Charlie Lawes acquired his passion for public service at a young age and it has never deserted him.
At age 90, he remains active in his community and can still be counted upon
to help out at local events such as the Brooke-Alvinston-Watford Fall Fair.
Born Feb. 28, 1924 in Brooke Township, Charlie bought his first farm at the age of 20 and over the years expanded his operation to
250 acres and was known as a man who grew good crops.
It was also at age 20 that he began his life-long commitment to public service by becoming Secretary/Treasurer of Fairbanks School in Brooke Township, a position
he held until the advent of the Central School System in the late 1960s.
His political career began in 1955 when he was elected to the Brooke Township Council.
he was elected deputy-reeve of the township and by virtue of that position also served on Lambton County Council.
In 1974, he was elected Warden of Lambton County, thus becoming the first deputy-reeve in the history
to be elected to the Lambton County’s top post.
Following his year as Warden he become Reeve of Brooke Township and held that position until he retired from municipal politics in 1978.
Among the many other positions he held included a stint as director on the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority and also served as Brooke Township’s representative on the building committee of the Brooke-Inwood-Alvinston Community
He was also a director on the board of the Brooke Municipal Telephone system from 1881 to 1991 and served as chairman when it became a digital system which at the time was an aggressive move for a small
rural telephone company.
Today, Brooke Telecom provides high-speed internet to its subscribers, a service which today is lacking in many rural communities.
a long-time member of the Inwood United Church where over the years he has served on the church board and has been a delegate to Session.
He joined the Brooke-Alvinston-Watford Fair Board in in the 1960s, served
as its president in 1971 and continues to help out at the fair to this day.
Charlie is also a past-master of Inwood Masonic Lodge and served for many years as its treasurer.
An avid plowmen
Charlie joined the Lambton County Plowmen’s Association in the early
1960s and was instrumental in the local committee when the International Plowing Match was held in Brooke Township in 1973.
In 1982, he was elected as Lambton’s County’s provincial director on the Ontario
Plowmen’s Association, a position he held for 20 years, serving as its president in 1995.
When the IPM was held in Enniskillen Township in 1991 Charlie was recognized for the work he had done in in not only
securing the match once again for Lambton but also for guidance and leadership he provided for the local committee.
Allan and Lois Ellwood, long-time members of the Lambton County Plowmen’s Association noted
that Charlie’s contributions to the organization have been countless and has always been able to help with planning and work at the Lambton match.
“With the help of Charlie and other association members,
the IPM was brought to Lambton County in 1991 and as this event was such a success, a legacy in the form of scholarships has been presented to many Lambton County students in the past and will continue in the future,” said Allan Ellwood.
“We are very proud to see Charles Lawes inducted into the Lambton County Agricultural Hall of Fame on Nov. 14, 2014.