Newmarket Mayor John Taylor knew the town’s longest-serving councillor, Dave Kerwin, as a person filled with joy.
Speaking to the legacy of Kerwin, who passed away last week, Taylor said the man had done so much to further the town over 39 years on Newmarket council.
But Taylor said Feb. 13 that he remembered Kerwin as someone always laughing and smiling, with positive energy and a signature catchphrase.
“Somehow, I know today you have never been better,” Taylor said of Kerwin.
Council honoured Kerwin at the start of its meeting yesterday. Each council member spoke in turn about Kerwin and the impact he left, watched on by several members of his family, and former staff and council members. There was also a moment of silence held for Kerwin.
Taylor announced there would be a new plaque placed on Dave Kerwin Trail to recognize him, along with ads in local media outlets about his passing. He described Kerwin’s service to the community and the many projects he helped push forward.
Each councillor spoke about their positive interactions with Kerwin over the years and the mentorship he offered. Councillor Christina Bisanz said Kerwin was a great storyteller and would often tell her that “you can’t take things too seriously.”
“I’m just so thankful I’ll be able to see his name every day on the Dave Kerwin trail,” she said. “He won’t be forgotten, and he’ll always stay in our hearts.”
Deputy Mayor Tom Vegh described working with Kerwin as a “full-circle” time, as Kerwin had also taught Vegh at Huron Heights Secondary School.
“He’s sorely missed,” Vegh said. “It was such an honour to be able to call him my friend.”
Kerwin always found a positive way of finding the good in bad situations, Councillor Bob Kwapis said.
“He had Newmarket in his veins.”
After Kerwin retired from politics in 2018, Councillor Kelly Broome said he was a consistent presence at town events.
“It was like he never left … He was a huge part of Newmarket and a huge mentor to me, and I will deeply miss him,” Broome said. “I’m very sorry for your loss, but at the same time, what a legacy, what a life you have lived.”
Kerwin’s wife, Erika, thanked the council for their words. She said people have been wonderful after his passing, offering their praises to Kerwin.
“It’s hard, but he’s probably here. His spirit is here,” she said. “And I hope you all will remember him.”