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Pessoa/organização
Region of Peel Archives Pessoa

Forster, John Wycliffe Lowes, 1850-1938

  • CA : RPA
  • Pessoa
  • 1850 - 1938

John Wycliffe Lowes (1850-1938) was an artist. Born in Norval, Ontario, he was a Methodist/United layman active in church affairs. As an artist, he was known principally as a portrait painter. He travelled and painted in Europe, did portraits of several Canadian Prime Ministers and Governors-General, leaders of the Methodist Church in Canada and England, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and many other Canadian leaders.

Hillson, James Albert (Bert), 1886 - 1963

  • CA: RPA
  • Pessoa
  • 1886 - 1963

Bert Hillson was born James Albert Hillson in Glen Williams in 1886 and attended school in Huttonville before moving to Brampton. His varied jobs included volunteer firefighter, teamster and waggoner, painter and decorator, and governor of the Peel County Jail (1935 to 1943). He was also involved in sports, especially lacrosse. He married Emily Ada Kathleen Chambers in 1910 and had eight children, including two sons (Jim and John) and six daughters (Mildred, Anne, Edith, Eva, Georgina, and June). He died in 1963. He was a member of Grace Church, Brampton, at the time of his death but earlier was a Baptist.

Hillson O'Hearn, Mildred, 1911 - 1988

  • CA: RPA
  • Pessoa
  • 1911 - 1988

Mildred Hillson O'Hearn was born in 1911 to James Albert Hill and Kathleen Hill. She was active in Grace Church and played softball. She worked for Gummed Papers as their head bookkeeper for a time. She married William (Bill) O'Hearn in 1942 and had three sons, Bill, Bob, and Bert. She died in 1988.

Betts, Al

  • CA : RPA
  • Pessoa
  • 1924-2017

Al was born in the City of Toronto on February 3rd, 1924 to Fred and Violet Betts. He was named Alfred like his dad; however, to avoid confusion he was called Al. He spent his formative years growing up in the north part of the city.

Al enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943. He trained in Medicine Hat, AB, Chatham, NB, and Charlottetown, PEI as a Navigation-Bombardier on the Lancaster bombers. During the Second World War he was stationed in Bournemouth in the south of England.

Al’s passion was photography. Family legend has it he became interested in photography when he scooped up an old Kodak “Brownie” camera that had been tossed away. Always the curious individual he took it apart, repaired it, and started experimenting with photography.

After the Second World War he began working at Toronto Western Hospital where he met the love of his life, Helen Colville. They wed in 1950 and lived in Toronto before leaving the city in 1956 for Streetsville, then in Toronto Township (now Mississauga). By the time they moved to Streetsville, their first two children, Doug and Marylyn, had been born.

In 1958 a second son, Brian, was born and Al was working at A.V. Roe in Malton. Here he had the privilege of working on the Avro Arrow project in the Photography Department. He took several of the iconic pictures of the Avro Arrow in production and in flight. This job was short-lived, however, with the cancellation of the Avro project in 1959.

Al started A. Betts Photography in Streetsville around 1965. During this time Al and Helen completed their family with the addition of Stephen and Cynthia. The entire family settled into the three bedroom bungalow on Vista Boulevard in Streetsville. He gave back to the town by initiating the Bread and Honey Festival, helping with the Boy Scouts, and being the official photographer for the local Streetsville newspaper. He was active as a professional photographer to ca. 1983.

As the children grew older, Al had more time to travel the world with Helen (and sometimes with their children in tow). Their travels took them throughout North America, Europe, as well as Central America and the Caribbean.

Al passed away peacefully, with family by his side, on Friday, January 20th, 2017, at the Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga.

John McDermid

  • CA : RPA
  • Pessoa
  • 17 Mar. 1940 -

John Horton McDermid was a member of Parliament for the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1979 until his retirement in 1993. He represented the federal riding of Brampton-Georgetown from 1979 to 1988, and, when the riding was separated in two in 1988, he became the first elected member of Parliament for the federal riding of Brampton.

McDermid was born in Hamilton on March 17th, 1940. His parents were Reverend John Andrew McDermid and Nora Horton McDermid. In 1942, the family moved to Brampton, Ontario, after the Reverend McDermid was offered a ministry at St. Paul’s United Church, which he led until his death in 1970. Nora died eleven years later on March 6th, 1981.

John H. McDermid married his first wife, Elayne, a Peel schoolteacher, in the early 1960s, and they divorced near the end of his political career. Prior to his election in 1979, McDermid worked a variety of jobs: he was a radio and television announcer in Welland and Kitchener for six years; he was an assistant executive director of the Ontario Real Estate Association for seven years; he was an executive assistant to Ontario’s Ministry of Industry and Tourism, under Claude Bennett; he was a founder and shareholder of a private airline company, Pem-Air; and, in 1978, when he made his successful bid for the Progressive Conservative nomination for his riding, he was the Manager of Public Relations and Planning at the Ontario Place Corporation.

