region. Green’s Funeral Home is an excellent example of how small businesses can succeed in rural Cape Breton.”
Green was the president of the Funeral Association of Nova Scotia, a member of the Funeral Service Association of Canada, and a past Chair of the Atlantic Provinces Funeral Directors and Service Convention. He was a current member of the Port Hastings Volunteer Fire Department.
“[We were] shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of our president, John F. Green,” the release from the Funeral Service Association of Nova Scotia read. “To say that John was passionate about funeral service would be an understatement. Though only 41, John spent over two decades dedicating his life to the funeral profession, not only serving the community that he loved but volunteering his considerable talents to boards and associations both provincially and nationally.
“With his passing, our association and the funeral profession as a whole has not only lost a committed voice and a vast wealth of knowledge, but we have also lost a good friend. For, as much as he cared for this profession, he enjoyed the comradery of his colleagues in funeral service with equal zeal.
“John has left us far too soon, but he has made an impression upon funeral service that will last for a very long time.”
MacDonald, who said his candidacy for Premier was greatly helped by Green, noted community mindedness was always a top priority for his friend.
“He had a deep respect for people, and you could see that in his community involvement and through his business,” MacDonald said. “We are lucky to have people like John.
“He was an old soul in a lot of ways. When I first met John, in his early 20s, if someone had told me he was 35 at that time, I would have believed them. He really loved people. I went to a number of functions and door-to-door with John, and he was always very well-received by people. Again, he really loved people.”
Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton said Green’s death is, without question, a blow to the community.
“John has been an impactful entrepreneur from a very young age and has contributed greatly to our town in numerous ways,” she said. “John brought a tremendous amount of comfort to many families during their own losses over many decades and on behalf of our town council, I wish to extend our deep-felt condolences to John’s family and friends.”
MacDonald also noted he feels great sadness for Green’s family and friends, notably his partner, Ashley Taylor.
Visitation will take place on Saturday, November 30, from 7-9 p.m. and Sunday, December 1, from 2-9 p.m. at Green’s Funeral Home. The funeral mass will take place Monday, December 2, at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church. Reception follows at the Port Hastings Fire Hall.