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Editorial: Bidding farewell to Danny McCann


Sixty five years.

For many it’s the age that signifies retirement, if a person hasn’t had the luxury of doing that earlier. It’s considered getting old by some and for others it’s just another number as he or she moves on in life.

For Danny McCann of Port au Port West it was in his 65th year that he died, which took place on Wednesday of last week.

His family and many friends bid goodbye to him on Saturday in a funeral service at historic Our Lady of Mercy Church that, for years, he volunteered his time and efforts to make sure it not only stayed standing but also had lots of improvements done to it.

McCann, in his wheelchair, was dwarfed by this large structure but yet never flinched in overseeing projects for upgrades, from roof repairs, painting to even having the steeple on the more than 100-foot church taken down, refurbished and lifted back in place.

The former gymnasium on the property, under McCann’s watch, also saw significant upgrades and was transformed into a community style hall that housed everything from weddings to the Port au Port Agricultural Fall Fair.

It was at the fall fair that Danny McCann could be seen making his way around and making sure that every last detail was in place. He had so many ingenious ways of making money for the church and properties that fell under the Gravel’s Development Group that it was a pleasure to watch.

But it wasn’t just buildings that this soft spoken man had an interest in keeping going. There was also the Gravel’s Trail, which stretches for a number of kilometres from The Gravels at the bottom of Port au Port Bay right out to the former Aguathuna quarry.

Most of the trail meanders along the seashore featuring clear water coves and some beautiful rock formations. Even during its construction, McCann was right there in his wheelchair overseeing the project.

It’s something that he will long be remembered for as thousands of people make their trek on these trails each year and are in awe at its beauty.

For 32 years, McCann’s worked as town clerk in Port au Port West-Aguathuna-Felix Cove and along with wife Mary, ran a fair size confectionary store for a number of years.

Danny’s Muscular Atrophy, which resulted in him being in a wheelchair early in life, certainly never slowed him down and he was able to accomplish more into his 65 years of life than many able-bodied people have.

He and Mary’s volunteer work was recently recognized with a pin that celebrates Canada’s 150 years and deservedly so. Though Danny didn’t make it to half of that amount in years, he certainly packed enough in the years he had to perhaps equal it.

Rest in peace Danny.

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