West Nipissing’s mayor and council honoured the memory of long-time Sturgeon Falls councillor Marcel Labbe to open the virtual meeting Tuesday evening.
Mayor Joanne Savage said Labbe, who died Nov. 11 at the age of 95 years, was on the Sturgeon Falls council for 31 consecutive years beginning in 1964. He was a stationary engineer and his wife, Jane, came to the town in 1957 and raised five children.
They stood for a minute of silence after Savage noted Labbe’s public service included the building of the arena, community complex, and town hall.
According to his obituary, Labbe was born, July 6, 1925, on a farm near East Angus, Quebec in a tightly bound family of 13.
“Marcel learned early of the importance of family and hard work. Both these priorities were reflected in his diligent commitment to community service.”
His trade was earned while in Red Rock, Ontario where he first moved when 21 years old. That’s where he met Jane Callwood and they were married in 1950.
“He demonstrated his wisdom and sense of justice in his drive to have the first arena built in 1964, the first pool sponsored and built by the Kinsmen in 1966, as well as in shaping our community geared-to-income housing and seniors’ apartments, constructing the Stats Can Building, and spear-heading the funding and construction of the Complex.
“Marcel also served on the hospital board that oversaw the building of the West Nipissing General Hospital. All of this was accomplished while working shift work and running a small business, Labbe Monuments. He was also a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus, 4th degree, and has been honoured with several awards recognizing his contributions to the community, including The Commemorative Medal for the 125th anniversary of Canada and the Community Recognition Award by the Chamber of Commerce.”
Marcel is survived by his wife and will be missed by his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
There will be a memorial celebration following the end of pandemic restrictions. Cremation arrangements were in care of Theoret Bourgeois Funeral Home, Sturgeon Falls. Contributions to the Sturgeon Falls Hospice and Palliative Care will be appreciated by the family.