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Thursday, 24 May 2012

Jack Walsh Remembered (1950 - 2012)

Photo Credit - Stacey Walsh
The Board of Directors of the Napan Agricultural Show were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of a former Director, volunteer and strong supporter of the Show as well as a former member of the community of Napan, Jack Walsh.  Jack will be remembered not only for his passion for the Show and his love of horses, but for his sense of humor and his hearty laugh.  Wherever Jack was, he left people smiling.

Jack Walsh was a big part of the Napan Agricultural Show when it started in 1992.  He was motivated and full of ideas for the Show and he always did his best to help out when needed.  However, with the closing of CFB Chatham, Jack accepted a transfer to Wainright, AB in 1994.  That didn't stop Jack from taking part in the Show, each year he would plan his vacation to come home to Napan and volunteer with the Show as Draft Horse Ring Master.  Regardless of the distance he traveled to find work, Jack wanted to come back to the "fair".

Jack Walsh, Ring Master in 2004
Looking back over the years, Jack was always coming up with ways to do fundraising for the Napan Agricultural Show.  So on one of his trips home to Napan, he brought a cowboy hat with him from Alberta.  On that Saturday night of the Show, there was a bit of down time between the Draft Horse hitches and the Woodsmen Competition. Jack took the cowboy hat off of his head and told NAS President, Allen Gilliss to take his hat and auction it off to raise money for the Show.  Allen agreed with Jack and a spur of the moment auction started.  Bids slowly were shouted from the stands, but with most auctions, the bids quickly started getting higher and higher until only two bidders remained; Director Roy Gillis and President Allen Gilliss.  Allen explained that Roy would not give in and neither would Allen.  However, Allen ran out of money, so he yelled out to the people in the stands for help.  Everyone in attendance caught the auction fever and started passing Allen money to keep the bids going.  Eventually, Allen came out on top with a winning bid of about $310 for Jack Walsh's cowboy hat.  Jack's hat is currently on display in the "Hiram Baisley Antique Museum".

Photo Credit - Nancy McLenaghan
With Jack Walsh's passing, the Board of Directors were humbled and honored upon hearing that Jack's family requested that in his memory, donations may be made to the Napan Agricultural Show.  The Board Executive met to discuss the best way to put these donations to good use in Jack's memory.  During these discussions, it was brought up that one of Jack's passionate ideas was to have a roof over the show ring.  With the success that the Albert County Exhibition had of putting a roof over their show ring, the Executive decided that this was a worthy project to put these donations toward, in Jack's memory.  This project will be called "The Roof that Jack Started".

The Board of Directors of the Napan Agricultural Show would like express their sincere condolences to Jack's wife Ruth, his son Mark and daughter Stacey and their extended families as well as to Jack's brothers and sisters.

Jack's funeral announcement can be found here:

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