STELLARTON - On Monday morning, councillor George Megeney passed away.
If he hadn’t, he would have been in the town hall that night for Stellarton’s regular council meeting.
A former police officer and longtime councilor, Megeney was a man who served his town to the very end.
Mayor Joe Gennoe was on vacation when he found out about the death of his longtime friend and colleague. He immediately came home to be with the family and friends of the man he personally had known for about 40 years.
“He was a great councillor and a great worker,” Gennoe said. “His main interest was the Town of Stellarton. He was a team player.”
Gennoe said Megeney had some ongoing health issues in recent months but had thought he was improving, so was surprised at the sudden passing.
Councillor Ken Francis said he was shocked when he heard the news of Megeney’s death.
He described Megeney as a person who always had the best interest of the community at heart.
“Every choice he made was in the best interest of the town and citizens,” Francis said. “He really deliberated on decisions as well. They were never done in haste. He really had Stellarton very much in his heart at all times.”
Megeney served on council for many years. Prior to that he worked for years in law enforcement.
“His whole life revolved around our community.”
Anyone who attended a council meeting would know how passionate Megeney could be. He never hesitated to go toe-to-toe with anyone if he thought a particular decision was best for the town.
“The town is going to miss him,” Gennoe said.
But he was also known for his softer side, which might not always have showed.
After the death of nephew Kevin Megeney, George became a spokesman for the family, sharing the grief that those close to the young soldier were feeling.
Reporter John Brannen also tells a story of how he met a man half a world away touched by the Megeneys’ kindness.
“While in Belarus in 2012, I interviewed a woman in Chavusy who told me her son Alexey had stayed with a family in New Glasgow, a respite from the radiation from the Chernobyl disaster. He had recently graduated from the police academy in Minsk, after being inspired to the police force by his host family in Canada,” Brannen said. “In one of those amazing coincidences, I was hired by The News in New Glasgow and began the search for the host family. It was George and Anderine Megeney, who were elated that Alexey, now 33, was doing so well.”
The woman in Chavusy credited the Megeneys for her son’s decision to pursue law enforcement.
“He became a police officer because of the positive influence of (the Megeneys).”