Former mayor Big Al Edmondson 'made real differences' in Middlesex Centre

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Middlesex Centre is remembering its former mayor, William (Al) Edmondson, as a respected and forward-thinking leader.

“He was a one-of-a-kind person,” said current Mayor Aina DeViet. “He was just a solid community representative, volunteer and teacher.”

Edmondson died Sunday at the age of 76.

He served as a two-term councillor, deputy mayor and finally as mayor for nearly two decades. Edmondson also served as Middlesex County’s warden in 2001-2.

DeViet described him as a visionary politician with a focus on sustainability, highlighting the township’s carbon net-zero fire hall and eco-friendly wellness centre as lasting legacies of his impact.

“He made real differences in our communities,” she said. “I learned so much from him.”

A former teacher before entering municipal politics, Edmondson was a consensus builder on council, DeViet said.

He’s survived by his wife of 54 years, Eleanor, and sons David and William.

Edmondson was known to many by his nicknames: Mr. E, Big Al, Mayor Al or the Mega Mayor.

Too tall to ride in the back of cars during the Canada Day or Ilderton Fair parades, he would walk the routes instead, shaking hands and tossing candy to kids, DeViet said.

“It was completely a life well-lived,” she said. “I do miss him terribly already.”

The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada

Max Martin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press