A well-known champion of human rights in the Maritimes has passed away after a struggle with cancer.
Eldon Hay wore many hats during his 85 years including as an ordained minister, professor and counsellor but his signature rainbow hat to support LGBTQ rights may have been the most recognizable.
Greg Daborn, an activist and co-founder of Moncton’s River Of Pride Committee, says Hay was instrumental in bringing the community together for the first pride event in June 2000 and was the parade marshall.
“Eldon helped us to find our voices and find our collective voice and he gave us the courage to go forward. He certainly mentored us along the way and over the last 17 years in particular,” he notes.
Daborn says Hay gave him hope in 1986 when he read about how the United Church minister was an advocate for his gay son and others like him.
Daborn adds the one thing we can learn from Hay is to love one another and be respectful despite any differences or disagreements.
A celebration of life for Eldon Hay will be held on Friday, September 22nd at 11am at the Mount Allison University Chapel.
(PHOTO – Greg Daborn (left) and Eldon Hay (right), courtesy G. Daborn/Facebook)