Site launched in honour of longtime leader
Son of Ralph Dawe helps finance development of Clarke’s Beach web presence
The launch of a new municipal website is not usually an event that stirs emotion or nostalgia.
But it sure did in Clarke’s Beach last week as the town staged an event to officially introduce its presence on the Internet. Some three dozen people gathered at the municipal building on Aug. 15 to take part in the launch of townofclarkesbeach.ca.
The site is similar to many municipal portals, and offers a broad suite of information, services, history, photos and minutes from council meetings.
But while it is another example of the town’s progress, it also serves as a window into its past.
Creation of the site was funded by Oral Dawe, son of the late Ralph Dawe. The elder Dawe served as a municipal leader in Clarke’s Beach for 40-plus years, and worked as the town’s postmaster for a similar duration prior to his retirement from Canada Post 20 years ago.
Ralph Dawe was a member of the original council when the town was incorporated in 1965, and would continue to serve in various capacities, including many years as mayor, for most of the remainder of his life. He earned the respect and gratitude of many in the town, prompting the council to establish the council chambers in his honour when the current municipal building was opened several years ago.
He passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack in June 2007. Ralph Dawe and his wife Doris (Noel) were married for 48 years.
Their only son, Oral, left Clarke’s Beach nearly three decades ago and has travelled the world as an investment banker. Hecurrently lives in Singapore with his wife, South River native Vida (Anthony). They have three offspring, ages 23, 20 and 16.
After his father’s passing, Oral began to think about ways to honour his father’s legacy in the town. A website was the perfect fit, he explained last week.
“He always liked to be leading … so something that was technology oriented … I know he would just naturally like that.
“I’m sure my father would wish he was here.”
During his remarks, Oral paused several times in an attempt to maintain his composure. He said the event brought back many memories of his father, and his deep involvement in the town.
“I grew up as a kid and it was family and town and church. The order depended on the day of the week,” he joked. “It was all heartfelt. He just loved the Town of Clarke’s Beach, and I was raised in that environment.” rich history, and plenty of promise for the future.
“This website, I hope, helps contribute to that promise,” he stated.
Doris Dawe looked on with pride as her son made his remarks.
“He’s a chip off the old block,” she said of Oral. “If he was home he’d been involved, probably as one of the councillors and maybe causing some problems with his different ideas.”
She said her late husband would also be proud.
“He would really appreciate this,” she noted.
Pastor Jason Rowsell of the Pentecostal Assembly of Clarke’s Beach gave those in attendance a tutorial on how to use the new Clarke’s Beach municipal website.
Clarke’s Beach native Oral Dawe (left) and his uncle Bill Christopher look on during an event last week to officially launch the town’s new website.