Island soldiers served in many capacities

Austin A. Hunt stands on guard.

Austin A. Hunt, the father of Kagawong’s storied Aus Hunt, Canada’s longest serving municipal politician, was born in 1895 and was raised in Kagawong, where he also attended school. The son of Oliver and Myra (Campbell) Hunt, the young Mr. Hunt moved to Sault Ste. Marie to seek his fortune, becoming a street car conductor and later operated steam engines and threshing machines.

Mr. Hunt enlisted in the 227th Battalion, and with his experience with heavy machinery, it isn’t surprising that he later transferred to the Engineering Corps. By July 1915 Mr. Hunt was on a train and headed to Amherst, Nova Scotia and a month later he was loaded aboard a captured German vessel bound for southern England. After further training, Mr. Hunt spent the rest of his war operating an x-ray machine—a job he continued to perform for two years after the war had ended.

When he came home, Mr. Hunt became a storekeeper in his wife’s parents’ hotel, married Stella Hilliard and raised two sons, Austin and Jack. He passed in 1981 and is buried in the Kagawong Cemetery.