Published in 1992, I have a copy of the history of Harrow and Colchester South. My Grandfather is listed as a member of Town Council starting in 1934, at the age of 30.
The short write-up says:
William Murdoch came to Harrow as a 21-year-old English immigrant in 1924. He worked as a farm laborer until he started his own Harrow egg business. He and his wife Marie, raised four children. Active membership in church, lodge, school board, town council and literary society made Murdoch an articulate public speaker. In 1943 he was elected Progressive Conservative Member of the Ontario Legislature where he represented Essex South for 20 years. He served under Premiers George Drew and Leslie Frost, and was chosen Speaker of the Legislature.
He worked on the Affleck farm, I know he lived with them for a time. They had chickens and he must have learned that business from the Affleck family.
He opened and operated an egg processing and distribution business which my father worked at and took over until my father retired in about the mid 1980’s.
My Grandfather is listed as a member of Town Council starting in 1934, at the age of 30 until 1940. He was instrumental in bringing water to the Town of Harrow in 1958. He was also a charter member of the Harrow Rotary Club in 1937. I think he was the Grand Mason in this area for a time. The main street in Colchester is named after him, as well as a street in Harrow.
Here are a few pictures of my Grandfather, William Murdoch, given the title ‘Right Honorable’ after his position as Speaker of the Ontario Legislature.
My mom still has the picture given to my Grandfather from parliament (I believe that one still hangs in Toronto in the Legislature). We’re looking into having it donated to a local historical society.
Meeting the King and Queen. A lot of people met the King and Queen as they visited this area a couple of times during his years of service. I know that my grandmother had some private time with the Queen in Niagara falls (the Queen was the first to ‘turn the lights’ on at the Falls and my grandmother was the 2nd), and there are several more pictures of meetings, but this is the only one I have on hand.
It looks like my grandmother has a tattoo on her lower leg – believe me, she didn’t!
It feels good to have this bit of history completed and ‘out there’. Although it does make me a bit sad when I look through all the pictures I have and realize that I may be the only one who cares about the history of our family.