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Former municipal leader, minor hockey builder Ed Neil dead at 72

Ed Neil died Tuesday at the age of 72.
Ed Neil died Tuesday at the age of 72.

A well-known community volunteer and former municipal leader in the Conception Bay North area has died.

Ed Neil spent more than a decade on Spaniard’s Bay council and was a pivotal player in the history of the Bay Arena Minor Hockey Association. Neil died Tuesday, Jan. 3 in Carbonear. He was 72.

Neil was only in his mid-20s when he decided to serve Spaniard’s Bay as a town councillor in 1969. He remained on council throughout the 1970s before leaving briefly in 1980. Neil returned in 1981, beginning a four-year term as mayor.

In local hockey circles, Neil was a dedicated volunteer. He was a founding member of the Bay Arena Minor Hockey Association and the CBN Minor Hockey Association. For the former group, he spent many years on the board and served as its chairman for the last 10 years.

The Bay Arena Minor Hockey Association announced the news of Neil’s passing in an email Thursday morning.

“He fulfilled all his roles with boundless enthusiasm and passion. He was at all times a gentleman and a diplomat. He will be sadly missed.”

He spent 30 years teaching locally, retiring from Ascension Collegiate in Bay Roberts in 1996. That same year, he became the founding chairman of the Spaniard’s Bay Heritage Committee. Neil was also a former chairman of the Trinity-Conception-Placentia Health Foundation.

Beyond his career in municipal politics, Neil came extremely close to serving the public provincially. In the 2001 byelection to replace John Efford as the MHA in Port de Grave, Neil fell less than 100 votes shy of Liberal candidate Roland Butler. Neil ran for the Progressive Conservatives.

A funeral for Ed Neil will take place Jan. 8 at 2 p.m. in Holy Redeemer Church in Spaniard’s Bay. Visitation at Lynch’s Funeral Home in Spaniard’s Bay begins this Friday and continues until noon Sunday. Look for a full story on Neil with memories from some of his colleagues in the next print edition of The Compass.

editor@cbncompass.ca

Ed Neil spent more than a decade on Spaniard’s Bay council and was a pivotal player in the history of the Bay Arena Minor Hockey Association. Neil died Tuesday, Jan. 3 in Carbonear. He was 72.

Neil was only in his mid-20s when he decided to serve Spaniard’s Bay as a town councillor in 1969. He remained on council throughout the 1970s before leaving briefly in 1980. Neil returned in 1981, beginning a four-year term as mayor.

In local hockey circles, Neil was a dedicated volunteer. He was a founding member of the Bay Arena Minor Hockey Association and the CBN Minor Hockey Association. For the former group, he spent many years on the board and served as its chairman for the last 10 years.

The Bay Arena Minor Hockey Association announced the news of Neil’s passing in an email Thursday morning.

“He fulfilled all his roles with boundless enthusiasm and passion. He was at all times a gentleman and a diplomat. He will be sadly missed.”

He spent 30 years teaching locally, retiring from Ascension Collegiate in Bay Roberts in 1996. That same year, he became the founding chairman of the Spaniard’s Bay Heritage Committee. Neil was also a former chairman of the Trinity-Conception-Placentia Health Foundation.

Beyond his career in municipal politics, Neil came extremely close to serving the public provincially. In the 2001 byelection to replace John Efford as the MHA in Port de Grave, Neil fell less than 100 votes shy of Liberal candidate Roland Butler. Neil ran for the Progressive Conservatives.

A funeral for Ed Neil will take place Jan. 8 at 2 p.m. in Holy Redeemer Church in Spaniard’s Bay. Visitation at Lynch’s Funeral Home in Spaniard’s Bay begins this Friday and continues until noon Sunday. Look for a full story on Neil with memories from some of his colleagues in the next print edition of The Compass.

editor@cbncompass.ca

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