Dr. Burnley “Rocky” Allan Jones, BA. LL.B., LL.D (Hon.)
We regret to advise of the death of Burnley (“Rocky”) Jones of Halifax on 29 July 2013 in Halifax at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at the age of 71.
Born on the Marsh in Truro NS, Rocky joined the Royal Canadian Engineers in 1958 with the 7th Intake Sapper Apprentices. After completing his training and obligatory service, he pursued a career as a lawyer. He was an outspoken member of Nova Scotia’s black community and a civil rights pioneer in Nova Scotia who worked for decades worked to defeat racism.
Rocky was a champion of civil rights beginning with his involvement with the Students Union for Peace Action in 1965 while a student at the University of Toronto. He was also active with the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, the Student Christian Leadership Conference, Upon his return from Toronto to Nova Scotia in 1965 Rocky became heavily involved in working on the rights for people of African descent. He was a founding member of The Black United Front of Nova Scotia, National Black Coalition of Canada, Dalhousie University Transition Year Program (where he taught for 10 years), Dalhousie Law School Indigenous Blacks and Mi`kmaq Program, African Canadian Liberation Movement, African Canadian Caucus of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Project to name a few. Along with his wife, he also formed Kwacha House - Eastern Canada`s first inner-city self-help program for the culturally diverse, lower socio-economic population. He also created the Black Historical and Educational Research Organization project, a pioneering oral history project on Black culture. Rocky received his law degree from Dalhousie University in 1992 and spent several years working with Dalhousie University Legal Aid.
Rocky practised law for over 20 years with his own firm of B.A. `Rocky` Jones and Associates. A strong advocate of prisoners’ rights, Rocky was involved in the establishment of the Black Inmates Association and the Native Brotherhood of Dorchester Penitentiary and Springhill Institution. He developed programs for women in the Kingston Prison for Women, Halifax County Correctional Centre and in the community. Rocky also developed a wilderness experience program for ex-inmates and oversaw two production companies also staffed by ex-inmates. He was the Executive Director of Real Opportunities for Prisoner Employment - a self-help organization for ex-inmates. Among the awards that he received in recognition of his work were: The Order of Nova Scotia in 2010, an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Guelph University, the Apex Community Award from the Town of Truro and he is included on Wall of Honour at the Nova Scotia Black Cultural Centre. In addition, he received the following awards: Meritorious Award of Excellence from The Black United Front of Nova Scotia, the Distinguished Service Award from The Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, the Community Involvement Award from The National Black Coalition of Canada, and the Race Relations Committee Award from The Nova Scotia Barristers Society.
A visitation will be held at Atlantic Funeral Home, 6552 Bayers Road, Halifax on Tuesday, August 6th, from 5:00-9 pm. The wake will be held at Colchester Community Funeral Home, 512 Willow Street, Truro on Wednesday 7 August from 7-9 pm, where the funeral service will take place on Thursday 8 August at 1 pm. Reception to follow.
Cremation and a planned memorial service will be held in Halifax at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the establishment of the B. A. `Rocky` Jones Memorial Education Fund at Royal Bank of Canada.