Daurene Elaine Lewis

September 9, 1943January 26, 2013

Lewis, Daurene E - 69, Bedford, passed away suddenly January 26, 2013 in hospital in Halifax. Born in Annapolis Royal, the seventh generation of Black Loyalists who settled there in 1763, Daurene was the daughter of the late James and Peryle (Morgan) Lewis. Besides her parents, she was predeceased by her brother Ronald. She is survived by her sister Avis (John) Nkansah, Toronto, Ontario, her aunt, Joyce (Morgan) Tynes, 5 nieces and nephews and friends across the province, Canada and the world. Daurene was dynamic, talented, accomplished and adventurous. Her many careers included administrator, nurse, nursing instructor, businesswoman, and politician. Daurene started her career in the Health Care profession before running her own weaving and design business in Annapolis Royal. She became active in municipal politics, eventually making history in 1984 when she became Canada’s first black female mayor. In 1987 she ran for the Liberals in the provincial election. Daurene held many national and provincial positions and served on the Board of Directors of Canada Post, Board of Directors Neptune Theatre, Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society’s Bar Council, Dalhousie University Board of Governors, the Vanier Institute of the Family and the Premier’s Council on the Economy. As a dedicated volunteer, she also devoted her considerable energies to numerous educational and cultural organizations including the Africville Heritage Trust. As chair, she was instrumental in building the replica of the Seaview Baptist Church. She was also a member of the Anglican Church choirs in Annapolis Royal and Halifax. In addition to the Order of Canada, Daurene received a number of other awards during her lifetime including the Progress Club of Halifax Woman of Excellence Award for Public Affairs and Communication, the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, the Black Cultural Centre’s Wall of Honour, the Global Citizenship Award commemorating the United Nations 50th Anniversary and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. Daurene had a beautiful singing voice, a terrific sense of humour, a fabulous flair for fashion, and was elegant, poised and fun-loving. This extraordinary woman, who inspired so many to reach their potential, explained her philosophy in these words: “Involvement on boards, commissions and advisory councils allows me to have input that will help shape policy and practice. Too many of us are limited by societal convention and geographical perspectives to live life to the fullest. I want people to feel valued, happy and excited about their very existence.” Cremation has taken place. A celebration of life service will be held in All Saints Cathedral 11 am Saturday April 27, 2013. On-line condolences can be sent to J.A. Snow Funeral Home Halifax, N.S


Daurene Elaine Lewis

have a memory or condolence to add?


May 30, 2013

It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Daurene. We met at Dalhousie University in the late 60's. I graduated in 1966 and moved to Toronto. Not long after, a mutual friend, Henry Gates, moved and told me Daurene was in Toronto too.

What followed was a number of years where Daurene and I hung out with Henry and others and drank a lot of wine and played a lot of bridge.

Eventually, Daurene moved back home to Annapolis Royal, opened a weaving shop and got into politics, eventually ending up as mayor.

I didn't see much of Daurene after she left Toronto, except for a lovely dinner at her mother's place in Annapolis Royal back in the middle seventies when I was down on vacation. That was the night Daurene taught me a most valuable lesson: don't drink red wine with lobster unless you want to feel like crap the next day! I still remember how wonderful and caring her mother was putting my wife, at the time, and I back to bed in the morning for some healing.

I moved back to Halifax in 1990 and went down to visit Daurene in Annapolis Royal. It was a nice visit and we caught up on each others lives.

Annapolis Royal is a bit of a drive from Halifax and with a new and very demanding job and a new wife and two small children we lost touch.

Then, the year of the G7 Summit, we ran into each other again and I learned she was now living in Bedford. We started meeting for lunch occasionally, had each other over for dinner but as time past, our lives pulled us in different directions and regrettably we lost track of each other again, except for the rare occasion when we would bump into each other at Pete's in Bedford.

I think anyone who met Daurene was immediately struck by what a truly remarkable women she was. She was incredibly bright, one night in Toronto while exploring the merits a couple of bottles of a rather nice red wine, she confided in me that her IQ was in the range of 140. I remember thinking: “At least!”

She had a wonderful sense of humour and always displayed a genuine interest in people she met. She was compassionate and carried the belief that she had a responsibility to her community.

Those of us who had the privilege of knowing Daurene, all lovers of wine, I'm sure, will on those special occasions devoted to lost friends, raise their glasses for the following toast: “To Daurene Lewis, one the last of the world's great women!”

I don't know if there is a Heaven but if there is, she's a shoe in and I'm sure her comment on arriving is “This is fine and dandy!”

Mark Hunter

Enid Fitzpatrick

February 27, 2013

Dear Avis,
I was very sorry to learn of Daureen's death. She certainly contributed greatly to her community in Annapolis Royal and throughout Nova Scotia, and will be greatly missed. I remember her as a cheerful, fun-loving girl, and from what I read, she continued to have those characteristics throughout her life. May you find comfort at this sad time. Enid (Stultz) Fitzpatrick

February 10, 2013

Daurene became a friend when we worked in the nursing profession in the late 60s. She was a shining light and always fun loving. RIP to a fabulous lady, a friend, a mentor, a trailblazer....certainly one of a kind. Your passing is a tremendous loss to us all. Jacqueline Comeau

February 7, 2013

Oh, Daurene ! How could you?! We sat and giggled last summer about being around for some time to come. Friends and soul mates since Grade One in little AR; we have been in conversation for 65 years. You are/were so stunning, elegant, smart, gracious, generous of spirit! Such a loss for those of us who knew and loved you; as much a loss for those who benefited from who you were. Having trouble with past tense here; still in shock.
marty Laurence [Merimbula, NSW]
[Victoria, BC, when in Canada]

February 7, 2013

Daurene was truly a distinguished person who was a great inspiration to many people. Our family has been so very proud of all of her great accomplishments and place in history. Even today several decades after my wedding during which she was in attendance, several of my friends at that event still remember her for her charm, laughter and wit.

You will be missed Cousin Daurene

Paul Thompson (Atlanta, GA)

Treasure (Terry) Lambert(Hickling)

February 5, 2013

Am sending my thoughts to the family of all the good memories I have of Daurene. We nursed together and became friends a long time ago. She was a thoughtful person.

Marie Lopes

February 5, 2013

I am deeply sorry for your loss. I had a chance to meet her July of last year. Daurene was helping me finding my family tree. She is my distant cousin. R.I.P

February 4, 2013

To Daurene's family: Our sincere sympathy for your loss. Having grown up in Annapolis Royal, I remember Daurene well. My wife Fern met Daurene when she had her shop in the town. Daurene was a special person.
David & Fern McClafferty

February 4, 2013

We were shocked and saddened to hear of Daureen Lewis', a respected friend and collegue's, untimely passing. We were very fortunate to have had the opportunity of working with Daurene on both the NSCC Waterfront Campus as well as the Africville Seaview Church Museum. We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends at this very difficult time. ~ The staff of Eastin Projects Limited

Edna Parker

February 4, 2013

Ms. Raymand Parker would like to send condolences to the family.