BROCK: Brock Township is mourning the recent death of Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden.
On Sunday, January 24th, the township announced Mayor Bath-Hadden had died “following a long and courageous battle with cancer.”
The Mayor had been on a leave of absence from the Township,since late November, in order to deal with health issues. Regional Councillor Ted Smith has been filling her spot on council as the deputy mayor.
Mayor Bath-Hadden was the township’s first female Mayor, and also previously served as Ward 4 Councillor and Regional Councillor.
“It was my distinct pleasure to serve under Mayor Bath-Hadden,while she was both Mayor and Regional Councillor for the Township,” Clerk Becky Jamieson said, in a statement. “She was proud of the Township, its staff, residents and businesses, and worked tirelessly around the clock for the betterment of the community. She will be greatly missed by all.”
In a press release, the Township of Brock summed up some of DebbieBath-Hadden’s achievements during her time on council.
“During her years on Council, [Mrs.] Bath-Hadden was successful in bringing Brock its first Zamboni, Summer Day Camp program and annual Charity Golf Tournament. One of her biggest achievements was securing funding from the federal government for a Community Employment Centre in Brock.”
Tributes have been flowing in for Mrs. Bath-Hadden from those who served with her on Regional Council and on committees.
“Debbie and I sat next to each other at Regional Council and I have loved getting to know her over the last two years. It was obvious to all that she loved life, her family, friends and especially Brock Township. Debbie will be deeply missed. On behalf of the Township of Uxbridge, I offer sincere condolences to Mayor Bath-Hadden’s family, friends and the Brock Township community on her passing. Our flags at the Township office are flying at half mast in her memory,” read an emailed statement from Uxbridge Mayor Dave Barton.
On Twitter, Pickering-Uxbridge MP Jennifer O’Connell wrote,she was “sad to learn the news” of the mayor’s passing.
“Debbie and I served on Durham Regional Council together,and I saw firsthand what a strong advocate she was for the [Township of Brock]. This is a big loss for our region. My condolences to her family, friends and colleagues,” she posted.
Scugog Mayor Bobbie Drew also provided her condolences in an emailed statement.
“Debbie was a colleague for many years, I had the privilege of knowing and working with Mayor Bath–Hadden as a fellow board member of the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority, Regional Councillors and then as Mayors in Durham Region,” Mayor Drew’s statement read. “Debbie had a unique and refreshing leadership style and sense of humour. It was wonderful to know the residents of the Township of Brock supported her in the way they did, electing their first female Mayor. She was passionate about the community she served, and a true champion for the Township of Brock and North Durham.”
In a press release, Durham Regional Chair John Henry called Mayor Bath-Hadden a “strong and positive force in municipal politics” and “a passionate leader.”
At an evening council meeting,on Monday, January 25th, members of Brock council were given the opportunity to speak about Mayor Bath-Hadden’s impact and legacy.
Ward 2 Councillor Claire Doble called Mayor Bath-Hadden a “strong leader and mentor.”
Ward 4 Councillor Cria Pettingill shared she was amazingly generous and “a very creative thinker.”
Deputy Mayor Ted Smith said Mayor Bath-Hadden “certainly always had Brock’s interests at the top of her list.”
Dan Cearns, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Standard Newspaper