Flags at all Town of Newmarket and Central York Fire Services' facilities are flying at half-mast to honour the life of Dave Kerwin, former Town of Newmarket Councillor, who passed away at the age of 84 on February 6.
Dave Kerwin is the Town’s longest serving Councillor for Newmarket, having served on Council from 1976 to 1994 and again from 1997 until his retirement in 2018 for a total of 39 years with six Mayors – Robert Forhan, Robert Scott (interim Mayor), Ray Twinney, John Cole, Tom Taylor and Tony Van Bynen. Current Mayor, John Taylor served as Deputy Mayor and Regional Councillor with former Councillor Dave Kerwin from 2006-2018.
Prior to his time on Town Council, former Councillor Dave Kerwin was a teacher in Germany where he also started his career in public service. In addition to 39 years on Newmarket Council he enjoyed a successful career as an educator.
“As the longest-serving member of Newmarket Council, Dave Kerwin had a massive impact on Newmarket,” says Mayor John Taylor. “His many years of public service are a testament to his dedication to this Town, which he loved. His passion to build a better community led to many accomplishments that will be felt by generations to come. Dave was endlessly curious, always seeking to learn more about the people he served, the issues they championed, and how he could make this Town better. He was always happy, always smiling, and quick to laugh, seeing the joy in all that life offered.”
During his time with the Town, former Councillor Kerwin was integral in many projects and initiatives that revitalized Newmarket and reflected his passion for the environment and arts and culture. He was the driving force behind many of these projects:
The revitalization of Newmarket’s historic Main Street and the completion of Riverwalk Commons
The purchase of the Stickwood Walker Farm
Renovation of Old Town Hall
Former Councillor Kerwin, along with his wife Erika, are founding members of Visual and Performing Arts Newmarket (VPAN) and spearheaded the successful community fundraising efforts for the piano for the Old Town Hall.
Creation of the Tom Taylor Trail
Construction of NewRoads Performing Arts Centre – achieved through a shared-use agreement with the York Region District School Board
Construction of the Magna Centre and more.
During his spare time, former Councillor Kerwin was also involved with the Province of Ontario’s Stewardship Youth Ranger Program – that focused on providing youth an opportunity to work on natural resource management projects.
In recognition of his dedication to the environment, the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority awarded former Councillor Kerwin the George R. Richardson Award of Honour to recognize his lifetime environmental achievement. To pay tribute to his love for the Town and the outdoors, the Dave Kerwin Trail was named in his honour in 2010.
Flags will remain lowered until the date of former Councillor Kerwin’s funeral, which has yet to be announced.
The Town of Newmarket offers our deepest condolences and sympathies to former Councillor Kerwin’s family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.