Tag Archives: dunlops

Thank You Sarah Cavanagh & Hometown News

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Months ago the North Industrial Park of Carleton Place was renamed The Dunlop Business Park after a 51 year promise to the Kenny family. In November I posted that  a decision had been made and the name was officially changed.

However in the local newspapers and town council meetings, I still see and hear it being referred to as the North Industrial Park even though the name has officially changed. The Kenny family is also waiting for the street sign to physically change. These past few weeks I had a few inquiring emails, and I wish to assure everyone that Deputy Mayor Jerry Flynn and Councillor Brian Doucett said they would look after it.

In this month’s edition of Hometown News there is an article by our roving reporter Sarah Cavanagh  who correctly calls it –Carleton Place–News From the Dunlop Business Park.

Thank you Sarah it made me smile.

Pick up the latest copy of Hometown News at Independant Grocers, FreshCo, Apple Cheeks Consignment, Murray’s Furniture & Flea Market, MacEwen Gas Bar, Carambeck Community Centre, The Owl Cafe and The Eating Place

 

 

 

A Fond Farewell to Clayton Kenny in 2016

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As you know 2015 for me was all about The Dunlops. I am not going to get into the nitty gritty as the stories have been documented. Just know the town of Carleton Place has renamed the North Industrial ParkThe Dunlop Business Park in memory of the Dunlop and Kenny family.

If it had not been for the death of Clayton Kenny and the sale of the Dunlop House I would have never known the story that transpired over 51 years. Major thanks to Jerry Flynn and Volundur Wally Thorbjornsson for all their help in making the name change happen.

Researching a story today I came across a blog called Benched and it had our very own Clayton Kenny as one of the Canadian greats that died in 2015.

Carleton Place should be proud to know that Bill and Pam Kenny have donated some of Clayton’s boxing apparel and pictures to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. Hopefully we can get those things in some sort of shadow box to be displayed in the arena this year where it belongs.

 

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A FINAL FAREWELL TO CANADA’S ATHLETES AND SPORTS CHARACTERS BY TOM HAWTHORN

July 27, 2015

Clayton Kenny

Clayton Kenny (Quebec Golden Gloves)

Clayton Orten Kenny
Born: December 21, 1928 (Ottawa, Ontario)
Died: June 29, 2015 (Carleton Place, Ontario)

Member: Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame (1984)

For three years in the 1950s, Clayton Kenny reigned as Canada’s amateur lightweight boxing champion.

In 1952, he boxed for Canada at the Olympics at Helsinki. Two years later, he served as captain of the Canadian boxing team competing at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games being held in Vancouver.

Clayton Kenny (Olympic mug)He took up boxing as a teenager while recovering from injuries sustained after being hit by a truck, according to the Ottawa Citizen. Kenny won several Golden Gloves titles in Ontario and Quebec.

In April, 1952, he scored a unanimous decision over Billy Tremblett of London, Ont., to advance to the Canadian Olympic boxing trials being held in Vancouver. In his first lightweight (133 pounds) bout at the trials, he knocked out Ernie Beston of Weyburn, Sask., at 2:35 of the first round. His third bout ended when Norm Jorgensen of Vancouver was unable to come out for the second round. Kenny claimed the national title and a spot on the six-man (later expanded to seven) team dispatched to the Olympics.

“Kenny swept through his tests in flying style, going no further than one round with any of his opponents,” reported Dave Stockand of the Canadian Press.

Money was scarce in those post-war years and sponsorship limited. Low on funds, Kenny and the Canadian boxers took in ironing from other Olympians to finance the journey to Finland, according to an article by Bruce Deachman in the Citizen.

On July 28, 1952, in the Messuhalli (Exhibition Hall) in Helsinki, Kenny scored a technical knock out in the third round when the referee stopped his lightweight (60 kg) bout with Niels Bertelsen of Denmark. The effort was “a workmanlike job,” reported Milt Dunnell of the Toronto Star.

Kenny’s Olympics ended when he lost his second bout, by split decision, to István Juhász of Hungary.

Kenny was inducted into the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame in 1984. The hall credits the right-handed lightweight with winning 89 of 103 career bouts.

He was predeceased by Helene (née Dunlop), his wife of 36 years, who died in 1989. He was also predeceased by his twin brother, Lloyd, who was also an amateur fighter.

