Inducted: November 29, 1989
It was during the late 1930s that marketing plans and related legislation for Ontario were gradually being formulated. The production of Burley tobacco was of great importance to Kent County.
The "local Board" which was conceived to direct the implementation of regulations through this crucial time is credited with pioneering a system that became the basis for most orderly marketing programs which followed.
Mr. Desmond was Chairman of the Board of Directors elected to the original Burley Tobacco Marketing Association of Ontario in 1935. He continued in that position until 1939, by which time price negotiation with buying companies and acreage control had been effected and, with the necessary legislation in place, the "Association" eventually became a "Marketing Board."
The Desmond Family, originally from Ireland, has been in Kent County since before 1800 with Earl's great grandfather, Timothy, having received a grant of land in the Thamesville area. In 1816, the family received a grant from Colonel Talbot for the 200-acre Lot 82 (sloping to the lake) on the Talbot Road at Trinity, east of Morpeth, and it is still in the family. Earl's grandfather, John, was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the militia during the Rebellion of 1837.
The Desmonds were among the pioneer livestock producers who established the Livestock Exhibition in Morpeth, one of the earliest in Ontario and a model for many that followed.
Mr. Desmond served on the Board of the Ridgetown Vocational Agricultural High School. In March, 1940, he was elected to the House of Commons for Kent, retaining the seat for the Conservative.