Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown said he was in a state of shock when his phone rang at 11:45 p.m. on Friday with the tragic news.
Green party candidate and his young son, Oliver, had died earlier that day after their canoe capsized in the Hillsborough River.
“It’s going to be a great loss, a big loss,’’ Brown said Monday. “I just couldn’t sleep and I’m sure it was the same for a lot of people.’’
Brown and Underhay knew each other well. Both were teachers while Underhay was actively involved with the City of Charlottetown as an active transportation enthusiast. Underhay was actively involved in the entire process that involved the proposed Fitzroy Street bike lane, that council ultimately rejected.
“He was just a super, super guy. He contributed a lot to cycling in Charlottetown. He made a presentation to the finance committee last year and had a look at routes for the whole city and that’s the platform I want to use for the city in developing an active transportation system. His work is something that we’re going to use as part of our overall package.’’
During last fall’s municipal election campaign, Underhay invited Brown to come to speak to his class at Birchwood.
“The students just loved and admired his enthusiasm to bring other elements to what they were learning,’’ Brown said.
The City of Charlottetown has lowered its flags to half-mast outside City Hall in honour of Underhay and his young son.
“It’s a tragic loss for the city, a tragic loss for the education system and a tragic loss for the political system on P.E.I.’’