10 a.m., Aug. 14)
Trailblazing Blackburn Hamlet resident passes away at 85
By Fred Sherwin
Hamlet recently lost a long-time resident who was responsible
for many of the community's institutions including the
Blackburn Fun Fair, the Community Association and the
Hamlet pioneer Lois Kemp passed away on July
16 after living a long and full life that
included a love of ringette that never faded.
that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the
many accomplishments of Lois Kemp who passed away on July
16 at the age of 85.
who was born Lois Spratt, married Eldon Kemp in 1947 at
the tender age of 17. He was nine years her senior. The
couple built a home near the corner of what is present
day Cleroux Crescent and Innes Road and raised seven children.
first community endeavour took place in 1954 when she
formed the Blackburn Community Club as a means to raise
$10 to plow a space for an outdoor rink in the Blackburn
Public School yard. Membership was a dollar .The Community
Club eventually became the Blackburn Community Association.
by her initial success and being an independent, energetic
and community minded woman, Lois would later lead the
way in organizing the inaugural Blackburn Fun Fair with
life long friend Eleanor MacQuarrie.
the years that followed, Lois would serve as a school
board trustee, a Girl Guide leader, a Sunday School teacher
and Gloucester's unofficial historian. But the accomplishment
she was most proud of was in bringing the sport of ringette
she read in the paper that a seminar was being held about
a new sport that could be played on ice by young girls,
Lois got in touch with her friend Eleanor and several
other ladies in the community and went to the meeting.
long afterwards, Gloucester's first ringette team was
formed. The year was 1972 and that first team would eventually
morph into the Gloucester Ringette Association. Through
the years, Lois would serve in almost every capacity possible
and coached the Gloucester Devils to their first national
also loved playing the game and did so well into her 80s.
Her favourite position was goaltender.
from the rink, Lois also had a passion for publishing.
She produced the first Blackburn Banar, and in 1981, launched
the Gloucester Leader, a monthly newspaper commissioned
by the municipality of Gloucester. She produced the paper
until she retired in 1996. She also wrote a book about
the history of Gloucester entitled "Gloucester Roots".
was a sports enthusiast who loved being active from the
time she was a teenager biking to Vermont from Ottawa
with a couple of girlfriends, to playing nine holes of
golf with her daughter Evelyn days before she suffered
a massive stroke which eventually led to her passing.
Spratt Kemp was a pioneer and a trailblazer in the truest
sense of the word. She will be dearly missed by her family
and friends alike, Her legacy is one that many would do
well to emulate if they had either the time or energy.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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