By Sarah Seeley
Feb. 17, 2014
Stu MacFadyen’s phones were ringing off the hook. He was running for Charlottetown city council in Ward 5 and he was worried about his chances of winning a spot on council.
“They’re never going to elect me,” he thought.
MacFadyen, 72, was elected to city council in November 2000 and served for 14 years. In 2003, Charlottetown mayor Clifford Lee appointed him as deputy mayor.
On Feb. 11, he announced his retirement. He will not run in the next election in November.
MacFadyen was a Charlottetown physical education teacher at Spring Park Elementary School from 1965-73 until the province took over city schools. Then the city council asked him to manage the Simmons Sports Centre. He was chosen because of his passion for Charlottetown youth, he said.
“They wanted someone with a heart for children.”
When he retired in 1973, the city council didn’t want him to leave, said MacFadyen.
“The city asked me to stay with them.”
MacFadyen served on several committees, including finance and parks and recreation. This year, he was a member of the economic and sustainability committee.
He has a large portfolio because of the numerous 2014 projects. The council will oversee many infrastructure projects, sporting events and new business ventures this year.
“We try to do a lot of things.”
The most memorable project in his career was the construction of the CARI complex at UPEI, he said.
“Being a sports-oriented person, I believe in facilities for young people to become better.”
The CARI complex has touched Islanders of all ages, said MacFadyen.
“Everyone both young and old has had something to do with that rink.”
Now, MacFadyen believes the council should have some new faces.
“I think 14 years is enough. It’s time to move on.”
Lee said MacFadyen has always been a dependable colleague.
“He’s the one I know I could go to bounce ideas off him. I knew I could get an honest opinion from him.”
He chose MacFadyen as his deputy mayor because they had the same views on Charlottetown’s issues, Lee said.
“When you choose a deputy mayor, you want to make sure they’re on the same wavelength.”
MacFadyen has had a major impact on Charlottetown young people, said Lee.
“Stewey is an individual that will do anything for the youth of the community.”
When MacFadyen retires, Lee said he will continue helping youth.
“He won’t be sitting around doing nothing.”
MacFadyen does not plan to slow down. He will stay active in his community and continue to interact with the people in his ward.
“I’m going to take it one day at a time.”