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Open Letter: In Memory of John Curry

In the past few days, our community has lost a person of great integrity, humility, compassion, and dedication. A person who was always there to answer the bell for any community event, fundraiser, social gathering or local business function. Someone who truly cared about this community, its residents, and the well-being of those who lived and worked in Stittsville and Goulbourn as a whole.

The passing of John Curry this week has left a void in all of us and in our community. I truly don’t know how that void will be filled in the future. It seemed like John was everywhere all the time. If a day went by that John was not seen taking a photo on Main street or calling to inquire about a recent local news event, it was a rare occurrence indeed.

I have known John for over 30 years now. John was a regular at our Goulbourn Township Council meeting every Tuesday night without fail. He would sit in one of the back rows with his trusty pad and pen and take notes in silence. John was a longtime journalist who would also share his views openly and without prejudice. What a rare commodity that is today in journalism. He was fair, honest, and always had the best interests of the community at heart.

John gave so much of himself to the people of his community. From the local food bank to the Historical society, to the Stittsville News, John was always there to support and, when needed, to fight for a local cause. His supported so many projects and groups like the GRC complex, Village Square, the SVA and the SBA, the local library and so many other worthwhile projects and initiatives. John was always part of whatever made our community better and stronger.

I had the pleasure of working with John on many projects over the years. Most recently, John covered and wrote on the naming of the Bradley Square on Main Street after Sid and Ross Bradley and family and the naming of the new park for Bob Mills, the former Director of Parks and Recreation for Goulbourn. John was there to cover both stories and wrote articles on both so the greater community would be in touch with the history and the legacy behind each of these stories and many other similar stories as well over many years. That is what John did best – tell stories, in a very clear and concise way for all to enjoy. He captured the minds and hearts of those from our past and embraced those in the present day.

When we began the SBA, John was the first one there to find out all there was to know about what we were all about and how he could help to promote us in the support of our great local business owners. He attended every one of our SBA in-person and zoom meetings and would always follow up the next day with any unanswered questions. I truly wondered at times how he found the time to do all that he did. To this day, I still am not sure how he did manage to handle so many files at one time.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention John’s work for over 20 years as a trustee with the OCSB. John was a strong advocate for education, and his passionate support of the young people in our community. He loved to see young people succeed, and he worked diligently as a Catholic school board trustee to that end.

It is with a deep sense of sadness that we all say good-bye to John Curry. He gave so much to the people of Goulbourn and never once asked for anything in return. He has left big shoes to fill and a legacy of caring and giving to others that is unparalleled.

John set an example that many would be wise to follow. Think of others and those who are in need over yourself, lend a helping hand with no expectation of payment in return, and do something meaningful and concrete to make your community a better place today than the day before.

Thank you, John, for making our community a better place.

Allan Ryan