The story of mining prospector Don McKinnon: SPECIAL TO THE TIMES – (Timmins Times – August 12, 2012)posted in Canadian Mining History, Gold, PDAC Prospector of the Year Winners, Timmins |
A close-up and personal look at a Timmins man who changed our mining history
ED’S NOTE: Following is a story on the life on Don McKinnon presented by a close friend of McKinnon and his family. McKinnon died Thursday.
The Canadian mining fraternity has lost one of the most successful prospectors from its ranks with the passing of Donald Duncan McKinnon. Just eight days before his 83rd birthday, Don passed away peacefully Aug. 9 at the Timmins and District Hospital surrounded by family and loved ones.
Born and raised in the Town of Cochrane, McKinnon had made his home in Timmins since 1956. The man with the heart of gold always loved the city with the heart of gold. This was his base as he prospected all over Canada from the High Arctic to the Maritimes and British Columbia. As well as in the United States.
He was much more than a prospector, however, as his interests ranged from municipal and provincial politics to the economy of Northern Ontario and the need to preserve the region’s special way of life.
Timmins Mayor Tom Laughren said the city has lost a valuable citizen who contributed not just to mining but to the community in numerous ways.
“He was one of a kind, a man with strong opinions who spoke out on many issues. He fought for Northern Ontario and especially Timmins, and encouraged others to do the same.”
In May, the mayor honoured McKinnon at a public banquet with the key to the city and a bronze statue for his outstanding career as a prospector, saying “it was men such as McKinnon who made Timmins what it is today.”
This city had a special place in his heart and whether he was on a cruise ship or on a tour of Europe, he phoned a friend in Timmins every couple of days to keep up to date on all the events at home.
Don took every opportunity he could to tell you a story about his favourite memories. His family and friends have always enjoyed hearing these stories. He could be talking about an adventure in the bush or dinner with US President Ronald Regan and his enthusiasm and passion would never falter. These stories will live on forever amongst the people who knew him best.
Don loved to talk about all aspects of his life; however, there was one that he kept very private even though it was arguably the closest to his heart. Don was a very philanthropic man who made substantial donations of his money, time and resources to those in need. He has sponsored children’s hockey in Timmins for years, bought equipment for the local hospital, funded struggling stakers and prospectors during hard times, donated his equipment and time to people in the community etc. The list of people touched by Don’s unrelenting generosity is very long and something he was proud of.
For the rest of this article, please go to the Timmins Times website: http://www.timminstimes.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3599635