MONTAGUE — He was known as the high school principal here for decades, but Alan Hubley brought more life to this region than most during his 40-year stay in eastern P.E.I.’s largest town.
The gregarious, linebacker-sized man with a larger than life personality, died at the Prince County Hospital on Monday surrounded by his family. He was 71 years of age.
With more layers than an onion, the gruff, but affable boy from Prince County set down his stakes here in the mid-1970s and went on to not only serve as principal of the local high schools, but a volunteer firefighter, championship curler and a Lions club member for the bulk of his life.
Not to mention the devotion to his family in the 49th year of marriage to his wife, Roberta, who was also a teacher and a Liberal cabinet minister for some time in the Joe Ghiz government in the early 1990s.
“He was like a great, big grizzly bear,’’ said long-time friend Stephen Harper, who served as a town councillor and firefighter here.
“You’d hear the laugh, see the smile and face the jokes. He loved helping the community, loved being home with the kids and family, and was the first at the door with a roast beef or something for someone sick or dying.”
Hubley was principal at the junior/senior high and former Montague Regional High School (now torn down and replaced) for just over 20 years and an early member of the Lions Club Christmas toy project that still delivers something under the tree for families in need.
He became a 27-year veteran with the Montague fire department (joining in 1975) and a member of the town team, with Harper, Ken Campbell and Steve MacLean, that went 27-0 and won four straight P.E.I. firefighters’ championships from 1980 to 1983.
“He was a great guy and commanded the respect of all through his fairness and humour,’’ said former student and local businessman Doug MacLean.
“He grabbed me once in my Grade 12 year and said ‘I’m running this (school) place this year, not you!’… I never forgot it and always respected him and I knew he’d be laughing as I headed down the hall.”
Known for his booming voice and humour, he retired as principal in 1998 and was most recognizable during retirement years sporting a white marine like brushcut and driving his red VW convertible.
“He was a great asset to the town of Montague,’’ said Mayor Richard Collins who also served as a school board trustee when Hubley was principal.
“He was highly thought of and contributed so much through his volunteer work and devotion to young students. I think the whole town is thankful that he and Roberta chose Montague to share their leadership, family and volunteer work in our midst.”
His funeral service will be held at the Belvedere Funeral Home on Friday at 1:30 p.m. Visiting hours are planned today from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Interment in Little Sands Cemetery.