Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Veteran St. Vital city councillor was passionate 'car guy'

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Former city councillor Albert Ducharme is being remembered as an honest politician and strong advocate for St. Vital.

Ducharme, 79, died Dec. 19.

Joyce Ducharme, Albert's wife of 26 years and a former city clerk, said he took his job on council seriously and was proud of what he'd done.

"He worked hard. He tried his hardest, always," she said.

"From what I heard, on council he always did what he thought was best. He didn't compromise."

'On council he always did what he thought was best. He didn't compromise' -- Albert Ducharme's wife of 26 years, Joyce Ducharme

Throughout Ducharme's 21 years of service on city council, he became a widely known and respected politician.

Joyce, however, knew a different Albert.

"We married after the end of his run on council, so I was never around for all that."

She knew him as a passionate "car guy."

"He's been collecting through his whole life," said Joyce. "He's got about a dozen and, well, they're old."

The cars in the collection included a Ford T-Bucket, a 1932 Ford Coupe, a 1932 Ford Roadster, a 1962 Chevrolet Corvette and a 1969 Chevrolet Nova.

Joyce said her husband had a close circle of friends who shared his passion for cars.

"They would talk and I would just sit and listen and enjoy him," she said.

Ducharme was inducted into the Manitoba Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

Albert and his friend John Gilbert loved cars from their childhood onward.

"I remember we used to exchange a Dinky Toy each for our birthdays," said Gilbert.

The two were soon joined by Bill Powell, another car fan. Powell and Albert Ducharme were friends for 61 years. Much of their time weas spent working on or talking about cars. Powell said one car, in particular, was special to Albert.

"He built the T-Bucket and took it to show it off at the car shows," said Powell. "He won a few trophies for it."

Ducharme eventually sold his prized car.

"Joyce bought it back for him," said Powell. "Came in pieces though, so he put it back together again."

A funeral mass will be held on Jan. 6 at 10 a.m. at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church, 847 St. Mary's Rd.

jordan.power@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 31, 2013 B4

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