Obituary of The Hon. Gerard Phalen/ Glace Bay
We the family of retired Senator Gerard A. “Jigger” Phalen, age 87, wish to announce his passing on October 25th, 2021 at the Halifax Infirmary after a brief illness. Gerard was born in Glace Bay, the son of Mary (Currie) and John Phalen. In his early career he worked as a machinist and millwright and later became an industrial mechanics instructor first at NSEIT and later CBU. He retired from teaching in 1991. A distinguished union leader throughout most of his teaching career, he first served as a Board Member and then Vice-President of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union (1970-76). From 1976 to 1979, Mr. Phalen served as President of the NSGEU, Vice-President of the Council of Atlantic Provincial Employees and as a Board Member of the National Union of Provincial Government Employees. In 1995, he became a Board Member of the Nova Scotia Labour Standards Tribunal, a position he held until 1997. During his tenure at CBU Mr. Phalen also maintained a high level of involvement in institutional and collegial affairs. He served as Chairman of the Faculty Association and he was a member of the College Council for six years. He served as Chairman of the Negotiating Committee as well as participating in various other committees. Mr. Phalen was called to the Senate of Canada in 2001 and remained a Senator for Nova Scotia until 2009. While in the Senate he served on Committees for Foreign Affairs, Fisheries, Transport and Communications, Aboriginal Peoples and a Special Committee on Bill C-36. Throughout his lifetime he also was very active in his community. He was a member and Past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus and participated in numerous positions for the Liberal Party. He was an avid sportsman and enjoyed basketball, volleyball, swimming and fly fishing. The Toronto raptors have lost a loyal fan. Mr. Phalen was a devout family man and was at his happiest with his family around him in Christmas Island. Gerard is survived by his wife of 63 years, Chrissie (Brown) Phalen as well as his three children, Kelly Jane, Nancy (Andrew Barnes) and Paul. He will also be missed by his grandchildren, Mary Phalen Bissell (Devon), Ellen Kelly, Mathew Barnes and one great granddaughter, Brogan. Mr. Phalen is also survived by his sister, Geraldine Antonello. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his brothers, Joseph, John, Cecil and his sisters, Bernice, Regis, Shirley and Germaine. Cremation has taken place. Visitation will be held on Thursday, October 28th, 2021 from 2-4, 7-9 pm in V.J. McGillivray Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 16 Reserve Street, Glace Bay. The funeral mass will be celebrated on Friday, October 29th at 1 pm in St. Anne’s Church, Glace Bay followed by burial in Holy Family Cemetery, MacLeod’s Crossing. Fr. Duaine Devereaux presiding. Memorial donations in memory of Gerard may be made to the Nova Scotia Heart & Stroke Foundation. The KOC will have a prayer service at 7:30 PM Thursday in the funeral home. On line condolences to the family can be expressed at: www.vjmcgillivray.ca Covid -19 Protocols of Masks, Proof of Double Vaccination, Photo ID are required at the funeral home and the church. Thank you.