Haig, A. Mclean

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Haig, A. Mclean

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1903-1975

Historique

A. McLean Haig was a prominent figure in Belleville, Ontario in the mid twentieth century. Known as “Mac,” he served as alderman, mayor, and was the President of numerous organizations throughout the city. He was born in Campbellford in August 1903, and died in 1975. His parents were Dr. Andrew Haig and Marian Gertrude McLean. He spent time during his youth in Kingston and attended Queen's University. After he graduated from Queen's Faculty of Arts, he attended Osgoode Hall in Toronto where he received his Doctorate of Law degree.

Upon graduation, he moved to Western Canada before settling in Belleville in 1935, and establishing an insurance business. From 1940 to 1945, Haig served as a group Captain in the Royal Canadian Air Force. After the war, Haig opened Moira Fuels.

His first foray into political life occurred in 1940 when he ran as the Belleville candidate for the federal Liberal Party under Prime Minister Mackenzie King. He ran again in 1945. On both occasions he was beaten narrowly. Haig served as an Alderman for Belleville in 1938, 1939, 1940, 1950, and 1951. He was first elected Mayor of Belleville in 1952 when he won by a record majority of 1626 votes. His second stint came when he received the post by acclamation in 1960. He would be elected two more times in 1962 and 1963. He is credited with leading Belleville out of a financial crisis after the McFarlands World Championship Hockey team was implicated in a scandal with the city's Treasury Department.

In addition to his local political service, Haig was an active member of many city clubs and foundations. He joined the Belleville Rotary Club in 1935, and became their President from 1938 to 1939, after serving as their Secretary from 1937 to 1938. He served as the President of the Belleville Chamber of Commerce in 1939. He was on the Board of Governors for the Belleville General Hospital from 1939 to 1940 and again from 1950 to 1965. He was the Chairman of the Board from 1965 to 1966. He also was the President of the Belleville chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society as well as President of CJBQ Radio. Haig was a member of Bridge Street United Church.

He was married to Mary Elizabeth Roberts, born in 1909 and died in 2004. Together they had four children: Trudi Banting, Christine Cox, Andy Haig, and Archie Haig. His known grandchildren are James Douglas and Alan McLean Banting. Haig Road in Kingston is named for him.

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Belleville

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