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Community, Oak Bay council lose a key figure

Veteran Coun. Allan Cassidy didn’t let illness slow him down
Coun. Allan Cassidy was first elected to Oak Bay council in 1996. He lost his battle with cancer on Sunday at the age of 59.

Coun. Allan Cassidy was remembered this week as a man with principles who kept community at the front of his mind.

He died Sunday at age 59 after a two-year battle with cancer.

“He was a terrific guy, very focused and extremely dedicated to his community,” said Oak Bay Mayor Christopher Causton, who sat on council with Cassidy since 1996. “No politics. Everything was done based on principle, which is very refreshing.”

Right up until his death, he sat on council, guided land-use committee meetings and didn’t want people to know he was ill.

“He only told a few people (he was sick). He wanted to live his life without sympathy after being diagnosed,” Causton said.

In April 2009 Cassidy was diagnosed with lung cancer, which later spread to his brain. Even as he endured chemotherapy, very few people in the community knew he was suffering.

He survived to experience two big events: he walked his daughter down the aisle for her wedding July 2 and celebrated his 35th anniversary with wife Penny on Saturday.

“As an architect, Allan was a real resource for the municipality,” said Coun. Hazel Braithwaite. “He always had a great perspective to bring to the council table, which helped enable us to make sound decisions. It will be tougher to make these decisions without his insight.”

As well as chairing the municipal land-use committee, Cassidy also sat on the Royal Theatre and Provincial Capital Commission boards.

A celebration of his life will be held July 23 at Oak Bay Recreation Centre, from 2 to 5 p.m.