Clayton Kenny (TCAir Lines)

Clayton Kenny (right)

Clayton Kenny (right) in a lightweight bout against an unidentified challenger. Ottawa Citizen file photo.

Clayton Kenny boxing ad (TorStar, June 7, 1948)

Toronto Daily Star advertisement. June 7, 1948.

We remember Carleton Place’s greats!

The Dunlop Business Park -THANK YOU Carleton Place

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Jim Morrison once said that each generation wants new symbols, new people, new names, and they want to divorce themselves from their predecessors. I grew up in a family that made me appreciate what our forefathers did for us and to respect tradition. I admit, I think outside of the box on a lot of traditions now, but I always try to do what’s right. That is my bottom line.

For months I have badgered, whined, danced and pranced, and made myself a general nuisance about the issue of changing the name of the North industrial Park in Carleton Place. I truly believe that 51 years ago the North Industrial Park should have been named after the Dunlop family after hearing the story from the Kennys. Passion can be one thing, but I am just a drop in the bucket. If it had not been for Volundur Wally Thorbjornsson, Deputy Mayor Jerry Flynn, and Wally Cook this might not have reached council. I must also thank the town council and the mayor of Carleton Place in doing what is right and giving the Dunlop family the closure it so deserves. The North Industrial Park will soon be known as The Dunlop Business Park.

Always remember, we are but generations of settlers and we should never forget that.

THANK YOU CARLETON PLACE — a 51 year-old promise has now been realized for the Dunlop and Kenny family.

The Dunlop House — Saturday is the End of an Era in Carleton Place

Dunlop Industrial Park Naming to be Discussed in Carleton Place Council Closed Session?

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UPDATE RECEIVED AFTER I WROTE THIS:

Sean Redmond, councilor for the town of Carleton Place contacted me this morning and had this to say:

The reason the hearing is happening behind closed doors is because the town council had other family names put forward, along with the Dunlop name, for renaming the industrial parks. These names are all easily identifiable, so privacy is the main concern.

All the names are all very deserving of this honour, but in the long run some families are going to be disappointed if their names are not chosen. Sean wishes to remind everyone that your elected officials of Carleton Place are always open to discussion, ideas  etc.with their constituents, and never hesitate to call if concerned over some local matter.

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Posting on carletonplace.com yesterday by Ladybug: The  Dunlop matter is on the agenda for the Carleton Place Policy Review committee meeting for November 10th, but it will be discussed in private in closed session. 

So what is a closed session? Rules may vary from town to city but this is the general synopsis.

What is a closed session? • A meeting of the governmental body that is not open to the public

Who may attend a closed session? • Only the members of the governmental body have a right to attend the session • The board may decide to invite in others such as the clerk, treasurer, town attorney, town employee, etc.

How is proper notice provided? • If the chair knows that a closed session is anticipated, he or she must put the applicable statutory exemption on the agenda and specifically state the subject matter that allows for the closed session

When are closed sessions required? • Closed sessions are never required • If one of the statutory exemptions listed applies to the subject matter before the body, the body simply has the option of convening into closed session

Can someone force a closed session? • Employees or members of the public may request a closed session, but they cannot require one • If a closed meeting exemption fits, the town has the discretion to vote to go into closed session

Closed session minutes • Minutes should be taken in the closed session • Minutes should indicate the time the session started and ended,who was present, motions made, votes taken • Details of the discussion may be limited to identification of the topic discussed

Electronic recordings • Most towns recommend that recordings not be made of closed sessions because such recordings would be a public record subject to possible release.

Towns need to have very specific reasons to go into in camera.  I was told that they can’t go into a closed session unless it falls under one of the categories stated in the Municipal Act. “Relates to an identifiable individual” is probably the one they are using.  But, as stated above– according to Sean Redmond– it is because of a privacy issue.. I guess I will never understand politics. Do I want too?

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The Name Game —The Dunlops and the North Industrial Park

Can We Do What’s Right in Carleton Place? The Dunlop Dilemma

Update on The Dunlop- Industrial Park Issue

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Last night  when I got home I had a message from Deputy Mayor Jerry Flynn  about the Dunlop/Industrial Park.

