Paul Harris Fellow Awarded to John Kelly (second from left)



JOHN KELLY presented by Sheila Bristo

Paul Harris Fellow Recipient


"John is man has given unselfishly to the cause of mental illness through his work with CMHA. People across the country call him Mr. CMHA." - George Kurzawa, Executive Director Canadian Metal Health Association, Niagara.

George Kurzawa, Executive Director Canadian Metal Health Association, Niagara

John Kelly has been a volunteer supporting individuals with serious mental health problems in our community since 1967.  John served as President of the Canadian Mental Health Association of St. Catharines and District (CMHA) twice. Under his leadership the two branches of the local CMHA were amalgamated resulting in increased local services to individuals with mental illness particularly in the more outlying areas in Niagara and also making the organization a model for the province.


John served on the Board of CMHA Ontario Division and was the first President of this provincial organization from Niagara.  John also served on the executive of the national organization of CMHA spearheading a review of the benefits opportunities to support staff across the country. Not only did John serve in many executive positions, he would also be seen at the drop-in centre supporting individuals who needed a friendly ear, driving people to appointments, or painting the drop in centre to make it more welcoming.


There is a connection with the Rotary Club of St. Catharines South as his daughter Colleen was sponsored by our club as a Rotary Youth Exchange student to Australia. John’s granddaughter also has been an exchange student.  John has witnessed the benefits of the program in strengthening our global community.


John has quietly supported hundreds of individuals through his kindness and commitment to a more supportive community for those living with mental illness and truly has modeled “Service above Self”.


For his outstanding volunteer work with the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Rotary Club of St. Catharines South is proud to recognize John Kelly as a Paul Harris Fellow.