A man known for his bravery as well as his extensive connections to the military and municipal politics in the province of New Brunswick has passed away.
Arthur Robert (Bob) William Lockhart, a two-time mayor of Saint John and a retired lieutenant-colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces, died June 18, 2023 at the Veterans Health Unit in Fredericton.
Born in Pictou, NS in 1931, Bob was the eldest son of Robert Maclean Lockhart and Geraldine Green. He was predeceased by his wife, Betty Cleve Wentzel, his brother, David Lockhart, and his sister, Norma Thelma Fenton. He is survived by his children: Diane (Richard) Morton, Scott (Agnes) Lockhart, Heather Palmer; his grandchildren: Alex (Jenna), Ian (April), and Craig (Jane) Morton; Gregory, Monica (Jason McKay), and Andrew (Jennifer) Lockhart; Christopher and Benjamin Palmer; and his great-grandchildren: Clara, Alasdair, and Rory Morton; Charles and June Morton; Sadie McKay; James and Jack Lockhart.
Bob, who spent his last years in Fredericton, was not only known for his upbeat nature but also for his wealth of knowledge on numerous subjects of which he was never shy to share. He could often be seen at a variety of military-related events, including Remembrance Day and Highland Games.
Bob served the City of Saint John as a councillor for two years and as mayor from 1971-74 and 1980-83. Among the many highlights of his political career was being named an honourary lifetime member of the Saint John Policeman’s Protective Association, as well as an honourary lifetime member of both the Saint John and Moncton Firefighters Association.
In addition to his distinguished political career, Bob had a broad background in business and journalism. Having started as a night owl at CJCH, Halifax, he moved to St. John’s, NL, in 1956, where he gained experience at CJON and VOCM in both radio and television.
During his time on the rock, Bob, a professional diver, was cited for bravery by the Canadian Humane Society and recognized by Lieutenant Governor Sir Leonard Outerbridge on behalf of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for recovering the body of a young boy who was both underground and underwater.
In 1961, he returned to the mainland as news director for radio station CFBC in Saint John where he launched the popular call-in show, Talk of the Town. Bob became an active member of the Legislative Press Gallery, as well as the Radio and Television Directors Association and was the first working journalist elected president of Broadcast News. Having filled the role of a legislative stringer for the Toronto Star, Bob served as president of the Atlantic Association of Broadcasters and became a founding partner in the Fundy Cable Group of New Brunswick. In 2007, Bob was named to the Canadian Broadcasting Hall of Fame by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.
As a war correspondent, Bob covered events in Europe, the Middle East, Vietnam, Bosnia, and Kosovo. He worked as an embedded photojournalist with 3 RCR Battle Group in Afghanistan. In 2001, he accepted an invitation to become a member of the Canadian War Correspondents Association. His photos appeared in several Canadian newspapers, as well as Macleans, TIME, and Egypt Today, the largest English-language magazine in the Middle East.
Bob served on active service and retired honourably from the Canadian Armed Forces with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. During his time in the military, he led a number of national organizations including his presidency of the Canadian Forces Logistics Association, president of the Canadian Airborne Forces Association, and National Chairman of the Conference of Defence Associations (CDA). Following that appointment, he represented Canada at the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR) at NATO in Brussels for four years.
Never one to slow down, the 1990s saw Bob earning a BA (First class honours in English and History), the UNB Certificate of University Teaching, and an MA (English) at the respective age of 59 and 62. He served two terms as member of the UNB Board of Governors and was a member of the UNB Research Ethics Board (REB). During this time, he was also active in numerous community service roles, including CNIB and VoicePrint Broadcasting.
He will be deeply missed by his family and friends, who loved and respected him without hesitation.
There will be a visitation for Bob at McAdam’s Funeral Home, 160 York Street, Fredericton, on Friday, June 23 from 2 - 4pm. Donations in Bob’s memory may be made to the Last Post Fund or to a charity of one’s choice.