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Sudbury loses key figure of its economic development.

Sudbury loses key figure of its economic development


Sudbury has lost a man whom many regard as one of the key figures in the city's growth and development since the 1950s.

Thomas L. "Spike" Hennessy passed away April 2 at Laurentian Hospital in Sudbury. His vitality and dedication to the city which will be difficult to equal.

A professional engineer, Mr. Hennessy was awarded a bachelor of applied science degree in civil engineering from the University of Toronto in 1947. He later became the founding chairman of the Association of Professional Engineers, Sudbury Chapter and an honorary life member of the City Engineers Association.

A lifelong resident of Sudbury, Mr. Hennessy's service to the community can be noted in the leadership positions he held.

Serving as Sudbury's city engineer for 17 years, from 1953 to 1970, Mr. Hennessy navigated the city through a period of significant growth, overseeing such major efforts as the massive Borgia Street urban renewal project.

Following a short break in which he was employed in the private sector, Mr. Hennessy joined Laurentian University's administration, serving as director of services from 1973 to 1975 and vice-president of administration from 1975 to 1979. As well, Mr. Hennessy served on the executive committee of Laurentian's Centre of Mining and Mineral Exploration Research from 1983 to 1988.

According to the university, Mr. Hennessy's "pivotal involvement with the university extends back to his role in 1960 as adviser to the board on site selection for the new institution. From 1969 to 1973 he served as a member of the board of governors, and from 1983 to 1989 was a member of the board of regents of the University of Sudbury."

"The city's modern vitality and many facilities also exist in large part thanks to Spike Hennessy," said Cindy Ives-Bigeau, the university's acting director of communications and alumni affairs.

Laurentian University will be awarding a posthumous honorary doctorate degree to Mr. Hennessy at its June 1990 convocation, "in recognition of his great service to the university and the Sudbury community."

Prior to his retirement in 1987, Mr. Hennessy served as the founding manager of the Sudbury Regional Development Corporation from 1979. He was a leader in both the creation of Science North and in efforts made in the economic diversification of the Sudbury region during the 1980s.

Recognized for his contributions and the commitments he made to his home community, Mr. Hennessy received the 1970 Citizenship Award from the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario.

One of the most notable awards was received by Mr. Hennessy in 1984 when he became a member of the Order of Canada. Also that year, he was designated a certified economic developer by the Industrial Developers Association of Canada.
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Title Annotation:Thomas L. Hennessy
Author:McDougall, Douglas
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Article Type:obituary
Date:May 1, 1990
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