|4th Mayor of Mississauga|
|Preceded by||Martin Dobkin|
|Succeeded by||Hazel McCallion|
Ronald Alfred Searle
July 19, 1919
Southampton, Hampshire, England, UK
|Died||August 29, 2015 (aged 96)|
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Mollie Searle (m. 1949–1999)
|Years of service||1939-1945|
|Unit||Toronto Scottish Regiment|
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Searle was born in Southampton, England to Ruby and Theodore Searle on July 19, 1919. His mother was a seamstress and his father was a purser with the White Star Line and a seaman with the Royal Navy during World War I. The family relocate to Toronto where the family had relatives.
After joining the Toronto Scottish militia in the mid-1930s, Searle later signed up with the Toronto Scottish Regiment immediately upon Canada declaring war against Nazi Germany in September 1939. During World War II Searle landed twice in France, once at Brest and once at Normandy. He was later wounded at Falaise in Ardennes when he took three machine gun bullets to his leg.
Post-war life and familyEdit
After the war he began a career in magazine publishing. On December 10, 1949 he married his wife, Mollie, and together they raised one son, Mark William Searle. The Searles were married for 50 years until Mollie Searle's death in 1999.
Searle first entered politics when he was elected president of the Orchard Heights Homeowners Association in 1959.
In 1962, he was elected to Mississauga town council and served for fourteen years. While on council Searle fiercely debated with sitting mayor Martin Dobkin in both municipal and regional council meetings on many issues, including increased municipal funding for child care and legal aid. Dobkin, who referred to Searle as "the official leader of the opposition", noted that despite the political opposition the two enjoyed a friendly personal relationship.
Searle was elected mayor in 1976 amid a corruption scandal in the municipal government and a massive real estate boom throughout the city. With increased home prices driving lower-income citizens out of Mississauga, Searle made affordable housing a central issue of his administration and told a reporter for the Toronto Star shortly after his electoral victory that "[his] concern for [affordable housing] overrides all other concerns." Throughout his term in office he lobbied for cheaper homes and opposed the federal government's cuts to housing grants.
Searle ran for re-election at the end of his term in 1978, but lost to former Streetsville mayor Hazel McCallion with a final tally of 28,005 to 25,029 votes. He later made another unsuccessful bid for the mayoralty in 1982, but was defeated by McCallion again.
Later life and deathEdit
Following his failed 1982 election bid, Searle remained active in the community. He would often represent homeowners' interests at city hall, and was a frequent participant in veterans' events and events at the Port Credit Yacht Club.
In 2007 he was highly critical of Tim Peterson's installation as the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario candidate for Mississauga South after crossing the floor from the Ontario Liberal Party, remarking that the process was "a violation of the democratic principles the [Progressive] Conservative Party has stood for over the years".
In late August 2015, Searle was admitted to Mississauga Hospital for pneumonia. He died in hospital on August 29, 2015 at the age of 96. The City of Mississauga set up an official book of condolences at the Mississauga Civic Centre and lowered the flags at all city-owned buildings in his honour from August 29 to September 11, 2015.
The following honours were conferred on Searle:
- "Searle, Sergeant Ronald Alfred, (Ret'd)". Honours Recipients. Office of the Secretary to the Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "Searle, Ronald Alfred". Heritage Profiles. Heritage Mississauga. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- Corbeil, Laurent Bastien (9 September 2015). "Ron Searle, former mayor of Mississauga, was an early advocate for affordable housing". Toronto Star. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- Chriscione, Peter (2 September 2015). "'Good mayor' and 'gentleman' Ron Searle dead at 96". Mississauga News. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "Plain talk in Mississauga wins Hazel mayor's job". Toronto Star. November 14, 1978. p. A14.
- "Peel, Ontario (1867-1968)". History of Federal Ridings since 1867. Library of Parliament. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- John Stewart (June 19, 2007). "A nomination like no other". Archived from the original on September 5, 2008.
- "City of Mississauga Honours Ron Searle 1919 - 2015". Newsroom. City of Mississauga. 31 August 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "Searle, Ronald". Honours Recipients. Office of the Secretary to the Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 9 September 2015.