10:30 a.m., June 8)
Eight new inductees added to Navan Builders Wall
By Fred Sherwin
Navan Community Builders Wall has eight new names on it,
including one of the village's oldest families, its most
famous doctor, and a couple who devoted over 40 years of
their lives to church and community.
Community Builders Wall inductee Bob Burns
is presented with the name placque for himself
and his late wife Helen by family friend and
fellow wall member Linda Dunn. Fred Sherwin/Photo
David Irwin served as the local doctor from 1918 until
his tragic death in 1944, when his car was struck by a
train at a level crossing in Blackburn Hamlet.
is often said that Dr. Irwin brought two generations of
Cumberland Township residents into the world during the
20s, 30s and early 40s.
earning his medical degree from Queen's Uniersity, Dr.
Irwin opened his medical practice in Cumberland Village
in 1913. He moved to Navan five years later, where he
served the entire township of Cumberland and beyond.
Irwin and his wife Stella Farmer Irwin had six children.
The lone surviving sibling is Lynn Irwin who currently
lives in Vanvcouver.
of Dr. Irwin's descendants were on hand at Saturday's
ceremony to accept the name placque on the family's behalf.
David Farmer is Dr. Irwin's great grand-nephew and Anne
Kenndey is a great grand-neice.
far back as Dr. Irwin goes in the history of Navan, the
Rathwell family goes back even farther. Samuel Rathwell
was one of the original settlers in the area, arriving
from his native Ireland in 1836. He and his wife, Mary
Ann Rathwell, raised 11 children.
family farm was handed down through the generations. Samuel
W. Rathwell was Samuel's great-grandson. A celebrated
dairy farmer, Samuel W. was the founding president of
the Cumberland Township Agricultural Society in 1946,
and his son Donald Rathwell was the Navan Fair president
members of Rathwell family have been actively involved
in the Navan community for years.
generations of the Rathwell Family accept
their Navan Community Builders Wall placque
during a ceremony on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo
The Shaw family can also trace its roots back to the village's
early beginnings. George William Shaw immigrated to Canada
in 1841 with his wife Mary Ann and their two sons William
and Robert. After establishing a farm in Navan they had
two more children John George and Jane Elizabeth.
Shaw farm was located along the south side of Colonial
Road from present day Trim Road to Frank Kenny Road and
included the area where the Navan Memorial Arena, Navan
Fairgrounds, softball diamond and Navan Curling Club now
land was donated to the community by George William Shaw's
grandson, who was also named George William Shaw, and
was among Saturday's inductees.
has a long history of couples who have left their mark
on the community through the years. Among them are Bob
and Helen Burns, and George and Pat Savage.
late Helen Burns was one of Navan's most industrious residents
until her passing in 2012. She was an active member of
the Navan Fair board, the Navan Women's Institute, the
Navan-Vars United Church and many other community organizations.
Burns, who accepted the couple's wall placque, was an
elder with the Navan-Vars United Church for over 40 years,
and is a past president of the Navan Fair. He and Helen
served in various capacities on the Navan Fair board and
numerous committees for more than four decades.
and Pat Savage also served on the Navan Fair board. George
was president of the Navan Fair from 2003-2004 and Pat
served as treasuer for nine years.
couple is also responsible for one of the Fair's most
popular attractions. They organized the first demolition
derby in 1998 and continued to do so for several years
he stepped down from the board when the couple moved to
Beamsville, Ontario several years ago to retire, George
still returns to the community every summer to emcee the
annual Navan Fair Parade.
an emotional acceptance speech, the couple spoke lovingly
of the village they will always call "home",
and described their inclusion on the Builders Wall as
a tremendous hounour.
Cumberland Township Agricutural Society (CTAS) and the
Navan Fair were a common theme during Saturday's induction
ceremony. In fact, the CTAS was one of three groups given
a plaque on the Builders Wall, along with the Navan Women's
Institute and the Navan Lions Club.
of the former groups have been involved in every major
community fundraising activity since their inception,
including the fundraising campaigns for the Navan Memorial
Arena and its two predecessors.
Community Builders Wall is located in the Town Clock Plaza
in front of the Navan Fire Station on Colonial Road.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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