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POWERS, William and Elena Powers

Son of William and Elena Powers:

Ellard Powers

February 14, 1934 to February 28, 2009

Ellard Powers

Ellard Powers

Ellard was born in the Roche Fondu to William and Elena Powers, the oldest of five children. He married Gladys Powers (nee Robinson) and they raised five daughters, Donna, Debbie, Brenda, Karen and Carolyn on a farm located on Powers Road just outside of Beachburg.

Family was very important to Ellard and he truly valued quality time with his wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Ellard took on leadership roles within the church and had a deep personal faith, a faith that he expressed through the use of his many talents and a faith that led him to act on the injustices which he identified over the years. He was a farmer and loved the land, livestock and crops as well as the business of farming but recognized early on that farmers deserved better. However he believed that they needed more muscle and a stronger voice and so he joined the Ontario Farmer’s Union and was a member for over 50 years. During the 1960’s he became 1st vice-president of the provincial organization.

In 1967 as the 1st Vice President of the Ontario Farmer’s Union he served as co-chair of one of the largest demonstrations ever held on Parliament Hill. This event marked a crucial turning point in the establishment of the Canadian Dairy Commission. From 1967-1970 he was a member of the Consultative Committee to the Canadian Dairy Commission, from 1969- 1970 he was member of the Ontario Milk Marketing Board, and in 1970 he was appointed as a commissioner to the Canadian Dairy Commission, a position which he held until 1973 when he was appointed as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. When he was vice-chair of the Ontario Crop Insurance Commission it was about putting together a better system for farmers. As a member of the Canadian Agricultural Research Council, he worked to insure that research was being done for the benefit of farmers.

In spite of the many accomplishments during his lifetime, Ellard would insist that the attention belonged to the issues that he was working on or the people affected by those issues. Ellard was inducted in to the Agricultural Wall of Fame in 1996 for his contributions. He believed quite strongly that we, as citizens, have an important role to play in shaping the future of our communities and the world around us. The legacy he leaves us lives on in the work people are doing on behalf of farmers.

Source:  On the occasion of the 175 Anniversary of Beachburg, an excellent book was produced: “Beachburg – A Rich Heritage, 1835-2010”.  The POWERS  family’s submission of text and photographs to this commemorative book is used here.