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African Nova Scotian County Councillor - George Diggs

Halifax County Councillors, 1916
Halifax County Council, March 1916 - HRM Archives photo 312-1F-001 (cropped from original)             

George H. Diggs represented the Preston District (#30) on the Halifax County Council from 1908-1917 and again from 1920-1930 . In this 1916 group portrait, he is pictured in the first row, second from the left, or second to the left of Warden Charles E. Smith, seated in the ornate chair.

In 1899, the district of Preston elected the first African Nova Scotian to public office - Councillor Thomas Johnson, who continued to serve until Diggs replaced him in 1908.* The Municipal Archives holds many County Council photographs. Unfortunately we have not yet discovered a photograph of Thomas Johnson, first black County Councillor.

George Diggs was the second longest-serving councillor in the Preston area, next to Allan W. Evans (1931-1961), and followed closely by Wayne F. Adams (1979-1994), who went on to become the first black member of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly.

In the City of Halifax, the first black alderman was Graham Downey - elected in Ward 3 in 1974, and continued as a regional councillor through to 2000. In 2016, Peninsula North District 8 elected Lindell Smith the next African Nova Scotian councillor.

*According to Black Cultural Centre of Nova Scotia's page on Municipal Democracy:

Halifax Municipal Archives acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through Library and Archives Canada to assist with processing of County of Halifax records.