10 a.m., Jan. 19)
Orléans advocate hangs up his robes for the final
By Fred Sherwin
Dust (right) accepts the Orléans Chamber
of Commerce Champions Award from former Chamber
president Marc Thibault at the 2009 People's
Choice Business Awards. File photo
Dust is calling it a day. After a 38-year career practising
law in Orléans, the long time community advocate
has retired from his practice to concentrate on his personal
life including spending more time with his five grandchildren.
he begins the next phase of his life, Dust can look back
on a tremendously successful career during which he helped
many local organizations by providing his services pro
and raised in London, Ontario, Dust was working for the
federal government as a young man in Ottawa when he decided
to pursue a law career.
the blessing of his wife Lise, who he has been married
to for the past 40 years, he sent applications to the
University of Toronto, Queens University and Osgoode
Hall. The day before heading off on a month-long vacation
to Europe, he received a letter of acceptance from Queens.
was really perfect timing because I had 10 days to respond
and if I hadnt checked the mail, or if we had already
left, I would have missed the opportunity, recalls
graduating from Queens in 1976, Dust was called
to the bar in 1978. After 18 months working for a downtown
law firm, he and Lise made the fateful decision to move
to Orléans where he established his first practice
in the newly-opened Place dÒrléans
with partner Les MacDonald.
were only 19,000 people living in Orléans back
then. Champlain Street was just a dirt road, says
The partnership with MacDonald lasted six months.
a stint as a sole practitioner, he teamed up with Craig
Bater under the name Dust& Bater. Some
years later, the two men merged their firm with Beament
Green, which operated in Orléans under the name
Dust Bater Beament Green and then Beament
had moved on by the time the larger firm dissolved, after
which Dust and Brad Evans, another east-ender, took back
the Orléans office under the Dust Evans Lawyers/
the various iterations of the Orléans firm over
the years, one constant throughout Dusts career
has been his commitment to the community.
first got his feet wet in the late 70s as a member
of the Chatelaine Village Community Association and as
a director of the original Orléans Chamber of Commerce.
he had a hand in incorporating the Cumberland Chamber
of Commerce which would later morph into the present day
was during this period that Dust began getting involved
in local political issues, most notably the fight to unite
Orléans as a separate municipality.
to the amalgamation of Ottawa-Carleton in 2001, half of
Orléans was in the former municipality of Gloucester
and half of the community was in Cumberland with the border
running right through the middle of Place dOrléans.
was the driving force behind Orléans 89, a group
of local businessmen and like-minded residents who wanted
to create a unified Orléans.
looks back on the effort with pride, but also with a twinge
hindsight we should have pushed to have all of Orléans
come under one municipality or the other, preferably the
Town-ship of Cumberland, rather than try to form a third
municipality, Dust offers on reflection.
his many other endeavours, Dust served on the Cumberland
Mayors Task Force on Economic Development in the
1990s One of the Task Forces recommendations was
the construction of an east end interprovincial bridge.
various times over the years he was also the chair of
the fundraising committee for the Community Caring Club
of the former Cumberland Community Resource Centre; he
co-chaired the fundraising committee to build the original
Orléans YMCA-YWCA and later helped in the fundraising
efforts for its expansion in 2009-2010; and he was a member
of the public advisory committee on the revitalization
of St. Joseph Blvd.
provided pro bono counsel for a litany of local organizations
including but not limited to the Orleans Young Players
Theatre School; the Orléans Legion; Orléans
Little League Baseball; the Navan Community Association
and the Navan Curling Club.
and Brad Evans have also been proud supporters of the
local arts scene. They were patrons of Concerts Cumberland
for 10 years and they sponsored the Dust Evans Pottery
Gallery in the Shenkman Arts Centre.
his efforts, Dust has received coutless awards and citations
including the Queens Jubilee Medal in 2013; the
Orléans Chamber Champion Award for lifetime service
in 2009; and the Abe Feinstein Award from the County of
Carleton Law Association for service to the Association
, the legal profession, and the community at large.
credits his long history of community involvement to his
early mentors while he was with the original Orléans
Chamber of Commerce. Men like Vincent Barsona Roch Chatelain,
Royal Torangeau and Ken Christie.
took me under their wings and showed me the ropes,
says Dust. And thats when I really started
to take an interest in the community and community affairs."
forward, Dust plans to maintain his affiliation with the
County of Carleton Lawyers Association, but his main focus
will be on his five grandchildren, all of whom live in
think its time to take a break from everything and
spend more time with the grandkids, says Dust. Ive
done a lot of really interesting things over the years.
Id like to think Ive helped make my community
a better place to live, but now its time for a little
more me time."
if anyone is deserving of a little more me time, its
definitely Gerry Dust.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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