McDermid first announced his candidacy for the Progressive Conservative nomination for his federal riding in 1971. He lost the party’s nomination to Ellwood Madill, who went on to win the riding, defeating the Liberal candidate, Ross Milne. Madill lost to Milne in the 1974 federal election.

In 1978, McDermid sought the nomination again as the Progressive Conservative candidate to represent his federal riding, which had by then changed into Brampton-Georgetown. He won the nomination, and defeated Milne in the May 1979 federal election, becoming Brampton-Georgetown’s member of Parliament in Prime Minister Joe Clark’s minority government.

McDermid worked on multiple portfolios during his fourteen years in politics. In 1984 he began the first of two Parliamentary Secretary appointments under Minister Pat Carney, first as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, and then followed her as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade. As Carney’s Parliamentary Secretary, McDermid worked on, and successfully campaigned for, the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. This success began a series of Cabinet appointments as a Minister of State in Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s government: he jointly held the portfolios for International Trade, and for Housing (1988 – 1989); he held the Privatization and Regulatory Affairs portfolio (1989 – 1991); and he held the Finance and Privatization portfolio (1991 – 1993), during which he also briefly was an acting Minister of State for Housing.

On March 28, 1993, McDermid announced his retirement from politics after Brian Mulroney decided to retire. Looking back over his career, he was quoted in the The Hill Times, “[i]f I had to say what the highlights of my career were I’d say working with Brian Mulroney and carrying the free trade legislation through the House. My first election, my appointment to cabinet and dismantling the National Energy Program was definitely a highlight.”

In 1992, McDermid married former pro-golfer Sandra Post, and after his retirement they settled in Caledon, Ontario. Since retiring, he has been involved with the Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment), with the Central West Local Health Integration Network, and has followed his passion for golf.

Fitler, William Crothers

  • CA : RPA
  • Pessoa
  • 1857-1911

Fitler is known as a "tonal landscape painter," whose works primarily covered New York, Connecticut, and Long Island. He moved from Philadelphia to New York in 1881.

Fitler married Claude Raquet Hirst, a female still life artist, on 18 June 1901. He became seriously ill in January 1911, dying on October 31. Hirst spents the majority of 1912 to 1915 liquidating Fitler's studio, and selling off his work throughout New York and the Midwest.

Forster, John, 1818-1896

  • CA: RPA
  • Pessoa
  • 1818-1896

James Forster (1790-1873, in Glen Williams) and Elizabeth Moffitt (1795-1847, in Streetsville) had seven children, including John Forster (1818-1896, buried at Churchville Cemetery) and Thomas Forster (ca. 1825-1872). Thomas is the father of John Wycliffe Lowes Forster (1850, Norval–1938, buried at Brampton Cemetery), making John his uncle.

Kennedy, Robert Douglas, 1916-2003

  • CA
  • Pessoa
  • 1916 - 2003

Robert Douglas Kennedy was born in 1916 at Cooksville, Ontario and was raised on a farm in Dixie as part of a family of ten children. As a child he attended Burnhamthorpe Public School and then Port Credit High School. In 1935 Kennedy went to the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph, he majored in animal husbandry and graduated in 1939 with a B.S.A.

After graduation Kennedy joined the Canadian Army and fought for four and a half years during World War II, eventually achieving the rank of Captain in the Canada and Northwest Pacific Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps.

Following the war Kennedy worked for twelve years with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs helping to settle veterans and their families. After this he worked for two years with the Farm Credit Corporation, the successor to the Canadian Farm Loan Board, from which he resigned in 1967 in order to seek provincial nomination. He also served on the South Peel Board of Education from 1955 to 1963, including two years as Chairman. He also served on the Toronto Township Hydro Commission from 1963 to 1967, one year as Chairman.

In 1967 Kennedy was first elected to the Ontario Legislature, and was later re-elected in 1971, 1975, 1977 and 1981. During these years he served on numerous Standing and Selection Committees. As a Member of Provincial Parliament, Kennedy introduced a number of important Private Bills, including bills:

  • for the mandatory use of seatbelts.
  • for the protection if personal privacy.
  • to provide residents of mobile home the right to vote for Boards and Commissions.
  • to compensate victims of crime.
  • to provide parking facilities for physically handicapped persons.
  • to establish an Arbour Day.
  • to amend the Expropriation Act.

As well, Kennedy introduced the following major resolutions within Parliament:

  • to ban the non-returnable bottle.
  • to control right of entry to private property.
  • to provide protection for travellers.

Kennedy was appointed Government Whip in 1971; Chief Government Whip in 1972; Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education in 1976; and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Inter- governmental Affairs in 1981.

Kennedy’s other afflictions include being a member of the Agricultural and Appraisal Institutes of Canada; past Executive and member of the Cooksville Royal Canadian Legion; former Executive and coach of the Toronto Township Hockey League; and former member of the Committee of Aging, Social Planning Council of Peel.

