CORNWALL, Ontario – The City of Cornwall Clerk’s Department has received a request that Riverdale Park be renamed Gerry Grant Park, in honour of World War II veteran and former Cornwall Alderman Gerry Grant, who passed away in September of 2018 at the age of 94.
“Gerry did a lot for the City and we feel some recognition is deserving,” said Peter Morgan, one of the people who submitted the request.
The request was submitted by Morgan, Marvin Plumadore and Heather Megill with the support of the Cornwall Service Club Council.
Morgan explained that Grant lived in Cornwall for many years, was a longtime member of the Cornwall Kiwanis Club and that he went out of his way to help many other Service Clubs in Cornwall with their events.
Grant joined the army in 1943 at the age of 19. Two months after D-Day, Grant was shipped over to France with the Canadian Grenadier Guards Tank Regiment, 22nd Canadian Armoured Regiment, 4th Canadian Armoured Division.
With the Canadian Grenadiers Guards, Grant saw action in the closing of the Falaise gap, the Liberation of Holland and the invasion of Germany.
After spending nine months on the front line, Grant was wounded by shrapnel during the Battle of Bad Zwischenahn. After recuperating, he returned to Canada in December of 1945.
Grant first visited Cornwall in 1945, he would meet and eventually marry his wife Dorothy here and worked in the CIL plant in their chlorine production unit, eventually retiring as Supervisor of Transportation and Supply in 1985.
After his retirement, Grant served as City Alderman from 1986 to 1988.
Grant was named Citizen of the Year in 1992 and was the recipient of various awards including the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal, the Ontario Volunteer Award for 40 years of service in the community and Meritorious Service Awards.
Grant was chair of the Cornwall Chapter of the Red Cross for many years, he served on the board of the Cornwall General Hospital and was a director on the board of the United Way. In 1987 Grant chaired the organizing committee for the Regional Games for the Physically Disabled.
He was also a co-director when Cornwall hosted the Ontario Winter Games in 1993. A surplus from the money raised from that event still funds the Ontario Games Legacy Award which awards two bursaries of $1,000 each every year.
The decision to rename Riverdale Park in honour of Gerry Grant will be reviewed by the City of Cornwall’s Commemorative Naming Committee.
Comments on the renaming of the park can be submitted to City Clerk Manon Levesque at firstname.lastname@example.org until July 23.