ST. PETER’S: A funeral service was held last week for a well-known Richmond County businessman and community volunteer.
Alexander Morrison passed away on March 24 at the age of 95. Morrison is being remembered by his neighbours for the ways in which he shaped his community.
“Alex was a proud St. Peter’s native. He was the third generation to run Morrison’s store,” said Clair Rankin, former Richmond Municipal Councillor and long-time friend of Morrison. “He was a very successful businessman, but also very giving and generous.”
Morrison was the last manager of Morrison’s Stores Ltd. The family business had been a fixture in the community, supplying food, clothing and other necessities for over 120 years before finally closing its doors. Rankin said Morrison looked after his neighbours, sometimes ensuring they received the supplies they needed, even when they could not pay.
Morrison also established of the area’s first ambulance service in the early 1960s, and served as a licensed funeral director for over 50 years.
“That was another side of the man people really appreciated, his empathy and ability to sympathize and console many, many families in the area when they had to use his services,” said Rankin.
Morrison was a member of the Progressive Conservative Association and had a keen interest in politics.
“He was somebody to bounce ideas off of for things that were happening in the town,” Rankin said.
Morrison was also a long-time member of the Royal Canadian Legion St. Peter’s Branch 47. Charlie Williamson, who has been a member for over 25 years recalls that Morrison was a driving force in the legion for decades, and kept the organization running even through challenging times.
“He was a member for 73 years,” said Williamson. “If there was anything going on at the legion, if he could support it, he would.”
For many, Morrison will be remembered for his involvement with St. Peter’s United Church in which he was an Elder, and for his service to the Canadian Army during World War II. He was involved with a number of other community organizations such as the St. Peter’s Lions Club.
Morrison was also an active member of the St. Peter’s Community Club. With the help of his wife Ruth and other community members, he was instrumental in the designation of a provincial park on Battery Hill, and helped establish the Nicolas Denys museum, which was built in 1967 as a Canadian Centennial project.
“He was a wealth of information,” said Michele Stone, a current member of the St. Peter’s Community Club. “He just knew everything about everything that went on in the community.”
Stone believes that Morrison has passed the torch to others who are inspired to continue his work in the community.
“He and others of that generation really laid the groundwork that you can get stuff done if you just do it,” said Stone. “He was very involved in making St. Peter’s a better place and probably the reason that it’s so great today.”