News release

Sorrow at Passing of Calvin Ruck

Community activist and former Nova Scotia Senator Calvin Ruck will be remembered as a tireless advocate for African Nova Scotians, Premier John Hamm said today, Oct. 20.

The Sydney native and Second World War veteran passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at the age of 79. He had a varied career, working as a coal train labourer, a CN Rail porter, then as a cleaner at CFB Shearwater, before moving into community development and social work. From 1981 to 1986, Mr. Ruck served as a member of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. Mr. Ruck was also an author, writing The Black Battalion 1916-1920: Canada's Best Kept Military Secret, which helped promote the previously untold story of the First World War service of many African Canadians.

Among Mr. Ruck's many awards of recognition were the certificate of honour from the Black Hall of Fame, the National Harry Jerome Award, the Canada 125 Anniversary Medal and the Order of Canada.

"Calvin Ruck was a great Nova Scotian who for fought for equal rights for all," said Premier Hamm. "Nova Scotians, and all Canadians, will forever be in his debt for his efforts to build a better, more socially just society for future generations. Genesta and I join with all Nova Scotians in extending our sympathies to his wife, Joyce, and the entire Ruck family on their tremendous loss."

In 1998, Mr. Ruck became only the third African Canadian named to the Senate.


Premier John Hamm says all Nova Scotians will remember Calvin Ruck.

The longtime community activist and former Nova Scotia senator died Tuesday night (October 19th) at the age of 79.

Mr. Ruck was a former Nova Scotia Human Rights commissioner, social worker and author.

Throughout his long and varied career, the Sydney native worked tirelessly for equality.

The recipient of many awards, including the Order of Canada, Mr. Ruck became only the third African Canadian in history to be named to Canada's Senate.



Robert Batherson
Premier's Office 902-424-4895 Cell: 902-478-1685 E-mail:
jal            October 20, 2004         4:27 P.M.