7:30 a.m., June 17)
inductees honoured during Navan Community Builders Wall
By Fred Sherwin
Navan clocktower is the centrepiece of the
new public plaza on Colonial Road which also
includes the Navan Community Builders Wall
which can be seen in the background. Fred
he was alive, Keith Simpson wasn't the type of person
to get caught up in personal accolades and recognition.
He was a doer, and most of the things he did was for the
betterment of the community he loved so much -- Navan.
served as a volunteer firefighter for 25 years and was
instrumental in helping to rebuild the Navan Arena in
1982. He was also an active member of the Navan Lions
Club and volunteered on the Navan Fair Board, serving
as vice-president, president and past president.
last thing he would have wanted or expected is a plaza
and community builders wall named in his honour right
on the main drag.
can only imagine what he might have been thinking as he
looked down from Heaven on Saturday as a large crowd made
up of family, friends and neighbours turned out to dedicate
the Navan Community Builders Wall and town clock in his
honour. Most likely an overwhelming sense of pride.
Cumberland Mayor Brian Coburn spoke fondly of his old
friend as did the wall's first inductee, Gerry Calver.
was a real community builder," said Coburn. "He
and his wife Helena and the entre family have contributed
greatly to the enhancement of Navan and when he passed
away it left a real hole in the community."
daughter Alisa, 33, thanked the Community Builders Wall
committee on behalf of the family.
would have been extremely humbled. He would have never
imagined or expected this honour but he would have been
grateful for it," said Alisa.
plaza and the Community Builders Wall sits right across
from the Simpson's home and the electircal contracting
business that bares his name. It also sits out in front
of the Navan fire station where he spent so much time
as a volunteer fire fighter.
Gerry Calver was inducted on to Community Builders wall
for the work he did in helping to rebuild the Navan Arena
and getting the Navan Curling Club off the ground.
was instrumental in getting the curling club approved
and securing the necessary funds to build it. He also
served as the club's first president.
has been a wonderful community to live in and raise a
family and everything I did, I did to give back to my
community," said Calver whose name on the wall was
joined by the McWilliams family.
and son, Willard and Wyatt McWilliams helped put Navan
on the map when they harnessed 50 Clydesdales together
to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Navan Fair
in 1995 and paraded them through town. The 50-Horse Hitch
drew over 40,000 people to the small town and made the
Guiness Book of World Records.
McWilliams also organized Hay West in 2002 during which
more than 120,000 tonnes of hay was shipped to Alberta
to help feed livestock threatened by a severe drought.
Simpson, the McWilliams tend to shy away from the spotlight
and Saturday's ceremony was no exception as both Williard
and Wyatt were absent from the proceedings.
plaza, Community Builders Wall and town clock cost $60,000
to install. The organizing committee received a $10,000
grant from the city thanks to Cumberland Ward Coun. Stephen
Blais, and $10,000 from BFI Canada and the Friends of
the Mer Bleue. The rest of the money was raised through
donations from individuals and local businesses including
J.T. Bradley's Country Convenience Store and The New Oak
Tree furniture store.
Navan Lions Club, the Navan Community Association and
the Navan Women's Institute also lent a hand by organizing
various fundraising events.
and all, it was a total community effort led by the committee
co-chairs Sheila Minogue-Calver and Anne-Marie Potvin.
Community Association will be accepting nominees for next
year's induction ceremony throughout the year. Prospective
nominees can be submitted by mail to The Community Builders
Wall c/o the Navan Community Association, P.O. Box 63,
Navan ON K4B 1 J3.
Simpson's dauhgter Alisa Simpson (second from
left), wife Helena Simpson and son Sean Simpson
(far right) stand in front of the plaque honouring
his contributions to the community of Navan.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business
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