Site launched in hon­our of long­time leader

Son of Ralph Dawe helps fi­nance de­vel­op­ment of Clarke’s Beach web pres­ence

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERRYROBERTS THE COM­PASS

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.

ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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.

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