Confederation Centre of the Arts (CCOA) is mourning the passing of Professor Thomas H.B. Symons, CC, O.Ont, FRSC, LLD, DU, DLitt, DCnL, FRGS, KSS, who passed away January 1 at the age of 91.
Professor Symons was a long-time colleague of CCOA, serving as both board director and governor and was the founding force behind the now annual Symons Medal Lecture. He is widely recognized for his contributions in the areas of public policy, heritage, and education, dedicating his life to community and nation building.
“It is with deep sadness that we reflect on the passing of Tom Symons,“ states Robert Sear, chair of board of the Fathers of Confederation Buildings Trust. “Tom was one of the Centre’s most passionate and committed members. He carried a great love for the Island and we are forever thankful for his many contributions and generous guidance over the past 35 years as board member, governor, and friend.”
Says Steve Bellamy, CEO, “Tom has left a profound impact on Confederation Centre of the Arts through his efforts to promote the Centre nationally, particularly through the establishment of the Symons Medal Lecture. We are proud to have received decades of support and attention from Tom, and are equally proud to ensure that his legacy will on through the Symons Medal Lecture series.”
Says Island Historian Catherine Hennessey, OC, of her colleague, “Tom Symons has long connections with this place, having arrived here as a hitch hiker while he was a teenager. That trip took him to the gate of Shaw’s Hotel in Brackley. His loyalties run deep on this island, spending summers at Shaw’s; caring for us when he was chair of National Historic Sites and Monuments Board; and then later on the Centre’s board. He is a true Canadian icon and I will always be honoured to call him a friend.”