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Guardian journalist Nigel Armstrong dead at 57

Nigel Armstrong is seen covering an event for The Guardian in this file photo.
Nigel Armstrong is seen covering an event for The Guardian in this file photo. - SaltWire File Photo
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

Long-time Guardian journalist Nigel Armstrong died peacefully early Thursday morning.

He was 57.

Armstrong battled cancer for the past 10 years with a strength and positivity that inspired many.

He had been receiving phenomenal care at the provincial Palliative Care Centre in Charlottetown for several weeks, where family and friends who visited regularly were treated to a warm and upbeat exchange with Armstrong.

Hundreds turned out on April 5 at Murphy’s Community Centre in Charlottetown to show their support for Armstrong, his wife Sarah and the couple’s children Charlotte, Siobhan and Graham during a moving event billed as a Night of Celebration.

Nigel Armstrong set to capture video and to take photographs during a lengthy career with The Guardian as a reporter/photographer and later as a web editor.
Nigel Armstrong set to capture video and to take photographs during a lengthy career with The Guardian as a reporter/photographer and later as a web editor.

Armstrong spoke often of his strong spirituality being the driving force in allowing him to deal so well with his challenging cancer journey.

“It’s everything. It’s huge,’’ he said in late February.

“I’m seeing it spread far beyond me … It’s all faith-based and spreading out involving other people and involving my family. And we’re always aiming towards comfort.’’

Armstrong began his journalism career with The Guardian in the late 1980s as a weekend photographer before later becoming a full-time reporter. He embraced the role of court reporter, saying the beat allowed him to tell powerful stories.

He was web editor for about five years until his declining health forced an end to his three decades with the newspaper.

“Nigel brought a unique energy to our newsroom, almost always brimming with enthusiasm,’’ says Carolyn Drake, a colleague and friend of Nigel’s for more than 30 years.

“He was encouraging and kind to others, and I don't know if I ever saw him in a bad mood, even during his battle with cancer. His sense of humour was off-beat and quirky, but it was contagious and was often the perfect note needed in the stressful environment we were in.’’

Armstrong was a Scout leader for about 10 years, often seeking out high-adrenaline adventures, including overnight camp-outs on frigid winter nights.

He also sky dived more than 100 times, once out of a hot air balloon.

There is no visitation. A small memorial service will take place at a future date.

Donations can be made to assist Armstrong’s family through the GoFundMe campaign at “Fundraiser for Sarah Armstrong by Jim Day: Nigel’s Journey’’.

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