Harold was never late for any appointment in his life. Not one to dillydally, punctuality was one of his core standards. The only appointment his family wishes he was late for was the one he had with his maker on November 5th.
Harold was a sixth generation Canadian and Meredith. He was born to the late Robert C. Meredith and Viola Mildred (nee Somerville) in Eganville, Ontario, in the heart of the Ottawa Valley. The youngest of seven, Harold was one of a rag tag crew of six boys and one sister. His upbringing was full of colourful tales about sibling rivalries, affections and support he received from his family. He was nicknamed “Huck” as in Huckleberry Finn. The name was apt as Harold for his entire life was prone to pondering the ponderables of life while walking through the woods or fishing in any body of water he could find.
Harold’s family eventually settled in Newton Robinson, Ontario. At the age of sixteen, Harold set off on his own. The accomplishment he was most proud of was that against all odds, he graduated from Banting Memorial High School in Alliston. He earned his degree at the University of Toronto and achieved his C.P.A. designation. Harold’s 15 minutes of fame came in his early 30’s when he graced the cover of Purchasing Magazine. At one point he co-owned with his brother Claude, the childhood home of Canadian writer, Pierre Berton in Dawson City, Yukon. He sold off his share to his prospector brother, when it turned into a prospector’s layover, rather than the B&B he had envisioned.
Harold was never one to brag about himself. Often quiet and reserved he observed the world around him. He dabbled in hockey and enjoyed sports, but he had a caged intellect that was fierce. He was so fast at counting cribbage cards we thought he was cheating, he was a formidable pool shark playing billiards like an elegant magician, he could rack up an entire line of strikes and spares in bowling, he was a ruthless predator on a backgammon, chess board or scrabble board, his dart throw was like a heat seeking missile, he was a
humble scratch golfer and he inhaled books like they were air.
It was in the late 1960’s when Harold chanced upon a feisty Irish colleen escaping the troubles and poverty in Northern Ireland. The Maple Leaf Ballroom in Toronto, was where he met Agnes McGlade, a Nurse, fresh off the boat from Cookstown, Co. Tyrone. She was swept off her feet by the tall Canadian with the 100 watt smile. He took her on a coast -to-coast tour of her adopted country. She fell in love with Canada and with him. Harold fell in love with his wife’s Irish heritage and the cast of characters in her very large Irish family. He celebrated St. Patrick’s Day and played Irish Rebel songs with more gusto and passion than any Irish man. They hosted St. Pat’s parties on Lee Avenue in Bradford that became a heavily anticipated annual party. They had three children, Robyn and the twins, Dalton and Morrin. Their 50 year marriage took them on many happy adventures from Toronto to Bradford, Bond Head and Newmarket. Harold’s blissful family life was dealt a tragic blow when his youngest daughter Morrin, lost her lifelong battle with cancer at eight year’s old. His life was irrevocably changed and his sorrow at the loss was always lurking below the surface.
Later in life, Harold participated in supporting his community by working at the Minden Food bank where he rose through the ranks to become its President. He worked as a golf ranger at Beaverbrook Golf course in Minden and traded a pay cheque for unlimited rounds of golf. He took great interest in his community by working tirelessly on political campaigns in the Newmarket area.
Harold had many endearing qualities. He will be remembered for subjecting his family to his fusion cooking blending recipes from his favourite cooking show “Wok with Yan” and his Mennonite cookbook, he would then remark, “I wonder how much this would cost in a restaurant?” He had an unusual fondness for head cheese and would polish off a container the way some people eat chips. His favourite treat was buttered brown bread dipped in maple syrup, date turnovers, raisin pie or maple walnut ice cream. He never met a dog he didn’t like. He taught us how to trifecta box when he organised family off track betting for triple crown horse races. He took fashion cues from his favourite golfers, chiefly, Greg Norman. The gas station in Bond Head kept an inventory of the unpopular brand of Belvedere Regular cigarettes exclusively for him. He took great pleasure in organising the annual golf tournament for his colleagues at P&F Tool & Die. He is part of 12 Mile Lake folklore for catching the only Pike known to have been caught in that lake. He was the chief coordinator of fun amongst the family and it is because of him that we will have everlasting memories.
He will mostly be remembered for being a brother, husband, father, uncle and grandfather . He will be greatly missed by his beloved wife Agnes, his children Robyn (Paul) and Dalton. His angels and sisters-in-law, Teresa and Amelda. His grandson, Declan. His nephew Liam McGlade. He is survived by his dear sister Betty (Liz), his brother John and many other extended family members. There will be many tears of joy and celebration when he is greeted by predeceased family and the tears will be his when he is reunited with his daughter, Morrin.
Harold will be laid to rest beside his daughter at Holy Martyrs of Japan Cemetery in Bradford at a private service. A public celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Donations in Harold’s memory to Southlake Regional Health Centre, Newmarket would be appreciated by the family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Harold Dalton Meredith, please visit our floral store.