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  • Writer's pictureCraig Baird

The Death Of A Mayor

It was a sad day for Vermilion on Oct. 7, 1969 when Mayor S. Carl Heckbert passed away suddenly.

Originally born in Sackville, New Brunswick, Heckberk enlisted with the army in the First World War and served for three years before coming home and gaining an education in teaching. He spent some time teaching industrial arts in Illinois and Wisconsin but came to Vermilion in 1925 to join the teaching staff of the provincial agricultural college.

He continued on that path for eight years, before he moved into real estate and insurance, operating a business with his son for the next four decades.

At the time of his death, he had been mayor of Vermilion for eight years, after four years on council. He had only just announced that he was not going to be running for re-election. At the time, he was a very popular mayor. He was also a member of the Canadian Legion and the Masonic Lodge.

Throughout his time in Vermilion, Heckbert was a major contributor to community affairs and had served as the Alberta president of the Canadian Legion from 1941 to 1949. He was also a past grand master of the Masonic Ledge for Alberta.

On top of all of that, he also served as the former president of the Western Canada Fairs Association.

In 1968, he also sought the nomination for the Progressive Conservative Party in the constituency for the federal election. He lost the nomination to Don Mazankowski, who won and would serve in that riding until 1993.

If it was a community organization, Heckbert did it all.

Upon his death, he was survived by his wife, one son named Charles, a grandson named Douglas and a granddaughter named Jane.

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