Since moving to Digby over five decades to then open a law practice, Charles Haliburton has been serving his community in a professional and volunteer capacity.
For his efforts and his contributions Haliburton is Digby’s latest recipient of the Joe Casey Humanitarian Award. He was presented with the award at a June 21 ceremony.
The nomination the town received for consideration of Haliburton as the 2019 award recipient outlined decades of his work and contribution.
It notes that after graduating from Acadia University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, and then attending Dalhousie University where he earned law degree, in 1962 Haliburton moved to Digby and opened a law practice. He quickly became immersed in the affairs of the town – the nomination reads – subsequently marrying and raising a family in Digby
Over the years Haliburton has been a member of the Digby Curling Club – curling competitively in addition to serving on the club executive and as also serving as club president.
He was also an active member of the Admiral Digby Library and Historical Society, serving both as a board member and for several years and as the society’s president.
Haliburton served as adjudicator for the Small Claims Court in Digby and also held the positions of both provincial and federal prosecutor for Digby County.
He was a member of Digby town council in 1965 and 1966, he also served as Mayor of Digby in 1976 and 1977.
He was also Commodore of the Royal Western Nova Scotia Yacht Club for 16 years, working countless hours to improve the mooring facilities and sailing activities in the area.
Since 1996, Haliburton has spearheaded the Sailabration activities at the yacht club. This includes annual sailing races and fundraising events that benefit both the Smiths Cove Historical Society and the Admiral Digby Library and Historical Society. These fundraising efforts have resulted in over $250,000, shared equally between the two museums.
He continues to be as a member of the yacht club. In 2003 he was made an honourary life member of the yacht club.
Haliburton also served two terms as the Member of Parliament for western Nova Scotia in the 1970's.
He was first appointed County Court Judge, and then a local Judge of the Supreme Court Trial Division in 1986. He became Justice of the Supreme Court upon amalgamation in January of 1993. He retired in 2013 after serving 27 years on the bench.
Other local community involvement has included: coaching in the Digby Minor Hockey Association for several years; being a long-time member of Grace United Church, serving as a church elder and choir member; being a long-time member of the King Solomon Masonic Lodge; being a founding member of Digby Ventures organization; being a founding member of the High C's Choral Society in which he is still a choir member; and serving several years on the board of the Tri County Housing Authority.
Haliburton continues to be active in town affairs, supporting several local organizations and presently volunteering his time on the Digby Town Water Commission.
Joe Casey – for whom the award is named after – was the Digby area’s MLA for 23 years. He was also a fisherman, a steamboat operator, fish plant owner, harbour pilot, author, veteran and popular speaker. He died in 2010.
Since 2011, the Joe Casey Humanitarian Award has been presented annually to a person who has made significant contribution to the betterment of the Town of Digby.