November 14, 2018
Donald William MacGillivray, 75, passed away on (Wednesday) November 14, at The Cape Breton Regional Hospital. He was the son of Charles Donald (Duffy) MacGillivray and Isobel (Bunny) Bryson, both of Sydney, NS. Don is survived by sisters: June Rushton, Comox, BC and Corinne Stewart ofNanaimo, BC. He was predeceased by his first wife, Elaine Campbell.
After leaving Cape Breton, Don did a short stint as a pilot in the RCAF, before pursuing an outstanding career in academia. Don gave his best to all his pursuits and was a history professor at Cape Breton University for over 35 years, with his specialities Cape Breton labour and Irish histories. His doctoral thesis consisted of a book: Captain Alex MacLean: Jack London’s Sea Wolf; MacLean was a native of East Bay, and an internationally recognized “sailor, sealer and folk hero”. Don’s book was carefully and exhaustively researched. A dedicated and tireless community contributor, he served 27 years as a volunteer firefighter with the Big Pond Volunteer Fire Department, was managing editor of a local newsletter: The Big Pond Times, and was, for many years, a willing volunteer with the Big Pond Concert events. He also devoted much time and energy to union and labour issues, both at his workplace and in the wider sphere as well.
Don MacGillivray was fiercely proud of his “Ashby” roots and equally attached to his later adopted home of Big Pond and its people. Cremation will follow and a Celebration of Life will take place, at Big Pond at a later date.