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Former Elora reeve Mary Dunlop passes

Former Elora reeve Mary Dunlop passes

by Chris Daponte and Mike Robinson

CENTRE WELLINGTON - Elora has lost a “well-loved” community leader renowned for her “grace and dignity.”

Former village Reeve Mary Dunlop, who helped lay the groundwork to establish the community of Centre Wellington, passed away on April 8, in her 72nd year, following a short illness.

“Mary was a well-loved leader with a heartfelt passion for our community,” said Centre Wellington Mayor Kelly Linton.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.”

Dunlop was the beloved wife of Ian George Dunlop and devoted mother of Christine Dunlop (David Oates), Karen Mulvey (Tom), Kathie Dunlop and Daniel Dunlop (Denise).

After her family, Dunlop’s first love was the village of Elora.

She served on council for many years, including as Reeve of Elora from 1989 to 1999, and one term as warden of the County of Wellington in 1996.

“Mary was Elora’s last village reeve,” said former Advertiser reporter David Meyer, who covered much of Dunlop’s political career.

“The municipal building was erected on her watch and she had every reason to be proud of it. In her last years at the head of council, she did a tremendous job getting things accomplished.”

As reeve, Dunlop was in the centre of the political storm that accompanied amalgamation in the late 1990s.

She was also involved in the late 1990s with the contentious issue of a slots facility in the village.

“There were times early in her tenure as reeve when things got politically nasty, but Mary always handled herself with grace and dignity, and I really admired her for that,” said Meyer.

He recalled the late Stephen Thorning once declaring that despite Dunlop being the only member of council without an advanced educational degree, she was “the most attuned to the community and the most politically astute of the bunch of us.”

Dunlop is fondly remembered by her grandchildren Alix, Quynn, Rainen, Jake, Marisa, Mathew, Madeleine and Amelia.

In addition to her husband and children, she is survived by her brothers Peter (Judy), Bill (Suzie), John and Tom (Soraya) and sisters Debbie Shaughnessy (Pat), Joan Purves (Davey), Terry Grant and Sheila Hansen (Jim).

She is also survived by sisters-in-law Lynne Dunlop, Susan Dunlop (Ross) and Margaret Dunlop (Larry), as well as 21 nieces and nephews and 19 great nieces and nephews.

Family and friends were invited to a reception at the Elora Legion, 110 Metcalfe Street in Elora, on April 11, from 3 to 7pm. There will be a private family interment.

Memorial donations can be directed to the Elora Legion or Groves Memorial Hospital Foundation.

April 12, 2019


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