Iconic Cornwall volunteer 'Sonny' Herrington passes away

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Richard 'Sonny' Herrington

CORNWALL, Ontario – A Cornwall man whose volunteerism stretched from putting the city’s lacrosse heritage on the map, to also creating a home for navy veterans, has passed away.

Richard ‘Sonny’ Herrington was 90 and died Sunday surrounded by family and friends at a Cornwall retirement home.

“His community work…he did so much,” said his son Allan, responding to his fondest memory of his father. “He was always in there doing what he could.”

Herrington served in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1942 to 1945 and was an instrumental figure in the creation of the Cornwall & District Navy Veterans Association, serving as president of the group for 14 years beginning in 1960.

He was also a driving force behind the construction of the navy veterans club on Sixth Street in Cornwall.

But it was lacrosse that held a special place in Herrington’s heart – to the delight of thousands in Cornwall that played and supported Canada’s national sport.

Herrington’s lacrosse resume reads like a who’s-who of the sport. He was elected president of the Cornwall Minor Lacrosse Association in 1966. He went on to have a 25-year career in lacrosse, holding many executive positions locally and provincially, and becoming the first vice-president of the Ontario Lacrosse Association.

In 1969, he was elected Director of the Ontario Lacrosse Association and was named the Junior "B" Eastern Lacrosse Convenor.

Elected President of the newly formed Cornwall Lacrosse Association in 1971, he was also named Chairman of the Junior "B" Castrol Cup Championship play-offs held in Cornwall.

In 1972, he was elected 3rd Vice-President of the Ontario Lacrosse Association and was named Chairman for the Convention held for the first time ever in Cornwall. He was elected 2nd Vice-President of the Association in 1973.

Herrington was honoured with the "Mr. Lacrosse of Ontario" provincial award in 1970 and received the local Jacques Richard Trophy in 1973.

Herrington was married to his late wife Viola for 61 years and had seven sons. He enjoyed a career at Ontario Hydro, where his volunteerism included serving as president of the Eastern Region Hydro Recreation Association, where he organized a yearly picnic for the staff and families, formed a bowling league, organized retirement parties and was the representative for the Community Chest (now United Way). 

He also served as Chairman of the Ontario Hydro 25th Anniversary Reunion commemorating the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.  

Funeral arrangements have not yet been released.

Organizations: Ontario Lacrosse Association, Cornwall Minor Lacrosse Association, Royal Canadian Navy Cornwall District Navy Veterans Association Ontario Hydro Eastern Region Hydro Recreation Association Community Chest United Way

Geographic location: CORNWALL, Ontario, Sixth Street Canada St. Lawrence Seaway

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