WIGHTMAN, William Hannum - In his 88th year, of Wellington, Ontario at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital on February 28, 2017.
Cherished and caring father of Donald (Yew-Wai) of Miami Beach, grandfather of Kirstyn (Daniel) Mayer of Toronto, great grandfather of Freia and Mobius, and husband of Verna.
Bill obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, where he formed lifelong friendships with his fraternity brothers in Delta Upsilon, Lambda Iota Chapter.
After serving with the RCAF and Canadian Army for two years, he obtained a Master’s in Labour Relations from Columbia University. He held senior positions in the health care, food processing and petrochemical industries in Canada and the U.S.A., and eventually became the long serving Director of Industrial Relations for what was then the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association. He was concurrently appointed a member of the Ontario Labour Relations Board and served on numerous arbitration panels. He authored three books on labour relations, and represented the CMA as a delegate and technical advisor in Geneva, Paris and Vienna. He was a faculty member of both the University of Toronto and Loyalist College, and a member of the Royal Canadian Military Institute and the Wellington Legion Branch 160.
Bill followed his lifelong passion for public service with his election in the riding of Scarborough West as a Member of the 31st Parliament of Canada, where he served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour.
Following his retirement, Bill and Verna moved to Prince Edward County in 1994, where he became actively involved in the community. He was one of the earliest to fight the imposition of industrial wind turbines in the County and was honoured for his commitment to that cause by a tribute dinner in 2013. He was an honorary member of the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County and an active member of the Advisory Committee of the County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy. He had also served as a member of the Friends of the Wellington Museum and as chair of the board of Wellington Legion Manor(where he lived for the last year of his life).
Bill earned the respect of all sides of the political and management/labour divides with his courtesy, impartiality, insight, principles and willingness to listen. Bill’s gentlemanly self-deprecation and good humour will also be sorely and widely missed. Bill was a member of the Kingston and East York barbershop quartets, played a smooth jazz piano and admired the work of George Shearing, the World’s Greatest Jazz Band, the Page Kavanaugh Trio, Mel Torme and Frank Sinatra.
A Celebration of Bill's life will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 11:00 am at the Wellington United Church, 243 Main St., Wellington.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Prince Edward County Legal Appeal Fund, the Building Fund of the Quinte Humane Society or the Storehouse Food Bank.