Sultan Jessa, former Citizen of the Year passes away

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By Nick Seebruch
Sultan Jessa, former Citizen of the Year passes away
Sultan Jessa.

CORNWALL, Ontario – Seaway News was saddened to learn that on Thursday, Aug. 22 our longtime columnist, friend and former Cornwall Citizen of the Year Sultan Jessa had passed away, he was 77.

Born in Tanzania, Sultan was a journalist for many years covering events going back to the 1960s. Since 2007, Sultan has been sharing his thoughts with the community of Cornwall through his column in Seaway News.

His career brought him in contact with African presidents, German Chancellors and movie stars, but he was also a tour-de-force when it came to the non-profit sphere as well.

After moving to Cornwall and continuing his career in journalism, Sultan devoted much of his time to supporting causes in the community including the Children’s Treatment Centre, Big Brothers/ Big Sisters and the Cornwall Multicultural Council.

Claude McIntosh hired Sultan in the 1970s when he applied to work at the Standard Freeholder.

“I remember that day, he had just arrived from Tanzania and had been in Cornwall for about a week,” McIntosh said. “He was a very compassionate guy, just a tremendous person to work with. In this business, you can make enemies, but he never made any enemies. He really cared for this city.”

Sultan threw his hat into the ring of politics, running for Mayor unsuccessfully on one occasion.

In 1979, Sultan was honoured as Cornwall’s Citizen of the Year.

In 2005 he was invested into the Order of Canada and in 2010 he was named as one of the Canada’s Top 25 Immigrants by the Canadian Immigrant.

In the last years of his life, Sultan moved to Pierrefonds, QC and spent time travelling with his wife Rosa.

“When I first met Sultan Jessa in 1978, he was a gentleman and a great reporter and has been for all of these years,” said Seaway News General Manager Rick Shaver.

Sultan leaves behind his wife Rosalia, two children, as well as grandchildren.

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