Message from Mayor Norman

Click this link to read the pdf of a message of condolences and remembrance of former Mayor John G. Leefe, or read below.


Message from Mayor Norman

According to the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The purpose of life is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”  Former Mayor John Gordon Leefe lived a purpose filled life, and left deep, lasting impacts in our community, leaving behind many throughout Queens County to mourn his passing and celebrate a life well lived.

John was first and foremost a proud grandfather, father and husband who delighted in his family.  Early in his career, he was a teacher, which brought him to Liverpool, Queens County. He was first elected as Member of Legislative Assembly for Queens County in 1978 and represented Queens County in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly until 1999. While serving as MLA, he held several key positions, including Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Environment, Minister of Natural Resources, Government House Leader, and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee of the Legislature.

In 2000, he offered and was elected as the second Mayor of the recently amalgamated Region of Queens Municipality, a position he held for 12 years, during which he was instrumental in developing the Coat of Arms for Region of Queens Municipality, as well as Queens Place Emera Centre, the multi-purpose recreational facility located in Liverpool. I was fortunate to serve on Council with John during my term elected as a Councillor. I am proud to have served under John during his term as Region of Queens Municipality’s  Mayor.  John was a gifted orator and his door was always open for the constituents in Queens.  I admired his passion for our community and his willingness to help not only with affairs of council, but many community projects.

With a love of nature and conservation, John was a pivotal player during his time as MLA in the creation of Thomas Raddall Provincial Park, and Kejimkujik Seaside National Park.

John excelled as an elected official on a municipal and provincial level, attending many community events, frequenting local businesses, and was always available to talk to constituents, and did it all with ease and good cheer (and often a joke and a hearty laugh).

A noted historian, John was the author or co-author of 3 books – Atlantic Privateers, Kejimkujik National Park (co-author with James Morrison, Millie Evans, & Eric Mullen), and A History of Early Nova Scotia (co-author with Peter L. McCreath), and an active member of the Kings Orange Rangers, a local historical re-enactment group.  John was also very proud to be named as an Honorary Colonel in the West Nova Scotia Regiment, a Primary Reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Armed Forces and one of the oldest regiments on the Canadian Militia List.

To Nancy, Phillip, Sarah, and the entire Leefe family, may you be comforted by the memories of your husband, father, grandfather, and the knowledge that you are joined by many, many residents who grieve your loss – John was a good person who cared deeply for the community, and left his mark on Queens County. He will be remembered with deep admiration and respect.


Darlene Norman, Mayor, Region of Queens Municipality

posted: June 27, 2022