‘We’ve come a long way’: N.S. road renamed in memory of the Maritimes’ first Black municipal police officer
HALIFAX -- A street in Sydney, N.S., has a new name, and not only does it have a nice ring to it, but the meaning behind it is making one community more proud than ever.
The road, known to many locals as Sydney’s ‘Road to Nowhere,’ was recently renamed to Crawford Crossing -- a tribute to the Maritimes’ first Black municipal police officer.
Carl ‘Campy’ Crawford, a longtime resident of Whitney Pier, N.S., joined the Sydney Police Force in 1964.
Although he wasn’t looking to make history when he joined the force, that’s exactly what he did with a street now named in his memory.
“It’s just something that wasn’t in our mindset, none of the family members,” said Iris Crawford, the widow of Campy. “And it’s something we’re so proud of. We’re so proud of, and I know he’s up there smiling down.”
Iris says her late husband was a trailblazer who was well-respected in the community. She says having a street named after a person of colour would have been inconceivable back when he was serving in the force.
“To think that a man of African descent had a road named after him. In this day and age, I think it’s amazing. We’ve come a long way,” said Iris.
“Campy has broken barriers, obviously for guys like myself,” said Cape Breton Regional Municipality Coun. Lorne Green.
“He’s done a lot for the Black community. In particular, young Black men, and so, to see the name on the road in his honour, a great feeling for the community.”
Campy died in 2003 and although it’s been over 17 years since his death, Iris says she’ll never forget his bright personality that so many loved and respected.
“He was a very happy-go-lucky man,” said Iris. “He has a gift to make people laugh. He had a great sense of humour. He loved to sing. He was a great family man.”
While many remember Campy as a pioneer and community role model, Iris says Campy was just happy to do his job – although she says he would be tickled to see a street named after him.
“I think he would be pleased about it. Shocked about it, and as I say, had a smile on his face about it,” said Iris.
Campy has also had an award established in his honour and memory by the Cape Breton Regional Police Service.
The award is presented each year to a recipient who exemplifies leadership and commitment to justice, fairness, volunteerism, sportsmanship and equality in their community.