“The ad for request for names of the two Industrial/business parks is to be in the EMC Thursday, Oct 22nd. It  has to run for two weeks and then a decision can be made as to the names. It is quite possible that only the Dunlop name will be submitted for the North Park”. 

Thank you Jerry and to all who have helped on this journey to put a  51-year-old omission possibility into reality. Stay tuned!

Last council meeting, John Kenny, Volundur Wally Thorbjornsson, and myself spoke. Jerry Flynn with the support of Volundur Wally Thorbjornsson was instrumental in getting this on the docket. Many thanks to Wally Cook and the time he took to talk to me about what he knew. This is what I said at the council meeting.

Good Evening,

I spoke to a very wise man last week who told me there were a multitude of urban legends in Carleton Place.  I can’t sell anyone or council on something they don’t actually believe in, or might not care about– but the Dunlop package I gave everyone is worth a look.

Of course there is no legal document stipulating there should be a name change. All there is is a picture taken by the media of Anna Dunlop signing that document at the Mississippi Hotel in 1964– surrounded by Mayor Howard McNeely and councilors. It had to be a big deal to have this kind of exposure. Then there is a legal document about the bill of sale that 59 acres were sold for $100 an acre in a deal that took less than 48 hours to complete. I have no doubt that the name promise was probably just a handshake as they did in those days. Anna Dunlop made many notations and made sure her family knew throughout the years how the promise was never delivered.

My mantra is: when people say not to bother doing something, that’s when nothing happens. When people don’t bother– nobody bothers.Wally Cook who was a councilman on that very council in 1964 bothered to call me three hours later after my initial phone interview and wanted to make sure something was perfectly clear. There would be have been no industrial park deal, with the Rolark Co. if the Dunlops had not bothered to care about the town of Carleton Place. The Dunlop family have been strong supporters of our town since 1828 and co-operated with the town in their time of need.

What should have been made right years ago should be made right now. Not only for the Dunlop/Kenny family, but for the town of Carleton Place. I am trying to shine a light on something that should be easy to do, costs nothing, and brings goodwill to the town of Carleton Place. I don’t know the Dunlop/ Kenny family from squat,  but I truly believe there is some fact to this story and not an urban legend.

This decision should not be about present council’s personal opinions, or past council’s neglect. It’s definitely not about me, or you–it’s about all of us--the town of Carleton Place. That’s what’s called: bothering to do what’s right. Let’s make sure the Dunlop name is honoured the way it should be and should have been.

Thank you.

Is it so Wrong to be Nice? Let’s Pay it Forward!

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Sometimes I wonder if it’s a good thing if you are labeled a nice person. I  know that I do try to be kind to the universe each day.  I am not a people pleaser, but  just someone who really cares and is passionate about things.  According to some, being a good person will never make you a financial success in life. That’s okay, I’d rather be able to look myself in the mirror each morning.

I’m not “Mother Superior” as one of my American internet friends calls me, nor even The Mother Theresa of Punk Rock.  I have been far from perfect and have done some things I am not proud of — but I have always believed in keeping promises and paying it forward. Good things can often come because of our generosity with our time and knowledge. Gratitude may serve as an effective motivation leading to others paying it forward.

For 51 years the Dunlop family has patiently waited for the town of Carleton Place to pay it forward with a verbal promise once told to them years ago. There would have been no Industrial Park without their quick co-operation. It would be fair to conclude that good things will happen to the receiver and giver of generosity and kindness, and that the effect might become contagious. Our town could use some goodwill these days and maybe this gesture could be a beginning of something for our town. Maybe I’m wrong–but we take so many things in life for granted and don’t realize what life would be like without them. Has being altruistic become a lost art?

Being nice is not a bad thing, but there are always some people that are wary, and why do they insist that you are trying to hide something?   Frankly, it might be a better world if people were not so suspicious of those with a smile and a good word and deed, as we are truly trying to be earnest. Let’s think about doing the right thing for a family that supported the town of Carleton Place since 1828.

Please share this and always try to ”pay it forward”. Thank you to all involved in helping the Dunlop/Kenny family maybe finally get some closure at Tuesday’s October 13th council meeting.

