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Arthur Irving, the former president and chairman of Irving Oil, died on May 13, 2024, at the age of 93. Image: Submitted/Irving Oil

Hundreds gather to honour Arthur Irving

By Brad Perry May 18, 2024 | 4:42 PM

Hundreds gathered on Saturday morning to remember the life of Arthur Irving.

The former president and chairman of Irving Oil died of cancer on Monday at age 93.

Dignitaries and residents alike attended a public service at Irving’s home in Saint John.

The service was also streamed on a big screen set up at the Harriet Irving Memorial Park across the street.

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs, a former Irving Oil executive, was among several politicians in attendance.

Lieutenant-Governor Brenda Murphy was also there, along with members of the business community.

It was Arthur’s father, the late K.C. Irving, who founded Irving Oil in his hometown of Bouctouche back in 1924.

The younger Irving joined the company in 1951, working with his father and his brothers, Jim and Jack. He became president in 1972 and later went on to serve as chairman of the board of directors.

Arthur helped grow the Saint John refinery to become the largest in Canada. He also spearheaded the expansion of the company’s international activities, branching out in the northeastern United States market and Ireland.

He remained active in the business until his death and was recently recognized for his 73 years of service to the company.

On Friday, a procession of company fleet vehicles made its way through Saint John as a tribute to Irving.

Dozens of employees and residents lined the street outside the company’s head office uptown.

The procession also went by the company’s refinery on Loch Lomond Road and Irving’s home.