In Memoriam:

Andrew Alcorn Munro

14 Sep 1919 - 12 Oct 1990


Alcorn was born the oldest of eight, in Whycocomagh, Nova Scotia, in 1919 on September 14th (or 19th depending on who you talked to.  Whether it was his father, Jack, who perhaps gave the wrong date when he registered his birth in Port Hood several weeks after; or his mother, Jessie, who gave birth to him.)  Alcorn held this discrepancy in his birth date with some fondness and pride.

In 1939, Alcorn was off to Mount Allison University in New Brunswick for four years of Pre-Med.  In the fall of 1943, Alcorn entered Dalhousie medical school only to discover that though he was strong of mind he was weak of stomach.  He could not stand the sight of blood!  From this discovery, Alcorn knew he now had the daunting task of telling his father that he would not be returning to University after Christmas.  As Alcorn had sold life insurance to pay his way through university, he knew what he would now do.

Selling life insurance in cash-strapped Cape Breton was no simple task.  While one could trade or barter for many things, it took cash to buy insurance.  But many changes would take place in Cape Breton after the opening of the Canso Causeway in 1955 and the expansion of the Trans-Canada Highway .  Alcorn worked tirelessly with others in the community to ‘assist’ the politicians in recognizing the benefits of routing the Highway to North Sydney via Baddeck and Whycocomagh.

The focus of the type of insurance Alcorn sold was now shifting and he cultivated many strong relationships with other insurance representatives.  Most notable was his friendship with Gord Wilding, the local manager for Canada Accident and Fire (now AVIVA).  He and Gord would travel Inverness County looking for good risks to write.  Being probably the only two men in Inverness County in the 60s to wear a suit on a weekday – they became known as the “Protestant Priests”!

By 1973, A.A. Munro Insurance had 3200 policies in force, its own building in Whycocomagh and two sales offices: one in Baddeck and one in Port Hawkesbury.  In 1981, with a chance to buy the local Fair Isle Motel, Alcorn’s attention turned to passing on the Insurance business and to an active retirement as a motel operator in his beloved community.  In 1986, the company was purchased by his son-in-law, Harley MacCaull, and he has continued the high level of professional service.

Alas, the highway that had provided the opportunity for the growth and development of Alcorn’s business was to be the very instrument that would take him away.  On 12 October 1990 , while enroute to visit friends, Alcorn and Miriam were involved in an accident. While Miriam recovered completely, Alcorn did not survive.

(from ‘The Inverness Oran 30 June 2004 )

In November 1977, with the help of C.C. Bud Munroe, Alcorn organized and was the founding Chairman of the Nova Scotia Division of Clan Munro Association of Canada at a meeting held in Cameron Hall, Whycocomagh.

© 2010 The Clan Munro Association of Canada