It is a rare quality in anyone to be unassuming, yet be able to command a room.
Nick Andreychuk had that quality.
Andreychuk died Monday, March 9, after suffering a major heart attack. He was 75.
In a political career which started in 1973 as a ward alderman and spanned 35 years, Andreychuk also spent 13 years as Grimsby’s mayor but his involvement in the community went beyond elected positions.
“Nick was an important presence in Grimsby for the last 50 years. He was most recently on the Grimsby Museum board and the Town’s Committee of Adjustment,” said Grimsby Mayor Jeff Jordan.
“My first three years as alderman were served with Nick as mayor. He was always a team player and always had Grimsby’s best interests as the common goal. I admired how he ran council meetings. He let people speak and never lost his composure. His loss will leave a huge void in the political landscape of Grimsby. My thoughts go out to Nick’s wife, Carol, and his family.”
Debbie Zimmerman also served with Andreychuk at the local and regional levels.
“Nick and I served together for almost 35 years, missing just one term, with me being either alderman or regional councillor. When I was regional chair he was mayor.
He was one of the finest politicians I have ever had the pleasure of working with over the many years that we shared serving at both local and regional government,” said Zimmerman.
Part of what made Andreychuk an effective politician was his ability to draw out compromise, Zimmerman noted.
“Nick was a mentor, leader and passionate about Grimsby, and quietly confident in presenting arguments for change. He loved the planning and development committee, working for the arts and a good cigar. He left a legacy of projects, and was well known for never backing down from an argument if he was right,” Zimmerman recalled.
“Nick was such a prescence when he spoke, and an authority who commanded a room. He was a good friend to me and so many others. I was blessed to have served with him over those many years.”
Grimsby Reg. Coun. Wayne Fertich was a rookie alderman when Mayor Nick broke him in.
“Nick was a true gentleman. As a mayor, I can remember when we were dealing with the lot lines in Grimsby Beach, namely Victoria Terrace. Nick helped guide me through the process making sure that the public was given every opportunity to present its case. As a rookie alderman he taught me the do’s and don’ts of municipal politics. He was extremely community oriented.His support for the Grimsby Museum was outstanding. To this day Nick was my mentor,” said Fertich.
Aside from the people he helped, Grimsby Museum will also feel the loss of Andreychuk.
“He was a member who was involved in and actively participated in all our discussions. He volunteered at events, and through his contacts and efforts was a major contributor to our annual fundraising dinner and was a strong supporter of the heritage and culture of our community,” said Bill Thompson, who served on the museum board for 30 years with 12 of those as chair.
“Nick had a passion not only for its heritage but for the people of this community. It was important to him that he was a part of making this town a better place. His dedication and service will be greatly missed, not only the museum, but our town is diminished by his passing.”
Visitation is at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, 135 Livingston Ave., Grimsby on Friday, March 13, from 3-5 and 7-9 p.m. with Prayer Vigil at 3:30 p.m. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Joe’s on Saturday, March 14, at 11 a.m.