Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Feb. 23


Posted Feb.6

Posted Dec. 16

Posted Dec. 20

survey service

Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney






(Posted 7:30 a.m., June 17)
First inductees honoured during Navan Community Builders Wall dedication ceremony

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The 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 Sherwin/Photo

When 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.

He 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.

The last thing he would have wanted or expected is a plaza and community builders wall named in his honour right on the main drag.

One 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.

Former Cumberland Mayor Brian Coburn spoke fondly of his old friend as did the wall's first inductee, Gerry Calver.

"He 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."

Keith's daughter Alisa, 33, thanked the Community Builders Wall committee on behalf of the family.

"Dad would have been extremely humbled. He would have never imagined or expected this honour but he would have been grateful for it," said Alisa.

The 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.

Dr. 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.

Calver 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.

"This 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.

Father 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.

The 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.

Like 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.

The 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.

The Navan Lions Club, the Navan Community Association and the Navan Women's Institute also lent a hand by organizing various fundraising events.

All and all, it was a total community effort led by the committee co-chairs Sheila Minogue-Calver and Anne-Marie Potvin.

The 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.

Keith 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. Fred Sherwin/Photo

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

Visit www.orleansonline.ca's main page





Posted Jan. 12

Click on image

Click on image




Orléans Online © 2001-2016 Sherwin Publishing