The Ottawa Journal, 16 Dec 1953, Wed, Page 36

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Thanks to Jerry Flynn and Volundur Wally Thorbjornsson for their compassion and help

History of the Dunlops

Rescuing the Money Pits —The Dunlop Homes— Adam Dunlop

Rescuing the Money Pits —The Other Dunlop Home with the Coffin Door—James Dunlop

Who Was Clayton Kenny? Carleton Place’s Pride and Joy

The Dunlop House — Saturday is the End of an Era in Carleton Place

The Name Game —The Dunlops and the North Industrial Park

Standing Up For What’s Right in Carleton Place

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This week someone on another site jokingly put a video up called Renegade and dedicated it to me. I guess that wouldn’t be far off, but I have been like this since a child, and I am not about to change now. A few years ago I spent time in an 80% black neighbourhood where death, shootings and sadness were a daily occurrence. Concerned about young teenagers being killed or arrested for crime I began a writing campaign about senseless killings over drugs and the homeless.

It took almost two years for the locals to talk to me because I was white, but I never gave up, no matter what names I was called. I can’t even begin to understand what it’s like to be black and deal with things in this world, but I wanted to help.  I eventually became good friends with everyone, and the corner street music bootleggers fondly called me “Lisa in Da Hood”. Of course Lisa wasn’t my name and one day one of them, Lorenzo, read one of my articles in a local newspaper one day and said to me:

“I thought your name was Lisa!”

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I told him, ” I have been telling you for a long my name is Linda!”

Lorenzo replied, “Dat be okay, but to us you will always be “Lisa in da hood”.

I always fight for what I believe in–like my home, the town of Carleton Place. In an ideal society, there wouldn’t have been any need of writing on this topic, but right now there is great reason to be concerned about the well-being of our beloved town.

Every time you see something wrong occurring and look the other way thinking this is none of your business, it makes you a part of the issue. Standing up for what you believe in not only makes your character strong, but society won’t change on its own till you at least try to change it.

Invictus once said, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.“

It’s not easy to set yourself apart from others and stand up for what you believe should be changed. But, it all starts with that first step, and Tuesday night at the next council meeting I am going to ask Carleton Place Council for a name change for the Industrial Park for the Dunlop legacy.We need to make things right.

This is what freedom stands for: to be able to speak your mind and act on something that you feel strongly about. Whenever you are faced with any such situation where you are feeling hesitant to take an action- just do it. That is why I write and care so much about Carleton Place. We need to make our town what it once was, and what it could be. Let’s bring back the heart and soul to Carleton Place–because I am always going to be “Linda of Carleton Place”.

Thanks to Jerry Flynn and Volundur Wally Thorbjornsson for their compassion and help

Can We Do What’s Right in Carleton Place? The Dunlop Dilemma

Song and video footage by BFF Kevin Army and to the memories and interviews we did for OCCUPY

This town was made for You and Me

The Name Game —The Dunlops and the North Industrial Park

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Next Tuesday night, October 13th, will be the time that we make our plea at the Carleton Place town council meeting.

Being a creative person I want a sign naming job. You know, the guy who decides that this neighborhood is going to have composer names for their streets, while the developer decides he is going to name all the girls he dated on his project. Then there are the people that think history does not matter, yet they sometimes have the power to make envelope addressing a living hell. So what’s in a name?

Almonte was named after a general because they liked the way the name sounded. It was known as Shepherd’s Falls ; later on it was called Shipman’s Mills, and Shipman’s Falls. Names seem to have been plentiful in those days, for it received more short-lived names like: Ballygiblin, then Ramsayville, and Waterford. To obviate this confusion a public meeting was held, and the question of what to call it was discussed. The only reason the council named their town Almonte was because there was “magic in a name.” The name of a Mexican “General, Al-mon-te, then prominent before the public, was chosen —” Almonte.”

In some towns like Carleton Place, you will notice that streets names have changed, or directions have even changed at certain points like at Napoleon and William Street. If a new developer didn’t like the name of the existing street, he would sometimes re-name his extension of it. Of course, the Town Council can always vote to change the name of a street later. Guidelines and standards for certain areas might require street names to be of a specific theme. So, instead of being tributes to Terry Fox, some named streets can look kind of silly as descriptors of … nobody–like the North Industrial Park.

