Cameron, Peter (1888 - 1972)
Inducted: November 28, 1990
Peter Cameron, like many of his generation, had little opportunity to get a formal education, but he spent a full and productive lifetime learning all he could to promote better livestock.
Mr. Cameron was born in Howard Township, son of Thomas and Jane Cameron, and left Botany Public School before completing his elementary education. That, and a year spent at the Canada Business College in Chatham constituted his entire classroom education.
At an early age, he was given the responsibility of riding horseback to the Botany Post Office to pick up the family mail, in an era before rural route delivery. The saddle he used is still a prized family possession.
Mr. Cameron, as a young boy, gained his first experience as a fall fair exhibitor when he showed pigeons at the Ridgetown Fair. A lifelong interest in quality sheep started when he and his father exhibited Southdowns at local fairs and at the Western Fair in London. When his father's health failed, he took over the flock and continued to show at area fairs, Western Fair, the Canadian National Exhibition and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. On one occasion, Cameron sheep were exhibited at the Chicago International Exhibition.
Mr. Cameron's emphasis on quality brought him many awards, and established a reputation that led to the export of sheep to the United States. He served as President of the Ontario Sheep Breeders' Association.
He was also interested in cattle, and was a co-founder, in 1941, of the Tri-County Shorthorn Club, which included cattlemen from Essex, Kent, Elgin and Norfolk counties. The club required a manager because of the sales it sponsored, and Mr. Cameron handled that responsibility from 1941-1958, when George Lee became manager.
Mr. Cameron was deeply interested in community history. He organized a fund-raising campaign that led to the installation of a cairn at the corner of the Botany and Scane sideroads. This honoured the members of the McBrayne family who had operated the Botany Post Office at that location for many years; and a daughter, Kathryn Dunlop who compiled a history of the area.
A contemporary once described Mr. Cameron as "the best of the breed, the men and women who made agriculture what it is in Kent County today."