Dr. Bruce Halliday


THE DEPARTED: Dr. Bruce Halliday

Dr. Bruce Halliday, MP, 84, of Tavistock, passed away peacefully at his residence with family by his side on Saturday, January 1, 2011.

He was born at Woodstock on June 18, 1926, a son of the late Rev. Clarence and Edith (Phillips) Halliday.

Bruce spent his whole life improving the well being of people whether they were his patients, his constituents or his friends. He worked tirelessly on behalf of people with disabilities.

Throughout his lifetime he was a member of many organizations, committees and received many honours for his contributions. To name a few ... he was a Founding Partner of the Tavistock Family Health Centre in 1952; a Past President of the Ontario Chapter of the College of Family Physicians of Canada in 1967; a Past President of the College of Family Physicians of Canada in 1972; he was named "Family Physician of the Year" by the College of Family Physicians of Canada in 1975; a Past Chairman of the Tavistock Public School Board and the Oxford County Board of Education; a member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Tavistock and was made a "Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow" by the five Rotary Clubs of Oxford County in 1982; a member of the Tavistock and District Museum and Archives Committee; served Oxford Riding as member of the House of Commons from 1974-1993; he was presented the Distinguished Service Award by the Former Parliamentarians Association in 2004; received an award from the Speaker of the House of Commons in Recognition of Parliamentary Leadership on Disability Issues.

Bruce was predeceased by his first wife, the former Janet McGhie on February 18, 1983.

He is survived by his second wife, the former Elizabeth Alice Vander Spek, whom he married on April 18, 1984; three children, Kathryn and husband Dan Cressman of Plattsville, Mark Halliday and Andrea Halliday, both of Tavistock; one granddaughter, Lydia Cressman; one brother, Dr. Ian and wife Norma Halliday of Ottawa; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Cornelius and Alice Vander Spek of R.R. #2, Tavistock, and several "Vander Spek" brothers-in-law and sisters-in- law and their families.

Relatives and friends will be received in the Francis Funeral Home, 77 Woodstock Street North, Tavistock, on Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. and Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. A service to celebrate the life of Bruce will be held at Grace United Church, Tavistock, on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 2 p.m. A private family interment will be at Grace United Cemetery prior to the service.

As expressions of sympathy, donations to Tavistock Community Health Inc., Grace United Church Living Legacy Fund or the Prostate Cancer Foundation would be appreciated and may be made by calling the Francis Funeral Home at 519-655-2431.


Dr. Bruce Halliday passed away at his home on William Street North in Tavistock on New Year’s Day 2011 with family by his side.

His contribution to the local community will be remembered for generations. He was a founding partner of Tavistock Family Health Centre and a family physician with proficiency in anaesthesia. He was also a Paul Harris Fellow as a member of the Rotary Club of Tavistock and active in dozens of organizations and boards in the village and district. He was past chair of the Tavistock School Council, and in 1968, a member of the last School Board of the Tavistock and East Zorra Union School Section. He chaired Tavistock’s 150th Anniversary Committee in 1998 and was instrumental in establishing the World Crokinole Championship in 1999 and the Tavistock and District Museum and Archives Committee in 2004.

Dr. Halliday was the Member of Parliament for Oxford 1974-1993. His work on behalf of disabled persons around the world is well documented as he served as Chairman of Canada’s Standing Committee on Human Rights and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. Internationally, he was Canada’s only representative with the Population Institute in Washington, D.C. In 2002, he was awarded the Golden Jubilee Medal of Queen Elizabeth II.

But Dr. Halliday was much more than a family doctor and politician. He was a friend and mentor. His attention to detail in creating fairness and equality for all was unprecedented. He had a passion for life and took every opportunity to offer his help and to get involved.

It is with great admiration and respect that we pay tribute to one of Tavistock’s most admired residents; not only for his achieve-ments, but because he was a great and inspirational man.

The Editor

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