AKEHURST, Paul Douglas George
January 8, 1942 – November 2, 2019
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the sudden passing of Paul D. Akehurst. He leaves behind his wife Joanne Winslow-Spragge Akehurst, Liz Akehurst (Bill Irwin) mother of his children: Leeanne (Jean-Marc Robillard), Julie, Paul (Kim Morissette), step-son Mike Antonucci (Lindsay), sisters Sandra Boddy (Doug), Susan Ashdown (late John) and Cathi Mackenzie (Lex), grand-children Arianne, George (mother Mariette St-Denis), Maxim (Olivia), Owen and Dylan. Paul was a man of integrity, honesty, and valued “fair-play”. He had a fantastic memory and retained everything he read – with a particular interest for historical events and politics. He would start each day by reading both the Ottawa Citizen and the Globe and Mail. Paul was first introduced to radio broadcasting at an early age by his maternal grandmother who was a radio concert pianist on Sunday mornings. At the age of 12, he had a regular 15 minute weekly national radio program hosted by Doug Maxwell on the old CBC Dominion Radio Network. Paul quickly moved on to CKOY in Ottawa in 1961 where he was one of the first hotline radio hosts. In 1963, Paul became CHUM's Parliamentary Bureau Chief and in 1968 created and managed Canadian Contemporary News, a national radio news network. He won a Radio and TV News Directors Association of Canada (RTNDA) award for breaking and reporting on a series of national news stories. In 1973, Paul founded one of the first conference planning companies in Canada – Intertask Conferences. Before retiring, he would oversee 400 conferences/events including the visit of Pope John Paul II to Ottawa in 1984. He was instrumental in developing and managing many now famous events including the Festival of Spring (Tulip Festival) and Winterlude. His children have fond memories of visiting him in Majors’ Hill Park, which he would patrol on horseback. He was a long-time advocate and board member of Ottawa Tourism and was named Tourism Person of the Year. Paul shared a love of horsemanship and riding first with his daughter Leeanne, then later with Joanne. He was instrumental in the building of the indoor arena at the National Capital Equestrian Park (Wesley Clover Parks). He loved being on the water and was involved in various organizations contributing to the management and conservation of the Rideau Canal Waterway. He particularly enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. He was a proud dad and grandpa. An avid Ottawa Senators fan, Paul and Joanne never missed a game and very much preferred to attend in person. Paul also enjoyed sharing the experience with family and friends (except when Ottawa lost to Montreal). His life has influenced and encouraged many people in the business community as well as family and friends. He will be missed and remembered with love and respect.
Family and friends will gather for a service to honour Paul’s life at the Blair & Son Funeral Home, 15 Gore St. W., Perth on Saturday, November 9th, 2019 at 2:00 P.M. followed by a reception in the Blair & Son Family Centre. Private interment will be held later in St. Paul’s Anglican Cemetery, Almonte. Memorial donations to the Foundation of The Great War Memorial Hospital, Perth would be appreciated.