I was told many times  not to bother taking on this fight of renaming the Industrial Park or even an area of it– and especially don’t bring it to council. As the minutes of the last meeting read: the staff recommendation is that no new name for the North Industrial Park be considered at this time. The North Industrial Park– that has got a ‘homey’ ring to it doesn’t it?

I don’t know the Dunlop/ Kenny family from squat, but my mantra is: when people say not to bother doing something, that’s when nothing happens. When people don’t bother– nobody bothers. People ask me why I bother writing about the town of Carleton Place. Why shouldn’t I ? I love my town and I live here.

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Much as I hate to admit it, I think I got the fight of caring about my town and the people in it from my father. My father also bothered caring about my birth town of Cowansville, Quebec and was an alderman and a deputy mayor for decades. He was told not to bother about making major changes to a town the size of Carleton Place many times, but they got done. So I know that if someone says no, somewhere, somehow, things can be changed and they can be done.

Wally Cook who was a councilman on that very council in 1964 bothered to call me three hours later after my initial phone interview about that event to make sure something was perfectly clear. There would be have been no industrial park deal, nor would then mayor Howard McNeely have made that deal within 48 hours with the Rolark Co. if the Dunlops had not bothered to care about the town of Carleton Place. The Dunlop family have been strong supporters of our town since 1828. If not for that, then for the son of Anna Dunlop, Clayton Kenny, that made Carleton Place proud as an Olympian.

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We need some feel good news in this town right now, and my plea would be to kindly ask the council to honour what was probably an agreement and a handshake in those days. As Wally Cook said: he had heard various rumours also about the name, but it was too late to do anything as McNeely was no longer mayor, and that particular council had been disbanded. What should have been made right years ago should made right now. Not only for the Dunlop/Kenny family, but for the town of Carleton Place.

Why? Because that’s what we have tried to do all these years in this town – care not only about the Roy Browns, and the Morphys, Moores, and Crams.but also care about the little folk that made our town what it is, by being strong supporters.  That’s what’s called bothering to do what’s right. The trend of naming streets after former landowners or themselves is largely in the past now, but I’d like to think that we as the town of Carleton Place care about the past. because in all honesty, it does matter. This decision should not be about present, or past council’s neglect, or staff’s opinions. It’s not about me, or you–it’s about all of us--the town of Carleton Place. That’s what’s called: bothering to do what’s right. Let’s make sure the Dunlop name is honoured the way it should be. Let this not become a name game.

Next Tuesday night, October 13th, will be the time that we make our plea at the Carleton Place town council meeting.

The Day the Cheque Company Bounced in Carleton Place

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Photo- Tom Edwards–This is when mom, Ilene Edwards, worked at Rolarks for a short period of time. This is a card she received, when she was leaving, from some of the people she worked with. It appears that she worked the 4-12 shift. I remember when she was working there, because my dad was the cream corn and bologna king. I think  I had that every night for supper.

 

In February of 1977 Rolark Cheque Services announced they were closing their plant, forcing 93 employees to either move to Toronto or lose their jobs. The company had been manufacturing custom cheques since 1962. In an ironic twist, this was the same property that the Dunlops had sold part of their property for.

The reason for closing was because the complete cheque making service business was restructuring and had forced the shutdown. Previously they had filled orders for delivery for companies from coast to coast from Carleton Place, but now the banks ordered their cheques from the various regions across Canada. Of 93 employees, only 15 key personnel would be offered employment and relocation expenses in Toronto. Others who wanted to move at their own costs would be guaranteed jobs in Toronto.

Mary Cook wrote an article for the Ottawa Citizen in March of 1977 and said for most the future was uncertain and grim.. The announcement was met with grief and dismay in the town of Carleton Place. The phasing out of the plant was done over a 5-6 months period. Mayor Ted LeMaistre said it was a great shock to him, and he felt for the employees and families.

Rolark was a division of Rolph Clark Stone Ltd in Montreal. Rolph-Clark-Stone Limited was a Toronto-based lithographic and fine printing company. It was founded in 1849 by Joseph Thomas, Frank Rolph and David Smith under the name Rolph, Smith & Co. In 1904, a merger with T.J. Clark resulted in Rolph & Clark Limited. It was in 1917 that a final amalgamation with William Stone produced Rolph-Clark-Stone Limited.

