Al MacPhee—Congratulations on Eightieth Birthday

By: The Hon. Jane Cordy

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Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, I would like to speak about someone who has contributed greatly to my city of Dartmouth and to my province of Nova Scotia: well-known and well-respected business person Al MacPhee.

Al was determined to stand out on his own from an early age. As the tenth of 14 children, he left the family farm in French Road, Cape Breton, for the city, where he found a part-time job at a local car dealership.

Before long, he was selling cars and found he really enjoyed it. By 1983, Al owned his own dealership and eventually turned it into the third-largest General Motors dealership in Canada.

Success in the car business provided Al the means to support his community of Dartmouth and to really make a difference. He has contributed greatly over the years to the Dartmouth General Hospital and was chairman of the capital campaign to build Alderney Landing in Dartmouth — a convention centre, art gallery, market, theatre and events plaza that has helped to revitalize Dartmouth’s waterfront.

Al’s generosity to his community does not stop there. Al and his wife, Mary, have been long-time supporters of a non-profit youth education centre in downtown Dartmouth, which was established to help bridge the learning gap for youth in marginalized and disadvantaged circumstances who are underperforming in the conventional school environment and who are at serious risk of abandoning their schooling entirely.

In recognition of their generosity, the school now bears their name and is known as the MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning.

In 2018, Al was a recipient of the Ford Motor Company’s prestigious Salute To Dealers, which is presented to a select number of dealers worldwide in recognition of their outstanding contributions to their community during their career.

When asked about his involvement in community projects, Al was quoted as saying, “I don’t need fancy things. I’d rather put my money back into my community.”

Turning 80 this week, Al can still be found at his dealership in Dartmouth, Monday to Saturday, working 10-hour days doing what he loves and making a difference in the city that he loves. Happy birthday, Al.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

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