image
In the history of the Rotary Club of Haliburton, one man will always be remembered and revered as the embodiment of the the principles of integrity, fairness, goodwill and above all, service, which are the foundation of the Rotary ideal. He had a dream of creating a service club in Haliburton, and on May 24, 1944 he brought it to fruition as the charter president. In the years that followed, he remained perhaps the community's most prominent Rotarian - respected not only for his acumen in the practical matters of business and local politics, but for his deep rooted and unwaivering commitment to building a better community. When he died in May, 1984, only days after attending the 40th anniversary celebrations of the club he founded, Ronald J. Curry left a void in the life of the community that no one else will ever fill. Ron Curry was born in Irondale in 1904, the son of W.R. Curry and his wife Jessie Ellen Barr. In 1906 the family moved to Haliburton, where W.R. opened a livery stable business, using 30 horses for logging and road work. Ron attended public school in Haliburton, high school at Lindsay Collegiate, and later Canada Business College. By 1919, it had become apparent to W.R. that automobiles eventually would put an end to his livery business, so he opened a garage on main street and named it W.R. Curry and Son, involving Ron from the outset. At the time there were only 13 cars in the village, and no trucks, but change came quickly. The Ford Motor Company soon named W.R. Curry as their agent in Haliburton. Car sales began to pick up by 1922, and that same year saw the first truck arrive in Haliburton, a Ford, with Ron Curry behind the wheel. A milestone in W.R. and Ron's car business came in 1923, when they became associated with General Motors of Oshawa, distributing Chevrolets and Oldsmobiles. By 1929, the year of the great stock market crash, the business had grown enough to justify doubling the size of the garage. It had six employees by then, and sold 45 new cars and trucks that year. The business survived the Depression and grew steadily in the recovery. On March 12, 1949 the dealership building that now dominates Haliburton's main intersection was opened. W. R. Curry set high standards for himself, and loved the community intensely. He passed those qualities on to Ron, who manifested them throughout his life. Besides devoting himself to building up Curry Motors Limited, Ron Curry served on Dysart council for eight terms, and was County Warden in 1937. He was secretary treasuer of the Number 3 Dysart School board, president for several years of the Haliburton Tourist Association, chairman of the Haliburton United Church board of stewards, and vice chairman of the Haliburton County District High School Board. From 1968 to 1973 he sat on the board of governors of Sir Sandford Fleming College, and was board chair-man in 1971-72. Along with fellow Rotarian Norm Sisco, he created Camp Timberlane on Two Island Lake, owning and operating it for many years.