Mahoney, Don

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                                        DON MAHONEY
                                      By Doug Underhill


After a career of 33 years, Don Mahoney has decided to retire from teaching.

A life-long resident of Douglastown, Mahoney completed elementary and junior high in Douglastown before attending St. Thomas High in Chatham for grades 9 to 12. He then continued on to St. Thomas University in Chatham where he received his B.A. in 1960, and then his B.Ed. from UNB in 1961.

Immediately upon graduation from UNB, Mahoney began his teaching career at St. Malachy’s High School in Saint John, N.B., and then in the fall of 1963 he began teaching English at Harkins senior high school in Newcastle. Mahoney continued as a teacher at Harkins until March 1968 when he was appointed English department head, and shortly thereafter, English coordinator for Districts 8 and 9.

In 1971, Mahoney was appointed English department head at Miramichi Valley High School in Newcastle. He held the position until his retirement in March of this year. Besides his official duties related to teaching, Mahoney was actively involved in a number of aspects of English. He served as a member of the provincial English Cirriculum Committee, was chairman of both Miramichi and Provincial drama committees, and was president of the NBTA English Council. Mahoney also served on the provincial marking committee for the PAE exams, and represented the N.B. English teachers at the University of Waterloo at a workshop for “Newspapers In The Class Room.”

Mahoney was also heavily involved in the organizational end of many creative writing contests and oratorical competitions.

He was chosen to speak on CBC’s “N.B. Speaks Today” on the question of the PAE not being used as part of a student’s grading mark.

During the past ten years, Mahoney has piloted a number of new texts for the English curriculum, and was instrumental in initially stocking the library at MVHS.

                                        Sports Figure

Besides his work in teaching, Mahoney was a well-known hockey player in his prime.

As a defence man, Mahoney played four years with the varsity squad of the St. Thomas University in Chatham. He later moved on the varsity team at UNB when the team won the Maritime Intercollegiate Championship.

Mahoney was also chosen to be part of a tour of U.S. College teams including the well-known Boston College, Boston University, and Yale University. Mahoney said they went through the tour undefeated.

Mahoney also played in the Senior A North Shore League with the Newcastle Beavers, and played a year of senior at Saint John.

Mahoney has always been a lover of the outdoors. Over the years, he has spent a great part of his time in the woods hunting and fishing with a lot of success. He is also an avid gardener tending a plot in his back lot.

                                      Early retirement

Don Mahoney decided to take early retirement this year due to a car accident late last summer. The result was a neck and back injury which has limited his ability to do many of the things he once could do. Mahoney said he was looking forward to enjoying his retirement, but in a more limited manner than he had hoped. “I will still try to do some of the things I enjoy, but certainly on a more limited basis,” said Mahoney.

Looking back on his career, Mahoney said he will miss the contact he had with the students. “I am particularly proud of students who have acquired positions of leadership across Canada. Just to have been part of their development was a thrill for me,” said Mahoney. “Many still come back to talk and show their gratitude,” he said.

Mahoney said that the teachers who most influenced him in his career were Doc Campbell and Dean Love. “Doc Campbell at St. Thomas was a big influence on me. He taught me a love of literature and life, while Dean Love of UNB was the person who most influenced me about teaching methodology,” said Mahoney.

“Personally, I feel grateful for having had the opportunity to teach the kids of the Miramichi. I honestly feel that they are the best in the world. Teaching is a sacred trust, and they have given me that experience,” said Mahoney. ‘To be part of their success locally, provincially, and nationally, has been a very good felling for me,” said Mahoney.

School principal Charles Hubbard had praise for Mahoney. “Don had a real love of English and knowledge of Shakespeare which made him one of the foremost people in the field,” said Hubbard.

Mahoney is married to Leola Manderville of Renous. They have two children, a daughter who is teaching in B.C. and a son who is in the Military Police (Air Force) at Camp Borden, Ontario.


Source: Miramichi Leader – June 25, 1993

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