Nfld. & Labrador

Hazel Newhook, trailblazing businesswoman and politician, dead at 101

The former businesswoman, mayor and government minister passed away Sunday.
Newhook was one of the first female municipal and provincial politicians in Newfoundland and Labrador. (CBC)

Businesswoman, former mayor, provincial politician and community force Hazel Newhook passed away Sunday at the Lakeside Homes long term care facility in Gander, at the age of 101.

Newhook made much of her century-plus of living, beginning her decades-long working career in the 1940s when she and her husband Harry bought a taxi company in Gander — an entrepreneurial endeavour that grew into a bus company, service station and other businesses.

Well known for her community service in the town, Newhook made the leap to politics when she was elected Gander's mayor in 1975, one of the first women in the province to hold such office.

Newhook receives the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador from then Lt.-Gov. John Crosbie. (CBC)

She made the leap to provincial politics in 1979 at the behest of Premier Brian Peckford, representing the district of Gander and became the second woman in the province to be appointed to cabinet, as the Minister of Municipal Affairs.

Newhook left politics in 1985 and continued to dedicate herself to numerous community and not-for-profit groups.

Accolades followed the trailblazer throughout her long life, most notably the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2009.

Newhook leaves behind two sons, two daughters, three sisters and a wide circle of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, other relatives and friends.

Newhook's funeral is planned for Thursday afternoon in Gander.