Ron Wallace, former Council member and founder of The Auroran Newspaper, was known during his lifetime as “Mr. Aurora” – and now generations of Aurora residents will see this moniker, one he so loved, every time they visit Town Park.
On Sunday afternoon, a permanent memorial to Mr. Wallace, taking the form of an engraved rock beneath a mature tree near Town Park’s band shell, was unveiled during a special celebration of life following his death last November.
Emceed by former MPP Frank Klees, he was eulogized by his wife, Patricia, Mayor Tom Mrakas, former mayor Tim Jones, Auroran editor Brock Weir, Aurora Chamber of Commerce representative Lisa Knappett, and a host of friends.
Also in attendance were Councillors Rachel Gilliland, Sandra Humfryes and Michael Thompson, former mayor Geoff Dawe, and former councillors Allison Collins-Mrakas, Steve Hinder, Grace Marsh, Bob McRoberts, and Damir Vrancic.
“Today, we gather to celebrate and commemorate the life of Mr. Aurora himself, the one and only Ron Wallace,” said Mayor Mrakas. “There is so much to celebrate about Ron and what he did for this Town he loved so much. Ron gave back to Aurora in so many ways. From serving his community for three terms as an Aurora Town Councillor to founding the beloved Auroran, the source for Aurora’s news and community happenings for over two decades now, to his work as a devoted member of the Rotary Club.
“His service to community has been recognized with many awards, including the highest honour we can give an Auroran: Citizen of the Year. Ron did so much more than can be recognized by awards, and that is evident in the impact he has had on all of us standing here today. The positive impact he has had on generations of businesses, residents, and people he loved, ensures that his life, his legacy, will be felt for decades to come.
“It is fitting we celebrate Ron Wallace’s life in front of this tree: a tangible symbol of lasting strength and protection. What makes a tree strong? It’s its roots, spanning deep into the ground providing stability, strength and growth for generations to come. I can’t think of a better tribute to Ron Wallace. This tree, a living testament to a man who put down deep roots in Aurora and continues to give to the community he loved.”
Wallace, who had been battling an atypical parkinsonism-related disease for nearly a decade, lost his battle on November 22, 2020. He was 76.
He is survived by Patricia and daughter Aurora.
Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran