Passing of former Local 83 President Peter Greer

It is with a tremendous sense of loss and sadness that we share the news of Peter’s passing. During his life, he touched countless hearts and lives throughout the world.

Those of us left behind will feel the loss of his beautiful smile (and his pies!) and compassionate nurturing nature for the rest of our lives.

He was and will forever be cherished and adored by his immediate family: Alison Strachan, Daisy (Kepha) Pepin, George (Megan) and Jack Greer, and Daisy’s children Ariel, Chanah, Tahir, Meore.

He was loved and will be missed by his brother and sisters: Anne (Jim) (West Dublin), John (Vanessa) (Italy and Nova Scotia), Peggy (Bush Island), Mary (and you too Richard!) (Halifax) and their children: Sarah, Emily, Jennifer, Ulo, Lily, Tristan, Ona, Josh, Simon, Dorian, Kelly, Lucy, Zoe, Oscar, Emil and many great nephews and nieces.

Peter was treasured by his brothers and sisters-in-law Jacklyn Veneroso (NYC), Diana Stathacopoulos (Panos) (Greece), Vicki Wiederkehr (Dan) (Maine), Deborah Strachan (Steve) (Maine), Jennifer Strachan (Bryan) (Toronto), Bruce Strachan (Jacinta) (Kenya) and all of their children: Spiros, Alexander, Ryan, Sarah, Emily, Anna, Elizabeth, Julia, Kate, Hazel, Blake, Muila, Alexander and Mubasu and many more great nephews and nieces throughout the world.

He was predeceased by his parents, John Maxwell Greer (2011) and Doris Elizabeth Greer (2014).

Throughout his life, Peter lived in Truro, Wolfville, Toronto, Halifax, Lunenburg and the “wedge” family cottage in West Dublin. He traveled throughout Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and enjoyed a recent trip to England and Sweden with George and Jack. No matter where you went with Peter, you could count on him taking you off the beaten path for more interesting adventures.

A carpenter by trade, he never forgot the value of “measuring twice, cutting once” in both the trade and his many dedicated years representing union members as a Business Representative, and Organizer for Local 83 of the Nova Scotia Carpenters and Joiners of America. Peter spent nearly 30 years with the union both as a carpenter and as a member of the union executive, holding positions such as Financial Secretary, President of Local 83 and as a Trustee for the Atlantic Canada Regional Council of Carpenters, Millwrights, and Allied workers. Peter was an example of the term “fiduciary.”

Peter was also a Trustee for the union benefit and pension plans, and Chairman of both Apprenticeship Nova Scotia, and the Nova Scotia Building Advisory Committee. In 2014, he was awarded the Visionary Award by the Nova Scotia Construction Safety Association for his dedication to Safety Training on Job Sites. But perhaps his greatest professional legacy was in his passion for trades education resulting in him spending many hours in the formation of the Carpenter Millwright Trades College; serving as Director for the school from its inception to his retirement in the spring of 2014.

Peter always performed his duties at the union with an unwavering commitment to the membership and with a keen sense of overall fairness. He was humble about his professional work, but it was work that made a difference in many people’s lives.

But most of all, Peter adored his time with family. We will always remember his upbeat arrival home from what would have likely been a hard day of work with groceries in hand and then their magical transformation into delicious meals. His singing and humming in the kitchen with a meal on the go will be forever remembered. Peter also had an eclectic sense of music, he would listen to Pavarotti in the kitchen, Bob Dylan in the living room, Nina Simone in the dining room, all while singing Ludacris to himself.  Weekends in Lunenburg enjoying every moment that our home brought him was an inspiration to us all. In the midst of any renovation or project, he would stop to build us a luge run in the middle of the night or take the time to keep us well fed and entertained. Our home was the hub of the neighbourhood in Lunenburg. He took delight in the memory of Solomon, the boys’ schoolfriend from Halifax, waking him up saying “Mr. Greer, Lunenburg is shining. Where are you taking me today”?

None of us will ever make a pie, pasta or pizza again without thinking of how much better his creations were.

Strachan family reunions at Summer Camp on Lake Mooselookmeguntic in Maine were made complete with Peter’s presence. He was always up for a day of adventure from climbing a mountain to boating across the lake, but his favourite times were in the kitchen cooking, with ease, for sometimes 25 or more family members. His storytelling around the supper table was unrivaled (especially the drawn out stories about a certain overweight chef).

In 2010, Peter’s life changed with a diagnosis of throat cancer requiring a brutal regime of radiation and chemotherapy. Peter met this challenge with his usual braveness and levity, once remarking to a radiation technician “I’m here for my 7:30 tanning session”. Those near to him were amazed by his “get this job done” attitude and his remarkable recovery thanks to top-notch medical care from the provincial health care system. However, as is often the case, after being faced with a cancer diagnosis, he was a changed man. The health care system was unable to provide the same level of mental health support that it did for his physical health issue. In memory of Peter, we will all work to ensure meaningful change to this situation.

We could always count on Peter for great songs, laughter, and levity in all of our lives. We hope that we provided that for him and that he finds it wherever his journeys now take him. We wish him peace and love.

A celebration of Peter’s life will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2017, at the West Dublin Community Hall, Lahave, between 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Your memories of Peter are important to us, and we welcome you to send us your stories, memories, and messages of support at

Donations in Peter’s memory would be appreciated as follows:

Peter Greer Bursary – Carpenter Millwright Trades College (Cheques made out to the NS Carpenter Millwright Building Society in Peter’s Memory can be mailed to 1000 Sackville Drive, Lower Sackville, NS B4E 0C2 or by email transfer to or to a charity of your choice.