In the mid 1970s, Kennedy kept in touch with his constituents through a weekly newspaper column. He also occasionally hosted a short radio talk-show on a local station.
In 1940 Kennedy married Kathleen Helen Krafft of Cayuga, Ont. and the two had four children: Sue, John, Pat and Janet. A notable relative of Kennedy’s was Col. Thomas Laird Kennedy, who represented Peel County at Queen’s Park for all but three years between 1919 and 1959, much of this time as Minister of Agriculture. In 1949 he served as Premier of Ontario for seven months.

Adams, Maureen (1924 - 2011)

  • CA : RPA
  • Pessoa
  • 1924 - 2011

Maureen Adams was a children's librarian and puppeteer who lived in Brampton. She is best known for the 1950s family troupe "The Adams Marionettes", which performed across southern Ontario.

Studying at the University of Toronto, she earned a Bachelor of the Arts and a Bachelor of Library Science, working at libraries in Niagara Falls, Welland, Saskatoon, and Leeds, England. Once in Brampton, she was a teacher-librarian at Ridgeview Public School, McHugh Public School, and Agnes Taylor Public School.

She introduced puppetry into schools as an extracurricular activity, and taught workshops in Brampton and Toronto. She was a Charter member of the Ontario Puppetry Association, member of the Puppeteers of America, and co-founded the Puppetry Guild of Halton/Peel, of which she was President. (The guild made many appearances at the Peel Heritage Complex during kid's events in the 1990s.) A member of the Brampton Arts Council, she received Arts Person of the Year from the organization in 2006.

She met her husband John Adams while in library school, and married in 1952. They had three children.

Hokea, Ben (1898 - 1971)

  • CA: RPA
  • Pessoa
  • 1898 - 1971

Ben Hokea is credited as the steel guitarist "who had the most impact on Hawaiian music's acceptance in Canada." Born in Hawaii, after a gig playing on a cruise line, he toured with Charlie Clark's Royal Hawaiians. The group played in Toronto for several years, beginning in 1915, and Hokea remained in the city afterwards. Hokea was a music educator and performer, and appeared both on radio and television.

Hokea's public performances in Toronto date back to at least 1918, when he performed at Massey Hall in a variety show.

His first known commercial recording was released in December 1919 by His Master's Voice Records as part of their January 1920 lineup. Hokea, Luther Hokea and Richard Hokea recorded three trial records for Victor in Camden, New Jersey, 1917. (University of California's Santa Barbara Library Discography of American Historical Recordings) He is known to have released records with Victor, Columbia, and Starr Co. of Canada.

As of 1925, Hokea operated a photography studio at 195 Yonge St, Toronto. This may be how he met Cecil A. Chinn, creator of the records relating to Hokea at the Region of Peel Archives. Chinn toured with Hokea in the 1940s around southern Ontario, including Owen Sound, as part of "Ben Hokea's Orchestra".

Frost, Richard L.

  • CA
  • Pessoa
  • born 20th century

Frost was the Chief Administrative Officer of the Regional Municipality of Peel (1978-1989).

Matthews, Robertson, 1880 - 1972

  • CA
  • Pessoa
  • 1880 - 1972

Robertson Matthews was born in 1880 in Yorkville, son of Reverend Matthew Henry Matthews and his second wife Naomi Dodds. Mechanically inclined as a young man, Matthews trained at the Williams Machinery Plant, where he developed a lifelong interest in engines and mechanical inventions. Matthews travelled extensively in his youth in British Columbia, Australia, and England. After attending Allegeny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania (1902-1903), he continued on to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York to complete his Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering. In 1908, Matthews joined the Faculty of Engineering at Cornell, later becoming a full Professor. In 1913, he married Ethel Dodds. He left Cornell in 1917 to join the U.S. Government at Wilmington, Delaware, until 1921 when he became an advisor on the internal combustion engine at Langley Field, Virginia. In 1924, Matthews joined the Edison Company in Detroit to work on developments in electric heating. Matthews returned to Bolton in 1931 to care for his mother and to convalesce following a serious automobile accident. During the next forty years, Matthews experimented with hydroponics, kept daily diaries, and wrote regularly to local and American newspapers and contributed essays on technical aspects to periodicals. He published a work of short fiction entitled "His Lost Chord: glimpses of man's deepest emotion in restraint" in 1959. After Ethel's death in 1958, Matthews lived alone until 1967 when he moved into Peel Manor Home for the Aged, where he died on March 3, 1972 at the age of 92.

O'Hearn, William (Bill), 1905 - 1964

  • CA: RPA
  • Pessoa
  • 1905 - 1964

William (Bill) O'Hearn was born in 1905. He worked at Hewitson Shoe Company from childhood, rising to become a foreman. He served on the Brampton town council and played lacrosse for the Brampton Excelsiors. He was also attended Grace Church and was an active singer in choirs and as a soloist and also played in the Brampton Citizens' Band. He died in 1964.

Lagerquist, Bob, - 1999

  • CA : RPA
  • Pessoa
  • - 1999

He married Jeanne in 1942.

He is the namesake of Robert H. Lagerquist Senior Public School, Brampton.