Evelyn Buck, who served as Aurora’s first female mayor, has died at 92, her family confirms to The Auroran.
The long-time councillor lost her brief battle with multiple myeloma on Monday night.
Ms. Buck began her career in public life in 1963, shortly after settling in Canada from the United Kingdom. She served as both Councillor and the Town’s last Reeve before serving two terms as Aurora’s mayor beginning in 1976.
“Her passion for Aurora was so strong and the people of Aurora were like family to her,” says daughter Theresa.
After flirting with other levels of government in subsequent decades, including standing locally for the provincial NDP, she returned to where it all began in 2003 with another Council run, where she served as a Councillor in multiple terms until 2014.
At the time, Ms. Buck said there was an opportunity to “restore integrity” to Council and “lift it out from where it was at.”
“It was only a matter of someone being there who knew the difference between how they were functioning and how they should function,” Ms. Buck told The Auroran in 2014. “My main objective was to bring back some civility to our Council Chamber by being the kind of person that I am.”
Ms. Buck was rarely out of the headlines during her political third act, which concluded in her narrow Council defeat in 2014 by just 42 votes. But, following that election, she was philosophical about her loss, telling The Auroran “politics is a harsh taskmaster.”
“It doesn’t matter how popular you are. It is a hard, hard thing to be involved in. I have exalted in it. It is less a matter of being privileged or honoured, or any of that. I have enjoyed it because I have taken all kinds of risks. I have no regrets about it because I couldn’t have done it any other way. I couldn’t be anybody else except who I am – and I have survived.”
“You can be courageous and you can be successful in politics if you have the courage,” she added, in advice to the next generation of Council members. “People will recognize it and they will give you credit for it. They may not agree with you, but they will give you credit for being absolutely honest. People don’t ask for much, so it is not hard to give them something they can trust.”
This story will be updated and full coverage of Evelyn Buck’s life will feature in the January 7, 2021 edition of The Auroran.
Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran