Wall of Recognition

City Council recognizes former members of City Council who have set themselves apart through their achievements and accomplishments while serving the City of Brantford.

A former Council member must have served at least 10 years or more and cannot currently be a sitting member of City Council in order to be considered for the Wall of Recognition.

The Wall of Recognition Task Force reviews eligible former Council members and recommends up to one nominee in each of the following categories:

  • Modern-day Candidate (members who served on Brantford City Council within the past 40 years)
  • Historical Candidate (members who served on Brantford City Council more than 40 years ago on the recommendation of the Brantford Heritage Committee)

Wall of Recognition Inductees

Jo Brennan – 1999

Jo Brennan served on City Council as an Alderman/Councillor for 18 years between 1977 and 1997. Jo's many accomplishments included 15 years of service with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). She served in various capacities with FCM including Chair of the Ontario Caucus and as a member of the Executive. In addition, Jo was very dedicated in her service to the community.

Jo's commitment to improving the accessibility of municipal facilities was readily apparent. Jo was a driving force behind improving the access to the Council Chambers, the entrance to City Hall and the installation of an elevator at the Gretzky Centre. Jo Brennan made a lasting contribution to the City while serving on City Council.

Richard Burnell Beckett – 2000

Serving in the Canadian Army Active Service from 1939 to 1946, Richard Beckett retired with the rank of Major and returned to his hometown of Brantford where he continued to provide extraordinary leadership in local politics, service groups and committees. Between 1953 and 1970, Richard served five years as Alderman and 10 years as Mayor of Brantford. In 1971, Richard became Brant MPP and worked as Parliamentary Assistant to both Minister of Transportation and Communication, and the Treasurer and Minister of Economical Affairs. To celebrate his selfless community involvement, the Brantford Jaycees honoured Richard as the 1970 Citizen of the Year.

"Dick Beckett had about him the qualities of commitment and education." - Dr. Vaughn

John Noble – 2001

John Noble served on City Council as an Alderman for 14 years between 1937 and 1958. He may be best known as the driving force behind expanding and improving the Brantford area home for the aged and played a leading role influencing the Province, Brantford and the County of Brant to fund this much needed long term care facility.

What began in 1888 as a humble refuge for 76 residents, John Noble developed into a facility that provided residents with long-term care, comfort and dignity. John Noble's vision continues as the John Noble Home remains a leader in the area of long-term care and provides support for individuals with Alzheimer's and their families.

Charles Bowen – 2002

Charles R. Bowen was a veteran of World War II, serving for five years in England, Africa and Italy. Charles' political career started in 1963 when he was voted as Alderman for Ward 5. In 1973, Charles became Brantford's first full time Mayor, serving until 1980. During this time he served on numerous committees and was proud to have twinned Brantford with Osijek, Croatia. Realizing the growth of the City's north end, Fire Hall #3 was opened during Charles' tenure as Mayor. "The greatest reward I can have is to serve our fellow men with honesty and justice for all, as we continue to mould our city into a home of peace and comfort for our citizens." - Charles R. Bowen

John Elliott – 2003

Born in Heck Yorkshire, England on August 15, 1822, John Elliott apprenticed as a Stone-Cutter before leaving for Canada in the spring of 1842. After working at his trade in Canada and the United States, John settled in Brantford around 1850. He built a house at 89 William Street, which is still standing.

John built several buildings in Ontario and Quebec, including the post office in Toronto, the parliament building in Quebec, and built the addition to the county buildings in Brantford. John also cut the tombstone for Captain Joseph Brant, at the Mohawk Chapel in the fall of 1850. He was also engaged in executing a large amount of work on the Buffalo and Huron and Grand Trunk railway lines. John attended Wellington Street Methodist Church. He was a member of the School Board for four years and served as an Alderman/Councillor for the City of Brantford from 1855 until 1877. John was Mayor of the City of Brantford for three years from 1866 to1868.

William McIntyre Ryerson – 2004

William McIntyre Ryerson was born in Brantford, the son of Thomas Egerton Ryerson and Elizabeth McIntyre Ryerson. His great-uncle was Egerton Ryerson, founder of Ontario's public school system in the 1800's. William attended public school in Brantford and was a graduate of Brantford Collegiate Institute and Vocational School. Young William served as an officer in the First World War. A graduate of the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall, after his admission to the bar, William practiced law on Market Street for several years. He then joined his father's grocery business, Ryerson Bros. established in 1885, which was a Brantford landmark for many years.

