Former TMR Mayor Vera Danyluk honoured at funeral
The pews at Our Lady of the Annunciation Parish in Town of Mount Royal were packed Saturday for former mayor Vera Danyluk's funeral services, and the tributes to the longtime civil servant came raining down from every corner of the church.
Danyluk, the well-respected four-term mayor of the Town of Mount Royal, died of an undisclosed illness October 14.
She was 66.
Danyluk was remembered Saturday for her years of public service, and also as someone who blazed a trail for women to get involved in politics.
Her husband Victor, brother William, son Peter and his wife Sylvie were in attendance, as were members of the military, several police forces and current and former municipal politicians who all wanted to pay their respects.
She was a very, very classy lady," said former Cote St. Luc mayor Robert Libman. "A lady that was in many ways thrown into the lion's den but in the deepest debates her voice never rose or descended one octave."
Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay could not attend as he was away on official business in Switzerland, but there very few people from the local political world who were not in attendance.
Pointe-Claire Mayor Bill McMurchie noted how Danyluk never gave any consideration to the possibility that her status as a woman limited her in any way.
"I guess Vera would have realized that there was such a thing as a glass ceiling, but she was completely oblivious to that," he said. "It didn't exist for her - she did what she wanted, she did what she felt she was capable of doing."
Danyluk fell ill suddenly earlier this year, and following several dizzy spells and bouts of fatigue was hospitalized on April 11.
She also lost a signficant amount of weight last year following the death of her mother.
In the beginning of June her family told TMR officials that Danyluk would not recover, and would officially step down on July 26.
Danyluk first served as mayor of TMR from 1987 to 1994, including a several-year stint as the head of the Montreal Urban Community. She was re-elected as mayor in 2005 and 2009.