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(Posted 9 a.m., June 20)
Four new inductees given spot on Navan Community Builders Wall
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Eric Smith poses for a picture with his sister Ina and his daughter Erin after being inducted on the Navan Community Builders Wall. Fred Sherwin/Photo

A family with a long history in Navan and three individuals who put their stamp on the community from its founding until the present day have been given a well-deserved spot on the Navan Community Builders Wall.

The inductees were honoured during a recent ceremony that included the entombment of a time capsule containing letters and momentos describing present day Navan that won't be opened until 2114.

The first individual to receive an engraved marker on the Community Builders Wall was Wesley Savage, who was a fixture in the community during the 1940s and 1950s.

Savage was instrumental in organizing the very first Navan Fair in 1946 and served as the Navan Fair president from 1949-195o, he continued on as a member of the board of directors until the early 60s. He was also a member of the committee that built the original Navan Memorial Arena in 1953 and then again the following year when the original arena burnt to the ground less than a month after it was completed.

Eric Smith and the Smith family were also given a marker on the wall. The Smith family's link to Navan go back more than 100 years. The Smith family farm where Eric grew up was located near the corner of present day Milton Road and Smith Road.

During his acceptance speech Eric recalled his early memories of working on the farm and delivering milk with his father during the 30s. The two men were among the first individuals who arrived on the scene when John Maki shot and killed OPP Constable Harold Dent in the Navan train station in 1942. After spending a year teaching, Eric would go on to serve in the World War II and the Korean War.

Sheila Minogue-Calver poses for a picture with her nominator John Bradley after being inducted on to the Navan Community Builders Wall. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Eric was nominated by his daughter Erin Zintel who went through a list of the many contributions that have been made to the community of Navan through seven generations of Smiths.

The second individual to be inducted on the Community Builders Wall was Sheila Minogue-Calver, who joins her late husband Gerry on the monument. The couple were fixtures in the community of Navan right up untl Gerry's passing last year. The couple was married in 1993 and moved to Navan in 1996 where they made an immediate impact.

Sheila is still very much involved in the community as a member of the Navan Women's Institute. As an active volunteer she co-chaired the Navan 150th anniversary committee which raised the money for the town clock which now stands in front of the Community Builders Wall. More recently she organized the 2014 Navan Fine Art Exhibition and Sale.

The third individual to be given a place on the wall was Navan's founder Michael O'Meara. O'Meara was Navan's first postmaster and he named the village after his hometown in Ireland.

Members of the Kenny family, who are the direct descendants of John O'Meara, were on hand for the induction ceremony, as was Paddy Pryle who was visiting from visiting from Navan, County Meath and is head of the Navan2Navan twinning group.

Pryle brought an audio recording with him of a song that told the story of the original Navan.

The Navan Community Builders Wall is located on Colonial Road right in front of the fire station.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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