For­mer mayor re­mem­bered

Re­spected town leader passes

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OBITUARIES - BY STEVE SHARRATT

A for­mer town mayor and com­mu­nity leader who started the Down East Mall in east­ern P.E.I.’s largest town has passed away.

Arnold Wightman died Sun­day, Jan. 3, and racked up a list of ac­com­plish­ments dur­ing his 88 years of life.

In 2014, he was hon­oured as a vi­sion­ary busi­ness en­tre­pre­neur when in­ducted into the P.E.I. Busi­ness Hall of Fame.

He saw a busi­ness op­por­tu­nity in 1958 when he pur­chased the Co-op property on Main Street and opened a Lucky Dol­lar Store. Ten years later he pur­chased an old pulp yard where he built the town’s first mall — a ven­ture that is now busy and oc­cu­pied Down East Mall.

He also owned and op­er­ated a fur­ni­ture store, a restau­rant and a Laun­dro­mat.

Mean­while, Wightman fo­cused on build­ing the town. He served as town clerk for 20 years and then be­came mayor from 1973 to 1975.

“He was al­ways keen on pro­mot­ing our town and ev­ery­one had the great­est re­spect for him,’’ said Mayor Richard Collins. “We are sad­dened to hear of his pass­ing and ex­tend sin­cer­est sym­pa­thy to his only son Roger and fam­ily.”

When his busi­ness day ended, Wightman was in­stru­men­tal in be­com­ing a found­ing mem­ber of the Gar­den of the Gulf mu­seum — the first com­mu­nity mu­seum on the Is­land — with for­mer Lt.Gov. Gil­bert Cle­ments.

He also helped start the town board of trade, was also a driv­ing force to fo­cus at­ten­tion on the town wa­ter­front and ma­rina and was an orig­i­nal mem­ber of the Mon­tague Ro­tary Club.

“He was al­ways a real gen­tle­man in ev­ery pos­si­ble way,’’ said Collins.

Wightman suf­fered an ail­ment that af­fected his speech in later life but al­ways wore a suit and tie when he went for a walk through the town.

GUARDIAN FILE PHOTO

Arnold Wightman, who opened the Lucky Dol­lar Store on Main Street in Mon­tague, then went on to es­tab­lish the Down East Mall, was in­ducted into the P.E.I. Busi­ness Hall of Fame in 2014.

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