Edwards was city alderman and Wentworth MLA
Former Liberal MLA and city alderman Ray Edwards has died. He was 96. Edwards, who died Monday, was a contemporary of politicians like longtime Hamilton mayor Lloyd D. Jackson (1950-1962) and served when Ontario parliamentarians were called a member of the Legislative Assembly.
He also served at a time when an alderman could serve at council and the legislature. After he was elected the Liberal MLA for Wentworth in 1959, he stayed on council and did not seek re-election in the 1960 municipal election so, as The Spectator reported, he could “devote fuller time to his duties as MLA for Wentworth.”
“Council is losing an energetic and valuable representative in the retirement of Alderman Edwards from the council scene in favor (sic) of Queen’s Park,” it said.
Edwards came to prominence in the 1958 city election when he was elected in Ward 8, toppling longtime alderman Ken Crockett, who was known as the “Mayor of the Mountain.” He was reluctant to believe he would win, but when his victory was assured, Edwards, said, “At least I don’t have to fulfil any promises — didn’t make any.”
He was elected to the legislature in June 1959 for Wentworth, which then included all of Hamilton on the Mountain, plus Ancaster and what is now Glanbrook. He ran for re-election in 1963, but was defeated by Tory Donald Ewen. He ran in 1975 in the riding of Hamilton Mountain but PC member John Smith was re-elected.
Born in Meyronne, Sask., Edwards came to Hamilton in 1933. He served four years in the Second World War as a flying officer for the RCAF. He entered real estate in 1948 and was president of the new Hamilton Real Estate Board Cooperative Group in 1952. He became an insurance agent and was a founding member of the Bethel Gospel Tabernacle and a supporter of Crossroads Television.
Edwards is survived by his wife of 75 years, Rita, two sons, two daughters, 16 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
Ray Edwards: both MLA and alderman