Harold Snowball

Harold SnowballHarold Snowball was a big man, who loved big things, and
was at home with big things, from his truck to his car to his
house to his tractor to his family gatherings. But most of all
Harold had a big heart.
Harold was a Connector of people and possessed a
remarkable gift—the common touch, which was reflected by the
large number of people, from all walks of life, who came to pay
tribute to his life. And as I listened to his Grandson, Robert,
speaking on behalf of all the grandchildren standing with him on
the podium, that day at his funeral, it was obvious, that he was a
caring and loving Communicator, as well.
Harold Snowball and I first met in 1969 (my first Fair) at
the old fairgrounds where he was a ticket taker at the main
entrance. A uniformed Firefighter, taking his off duty shift at the
Fair, in those days the Fair Board depended on the firefighters
manning various important areas of the Fair which required
quasi- police and emergency service. At times we would see
some posts abandoned should the fire siren go off, indicating a
major fire was in progress, but magically someone always
seemed to appear to fill in.
Harold was also a great Cooperator. In 1983, when Harold
was elected 2nd vice-president of the Markham and East York
Agricultural Society an article appeared in the Economist and
Sun with the following statement: “Harold received his baptism
into the workings of the Board during the wet and muddy
conditions of the 1977 Fair (the first Fair at the new grounds),
Harold explains receiving a telephone call from his son, Bill, a
Junior Director, about 3:30 AM Saturday morning saying the
directors had been meeting through the night and although the
rain was heavy the Fair would open and could he arrange to
bring in a tractor-trailer load of shavings at 7:30 AM to spread
over the walkways and concession areas to soak up the water”.
The article goes on to talk about the unexpected challenges
directors may have to contend with and then states “but this
exemplifies the cooperative spirit with which the Snowball family
operates. When there is a job to be done the whole family
pitches in and there is a visible support flowing to and from each
family member”.
He went on to serve as Fair president in 1985 and if there
was a gift from his service in the Chair it was the bringing of
Country family music shows to the Fair of which the singing and
dancing Leahy Family was just one example. For Harold loved
Country Music and knew many of the leading Canadian
headliners personally. During his year, Bill Walker (Past
President 1982) and I worked closely with Harold and I have
many fond memories of evenings spent around the big kitchen
table in the big house on Main Street North, planning events,
speeches and managing Fair budgets and finances.
The memory of that big hand and that big smile coming at
me the last time we met, will linger, for some bonds are cast
which never break. “In my Father’s house are many mansions”
and I’m sure there’s one big enough for Harold and he’ll be sure
to “prepare a place” big enough for the rest of his family and
Cheers Rogers.