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In October of 1977 the  townspeople were pleasantly surprised when Blue Grass Inc of Carlisle Ky. said the company would be moving into the empty 35,000 square feet Rolark building to begin Canadian production of Speedo swimwear. They hoped to employ 100 people.

 

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Files from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

 

 

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Photo from Keith Giffin-

Rolark Cheque Service men”s fastball team riverside park grandstand,a lot of great times had there. Picture by Bunny Townend 1968-69 Gerry Townend–Bill Graham–Brent Purdy–Keith Giffin–Steve Wilson–Carl Townend–Charlie Clark–Charlie Purdy–Nick Burgess–Dave Jameison Harold McNeely Pat Timmons

Llew Lloyd –Thanks for sharing this Keith. Brings back some great memories of the old grandstand and the Carleton Place Industrial Fastball League

I must share one story . The man in the upper right corner is the coach of the team , Charlie Clark . One game when we played Rolarks they were short players and Charlie had to play . There came a point in the game when Charlie got into an argument with the umpire , Harry ” Runt ” Paquette . Yes , Ray Paquette‘s dad . Harry had no choice but to throw Charlie out of the game . Not a big problem for Charlie , he was the coach so he just sat on the bench and heckled Harry further . Harry then threw him out of the ballpark . Charlie then took a position along the first base fence line , a location known at that time as ” whisky row ” . Now the heckling had an audience . At this point Harry had had enough and banned Charlie from Riverside Park , ” for life ” . A few years after this incident the Grandstand was torn down . Not sure how this affected Charlie’s banishment.

 

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Gloria Rattray Wilson The man being interviewed on the left was Mr. Gordon Thomas, who was my boss when I worked there. He was The Plant Manager in the 70’s

 

Keith Giffin Mr. Bob Leatherbarrel was the manager of Rolark Cheque Service . Bob Lay was the plant Forman , Mrs. Lorne Potter , Mig was the sec. When I worked at Rolark I was hired on at the Hawthorne mill as a guillotine operator, cutting paper. In the early 1970,s before I left Rolark , Mr. Leatherbarrel had been let go,

Marie WilsonThanks to Mrs. Potter, I worked here during the summer of 1970 as a proofreader. I was a student at Queen’s University at the time and the money I made that summer (with lots of overtime) paid for my third year of university. Great work experience — touched base with many former students at C.P. High School.

 

 

 

Who Was Clayton Kenny? Carleton Place’s Pride and Joy

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I wrote a piece yesterday about the Dunlop House and why the industrial park should have the Dunlop name on it as it was agreed upon. If this isn’t another reason why– then I just don’t know.

Clayton Orten Kenny (December 21, 1928 – June 29, 2015) was a boxer from Canada, who competed for his native country at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, where he was eliminated in the second round of the Men’s Lightweight (–60 kg) division by István Juhász of Hungary. Kenny was born in Ottawa, Ontario and died in Carleton Place,

Clayton Kenny (1928-2015): Olympian had ‘dynamite in both fists’

Ottawa boxer Clayton Kenny, right, in the ring in April 1952, three months before he represented Canada at the Olympic Games in Helsinki.
Ottawa boxer Clayton Kenny, right, in the ring in April 1952, three months before he represented Canada at the Olympic Games in Helsinki.PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN KENNY.

With three sons each born a year apart, Clayton Kenny’s patience was often tested. John, the middle son, well recalls the expression on his dad’s face when the boys inevitably acted up or did something that upset him.

“When we saw that crazy look, we knew there was a storm coming and we would run. But my mother often said that if he never made it to the Olympics in boxing, he could have made it in running. And not one of the three of us could run faster than him, I can assure you of that. We got what we deserved.”

The look served Kenny especially magnificently in the ring, though, where he was Canada’s top boxer on the team the country sent to Helsinki, Finland, to compete in the 1952 Summer Olympics. He also captained Canada’s squad at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver two years later.

While his Olympic appearance was among the crowning highlights of his boxing career, Kenny was not one to brag about it. Numerous longtime friends who attended his memorial service in early July were surprised to learn of his accomplishments.

“He loved boxing, but he very rarely talked about it,” says John. “He didn’t think what he did was all that special.”

What he listed as the greatest event of his life, in fact, was meeting Helene Dunlop, his high school sweetheart and, until her death in 1989, his wife and mother of their three boys.

