W. Ritchie MacCoy started working in the insurance business in Halifax in 1918, moving to Montreal in 1926 with the Atlas Insurance Company. He returned to Cape Breton in 1937. In 1941, he joined the YMCA as Senior Maritime Supervisor and was immediately attached to the 1st Canadian Division in England. He remained with them through the Sicilian and Italian Campaigns and was awarded the MBE. Upon returning to Sydney in May 1945, he formed his own insurance company – W. Ritchie MacCoy.
Ritchie was instrumental in forming the Insurance Agents’ Association of Nova Scotia, serving as its president for four years and also served as President of the Canadian Federation of Insurance Agents and Brokers Association for two years.
In 1979 the Insurance Brokers Association of Nova Scotia initiated the W. Ritchie MacCoy Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Insurance Brokers Association of Nova Scotia. The honor was first awarded in 1978, the recipient being someone who gave service “above oneself” to the association. The inscription reads “a person who has given himself freely, often at personal sacrifice, because of his dedication to and in the interest of the association and who in doing so has merited distinction among his colleagues”.
After graduating from Dalhousie University in 1951, Gordon R. MacCoy worked in the insurance industry in Montreal for one year. He then returned home to work in the family business started by his father. With hard work and dedication, the MacCoy Insurance Agency Limited continued to expand. Under Gordon’s guidance, the agency became the first in Cape Breton to be totally computerized and the offices were moved to the present location at 140 Pitt Street.
Gordon R. MacCoy served as President of the Insurance Agent’s Association Nova Scotia, as a director for four years on the board of the Canadian Federation of Insurance Brokers Association and was also a member and director of ARIAS, a joint Canadian/U.S. group dedicated to the development of computerization within the insurance industry.
In 1984 Gordon was the second recipient, and the only one from Cape Breton, to receive the W. Ritchie MacCoy Award. He was recognized not only as a past president of the association but a long time supporter and active worker in the affairs of the Nova Scotia Association and the national body of Federation.
Gordon after 45 years passed the responsibility of the position of president of the firm to his son, H. Ritchie MacCoy, to carry on a third generation in the insurance business.