From my recently completed biography of John Hawley Kerry titled Shoulders We Stand Upon, I submit this excerpt for The Tales of Almonte collection.
Always grateful to the community for the support and encouragement provided to him and his family throughout the years, my father made a commitment to serve his community whenever able to do so.
” Over the years John gave back to his community by serving on the Boards of various organizations and participating in Club activity. He served in the Lions club for over sixty years and was renowned for the successful sales and organization of the 50/50 annual draw.
As a member of the Almonte General Hospital Board for eight years and taking his turn as Board Chair for two years, he was on the site committee with George Gomme, Art Stewart and George Dunfield for the building of a new hospital on its current site.
John was a Trustee for the East Lanark School Board for Almonte and Carleton Place High Schools for ten years and Chair of the Board for two years. He participated as a Board member during the additions being made to both the Almonte High School and the Carleton Place High School.
Taking his turn as Chair following Raymond Jamieson, he also has continued as a Trustee for the United Church Board of Trustees for over fifty years.
John was actively involved in the downtown BIA Association and as a member of the Almonte Legion drove the White Cross Mothers on November 11th for several years.
Always a willing contributor and source of assistance whenever it was required to help grow the Friendly Town of Almonte and assist its citizens—John did his part.
Supporting his son Paul’s passion for hockey and a good way to announce his brand, John outfitted a hockey team and named them Kerry Komets.
A part of the Furniture Store history included John’s willing participation in the annual Almonte Fair. Many items of furniture and appliances were hauled to the Agricultural Hall at the fair grounds for commercial show and display along side of the many other local businesses who participated. Hauled by truck to the fair grounds and then returned to the Furniture Store—one was never sure as to whether or not the limited sales that resulted warranted the back breaking effort but it was a great meet and greet opportunity for all concerned.
Annual participation in celebratory Town parades required some creative effort and team spirit by staff and family as well.
A great honor for John was to be named Citizen of the Year for the Town of Almonte sometime in the 1960s following the previous recipient, Evelyn Jamieson.”
As a side note: As shared with me by recipients, John has been a supporter and source of encouragement for other individuals who have sought and been successful in establishing their own business endeavors.
I am proud of my father’s service and continued contributions to his community. I will share further excerpts of his journey in future posts. Karen Hirst
Reads as long as it takes to glimpse the passing of the torch……. The premises of Kerry’s Furniture & Appliances / Pharma Save Pharmacy, was owned by my father John Kerry from 1954 to 2019. It was purchased from Mr. W.E. Scott in 1954. Ed Scott had rebuilt the furniture store in 1904 following a major fire. At that time he had two storefronts constructed, which has continued to exist thru these current times. Mr. Wilf Snedden, Pharmacist and prominent resident of Almonte, rented the smaller portion of the divided building. Many will recall that he had a wonderful old fashioned soda fountain bar and stools to compliment the drug store and pharmacy services … it would be lovely to have that service reinstated somewhere for today’s lover of everything ice cream ! In my father’s era of ownership, there has been four pharmacy businesses, to be followed by the current Quilt Supply Store. What for many years housed the Furniture & Appliances side of the store, is currently an Antique Store. Prior to being sold, my father saw the building thru an outer face lift and some internal upgrades leaving the premises with its best foot forward for the next generation of users. With its sale completed in 2019, the history of the bricks and mortar, along with the businesses carried out within its walls by its proprietors, becomes another chapter in the continuing story of daily commercial life carried out on Mill Street