There are others who knew him better, who worked with him daily, who have more memories and are, no doubt, better able to tell the story of Hedley Butler.
Yet I feel compelled to share what I knew of a man who, over the years I came to know him, I considered to be more than just an acquaintance.
He was a constant source of information for The Packet on fisheries issues. And it seemed whenever we were pursuing a story about an event in Bonavista, the road eventually led to Hedley who was, as usual, volunteering his time and talent.
He was a busy man. Yet he was never too busy to talk, to share his knowledge, or to ask about a friend.
"How's your father," would always slip into the conversation whenever I spoke with him. He and my dad shared the same profession - fishing - and had come to know each other as friends through years of fishing industry meetings.
Hedley, being Hedley, never failed to inquire about my father - who has long since retired from the fishing business and fishing meetings - whenever I ran into him.
And we met fairly often over the years, usually at meeting of the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council and any other meetings involving the fishery, and at Discovery zone board forums where people shared ideas for economic development.
Hedley offered his opinion in a matter-of-fact, no-nonsense way.
He was no showboat.
He was a voice of reason and when he spoke with his deep, distinct voice, people listened.
His approach was not to attack, but to question and promote discussion - sometimes in very contentious situations. In a room filled with frustrated fishers trying to make a point to scientists and bureaucrats, the rhetoric and language could get heated and brutal. Hedley never did.
And in choosing to remain calm and reasonable, Hedley earned the respect of many.
His singing voice was just as powerful. He chose to use that, as well, to help others.
Hedley was a man of many talents. Besides his passion for the fishery and music, he had a passion for his community, his church and his fellow man.
He gave of his time freely to the local fire department, the town council, Society of United Fishermen, the fisheries union and his church.
None of it made him rich, in the financial sense of the word.
But he was rich in the ways that mattered.
Hedley was a member of that elite group of people who hold the admiration and respect of their fellow man, not because they demand it, but because they earn it.
His legacy is the example he set by his willingness to give, to never say 'no' to a worthy cause or a person in need.
Bonavista, and the province, are lesser places today because of his loss.
The Packet extends deepest condolences to his family, wife Dallas, children Tiffany and Colin, brothers Reg, Bill and Bennett; as well as to members of the Bonavista town council, the fire department and his fishing friends who will miss him every day in so many ways.