The Brock Township community and the Region of Durham are in mourning after the passing of Brock Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden following a long battle with cancer.
Bath-Hadden passed away early in the morning on Jan. 24 at home with her husband and family by her side.
In a recent statement, Brock Deputy Mayor Ted Smith said Bath-Hadden was a “decisive leader who always put the needs of our community and residents first.”
“She spent years in public service as a strong champion of Township and Regional issues and served the community with devotion,” he says.
Bath-Hadden first informed the community on Oct. 6, 2020 of personal health issues, noting while she remained committed to her responsibilities, she also needed to focus on her health.
Then, on Nov. 20, 2020, Bath-Hadden announced a formal leave of absence from her role as mayor of the Township of Brock to further concentrate on her health. Brock council approved her leave of absence on Nov. 23, 2020.
Both the City of Oshawa and the Region of Durham, along with a number of other officials across Durham, released statements expressing their condolences for the loss of the Brock mayor.
“On behalf of city council and the City of Oshawa, it is with profound sadness that we extend our deepest condolences to the Brock community and to the family and friends of Debbie Bath-Hadden,” says Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter. “Brock Township will miss their mayor – a strong leader who spent numerous years serving her community as a volunteer, councillor, regional councillor, and since 2018 as the township’s mayor.”
Durham Regional Chair John Henry says Bath-Hadden was a “strong and positive force in municipal politics.”
“She was a passionate leader who led many local community endeavours that will leave a lasting impact on the Township of Brock and Durham Region. She will be truly missed,” he says.
Bath-Hadden was elected mayor in 2018, becoming the first female mayor in Brock Township history.
She was first elected as the Ward 4 councillor in 1997 and served for three consecutive terms until 2006. Bath-Hadden was then elected as the regional councillor from December 2010 until 2014.
“During her years on council, Bath-Hadden was successful in bringing Brock its first Zamboni, Summer Day Camp program and annual Charity Golf Tournament,” reads a statement on the township’s website, noting one of her biggest achievements was securing funding from the federal government for a community employment centre in Brock.
“Mayor Bath-Hadden was a strong community advocate and volunteer, working alongside community organizations, ball and hockey associations, agricultural groups and the Girl Guides of Canada,” the statement continues, adding she also served as chair of the North Durham Relay for Life committee for four years.
Brock Municipal Clerk Becky Jamieson said it was her “distinct pleasure” to serve under Bath-Hadden as both mayor and regional councillor.
“She was proud of the Township, its staff, residents and businesses and worked tirelessly around the clock for the betterment of the community,” she states. “She will be greatly missed by all.”
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Donations in memory of Bath-Hadden can be made to the Brock Food Bank, Port Perry Hospital Foundation, or Lakeridge Health Foundation.
A book of condolences is available online at www.townshipofbrock.ca/condolences.
Bath-Hadden’s obituary can be found on the Mangan Funeral Home website.