Tuesday 17 February 2015

Book ~ "Hurricane Hazel: A Life with Purpose" (2014) Hazel McCallion and Robert Brehl

From Goodreads ~ In 1978, Hazel McCallion defeated a popular incumbent to win election as Mayor of Mississauga, a rising city outside of Toronto. No one would have foreseen that the indomitable McCallion would become so wildly popular she would remain mayor until 2014. McCallion made Mississauga into a world-class city, and along the way has become one of the best-known and most loved mayors in the world. 

 In her memoir, McCallion writes about her early years as the feisty mayor of a growing city; about her battles with politicians and business leaders; about putting people and her city first; and puts to rest the more challenging stories and crises from her career. 

The girl from Gaspe landed in the city of Mississauga and earned her nickname “Hurricane.” But, as McCallion says, hurricanes destroy but Hazel McCallion’s role was to build a small city on the outskirts of Toronto into a powerful city all its own, as the Globe and Mail deemed it “the City That Hazel Built.” Indeed, as the incumbent mayor of Mississauga since 1978, when horses and cows still grazed outside the city’s civic centre, Hazel’s run as the leader of one of the fastest growing cities in Canada has been nothing short of remarkable. 

"Hurricane Hazel: A Life with Purpose" tells, in McCallion’s own words, the story of her life growing up in Gaspe, where she played hockey as a girl, and moving to Ontario. The book is the story of Hazel’s political and business life, with all of its bumps and bruises along the way. Honest, bold, and as straightforward as the woman herself. 

Hazel McCallion was born on February 14, 1921, on the Gaspé Coast of Quebec. After beginning her career in Montreal with an engineering and contracting company, she was transferred to Toronto in 1942, where she helped set up the local office.  She married her husband, Sam McCallion (he passed away in 1997), in 1951 and they had three children.

In 1967, she left the corporate world and devoted her career to politics. ... and what a career that was!  She recently retired as the mayor of Mississauga, ON.  First elected in November 1978, she is the longest serving mayor in the city's history after serving for 36 years at the time of her retirement in last year (2014).

She has played a leading role for women in politics. She is the first woman to hold such significant positions as President of the Streetsville and District Chamber of Commerce; President of the Anglican Young Peoples' Association of Canada; Mayor of Streetsville and Mayor of Mississauga. She was chosen one of the "American Women of the Year" in Who's Who of American Women (which refers to North American women).

At age 94. she is still feisty, optimistic and energetic.  She lives alone and does her own housework and gardening.  Her interests include sports (especially hockey ... she play professional hockey in Montreal for $5 a game) and fishing.  While she was mayor, she worked up to 100 hours a week.  Her days started about 5:30am and she headed to bed about 11pm.  What drove her was that she wanted to make Mississauga a better place.

I hope I have as much energy and enthusiasm as she does when I'm her age!

1 comment:

Vanessa Morgan said...

First time I come across this book. Sounds like a fascinating woman and read. Greetings from a fellow cat and book lover :)