Saint John businesswoman, former police commission chair dies at 78

A successful Saint John businesswoman, philanthropist and member of the Saint John Board of Police Commissioners has died.

Anne-Marie Mullin, who was originally from P.E.I., was well-known in Saint John as the owner of the long-running shop House of Tara, which for 30 years had outposts in uptown Saint John, Saint Andrews and Halifax.

She and her husband, Ernest Wedge, were married in their early 20s and worked for Air Canada in Toronto. They raised their children in Toronto and Montreal before moving to Saint John.   

'She was dynamic'

Mullin, 78, died early Tuesday morning just nine weeks after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, an acute syndrome affecting the bone marrow.

"This was unexpected," said Tobi Grosman, Mullin's daughter. "It's a big loss."

Grosman said her mother always fought for the underdog.

"She was dynamic — she had talents that she didn't show," she said.

She said her mother worked behind the scenes to raise money and supplies for children during the Croatian War in the 1990s. She also helped out in events such as the arrival of the first tall ships in Saint John and the construction of community skating rinks.

"On top of that, she was a wonderful mother and grandmother," Grosman said.  

Mullin was appointed to the Saint John Police Commission in 2015 and served as its chair in 2016.

She was deeply interested in local politics, running for the provincial Liberals in the 2003 general election, as well as for Saint John common council, most recently in the Ward 3 byelection in 2013.

"In her politics, she was a very fair woman, she expected other people to be fair and that didn't always happen," said Grosman said. "Politics was always a part of our lives."

"There was no facade with her, in the sense of politics. She said what she felt, and she fought for that. A lot of people didn't like that, necessarily, but she fought for fairness and for youth in her community."​