By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express
The pews of St. George’s Memorial Anglican Church were packed, with some even having to stand at the back, for a service remembering the life of the late Nancy Diamond.
Lead off by speeches from Mayor John Henry and Councillor Bob Chapman, who highlighted Diamond’s work for the City of Oshawa and its citizens, those in attendance also heard about the late councillor’s life outside of city hall, with stories shared by her daughter Suzie Diamond and her nephew Don Darling, who has followed in his aunt’s footsteps and entered the world of municipal politics, recently being elected mayor of Saint John, New Brunswick.
Her nephew wasn’t the only person in attendance who spoke of how Diamond had encouraged and helped them get involved in their community via the political arena.
“In 2010, we did an election panel and she came, and I had mentioned to her that I was considering running for election,” Kim Beatty of the Business and Professional Women of Durham and a past candidate for a trustee with the Durham Catholic District School Board.
“And not only did she encourage me, but she gave me her phone number and said to call her, and she helped me set up my campaign, even though she was running her own.”
Some of the stories about Diamond stretched back decades to the days before she first ran for council.
“I’ve been in Oshawa since 1975, and I met Nancy shortly after that,” said Richard Davidson with the Oshawa Folk Arts Council.
“She loved Fiesta. You heard from the service this afternoon that she loved to give back to the community, and that’s how I knew Nancy. She always gave and gave and gave, and that’s why she was so well loved in the Oshawa community.”
Others in attendance at the Family Day service did not work in any professional capacity with Diamond, and just knew her as a stalwart in the city.
“She was a nice, intelligent woman, aware of everything going on. She was genuine and clear with people,” says Zena Burns.
“She seemed to be one who intermingled with many people. I wish I had gotten to know her more.”
In her memory, a Nancy L Diamond Scholarship has now been established for the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, the institution many of her colleagues at city hall credit the late councillor with bringing to the city. Donations for this scholarship can be made through McIntosh-Anderson-Kellam Funeral Home by calling (905) 433-5558.