‘Strong advocate for veterans’
Vince Rigby remembered for work with veterans
Friends of Vince Rigby are remembering him as a strong advocate for veterans across Cape Breton.
Rigby’s body was found by firefighters in an abandoned Robert Street building during a fire in Whitney Pier on Monday.
Cape Breton Regional Police investigated the fire and ruled out any suspicion and foul play in the death of the Sydney man. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.
Ron Clarke, a Korean War veteran, said he will remember Rigby as a “strong advocate for veterans.”
“Vince was an intelligent person and was very committed to helping the veterans, and that he did in this area,” said Clarke. “I was devastated when I heard that he was in that building.”
Rigby, 57, was a veteran and an advocate with Marijuana for Trauma, a company that helps those with post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and other medical conditions.
He was the president of the Marijuana for Trauma/Veterans Helping Veterans office in Sydney. Rigby was also among a group that helped get the Veterans Affairs office reopened in Sydney.
Rigby served in Cyprus and Bosnia over a 22-year career as a Canadian reservist. He had to leave the reserves in 2002 due to poor health.
“Vince was one of the people who was a leader in getting the marijuana office open,” said Clarke. “It made him very popular with the veterans, because there was a lot of veterans that needed the marijuana to help them get through their everyday experiences.”
The fire broke out around 9 p.m. on Monday. There was no obvious fire damage on the outside of the structure, but extensive burning could be seen inside.
Clarke said he doesn’t know the whole story as to what happened.
“My understanding was Vince knew or had found out that there was a street person in the abandoned house and he went in to help them, apparently,” he said. “He always had that wanting to help people attitude.
“It’s something Vince would do for anybody — that was the type of person he was,” said Clarke. “Anybody who needed help, Vince was there to give them that help.”
Clarke said Rigby will not only be missed in the Cape Breton community, but the veterans community as well.
“There will be a lot of people that will remember Vince as an excellent advocate for veterans,” he said. “He’s going to be sadly missed.”
Vince Rigby, 57, who served in Cyprus and Bosnia over a 22-year career as a Canadian reservist, was the man who died in a vacant building fire in Whitney Pier, Monday. Rigby was the president of Marijuana for Trauma/ Veterans Helping Veterans office in Sydney. He took medicinal marijuana to ease symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, among other ailments, from two deployments as a United Nations peacekeeper. He had to leave the reserves in 2002 due to poor health.