David Stewart Morrison
Anyone who has been president, an officer or director of the Fair will know the importance of the Secretary Manager/General Manager to the successful administration of her/his duties while in office. This is the one person in the Fair’s operation who, day in, day out, year after year, is the focal point of questions, advice, directions, information, and the contact person through which a diverse group of people outside the Fair gets a first impression about the Fair and its community involvements. In this day and age to write the job description for the position must be an almost impossible task and an even greater challenge for a human being to perform. From anyone I’ve talked to in recent years David executed his responsibilities with sincerity, compassion and insight.
David and I have known one another since we first met when he was playing with the Band at a Fair Board dance some thirty years ago. When we were planning the new fairgrounds in 1976-7 he had a wealth of knowledge in plumbing and was instrumental in the Fair acquiring a new (then) vacuum flush system. During the 1977 Fair, which had more than its share of water problems, it was David who kept the toilets working and there were more than a few interruptions – what with the new equipment, the engineering concept and the numbers of people. Because of Dave that was one area under control at a time when everything was new and with the weather, control was often a fleeting thing.
David was also a person of intellect who as a committee chair or a director always carefully researched the project he was presenting from a variety of viewpoints and presented a reasoned business case. While not always having unanimous support from the Board, and there were often times of disagreement, one could never fault his figures and purpose for improvement of the Fair. If there was ever a problem with his thinking, it was that he was ahead of his time, and many of his colleagues had a lot of catching up to do. Because of his persistence, enthusiasm, and an ability to work with and through others, the Fair has continued to improve with the times and provide a comprehensive array of programs for the community.
It’s only in the last few years, when preparing the annual “Markham Fair 100 years ago” report that our friendship was renewed. No matter when I appeared we always had a great chat about current happenings and trips down memory lane. David at these times always treated our memories of earlier times in the annals of Fair happenings with great respect. One of my enduring memories will be his greeting me with a cheerful smile and a warm handshake at the Fair Banquet in November 2005, he made me feel welcome and it was like coming home again as I hadn’t attended for many years. Dave, you are missed, but you’ll be “just fine”.