A Halifax street has been named after Nova Scotia's first black sergeant-at-arms, Delmore (Buddy) Daye.

Surrounded by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Laura Daye pulled a city flag off the street sign that bears her late husband's name.

Melinda, the eldest of Daye's nine children, was overcome with emotion during Thursday's brief ceremony to turn Gerrish Street, between Gottingen and Maynard streets, into Buddy Daye Street.

"It's extremely emotional to see Daddy's name up there, but [we're] so very honoured and proud of him," she said.

Daye, a champion boxer, helped to set up the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia. In 1990, he became the legislature's first black sergeant-at-arms. He died in 1995.

Jahala Smith is delighted her family friend is being recognized. She credits Daye with helping her son Wayne, a 10-year veteran of the Canadian Football League, turn his life around.

"Wayne got in trouble a couple of times [and] Buddy was there," Smith said. "Didn't make any difference what hours of the night you called him, he was there."

Daye was also there for musician Corey Adams when he was in his teens.

"It was Buddy Daye who basically took me off the street along with a few other young guys, youths that were heading in the wrong direction and gave us our first job," he said.

Adams said Daye's death convinced him that he needed to leave Toronto in order to try to help his home community. He now coaches basketball and has started up an inner city youth choir.

"If it wasn't for Buddy, I wouldn't be the person I am today," said Adams. "And I'm trying to pass it on to my kids."