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Alumni Profile: Ken Hague '70

Retired Mayor, Ivry-sur-le-Lac

As a high school student, Ken Hague ’70 fought to make every LCC team that would have him: hockey, football, track and field. Ever determined, he even bought pole vaulting equipment so that he could practice during the summers. Perhaps because that indefatigable spirit has never deserted him, when Ken sensed that his class’ upcoming 50th anniversary LIONfest reunion might not be fully attended, he decided to put his skills to work.

The long-time former mayor of the Laurentian town of Ivry-sur-le-Lac, Ken has plenty of experience organizing people. “I started reaching out. It’s amazing to pick up the phone and talk to someone, often for the first time in decades, and immediately fall into conversation about the good times we had back in the day.” With a talent for persuasion, Ken rounded up a majority of the graduates of ’70 to attend the event, even though most are now scattered around the country.

And then, COVID. The reunion, scheduled for October 2020, had to be postponed indefinitely.

“Obviously, it’s a shame,” Ken says. “But I started thinking: at a 50-year reunion, many attendees have changed so much it takes half the evening just to reintroduce people. With the event off the table, what if we produced a book featuring everyone’s current photos and self-written bios so that we could all become reacquainted, even if it’s not in person?” And so he set to work, contacting, enlisting and sometimes cajoling reluctant autobiographers. He even patched together some profiles himself, based on internet searches, in order to induce his fellow alums to correct them! Getting help from an old classmate — publisher and designer J Eberts ’70 — the result is a beautifully laid out digital compendium of pictures and stories that gathers the old gang together again. “The response has been fantastic: everyone is really pleased. And it’s fascinating and inspiring to see the diversity of accomplishment of this incredible group of people.”

With a long family history at LCC, Ken remembers the day his grandfather, H. McLeod Hague, from the Class of 1917, first dropped him off on Royal Avenue. “I was nervous, of course, but it took only minutes before I felt comfortable, and I never looked back. I went all the way to grade 12, and honestly it was among the best experiences of my life. They taught us respect, teamwork, and all the fundamentals of being a good person.”

After initially following in his father’s footsteps, studying engineering at McGill, Ken settled onto a path of his own, entering the reinsurance field, then virtually unknown outside of Europe. Through 30 years in that niche sector, he rose to the position of senior vice president, travelling the world and pioneering new forms of insurance for governments and corporations. Now retired from business and his mayoralty, and looking back on a long and successful career, he acknowledges the value of the work ethic he picked up at LCC. “Always be yourself; always be generous with others,” he advises. “If you do that, and learn from your mistakes, you’ll live a happy life.”

Fall 2020