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Walter Mulkewich: An appreciation.

By Pepper Parr

March 6th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

I don’t remember exactly where I first met Walter.  It was about the time that he and the late John Boich submitted their Shape Burlington report to city council.  It wasn’t very well received.  Some senior staff wanted parts of the report re-written.

I do remember the many times we had coffee, the occasions when we had him over to the house for dinner, and BBQ’s at his house in Aldershot.

Walter once took me on a long walk along the Waterfront Trail from the hotel to the canal and pointed to some of the plans that were talked about along the trail.  There was going to be some kind of a science exhibit structure along the way close to the canal at one point.

Walter knew everyone and once told me that anyone who wanted to do something in the city paid a call on the Mayor.

Walter loved the job of being Mayor.

He took me up Brant Street once and showed me exactly where the Freeman Station once stood.

He was part of a group of former Council members who decided it would be nice to get together once a month for lunch.

Joan Little, a former member of Council, former Mayor Mary Munro, former Councillor Linda Pugsley, Walter, and I would gather at whatever restaurant Joan Little chose.  I was the only person who had not been elected to office.  I did run for school board trustee in Scarborough – lost by 17 votes.

Later, after he retired from public office John Taylor joined the group.

The conversations were ripe.  There was a time when Burlington had 17 members of Council, meetings would still be taking place well after midnight.  The rule was that what got said at the lunch table stayed at the table.

Ever the gentleman, Walter never had comments on current members of Council.

Mary Munro, having some fun at Walter’s expense,  regularly asked him if what is now the Bridgewater development was approved on his watch.

Walter could always be relied upon for sage advice.  He listened carefully and even if he didn’t agree with you, there was that pleasant smile and you knew that you had to rethink your idea.

This afternoon people took part in the visitation.  We attend these things with heavy hearts and want the family to know they are being supported.

This afternoon was particularly difficult. Consoling a daughter who carried her grief and sorrow in her eyes; strong enough to hold back the tears knowing that Dad wasn’t a phone call away anymore.

Rest in Peace Walter – you have served so very well; you will be deeply missed.

The funeral takes place on Monday at the Burlington Baptist Church on New Street, at 10:00 am.  It is a by invitation only that will be streamed live by Smiths Funeral Home.

The link to watch the service via video is HERE

Related news story:

Joan Little on her dear friend Walter Mulkewich

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1 comment to Walter Mulkewich: An appreciation.

  • Diane Knox

    Yes Pepper, Everyone who wanted to do something in Burlington contacted “Mayor Walter”. And he listened, he said little but he acted by putting the resources needed to make it happen.

    ALL The Other members you mentioned above did the same for their City. I worked with them all and never knew their ‘party’ politics nor cared but respected them for their work for All wards and the changing needs of Burlington. They never denied a Need for a re-vision of action.

    My time with Walter during his terms in Office
    Thanks to Walter, as Chair of a small volunteer board dealing with Domestic abuse we were able to navigate the planning process to provide a much needed site and still viable Shelter in Burlington- Halton Women’s Place.
    Thanks to Walter’s response to the Tragic abduction and murder of two young women-Nina out jogging, and Leslie a young student, a Safe Neighborhood Committee was convened to recommend measures to keep our streets around schools our jogging trails etc. Safe
    His Legacy lives on, Thank You Walter.