Palermo Plaque to Honour Henry Heeks
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- The village of Palermo honoured citizen Henry Heeks with this plaque which hung in the Palermo community hall until its demolition in 1973, and then was at the Palermo United Church for many years. It is now with the Trafalgar Township Historical Society.
Linked to this record is the 1919 deed giving the land parcel in Lot 31, Con 1 SDS to the new Public Hall building. Henry Heeks and John Dearing (Farmers) as well as "Laurence Hager" (he signed it "Lawrence Hager"), (Retired Merchant) were the Grantors of the First Part.
A March 1931 newspaper article mentions that Henry was stage manager of the play put on by the Palermo United Church choir.
The book, "The Garden of Canada ; Burlington, Oakville and District", c1902, compiled by Martha Craig and published by William Briggs, Toronto, has a paragraph about Mr. Heeks and the Palermo creamery in which we learn that he was a graduate of the Guelph Dairy school and had built the factory in 1895 as a cheese factory. He remodelled the building in 1900 to be a creamery. In 1901, he sold the creamery to the City Dairy Company of Toronto, staying on as manager. He took prizes for his products at the Toronto Industrial Exhibition.
Another Trafalgar Township Historical Society record shows a notice he wrote to his suppliers and backers in 1900, to explain the importance of receiving only their best - not sour - milk so that he could produce his best product.
Henry died at age 68. He had been born in England and been 49 years in Canada. His Death Certificate lists his occupation as a retired merchant and it is difficult to read but looks like it says he was a general storekeeper and had the post office. He never married. His nephew Walter Heeks of Bronte took care of the formalities of his death. Henry is buried in the Palermo United Church cemetery.
Several other commemorative plaques hung in the Hall, another being the Trafalgar War Memorial Plaque, and also a commemorative "WWII Honor Roll of Palermo Volunteers". Another plaque was prepared, perhaps to be used in a gazebo commemorating the Hall after its 1973 demolition, which says, "This building erected from the proceeds of Palermo Community Hall 1912 - 1974". All of these items, including the flag pole of the Hall, which was erected in memory of Dr. Anson Buck, are now displayed in the collection of the Trafalgar Township Historical Society at the old, one-room schoolhouse in Palermo and photographic records of them can be found by searching further in this online collection.
- The community of Palermo started as early as 1806. By 1835, the town had developed enough to boast its own post office, churches, schools, stores, blacksmith and surrounding mixed farming. The active community started the Palermo Sons of Temperance in 1850 and this group was the genus of the community hall.
The last "Palermo Public Hall Corporation" building (as the hall was legally called) was built in 1912 on Lot 31, 1st Con SDS. The building was totally funded by the people of Palermo and the events held in it - no government money aided the Hall. The Hall saw many social, sporting, political, religious events over the next 61 years.
In 1973, the building was demolished for the widening of Bronte Road.
When the cornerstone of the demolished building was lifted, it held a surprise. On the back of the stone, it was carved with the death date and misspelled name of Mary Inglehart. The Tweedsmuir History scrapbook has a newspaper clipping about this, as people thought that the stonemason's error ("Ingelhart") meant he had to redo the gravestone for the family, so his shop later used the stone for a purpose where the error was not likely to be seen.
- This tablet is erected by the people of the community of Palermo to the memory of Henry Heeks in recognition of his years of valuable service.
- Personal Name(s):
- Henry William Heeks, b.February 18, 1862 d.November 9, 1931. Buried in Palermo cemetery with his brother, Alfred and his family, wife Catherine M. Kelm and their daughter, Ellen M. Heeks. Parents of Henry and Alfred were Thomas Heeks and Maria (Jobson) Heeks.
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- Trafalgar Township Historical Society
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- Palermo Plaque to Honour Henry Heeks
Trafalgar Township Historical Society
Trafalgar Township Historical Society Sponsor: Jeff Knoll, Local & Regional Councillor for Oakville Ward 5 – Town of Oakville/Regional Municipality of Halton