Giving to SMU

Gerald P. Beech Memorial Fund


Photo of Gerry Beech for his memorial fund write up (June 14, 2016)

Gerry was born in London, UK. He always held the reserve of his birthplace, but in all other respects he was a west end Haligonian. He attended St. Catherine's Public School from which he was selected for Halifax's first Major Work Class for his academic prowess and was a leader in model United Nations events where he represented the Soviet Union.

On arriving at St. Patrick's High School in the fall of 1961, Gerry immediately ran for student government. The first line of his campaign speech before a packed student assembly began, "Hello, my name is Gerry and I am a son of a Beech". He equally shocked the nuns and wowed the audience, ensuring his success at the polls. He was on Student Council all four years at St. Pat's, culminating ‎in Grade XII with his election as Student Council President and Head Boy. He also earned a school letter and an Entrance Scholarship to Saint Mary's University.

At Saint Mary's, he again focused on student politics and academics. He chaired the Canadian Union of Students organization at SMU, the national student organization. He also ran unsuccessfully for Student Council President in his senior year.  Academically, he continued to excel and was selected for SMU’s inaugural Alpha Sigma Nu, National Jesuit Honour Society. He maintained his Entrance Scholarship status and graduated in the top 5 per cent of his class with a BA cum laude in Political Science.

After earning an MA ‎ in Political Science from the University of Toronto in 1970, Gerry returned to Halifax for several years as Director of Student Services at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. He moved back to Toronto in the mid '70s and spent the rest of his working life there. He became involved in Ontario provincial politics at the time Bob Rae formed his NDP government and later was appointed to the Board of Transport Ontario.

Gerry returned to Dartmouth in 2003. His health declined in recent years with a series of strokes leading to his death in December 2015.

In honor of Gerry Beech's life, a fund in his name has been established to buy Political Science books for Saint Mary’s Patrick Power Library. To support the Gerald P. Beech Memorial Fund, please use our online giving form or mail the Gerald. P Beech Memorial Fund form to Saint Mary's Development Office.