Ernest Dollard
Ernest Dollard

Obituary of Ernest Henry 'Harry' Dollard

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We regret to advise of the death of Master Corporal Ernest Henry "Harry" Dollard (Ret'd) of Canso, NS on Friday, 14 June, 2024 at the Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Building in Halifax, at age 88.

Born in Canso, NS, Harry was one of twelve children of the late Walter William and Dorothea Odessa (Morris) Dollard. After leaving home, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces, married his beautiful wife Lillian (Mahar) to whom he was married over sixty years, and served as a Peace Keeper with the RCAF and United Nations for 24 years. He served in France, Belgium, Italy, and Egypt, as well as at Canadian Forces Bases Downsview and Petawawa, ON; Summerside, PEI; Sydney, NS; and Moncton, NB. His father and most of his brothers also served in the military.

Canso was always home and Harry came home to visit family, especially his Mom, as often as possible. After retiring from the Canadian Forces, he settled in Canso in the homestead and became active in the community. Harry founded the Canso Sea Cadet Corps 281 RCSCC in 1981, where he was Commanding Officer for many years. He always remained involved after leaving that role, and it gave him great pleasure to see his Cadets experience the opportunities available to them and to see many find a career in the Canadian military. Harry was a loyal member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #46 Canso, NS, and held the positions of President and Chaplain for many years working diligently, side by side, with other members to keep the Legion operational during troubled times. He helped plan and participated in Remembrance Day ceremonies and represented the Legion at school activities and graduation, at the Regatta, and at the Seaman’s Memorial Services, honoring those fishermen who died at sea.

Harry was employed as manager of the Irving Bulk Station in Canso and customers from all over knew he always made time to ask how they were and to chat. He earned many awards from Head Office and became well known for his stories and customer service. Harry volunteered his time unselfishly for many years and he seemed to know everyone in the local areas. He was a member of the Canso Historical Society and his knowledge of the Canso area and its history was vast. People from away would come to him for genealogical and local history information. Harry was always eager to share his knowledge with those who asked and was well known for his vivid story telling. He helped found the Eastern Tip Trails Association, served as an Executive Board member, and helped develop the Chapel Gully Trail, often spending days with his machete carving out the trails with Lil. He became a valued member of the business community: Treasurer on the Board of the Chamber of Commerce, Secretary for the Canso Historical Society, and contributed artifacts for the museum. Harry participated in fundraising activities for RCL Branch #46, the Shamrock Seniors’ Club, and the church where he and Lil sang in both the Star of the Sea and Ecumenical choirs for Easter Cantatas, and various church services in the area. In addition to his time, he always donated to the hospital, the Canso Library Resource, and the Star of the Sea Cemetery Fund where he also volunteered to help with upkeep. Harry enjoyed his volunteer work, but was always happiest when in the woods cutting out the old trails, wandering through the trails with Lil, observing wildlife, and out in his boat around the islands searching for buried treasure with Jimmy Taylor, and having a good game of cards. He valued education and lifelong learning, and was always looking up information in the encyclopaedias, searching historical documents and maps for information on Canso and the islands, or doing the New York Times and other puzzles at his kitchen table.

Harry is survived by his son, Henry (Bonnie); daughters, Cecilia (Paul), Marie (Rob); five grandchildren, Carter, Rhiane, Danielle, Alison and Sophie, many nieces, nephews; sisters Sarah (Doug) Rattray and Rosemary (Dearie) Aucoin. He was predeceased by loving wife Lillian, whom he missed terribly, his parents, brothers Tom, Pat, Bill, Mac, Leslie, Francis (Bud), Joe, Jim, and sister, Lillian.

We are thankful for the excellent care Harry received from the Staff and Nurses at The Berkeley, Staff and Doctors at the VG Hospital, Dr. Nowland, other Doctors and the Nursing staff at Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Building, and over the years from Canso Medical Centre and Eastern Memorial Hospital. As per Harry’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A celebration of Life for Harry and Lillian will be held at a later date, when they will be laid to rest together. In lieu of flowers, donations in Harry’s name may be made to the Canso Library Resource or Eastern Memorial Hospital.  Words of comfort may be forwarded to the family at


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