There was a touching moment at the municipal building in Heart's Content on Aug. 17 as outgoing Mayor Don Blundon stood side-by-side with his mother Olga to cut a cake at a special open house in honour of Don's four decades of service — 36 as mayor — to the town.
It was also a milestone for Olga, who celebrated her 90th birthday on Aug. 16. Olga is from Bay de Verde, but also spends time with family in Upper Island Cove.
Don will not be seeking re-election on Sept. 24, marking the end of an era for municipal leadership in the town of just under 400 citizens.
Don began serving as a municipal leader when he was appointed to the Heart's Content Local Improvement District in April 1973, six years after the young man from Bay de Verde moved to the community to teach at the former Holy Trinity high school.
The town elected its first town council in 1974. Three years later, in the fall of '77, Blundon took over the top elected post, and he's been mayor ever since.
The well-spoken former teacher and school administrator has been battling cancer for the past eight years, and is ready to hand over the mantle of leadership to a new generation.
Among those on hand for the open house was Don's wife, Shirley. Their three children and a handful of grandchildren, who reside in Calgary, Stephenville and Grand Falls-Windsor, also came home for the occasion.