Ottawa boxer Clayton Kenny was just 16 when he became the Quebec Golden Gloves champion. He later represented Canada at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki.
Ottawa boxer Clayton Kenny was just 16 when he became the Quebec Golden Gloves champion. He later represented Canada at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki. PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN KENNY.

Born in 1928 in Ottawa and raised in Fisher Park, near Parkdale and Wellington, Kenny started boxing in secret at the YMCA when he was 14. He’d been seriously injured two years earlier when he was hit by a drunk driver, spending four months in the hospital, and doctors had warned against strenuous physical activity. His parents “just about hit the roof,” says John, when he finally told them he had taken up the sport. But by then the die was cast.

Two years later, he won the Quebec Golden Gloves Championship in the lightweight division. He also won many Ontario titles in his weight class.

In qualifying for the Olympics, he won three fights, all by first-round knockouts, to claim the Canadian lightweight championship. His day job at the time, following his graduation from Ottawa Technical High School, was as a draftsman with the federal public service. He was forced to take a leave without pay in order to compete at the Olympics. And while his flight and accommodations were paid for, the remaining cost of the trip — an estimated $350, or about $3,150 today — had to come from his own pocket. With corporate sponsorships then unheard of, he and fellow boxers Charlie Chase and Jimmy Saunders came up with an ingenious scheme. From their room at the Olympic Village, they took in and ironed pants and shirts — chiefly, it was reported, belonging to well-heeled U.S. athletes and officials. They earned enough to stay on in Europe for a while after the Games had ended.

The 1952 Olympics were notable for the number of boxers who went on to remarkable professional careers — Hungary’s Laszlo Papp, Swede Ingemar Johansson, Brit Peter Waterman and Americans Spider Webb and Floyd Patterson. Kenny defeated his first opponent, Denmark’s Niels Bertelsen, by TKO before being eliminated by Hungarian István Juhasz.

Outside the ring, Kenny was an avid sportsman, earning his pilot’s license and keeping a Piper float plane at the family’s Mississippi Lake cottage. He love hunting so much, John notes, that when he discovered that the trials for the 1956 Olympic Games were scheduled for hunting season, he thought long and hard about which to pursue.

It was during those trials that Kenny retired for good, after he broke his hand. Figuring he would be too old to compete in the 1960 Games, he hung up his gloves, finally got his battered nose fixed and, to keep his hand in the sport, took to refereeing matches.

He was inducted into the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame, the Greater Ottawa Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame and the RA Centre Hall of Fame.

When he was admitted to the latter, he was described as possessing “dynamite in both fists.” He brought, John adds, a fierceness to his life, until the very end. He died of a heart attack on June 29, in the front yard of his Carleton Place home, while washing his truck.

“He died with his overalls and boots on,” says John. “That’s how he’d have wanted to go.”

Clayton Orten Kenny was 86. His ashes will be buried on Blueberry Hill, outside Calabogie, alongside Helene.

bdeachman@ottawacitizen.com

kenny

KENNY, Clayton Orten
December 21, 1928 – June 29, 2015
Passed suddenly at home. Beloved husband of the late Helene Anna Kenny (née Dunlop, June 1989) and dear companion of Doris Sadler. Clayton leaves his 3 sons, Jamie (Jackie), John (Leona) and Bill (Pam); his grandchildren Jordan, Katie, Ryan , Andrew, Colton, Kendra and 4 great-grandchildren. Predeceased by his twin brother Lloyd (Joan). Clayton will be missed by many friends and family members of which there are too many to mention. Clayton was a member of Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame, The Greater Ottawa Hall of Fame, The RA Hall of Fame and The Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame. He represented Canada at the 1952 Olympics placing Top 10 in the World and was named Team Captain at the 1954 Pan Am Games. Clayton was an avid outdoors man with strong family values. With his love of Green Lake, he has one more chase to run up Blueberry Mountain! Friends are invited to visit at the Pinecrest Visitation Centre, 2500 Baseline Road, on Thursday, July 9th from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. A Memorial Service will take place on Friday, July 10th at 11 a.m. in the Pinecrest Chapel. For those who wish, memorial donations can be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club.
We love you Dad, Grandpa and friend.

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