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Source: St. Mary's University

SHEA, Harold Thomas

October 25, 2006

SHEA, Harold Thomas - 83, Halifax, passed away October 23, 2006.

He is an Honorary Degree recipient from Saint Mary’s and also spent a number of years lecturing at the University.

He was admired by many students, and today the University is mourning his passing.

Born July 20, 1923, in Halifax, he was a son of the late Harold and Mary (Bottomley) Shea.

He was educated in St. Patrick's Boy's High School.

He served in the Second World War initially in the RCASC, then switched to the Air Force to train for aircrew. He flew in bomber Command with RAF Nighthawks and RCAF Ghost Squadron. In May 1945, he was assigned to RCAF Tiger Squadron for service in the Pacific, but the squadron disbanded while training (the Japanese surrendered).

He joined the Halifax Herald in 1945 as a proofreader and cub reporter. He served with the paper for 50 years: 1945-83 - as a permanent staffer: 1983-95 - as a columnist and freelance writer while operating his own news and writing company called SHEANEWS. He continued to write for commercial, seniors and veterans publications. At the Herald he served as business, legislative, marine and shipping reporter.

After eight years as an editor (city, provincial, editorial pages), he became Parliamentary Correspondent in Ottawa, National Affairs writer, Canadian-American Affairs writer. He covered the sealing of the Berlin Wall, NATO defence conferences overseas, numerous assignments to the Middle East (oil crises and Israeli-Arab tensions), offshore oil development off Britain; trade with West Indies; seven years as United Nations correspondent with specialty Law of the Sea, World Health, and plight of developing countries.

He became editorial writer again in 1977 and that same year Editor-in-Chief of the Chronicle-Herald and The Mail Star and vice-president of the company for personnel and editorial training. He retired at age 60 in 1983 but was contracted as a columnist. He served as vice-president Canadian Managing Editors' Association, Secretary-Treasurer of the National Press Gallery, Director of the Canadian Press, Executive Secretary of the Atlantic Press Council. He was cited for his writings on the plight of unwanted children in Nova Scotia, the seven year coverage of the United Nations Law of the Sea Conferences (1970-77) in Geneva, New York and Caracas, and a series on the economy centered around the coal industry in Cape Breton.

He was a part-time lecturer in King's School of Journalism; three times invited by the University of Maine to address annual conferences of journalism students, authors and members of the New England Daily Newspaper Publishers Association. He was a past-president of the Charitable Irish Society of Halifax; honorary member of the Clan MacBean Society; member of the board of Northwood Broadcasting Club; editor of Northwood Generations magazine; volunteer liaison officer of the Senior Citizen's Secretariat; member of the board of Mount St. Vincent's Centre on Aging; member of the board of Nova Scotia Seniors Pharmacare; the Senior Writers Guild; Senior Scribes of Nova Scotia; member of the board of directors Northwood Incorporated; the Walter Callow Wheelchair Bus League; for three years was a member of the Governor-general's Committee for the Promotion of Excellence in Journalism.

He was active in Veteran's Affairs; Joined the Vimy Branch Royal Canadian Legion in 1983, served as a chairman of publicity, honors and awards, bursaries, constitution and bylaws. He was a member of the board Canvet Publications which published Legion Magazine; editor of the Torch (Nova Scotia Legion newspaper); Secretary-treasurer of the Remembrance Church Service Association. He was awarded Legion's highest honor (Meritorious Service Medal) in 1994.

Other affiliations: member of the board Nova Scotia Society for Deafness; past member board Spencer House Senior Centre; a commissioner of Oaths for the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. Other associations, member of the board of the Society of Deafness, the board of Spencer House Senior Centre, director of the Callow Wheelchair Buses for Veterans, advisory board of Nova Scotia Seniors Expo. He was a Commissioner of Oaths for the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. he was co-chairman of the Provincial Task Force (1984-85) to make recommendations for the establishment of the Nova Scotia Home Care program for seniors and for younger persons with disabilities. Board of Good Fellows Club and Rainbow Haven Camp for Needy Children; Board of Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia; he was awarded Queen's Jubilee Medal for contributions to Journalism, and the Canada 125 Medal for volunteerism.

Harold is survived by his wife of 60 years, Elva Blanche (Westhaver) Shea; daughter, Margaret Swire, Halifax; three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; brothers, Frank and Mike of Halifax; sisters, Joan Martin, Halifax; Stella Hoadley, Lakeside and Theresa Bowden, Halifax.

He was predeceased by brothers, Gerald, Kenneth, Bill and George. Visitation will be held Thursday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. with a Legion Service Thursday evening at 7 p.m., in J.A. Snow funeral Home, 2666 Windsor St. Halifax. Funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Friday, October 27, in the funeral home chapel, The Right Rev. Russell Hatton officiating. Burial in Fairview Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Goodfellows Club, Rainbow Haven or Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia. E-mail condolences to:

Saint Mary's University is known for its community outreach projects, both in Canada and around the world. Saint Mary's, founded in 1802, is home to one of Canada's leading business schools, a Science Faculty widely known for its cutting-edge research, a comprehensive and innovative Arts Faculty and a vibrant Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.


For More Information:

Paul Fitzgerald
Public Affairs Officer
Saint Mary's University, Public Affairs
(902) 420.5514



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