Among his community activities, William was a member of Park Baptist Church, Brant County Bar Association, Brantford Curling Club, Mocha Temple Shrine and the Brantford Shriners Club. Being somewhat of a philanthropist, he also helped put some local students through university. William was an Alderman/Councillor in Ward 1 for 10 years, during the 1920's and 1930's. During his tenure on City Council, William served on a variety of committees, Board of Works, Fire and Light, Industrial Commission, Board of Education, Grand River Conservation Commission, Brantford General Hospital and the Silver Jubilee of King George V, being just a few of the numerous committees and special committees he sat on.

John Patrick Ryan – 2005

J. P. (Jack) Ryan was born in Brantford on March 22, 1889, the son of Irish immigrants, Patrick and Mary Cecelia (Maxwell) Ryan. J.P.'s father opened P. Ryan Printer on Wharfe Street in Brantford in the 1860s. After attending St. Basil's School and Brantford Collegiate Institute, J.P. assumed management of the printing business. Renaming it Ryan Printing Company Limited. J. P. served on City Council as Alderman for Ward 2 from 1932 until 1940. In September 1940, J.P. was appointed Mayor after Mayor R. J. Waterous was summoned to Ottawa to occupy a position in the National War Service Department. J. P. served as Mayor by acclamation each year during World War II, until he resigned at the end of 1945.

During his years on Council, J. P. was Chairman of the Finance Committee when the Pay-As-You-Go policy was adopted and practiced throughout his years as Mayor. The public debt was steadily reduced over the next several years and many other municipalities approved and adopted the Pay-As-You-Go policy based on Brantford's success. During J.P.'s term as Mayor he was one of the originators of a project to introduce fluoride to Brantford's drinking water. In June 1945, Brantford was the first city in Canada to fluorinate its water supply. Upon J. P.'s death in 1949, City Clerk, E. J. Campbell said of his close friend, “He gave of himself unsparingly in the service of the city he loved, using the great energy and enthusiasm of which he seemed to have limitless supply. He gave to the high offices he occupied that personal charm which was one of his outstanding attributes.”

Andy Woodburn – 2006

Andy Woodburn was elected as a Ward 4 Alderman and served on City Council from 1976 to 1980 and from 1982 to 1997. During his 19 years as a Ward 4 Alderman/Councillor, Andy held seats on a variety of committees: Association of Municipalities of Ontario, The Brantford Police Services Board, Brantford and Brant County Planning Board, Economic Development Board, Civic Centre Commission, Sanderson Centre Board, Brant County Board of Health, Children's Aid Society of Brant, Anti-Vandalism Committee, and Committee for Queen's Visit. Andy was Chair of the Coordinating Committee – Education, Parks and Council, Licensing and Sign Committee, All-Way Stop Committee, Land Development and Assembly Committee, Interview Committee for Volunteers for Various Boards and Vice Chair of the Finance Committee, Works Committee, Operation Lift Founding Committee.

He led the Council to solve the East Ward Creek flooding problem and served on the Grand River Conservation Authority for 10 years to ensure the Dikes were built to protect Brantford from flooding by the Grand River. Andy initiated and promoted the Referendum on Casino Gambling, which resulted in 1500 new jobs and revenues of approximately $4 million per year to the City of Brantford.

Paul Urbanowicz – 2006

Paul Urbanowicz was appointed as a Ward 1 Alderman on October 9, 1990. After a nomination from the late Alderman Jo Brennan, Paul replaced Alderman D. Warner with 15 months remaining in the 1988-1990 council term. The already existing council elected Urbanowicz unanimously. Urbanowicz was third in the Ward race in the 1988 municipal election and served on five consecutive City Councils from 1990 to 2003.

Paul was very dedicated in his service to the community. During his 13 years incumbent as a Ward 1 Councillor, he held seats on a variety of committees: Chairman of the Joseph Brant Monument Restoration Committee, the Sanderson Centre Management Board, Vice-Chairman of the Community Development Sector, the Parks, Recreation and Waterways Advisory Board, Committee of Adjustment, the Wireco-Hydro Amalgamation Finance Board, Economic Development Board, Human Rights and Race Relations Board, the Brant County Health Unit, Brant and District Health Council, the Six Nations Liaison Committee, the Children's Aid Society of Brant, the Business Improvement Board, the City-County Liaison Committee, Chairman of the Social Services Sector, and the Engineering Sector. Subsequent to his leaving Brantford City Council, Paul continues to serve on many committees in our community.

