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Tributes pour in for Leo Cheverie, lifelong activist and arts enthusiast, dead at 60


It is easy to identify a member | SaltWire

Watch on YouTube: “It’s easy to spot a member | SaltWire”

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — On the second final day Leo Cheverie spent within the Provincial Palliative Care Centre, his room was stuffed with tributes.

Balloons, a pinata, a dozen vibrant bouquets and no less than 20 playing cards coated the cabinets and windowsill.

These tributes prolonged to social media, the place lots of of posts have confirmed up on Cheverie’s fb web page in current weeks, thanking him for his service and friendship.

Cheverie, a lifelong activist, educator and humanities fanatic, died this week on Sept. 7. He was 60 years outdated.


His sister, Rachael Cheverie, says the household is in disbelief on the loss and overwhelmed by the outpouring of assist.

A whole lot of individuals visited Leo within the hospital — with 282 signatures in a guestbook saved by the household — and their presence helped Leo and his family members, Rachael mentioned in a Sept. 8 SaltWire interview.

A tireless advocate for a greater world, Leo tried to make connections in every single place he went, she mentioned.

“You by no means heard him say unhealthy issues about anybody. He was all the time keen to pay attention and to try to hear totally different views and make connections and meet in that center floor.”

This meant assembly new individuals but additionally researching household historical past and discovering new music to share, she mentioned.

“At this stage, he’s nonetheless serving to individuals and actually devoted to greater training. He really donated his physique to science, so he’s gone to Dalhousie medical faculty.”

“You by no means heard him say unhealthy issues about anybody. He was all the time keen to pay attention and to try to hear totally different views and make connections and meet in that center floor.”

Rachael Cheverie, Leo’s sister


Leo’s love of music typically mixed along with his volunteer spirit, and he was a fixture in P.E.I.’s music scene as a helper and present attendee, Music P.E.I. govt director Rob Oakie mentioned in a Sept. 8 SaltWire interview.

It’s not straightforward to seek out individuals with such dedication, Oakie mentioned, however Leo volunteered at just about each Music P.E.I. occasion Oakie might bear in mind.

“A whole lot of his assist for music went to rising artists. Rising native artists, that was an enormous a part of his musical appreciation,” Oakie mentioned. “You don’t get began except you’ve gotten individuals like Leo behind you.”

This assist culminated in Leo profitable Music P.E.I.’s volunteer of the yr award in 2020.


Leo was the type of group chief that, when he was identified with colorectal most cancers in spring of 2022, that was information in itself. In typical vogue, he took that chance to talk to SaltWire in regards to the want for early screening and most cancers detection.

Whereas Leo by no means stopped combating the nice struggle, he did should take day without work from working at UPEI’s Robertson Library when he was identified in 2022. He began work there in 1985, after graduating from the college.

Simon Lloyd, a colleague since 1999, will bear in mind Leo’s eagerness to assist, his giggle — large, hearty — and his deep information of Island historical past.

Leo additionally liked UPEI, warts and all, and by no means hesitated to problem it to be higher, Lloyd mentioned in a Sept. 8 SaltWire interview.

“He had a particular love for the Prince Edward Island Assortment, simply because he had a lot information of P.E.I. and so many contacts with so many alternative individuals.”

Leo Cheverie, a longtime community activist in Charlottetown, P.E.I.  who is undergoing chemo treatment, says Islanders at risk should get screened for colon cancer. - Logan MacLean • The Guardian - Logan MacLean
Leo Cheverie, a longtime group activist in Charlottetown, P.E.I., spoke to SaltWire shortly after getting identified with most cancers in 2022. – Logan MacLean • The Guardian – Logan MacLean


A couple of yr after the most cancers analysis, Leo spoke to SaltWire once more, about going to Ottawa to foyer the federal authorities.

This sort of political activism was all the time a part of Leo’s profession, together with organizations like CUPE, and involvement with the P.E.I. NDP.

A Sept. 7 press launch from P.E.I. NDP chief Michelle Neil mentioned Leo was a passionate Islander who devoted his life to the group.

“Leo stood out within the crowd for his ardour and advocacy for a lot of causes, together with the labour motion, atmosphere and Indigenous points, proportional representational and social justice.”

Logan MacLean is a municipal reporter with SaltWire

[email protected]


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