By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
A man known as a “staunch and passionate” supporter of Oshawa and Durham Region passed away over the holiday season.
Bruce McArthur died on Boxing Day at the age of 81 after a battle with cancer.
Born in Oshawa on Feb. 20, 1938, McArthur attended O’Neill Collegiate and Vocational Institute, graduating in 1952, before starting a 30-year career at General Motors as a tool and die journeyman.
He was first elected as an Oshawa alderman in 1973, before moving to regional council between 1977 and 1985.
As a regional councillor, he served as chair of the public works and planning department committees, as well as two terms on the Durham Regional Police Service Board.
In the early half of the 2010s, McArthur began to sit on the board of directors of the Oshawa Port Authority, and later joined the amalgamated Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority in 2019.
During his time with the port authority, McArthur, the city’s representative, was an outspoken critic of plans to bring an ethanol plant to Oshawa’s harbour.
Mayor Dan Carter told The Oshawa Express he was taken aback by McArthur’s passing, as he wasn’t aware he was battling illness.
Carter said he quickly reached out to McArthur’s family with condolences after hearing of his passing.
He noted the flags at city hall will be flown at half mast next weekend on the day of McArthur’s funeral.
Carter noted he knew McArthur quite well, both during his time as a journalist and politician.
When he was first elected as a councillor in 2014, the mayor says McArthur reached out to him to offer advice and insight.
“I found that was very generous, and I did appreciate it, because he understood I was coming from a different environment and into a new role,” he said.
After his election as mayor in 2018, Carter said McArthur once again provided him with information regarding the port authority and its role in the city.
Carter noted McArthur’s service to the City of Oshawa should be “recognized, respected and never forgotten.”
Outside of his political and career activites, McArthur had a passion for sailing and was heavily involved with the Oshawa District Softball Association for many years.
He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Lillie Bolton, along with children and grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held on Jan. 12 at 1 p.m. at DeStefano Funeral Home at 1289 Keith Ross Drive in Oshawa. A tribute to McArthur’s life will begin at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, McArthur’s family asks donations to be make to the Lakeridge Health Foundation.