Funeral service remembers folksy former agriculture minister Eugene Whelan

Associated Press

AMHERSTBURG, Ont. - A funeral service has remembered Eugene Whelan for the colourful former federal agriculture minister's trademark green Stetson hat and strong commitment to his community.

Whelan died at the age of 88 on Tuesday night from complications from a stroke.

A crowd of friends, family and political dignitaries packed into the St. John The Baptist Church in his hometown of Amherstburg on Saturday to pay respects to Whelan.

Whelan served as then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau's agriculture minister for all but nine months between 1972 to 1984 and is remembered as a champion of the supply management system.

Beside the casket sat Whelan's green cowboy hat, an unmistakable trademark of the man known for his folksy personality.

Former prime minister Jean Chretien remembered Whelan as someone who would always stand up for farmers — and never hold back from speaking his mind.

(CKLW, The Canadian Press)

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