Henry Thomas Shepherd Online Exhibit

Posted On Thursday November 19, 2020

The Halton Hills Public Library is excited to welcome residents to view, reflect, and celebrate the incredible life and legacy of Henry Thomas Shepherd in a new online exhibit that details his life and accomplishments.

Through pictures, text, transcripts, and audio, this remarkable exhibit details Henry’s life, his family history, numerous accomplishments, war service, careers; including Fleck’s Paper Mill and Chief of the Georgetown Fire Department, his associations, and finally his outstanding honours, awards, and recognition.

For the first time ever, HHPL is thrilled to offer insight into the life and times of Henry Thomas Shepherd who was born in Stewarttown in 1895. He was a humble and steadfast man in his beliefs and values and despite the obstacles he faced as a Black man in a racially tumultuous time, he was revered by his peers as a man of incredible integrity. Henry challenged the odds and charged through life with passion, dignity, and respect.

“It’s been a journey of love and years of gathering pictures from each branch of our family. I’ve had lots of help and encouragement along the way”, says Kathy Brooks, granddaughter of Henry Thomas Shepherd. “Grandpa’s story is being shared widely, and is part of a growing movement to recognize and remember the contributions of Black Canadians. These stories need to be told and the research has ensured that, not only at a family level but in many communities and schools.”

In addition to this online exhibit, the community can also enjoy the Henry Thomas Shepherd MBE Park, located at 45 Dayfoot Drive in Georgetown. This site was chosen in honour of Henry and his family, who settled and worked in this surrounding area.

“It’s the Library’s honour to curate this exhibit on behalf of the Shepherd family and give the community a glimpse into the life and times of Mr. Henry Thomas Shepherd,” says Melanie Southern, Chief Librarian. “He lived an extraordinary life, accomplished a great deal, served his country in the World Wars, volunteered and supported his community, raised a wonderful family, and served as Chief of the Georgetown Fire Department. Not many people have achieved this level of success in their lifetime that Henry Thomas Shepherd did."

For more information about this incredible man, his life and legacy, please visit the Henry Thomas Shepherd page from the HHPL website.