On the day of the passing of his friend Frank Mackintosh – who had spent 20 years as mayor of Digby and was also a former town council colleague – the town’s current mayor, Ben Cleveland, offered some thoughts, saying Mackintosh cared deeply about his community.
Mackintosh died Saturday, March 2, at the age of 83.
“Frank served as mayor and councillor for 27 years,” Mayor Cleveland said in a Facebook post. “The longest-serving mayor in the town's history. He was passionate about Digby ... even after retiring he would offer advice, guidance and challenge me along (with) other councillors on issues he felt were important to the community. On behalf of council, staff and the residents of Digby, I wish to extend condolences to the Mackintosh family.”
Born in Halifax, Mackintosh joined the navy and started his career at HMCS Cornwallis. He met his future wife, Marilyn, during this time and decided Digby would become his home.
Mackintosh’s second career was as stationary engineer at Digby General Hospital.
He became a Digby town councillor in 1979 and became mayor six years later. He would go on to serve 20 years as mayor – longer than anyone had ever held the position – retiring in 2008, the year Cleveland succeeded him as mayor.
In an interview, Mayor Cleveland reflected a bit on Mackintosh, saying, “Frank came across sometimes as hard-nosed, but deep down he was very kind.”
Cleveland spent four years as a councillor during what turned out to be Mackintosh’s last term as mayor.
Recalling what it was like to work with Mackintosh during that time, Cleveland said, “It was great. He’d been there so long, he knew his way around council.”
Cleveland remembers there being a good number of rookies on council around that time.
“Frank kind of guided us through and showed us the ropes and told us how things were going to happen and we appreciated it,” he said. “It was almost like a training school.”
Aside from the more than two-and-a-half decades he spent on council, Mackintosh was pretty active in the community, Mayor Cleveland said.
Mackintosh’s obituary said, “Frank was involved in the early planning of the waterfront redevelopment, was a founding member of the Digby Scallop Days, and played an integral role in the planning and construction of the new arena, amongst other initiatives.”
Over the years he was involved in various activities and organizations, including St. Patrick’s Church. His volunteer efforts included coaching sports.
Mackintosh was said to be very proud of being the first recipient of the Joe Casey Humanitarian Award for exceptional service in his community, and for receiving the Scroll of Recognition for dedicated service from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities.
Mackintosh was married to his wife Marilyn for over 60 years. In addition to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he himself came from a large family as he was the third sibling in a family of 13.
His obituary also noted, “Frank was a lifelong Boston Bruins fan and enjoyed teasing Montreal and Toronto supporters. His quick wit and sarcastic sense of humour were hallmarks of who he was, but his big heart and love for his family defined him.”
A funeral service for Mackintosh will be held at St. Patrick’s Church Thursday, March 7, at 1 p.m.