Meet the mayor

Mayor John Ham­lyn has en­joyed his 55 years of ser­vice in Crow Head

The Central Voice - - Front Page - BY CHRIS­TINE HENNEBURY ed­i­[email protected]­cen­tralvoice.ca

John Ham­lyn talks about 55 years of ser­vice in Crow Head

By his rec­ol­lec­tion, John Ham­lyn has served as Mayor of Crow Head since about 1963 and has en­joyed his vol­un­teer work for the town.

When asked what he liked about be­ing mayor, the 86-year-old laughed be­fore re­spond­ing.

“What I like about be­ing mayor? Well, you’re the boss, I sup­pose,” Ham­lyn said. “You get to the point where you can han­dle most of the meet­ings and things that come be­fore coun­cil.”

While be­ing mayor is a big com­mit­ment, Ham­lyn has also been heav­ily in­volved in other as­pects of com­mu­nity life.

“My wife, Geral­dine, has put up with a lot over all these num­ber of years,” Ham­lyn said. “I was in­volved in a dozen dif­fer­ent meet­ings, hos­pi­tal board, school board, ru­ral de­vel­op­ment and dif­fer­ent ones all around the cir­cle. And I was in­volved with the church, I’ve been on ev­ery board there and in­volved with the United Church con­fer­ence. I’ve kept my­self quite busy.”

Ham­lyn’s first term on coun­cil was as a mem­ber in 1962. He be­came what was known as the chair­per­son (later called mayor) of the com­mu­nity coun­cil in 1963.

He says a lot has changed in Crow Head dur­ing his time on coun­cil.

“We were al­ways con­sid­ered a fish­ing com­mu­nity and when I started we had over 400 peo­ple liv­ing here,” Ham­lyn said. “Right now we have 230 or 240 peo­ple, a lot of the older peo­ple have passed on to a bet­ter land, I hope.”

Chang­ing times

Coun­cils were ini­tially elected at a town meet­ing rather than by an ex­tended elec­tion process.

“The first few town meet­ings we had, the coun­cil was elected at the meet­ing,” Ham­lyn said. “A lit­tle later it was de­cided that the peo­ple would be ap­pointed at the com­mu­nity meet­ing and that we’d have elec­tions like we do now.”

Get­ting wa­ter and sewer ser­vices for the town was a ma­jor in­no­va­tion dur­ing Ham­lyn’s early days on Coun­cil.

“Once the wa­ter was in, it was the best thing since sliced bread,” Ham­lyn said. “And once the sewer came in, that was life-sav­ing.”

The role of mayor was even more hands-on when Ham­lyn started, and he spent a great deal of time do­ing main­te­nance work in the town.

“When I had spare time or a day off and hol­i­days, I would cut the grass and look af­ter dif­fer­ent things,” Ham­lyn said. “We didn’t have a reg­u­lar main­te­nance man, I was down in the sewer hole just as much as some of the oth­ers.”

While he has en­joyed his work over­all, Ham­lyn par­tic­u­larly en­joys rep­re­sent­ing the town and com­mu­nity func­tions.

“It makes your day some­times to go to these func­tions,” Ham­lyn said. “You meet all kinds of peo­ple.”

Ham­lyn’s ded­i­ca­tion to his work is the same to­day as it was when he first took of­fice.

“I am in the of­fice ev­ery day, es­pe­cially since I re­tired from work,” Ham­lyn said. “We have a full-time clerk and I look af­ter ex­pen­di­tures and make sure our in­come is spent the way it should be.”

SUB­MIT­TED

Crow Head Mayor John Ham­lyn and his grand­daugh­ter, Katie Ham­lyn, snapped this photo dur­ing a re­cent fam­ily event.

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