Wally Lucente – 2006

Wally Lucente was elected as Ward 5 Alderman/Councillor in 1988. He was re-elected consecutively and served the municipality for 15 years, until 2003. During his 15 years tenure, Wally responded to over 14,000 constituent enquiries and served in various capacities on a variety of committees, which included Parks, Recreation and Tourism Advisory Committee, Waterfront Advisory Committee, Mohawk Lake Committee, Brantford Police Services Board, Emergency Measures Committee, Mutual Planning Advisory Committee, Heritage Committee, Brantford General Hospital Board of Governors, City-County Liaison Committee, Economic Development Board, Grants Community, Brantford Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, Business Improvement Area Board and Management, Six Nations Liaison Committee, Waste Reduction Steering Committee, and the Police Services Board Citizens Appointment Review Committee. Wally was very dedicated in his service to the community.

As Chair of the Engineering Sector, Wally was part of a Council that developed and completed the Wayne Gretzky Parkway and the BSAR extension, which has provided development and growth opportunities for the City of Brantford. Since leaving Brantford City Council, Wally continues to serve his community as Chair of the Brant County Police Services Board while in his employ with the Ontario Ministry of Labour. Together with his wife Carmen, they share six children and 10 grandchildren.

Max Sherman – 2007

Max Sherman has served on Brantford City Council longer than any other present or previous member. At age 83, December 1, 1997 Max ceased to be a City Councillor after 31 years of service on Brantford City Council (29 years as Alderman and two as Mayor of the City). His active life of dedication to the community as a volunteer, however, continued. Max was involved with the Brant United Way, the Community Race Relations Committee, Probus and volunteer fund raising for one of his favourite institutions - the John Noble Home.

One of Max's fondest memories goes back to the official opening of the John Noble Home when he stood next to John Noble, after whom the Centre was named. Max has served on its Committee of Management for most of his time on Council. Max's proudest achievement is the building of the Civic Centre. He promised an arena when he ran for Mayor in 1957 and over time he delivered on that commitment. He set the wheels in motion during his two year term as Mayor (1957-1958) and then followed up persistently as an involved and dedicated volunteer citizen, making sure that the funds were raised and that the building was constructed and opened for community use.

In the 1950's the Grand River was an open sewer with effluent from our City and other communities flowing untreated into the river. With the backing and support of local anglers and conservationists, Max consistently championed the cause of proper sewage treatment facilities. One of Max's gratifying duties as Mayor was to pull the lever to start construction of the City's Sewage Treatment Plant. Yet, in his many years at City Hall - especially when he served as Chairman of the Finance and Executive Committees - Max always exercised diligence and care in the spending of tax dollars.

Max had extensive experience in the world of business, but he often was heard to say, "You can't run City Hall like a business, but you must run it in a business-like manner." By that statement he demonstrated that he understood the need to provide services to the people.

Art Stanbridge – 2008

Art Stanbridge served on Brantford City Council for 12 years, 1971 to 1982. He offered his leadership qualities by serving on numerous committees, boards and commissions. These included the Brant Area Local Government Committee, Brant/Brantford Inter-Municipal Committee, Brantford Development Commission, Brantford General Hospital of Governors, Brantford Mundialization Committee, Brant Social Service Committee, Children's Aid Society and Family Service Bureau, Civic Centre Commission, Committee of the Whole, Downtown Steering Committee, Executive Committee, Grant Committee and Personnel Advisory Committee, Industrial Waste Committee, Licensing Committee, Lodging House Review Board and Special Sales Board of Review, Number One Committee, Number Two Committee, Pedestrian Mall Downtown Study Committee, Safety Committee, Real Estate Committee, Special Committee to Interview Volunteers for Service on Various Boards, Committees and Commissions, Swimming Pool Developers Committee and Sub-Committee – Honorarium of Council, and The Twinning Committee for Brantford-Osijek. In 1975, Art attended a conference on the Hickey Report as representative of the Member of Associate of Municipal Tax Collectors. Art also substituted for Alderman H. Jones in 1972 and again in 1982 for Alderman C. Ward. Throughout his career on Council, Art had a great focus on the downtown area. In recognition of Art's contribution to revitalizing the downtown, the walkway over the street known as Mill Street from the west end of Market Centre Parkade to Colborne Street was dedicated and plaqued as the Art Stanbridge Walkway.

Art was first elected in 1971, representing Ward 2. He was the youngest of all the aldermen elected to this Council. Art worked as a District Manager of the Cooperators Insurance.

Charles Ward – 2009

Charles Ward was born in Leicester, England on September 25, 1891, and immigrated to Brantford, Canada in May 1908 and worked at Cockshutt Farm Equipment Limited and later transferred to Massey-Harris until his retirement in 1958. He was first elected to City Council in 1952, and except for 1958-1960 when he made an unsuccessful run for Mayor, he was an Alderman until his death on April 14, 1982 at age 91.

