Jack Bawcutt was a “community builder”

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At home or in town hall, Jack Bawcutt was always the calmest man in the room.

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Mr Bawcutt, the last mayor of the City of Paris before it became part of the amalgamated county of Brant in 1999, died on Monday. He was 98 years old.

“He had a way to bring calm to chaos,” Linda Schuyler, Mr Bawcutt’s eldest child, said on Wednesday. “He’s had to handle some pretty controversial meetings over the years, but he’s always been able to take the anger out of a situation.

“He never lost sight of what was important.”

Once, when his son, Tony, came home from a hockey game complaining about the other team and officials, Mr. Bawcutt asked him how he played.

Tony told him he played really well and daddy said, ‘That’s it. It’s not about winning or losing, it’s the way you play, ”Schuyler recalled.

Born in London, England, Mr. Bawcutt was a teenager when World War II broke out. He volunteered as an air raid director. During a night of intense bombing during the 1940 Blitz, he meets and falls in love with his future wife, Joyce Wood-Gaines.

Mr. Bawcutt then joined the Royal Air Force and was sent to Canada to become a pilot. After the war, while in England, Mr. Bawcutt and Joyce married and started a family before moving to Canada in 1956.

They settle in Paris and join the Presbyterian Church of Paris.

Mr. Bawcutt started working at Mary Maxim before moving to Penman’s, the textile company.

First elected to Paris city council in 1965, Mr. Bawcutt went on to become mayor, a post he held for 17 years.

“Dad was someone who was always there for people when they needed him,” Schuyler recalls. “He had three loves in life – his family, his church and his community. “

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The Bawcutts cared for their son Michael’s two children for most of the school year following a family tragedy. They were 86 at the time and adopted their new role, Schuyler said.

Schuyler, a Canadian television producer and co-creator of the Degrassi Television franchise, said she learned a lot from her father.

“He taught me everything I know about business,” she said.

“But he didn’t teach by giving lectures. He didn’t tell us what to do, he showed us.

Once, when she was in trouble and waited for a lick from her father, Schuyler instead got a look of disapproval and a simple comment: “And that’s why I taught you to drive. “

Brant Mayor David Bailey expressed his condolences to his family.

“They were community builders and helped shape the community we know and love today.”

Bailey noted that Mr Bawcutt had volunteered for several organizations, including the Willett Emergency Care Center in Paris.

“Jack was dedicated to improving the community and will be sadly missed by many friends, family, neighbors and colleagues.”

The flag in the council chamber in downtown Paris was half-masted in honor of Mr. Bawcutt.

Mr. Bawcutt is survived by his wife Joyce and four children Linda Schuyler (Stephen), Tony Bawcutt (Tracy), Barb Graham (Rob) and Michael Bawcutt (Lori) as well as numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren .

Visits will be made at Wm. Salon Funéraire Kipp, 184, rue Grand River N., Paris on Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A funeral service will be held at the Paris Presbyterian Church, 164, rue Grand River N., Paris on Friday at 2:00 p.m., with interment in the Paris cemetery.

Due to current COVID restrictions, masks must be worn and social distancing maintained. Those planning to attend the service are asked to register on the funeral home’s website at www.wmkippfuneralhome.com.

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