Inducted: October 30, 1991
George W. Parry promised to do his best for West Kent when he was elected to the Provincial Legislature in 1945, reinforcing his lifelong commitment to agriculture and to his community.
When he retired 18 years later, representatives of all political parties joined in praising his non-partisan response to the needs of his constituents and to a wider farming community.
Mr. Parry's roots were firmly planted in Dover Township. His father, Robert Parry, came from England to work on a Dover farm, and eventually bought the riverfront property still farmed by the Parry family.
Mr. Parry had to cross the Thames in a boat or on the ice to attend Union S.S. No. 6, Dover and Raleigh Townships. At 19 he married Myrtle Alice Clements, a true helpmate on the farm and in his political career, and bought 57 acres separated by one property from the family farm.
Mr. Parry became interested early in his community and in farm organizations. He was a trustee of Union S.S. No. 6 for 21 years, and Board Chairman for three years.
Mr. Parry was one of the progressive farmers who took part in the first tests of hybrid corn. His interest in organized marketing was shown in his service as the Chairman of the Ontario Burley Tobacco Marketing Association, as director of the Ontario White Bean Marketing Board and as a member of the Ontario Sugar Beet Growers' Marketing Board through some of its toughest years.
His 1943 presidency of the Kent Federation of Agriculture led to politics. Progressive Conservatives were so impressed by his ability to talk and to influence people that they invited him to be their candidate, and he was elected.
Mr. Parry's speeches to the Ontario Legislature reflected his farm background and interests. They were on such diverse topics as housing accommodations for farm labour, brucellosis in livestock, the Farm Products Control Act and its implications, the essentials of producing food and specialized corn production for seed purposes.
Coming, as he did, from a flood-prone county, Mr. Parry contributed a great deal when he served on the Legislative Committee that studied soil erosion and flood control. He worked hard in the Legislature, and behind the scenes to obtain such area benefits as a Thames revetment wall at the Chatham Public General Hospital, and a new Sydenham River bridge at Wallaceburg. The choice of a South Kent location for an Ontario Hospital-School (now the Southwest Regional Centre) was the crowning achievement of his political career.
Mr. Parry's hard work and diplomacy in negotiating a Keil Drive bridge over the Thames, a project involving Dover Township, the City of Chatham and the Department of Highways, resulted in the bridge being named to honour him.
Mr. Parry was an active, lifelong member of Dover's historic St. Thomas Anglican Church. He was an Honorary President of the Chatham Jaycees, and was chosen "Mr. Goodfellow" in 1965.
The Parrys had five children, Mrs. Fred A. (Dorothy) Brown, Garnet Parry, the late Robert George Parry, Mrs. Glen (Alma) Wicks and Mrs. W.O. (Jeanne) Lake.
As Stan Wonnacott said, Mr. Parry "served as a truly dedicated agriculturalist in private as well as public life."