Ken London and Schnapps thanks to Doris Blackburn/ Karen Black Chenier photos
In the 70’s Carleton Place wasn’t the best provincial ground for Blind Civil Rights. Phyllis Manarey, a 53 year-old-woman who had been blind since 1949 had a store owner in Carleton Place charged after refusing to admit her and her seeing eye dog. Angry, after she was refused entrance, she returned home and called the owner saying she was returning– as he had to let her in by law. She even called the town hall and got no support.
Once again the store owner barred her from coming in even after she showed her blind identification card. Later he was found guilty by a Carleton Place provincial court for violating the Blind Person’s Rights and fined $50 or 30 days in jail.
The shop keeper, who shall remain nameless, appealed and lost. Later that month Mamarey laid a same charge on a Carleton Place restaurant owner. She said she never had an issue in Ottawa but was shocked Carleton Place was so disrespectful. Ken London, a blind Carleton Place furniture maker began a lobby in 1975 for blind rights legislation.
Because he had such an issue in Carleton Place he founded the Canadian Association of Guide Dog Owners. He didn’t think laying charges was the way to go, as it only made people hostile. Instead he tried to educate people. London said if no one stands up for blind people’s rights –things will just stay the same. A Carleton Place unknown hero.
Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place