OSHAWA — Former Oshawa councillor and longtime city port authority representative Bruce McArthur has died at age 81.
He died on Dec. 26 following a battle with cancer.
McArthur served as an Oshawa city and regional councillor from 1977 to 1985 and worked with numerous local organizations, including serving on the Durham Regional Police Service Board as a provincial appointment for two terms, as an executive member of the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority, as a member of the Canadian Automotive Museum Operations board and as a board member and president of the Parkview Place Board for 13 years.
He has served as the City of Oshawa’s representative on the Oshawa Harbour Commission and its successor, the Oshawa Port Authority. He continued to serve as the city’s voice on harbour issues on the recently-amalgamated Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority.
Oshawa mayor Dan Carter said he was saddened and shocked to hear the news of McArthur’s passing.
“I admire that right up to the very end he was continuing to work for the city and contributing to the city under dire circumstances … I’m overwhelmed by his commitment to the city.”
During his tenure with the harbour commission and port authority in Oshawa, McArthur was the city’s voice. And that including strongly voicing opposition to a proposed ethanol plant at the harbour and fighting for a people-friendly waterfront. He also regularly attended Oshawa council meetings to answer questions and provide updates on port issues.
“What I can say with great confidence is Bruce always made sure Oshawa was well represented and our voice was heard at both port authorities and that was very valuable,” said Carter. “He was a staunch supporter of the city … he probably made some people uncomfortable but he made sure the city’s position was well heard.”
Carter said McArthur reached out to him and met with him both after his election as a councillor and election as mayor to talk about the responsibilities of the job.
The Oshawa mayor said he shared his condolences with McArthur’s family on behalf of the city’s residents and said the city’s flags will be flying at half staff when services are held for McArthur.
In addition to his civic work, McArthur was a 30-year General Motors employee as a tool and die maker and started a successful retail operation, Ring Fare Inc., which included locations in Toronto, Pickering, Whitby and Oshawa.
He was also an ardent sailor and sports enthusiast and served as president of the Oshawa Minor Softball Association for 15 years.
McArthur is survived by his wife of 35 years, Lillie Bolton, his children and his grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held on Jan. 12 at 1 p.m. at DeStefano Funeral Home, 1289 Keith Ross Dr.,Oshawa. The tribute to McArthur’s life begins at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Lakeridge Health Foundation.