Charles served as Alderman for Ward 3 from 1952 to 1955. He was then elected as Ward 4 Alderman from 1956 through to 1958, and again in 1961 through to 1982. He offered his leadership qualities by serving on numerous committees, boards and commissions including: the Housing Committee, Property Fire and Light Committee, Welfare Committee, Board of Works, General Executive, Number One Committee, Brantford General Hospital – Board of Governors, Brant Social Services, Brantford Public Library Board, Brantford Senior Citizens Day Centre Board, John Noble Home, family service Bureau, Brant Area Local Government Review Committee, Brantford and District Civic Centre Commission, Children's Aid Society, Grand River Conservation Authority, Brantford Development Commission, Brant Social Development Council – including United Community fund and the Charitable Appeals Review Board.

Charles has been awarded many honours during his career and was known as one of Brantford's best ambassadors, as well as “Admiral of East Ward Creek” due to his continued efforts to have something done about the flooding problems related to the creek. In 1956 he was chosen as a delegate to the Duke of Edinburgh Conference. At age 71 he received the title “Citizen of the Year” in Brantford for his untiring and unselfish efforts on behalf of the citizens in the fields of civics, labour and welfare. On his 90th birthday he was named Honourary Lord Mayor of the City for Life, with a park being officially dedicated the Charles Ward Park. The East Ward Businessmen's Association sponsored the Charlie Ward Appreciation Night in honour of Charles, and in the year 1982, a plaque was unveiled officially dedicating and naming the Charlie Ward Room at City Hall, where Charles conducted council business during his three decades as a member of Council.

John Starkey – 2010

John Starkey was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, spent part of his childhood in Hamilton and moved to Brantford in 1967. He studied History and Philosophy at McMaster University before taking a job in Brantford. John Starkey served on Brantford City Council for 19 years, he was elected as Alderman, representing Ward 1 in 1978, and was re-elected in 1980, 1982, and 1985 before standing down after a serious injury from a car accident in 1988. John returned to Council in 1997 and served another term. In 2003, John was elected to serve as Councillor of Ward 5, but only served three years before standing down again. After his departure, he wrote a municipal affairs column for the Brantford Expositor.

John offered his leadership qualities by serving on numerous committees, boards, commissions, and agencies including Number Two Committee, Arts Coordinating Committee, Children's Aid Society of Brant, City of Brantford Planning Board, Grand River Conservation Authority, John Noble Home Board, Land Assembly and Development Committee, Local Architectural Conservations Advisory Committee, Brant Social Services, Brantford Heritage Committee, Capitol Theatre Steering Committee, Laneway Review Committee, Mutual Planning Advisory Committee, Development Board, Brant County Board of Health, Business Improvement Area Board of Management, Economic Development Board, Finance Committee, Corporate Services Committee, City/County Ambulances Task Force, Sanderson Centre Board of Management, Laurier-Mohawk Post-Secondary Education Committee, Community Development Committee, Engineering, Public Works and Parks and Recreation, Property Standards Committee, Committee of Adjustment, and Drinking/Driving Counter Measure Committee.

John was a former director of the Glenhyrst Arts Council and a director of the Brant County Museum, an officer of the Brant Riding Progressive Conservative Association and a member of Balfour United Church.

Mike Hancock – 2016

A dedicated public servant for 22 years, Mike Hancock was first elected to Brantford City Council in 1988, and re-elected five times before serving two terms as Mayor from 2003-2010. Priorities under his leadership included developing new industrial lands, revitalizing the City's downtown to accommodate Brantford's rapidly growing population of post-secondary students, and brownfield remediation and redevelopment. A skilled financial manager, Mike was a strong advocate for the reduction of the City's debt, which was eliminated under his successive years as Chair of the Council Finance and Corporate Services Committees. Another key achievement under Mike's tenure was the deal that brought Ferrero Canada Ltd. to the City's northwest, as the headquarters and manufacturing centre of the company's entry into the North American market. Mike honed his exceptional skills at cultivating local job-creation and industrial development programs through his work at the Canada Employment Centre, later known as Human Resource Development Canada. From 1998 to 2003, Mike also served as executive director of the Brant Skills Development Group, supporting skills training for youth in Brantford and Brant County.

