KFA dinner in memory of Harry Lawson to fund scholarship

·3 min read

The Kent Federation of Agriculture is holding a BBQ dinner in honour of a lost friend.

On August 20, from 2-7 p.m., the KFA will host a BBQ in Harry Lawson’s memory. The event will occur at the Dawn-Euphemia Community Centre (Florence Hall) at 6213 Mill Street.

“The Board for the KFA felt very strongly, and we wanted to do something to honour Harry. This is our attempt to do that. We hope people will come out, enjoy themselves, reflect on Harry and all that he did for our industry, and try and raise all the money for a really, really good cause,” said KFA president Jay Cunningham.

Harry Lawson passed away in February.

“He spent a fair amount of time in the hospital and had a heart transplant. He received such amazing care while there that it was always his wish to give somehow back to that institution and the people that would help him so much,” said Cunningham.

From the tremendous care that Harry received, his wish was to create an endowment of at least $50,000 that would allow for the creation of scholarships to support doctors and nurses in the cardiac, transplant, CCU fifth floor departments.

All proceeds from the BBQ dinner, silent and live auction and a cash bar will go to the London Health Sciences Foundation in honour of Harry Lawson. Foundation staff members will be on-site to collect donations and issue charitable receipts.

When reflecting on Lawson, the KFA President said Lawson was a quiet warrior. He added he was incredibly intelligent, very methodical, and an awesome resource for a number of agriculturalists all over Ontario.

“Harry could do research and provide support in a balanced and effective manner. It’s a very rare and admirable quality to be able to do that. In his more than 25 years, he provided leadership and guidance. He was a great mentor for people,” said Cunningham.

As read in his eulogy, Harry was always available to support anyone who asked, at any time. His priorities were well managed as his family was always first, and KFA and OFA were always second. Despite this, Lawson left his mark with his dedication and hard work.

“Harry was working with the Federation as far back as the early ‘80s, pushing back for fair compensation on gas lines and well, including closing wells. The perimeters of his work are still being used today by legal firms,” read his eulogy. “He changed the rules, by-laws and regulations that benefit others in a positive way even today. He was the silent champion that went before us.”

It was discovered Harry was involved in many things.

His involvement has spanned more than 30 years.

He had the ability to bring calm and direction to any agitated situation.

He was highly respected by all he had contact with.

He was a mentor for new directors on the KFA board.

The KFA had nicknamed him their “Legal Beagle.”

He had incredible research capabilities.

He was a team player with many agricultural organizations.

He enjoyed the interaction and teamwork on projects.

He was a successful farmer.

He was very innovative, always thinking outside the box.

“Harry had a big loving heart that he gave away bit by bit until it was all gone,” read his eulogy.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News