A friend to the industry
We started 2019 off with some very difficult news – the loss of our good friend and long-time writer for this magazine, Art Irwin. Art died Jan. 7.
Art started writing for this magazine a few years before I arrived in 1998 under then editor Ron Shuker. Over the years he became a good friend. He wrote on many topics – covering everything from heating and air conditioning renovations, hydronics, natural gas infrastructure development, geothermal projects and many other topics. His articles on the need to avoid damaging the building structure and envelope of historic buildings when upgrading mechanical equipment were touching and eye opening. Art was our in-house expert on oil heating with numerous articles providing sound advice on doing better equipment and tank installations.
And Art didn’t just write about old buildings and technologies. When heat pumps began to be widely adopted in the Atlantic provinces, he was on top of that. When marijuana was legalized in October, he was quick to suggest an article on opportunities for the mechanical industry. That turned out to be Art’s last article. I received it just before Christmas and it appears in this issue.
Over the years I sometimes referred to Art as “our voice of the Maritimes.” Through my conversations with Art and his articles, I felt that we had a pretty good handle on what was going on in that part of the world. That will be missed.
And during my visits to Halifax Art always treated me like visiting royalty, chauffeuring me around and showing and telling me about his city. Fish and chips at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron clubhouse was often a highlight.
Art had been sick for some time. A couple of years ago I asked him to write about his life in the industry because neither of us were sure how long he would be around. That formed the basis of his obituary, which appears below.
When Art started undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer – he never smoked – about a year ago, I did not expect he would be able to keep writing for the magazine. But after a brief hiatus the ideas and articles kept coming. How Art managed to write so much for us over the years and do all the other activities he was involved in is beyond me. But we are so glad he did!
Art will be sorely missed. Goodbye old friend.