Former North Dundas mayor dies in farming accident

In this June 2010 photo from Bernadette Clement's Flickr account, then North Dundas Mayor Alvin Runnalls poses with Clement during a barbeque. Runnalls was killed Jan. 30, 2016 while cutting down a tree on his property. (Flickr via Newswatch Group)

NORTH DUNDAS – Township residents are mourning the loss of one of their former mayors.

Alvin Runnalls was killed Saturday (Jan. 30) at his farm on County Road 3 after a tree he was cutting fell on him.

Runnalls was 76.

He was a municipal councillor from the late 1990s and served two terms as mayor – from 2003-2006 and 2006-2010.

In the November 2010 race, Runnalls was challenged by the current mayor, Eric Duncan, in an election seen as youth versus experience.

As well as his political life, Runnalls was a hobby beekeeper for nearly four decades and also a cash crop farmer, mostly dealing in corn and soy.

He was also very active in the community.

Alvin is survived by his wife, Dawn, and family.

Out of respect for the family, Mayor Eric Duncan reserved comment when contacted by Cornwall Newswatch.

He released the following statement on his Facebook page:

“North Dundas tragically lost a community leader this past weekend. Alvin Runnalls was dedicated to making our community a better place. Whether it was as Mayor, as a proud farmer, or volunteering with the Dundas County Players or the Food Bank, he cared about his neighbours and helping those in need. On behalf of Council, staff, and the residents of North Dundas, we thank Alvin for all he did and we offer our thoughts and prayers to his wife Dawn and their family during this very difficult time.”

A statement was also released by North Dundas CAO Angela Rutley:

“Township of North Dundas staff join the community in mourning the loss of Alvin. In his time on Council, Alvin was a very enthusiastic, hard working, humble person. He was very supportive of the community and staff, always striving to make improvements and make people happy. His positive attitude and sense of humour made him a pleasure to work with. We have lost a great friend and community champion.”

The funeral will take place at St. Clare’s Anglican Church on Saturday at 2 p.m. with visitation an hour before the service.

You can read the obituary here.

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