Samuel G. Read – 2016

Born in Brantford in 1843, Samuel George Read was a highly regarded, accomplished entrepreneur and public servant. Throughout his longstanding career, Samuel worked tirelessly to champion causes that would better his community. In 1870, Samuel established a remarkably successful real estate and auctioneering business that by 1967 was the oldest real estate and insurance company in the City. In his later years, Samuel recalled a day when the busiest portion of Colborne Street was next to the famed Lorne Bridge. Interestingly, in addition to a passion for real estate, Samuel also had an extensive retail inventory of pianos, organs and sewing machines. Samuel served on City Council for 11 years, holding the office of Alderman from 1883 to 1890, when he was elected Mayor of the City of Brantford. A political reformer and influential voice in the community, Samuel held several additional high profile positions including, Governor of the John H. Stratford Memorial Hospital, Chairman of the Society Finance Committee, Chairman of the Manufacturer's Committee, member of the board of Police Commissioners, member of the Board of Trade, member of the Free Library Board, and member of the Board of Water Commissioners. From humble beginnings, to successful businessman, to highly respected civic leader, Samuel's dedication to his community in both private and public life is a testament to what can be achieved through hard work, passion and perseverance.

Howard E. Winter – 2017

Born in 1907, Howard E. Winter was a dedicated public servant who began his 28-year career in municipal politics in 1944 when he was elected as an Alderman for Ward 5. Howard also served seven years as Mayor of the City of Brantford from 1950-1953, 1956 and again from 1971-1972.

A passionate community advocate, Howard was also a member of several committees including the Playground Commission, the Recreation Commission, the Industrial Commission, Children's Aid Society, and the John Noble Home.

Over the course of his long political career, Howard served as the Chairman of the Welfare Committee and Housing Commission. Several of the initiatives Howard championed remain key priorities for the City including affordable housing and efforts to make the community age friendly and accessible. In 1971, along with Ontario Minister James W. Snow, Mayor Howard Winter officially commemorated the Henderson Home, the business office of Canada's first telephone company.

Howard Winter was an avid community enthusiast and proud citizen of Brantford until his death in 1997.

Vince Bucci – 2017

Vince Bucci was first elected as a Ward 2 Councillor in 1994 and went on to serve the citizens of the City of Brantford in this role for 17 years. During this time, Vince was a member of several committees including the Social Services Committee, the Brant County Board of Health, the Emergency Measures Operations Group, the Brantford Public Library Board, the City/County Liaison Committee, the Sanderson Centre Board of Management and the Brantford Energy Corporation where he also served as Chair. Vince also proudly chaired the City's Customer Service Task Force that developed a Customer Service Plan for the Corporation, including short and long-term goals as well as an implementation and financial plan to be considered as part of the City's 2012 Budget Process.

This important work formed the foundation for the City's Customer One Contact Centre, which uses a citizen-centered approach to guide the City's customer service delivery.

A dedicated community advocate, Vince also served as the Chair of the St. Joseph's Lifecare Foundation where it was his idea to repurpose St. Joseph's Hospital into a long-term care facility – a vision he facilitated and saw achieved in 2004. A former educator of 33 years, Vince was a Trustee for the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board and a passionate supporter of expanding educational opportunities in the city.

His long career in public service is a testament to the meaningful difference one individual can make in their community. ​

Edward J. Campbell - 2018

Edward J. Campbell was a dedicated and respected public servant who began his 43- years of distinguished service in municipal government in 1923 when he was elected as an Alderman for Ward 4 from 1923 to1927. Campbell also held the esteemed position of City Clerk for the City of Brantford from 1928 to 1957, and Alderman for Ward 4 again from 1958 to 1966. He was also President of the Ontario Municipal Association from 1947 to 1948 and a longstanding dedicated member of the John Noble Home Board of Governors. In recognition of his extensive and significant contributions to the community, Edward was named an Honorary Freeman of Brantford on 1967. During his long tenure as an elected official and public servant, Edward served under the leadership of 12 Mayors. He remained active in the community into his retirement serving as a city representative on the Brant County Board of Health at the time of his death in August 1971.

Marguerite Ceschi-Smith 2018

Marguerite Ceschi-Smith was first elected as a Councillor for Ward 5 in 1994 and went on to serve the citizens of the City of Brantford in this role for 10 years. A passionate proponent for environmental causes, Marguerite served as Vice-Chair on numerous Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Standing Committees including , Municipal Infrastructure and Transportation, Environmental Issues and Sustainable Development, International Relations, and Social-Economic Development. A champion and advocate for women to be more involved in civic life, Marguerite also served as Brantford's representative on the FCM Women in Municipal Government Board to encourage and provide women with the tools to run successfully for public office. She also served as the Chair of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario's (AMO) Brownfields Task Force from 2005 to 2010 and was awarded the Canadian Urban Institute's “Brownfielder of the Year” awarded for her activism and unyielding support of Brownfield remediation. Marguerite's legacy also includes her significant contribution to the City's Waterfront Master Plan that will serve as a model for environmental stewardship for generations to come.