Saturday October 2, 2010
HON. GORDON LEAVITT SHAW HART Died at home on September 28, 2010, at the age of 85. Born in Halifax to Jean Thompson Leavitt and Gilbert Shaw Hart, Gordon showed early promise as an artist and an athlete. After a brief stint in the navy, he graduated from Dalhousie Law (1948), married his sweetheart, Catherine (Katie) MacKinnon, and they moved to Dartmouth where they raised six children - Christine, Tom, Norah, Gordon, Hugh and Jonathan. Gordon worked hard for his family and his community. He chaired the Dartmouth School Board, the United Way Campaign, the Rotary Club, became a Town Councillor and a MLA for Dartmouth North, twice, National VP of the YMCA, helping to bring the 'Y' to Dartmouth, president of St. George's Tennis Club and the Wentworth Valley Ski Club. In 1967 Gordon was appointed to the Trial Division of the N.S. Supreme Court, and in 1978 was elevated to the Court of Appeal, where he served until his retirement in 2000. He was both proud to be a judge and humbled by the responsibility, which he felt keenly. He enjoyed the camaraderie of his judicial colleagues across the country, and took his language studies seriously enough to be able to hear trials in French. In 1973, Gordon led an early environmental Royal Commission, investigating the pollution of Chedabucto Bay by the grounded tanker, 'Arrow'. In 1994 he served on the NAFTA softwood lumber tribunal. He was an avid camper, skier and a passionate gardener. He loved ballroom dancing with Katie, and they both enjoyed impromptu gatherings of family and friends at Clearview, in Wentworth and at Northport. His painting helped him get through the death of Jonathan, their youngest son at 28, but losing Katie in 2008 was just too hard. Gordon will be terribly missed by all his family and friends. A celebration of his life will be held at St. James United Church, 181 Portland St., Dartmouth, at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, October 4th, 2010, a reception to follow. Please join the family in wearing bright, fall colours to honour Gordon and his love of the brilliant-hued dahlias and marigolds that won him so many prizes. A heartfelt thanks to the staff at Melville Heights Retirement Residence, and to Yvonne Binder, whose loving and competent care was exceptional. In lieu of flowers, charitable gifts may be directed to the Jonathan Hart Memorial Fund (Architecture & Planning), c/o External Relations, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, B3H 3J5 (Toll Free 1-800-565-9969).