From left to right, Bill Diamond (Honorary Colonel of 39th Combat Engineers North Vancouver), Retired Captain Jack Bowen (President of the Regimental Association of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment), Bugle Major Chris Ahern (British Columbia Regiment Brass and Reed Band), Honorary Colonel Ted Hawthorne (British Columbia Regiment), and Guy Black (local military historian) take part in the unveiling of a stone marker honouring Chip Kerr in Port Moody on Feb. 25, 2018.
On Sunday, February 25, 2018, the City of Port Moody unveiled a stone marker honouring John Chipman “Chip” Kerr at 2224 Clarke Street (known as the McLean Residence), as part of the community’s Heritage Week celebrations.
“The City of Port Moody and the Heritage Commission are pleased to honour John Chipman Kerr with this stone marker,” said Councillor Hunter Madsen, Chair of the Heritage Commission. “During the First World War, Mr. Kerr was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award in the United Kingdom honours system, for his brave actions during the Battle of the Somme. We honour Mr. Kerr for his public service and his courage in the face of overwhelming obstacles.”
John Chipman Kerr was born in 1887 in Fox River, Nova Scotia. In 1915, he enlisted and served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force’s 49th Battalion. During the Battle of the Somme at Courcelette, France, Kerr was instrumental in overpowering an enemy stronghold and capturing 62 prisoners. Years later, during World War II, Kerr re-enlisted in the army, transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Force, and was posted to Sea Island, B.C. He moved to Port Moody in 1947 and lived in the McLean Residence, built around 1908 and named for one its original owners, Elizabeth A. McLean. Kerr lived in Port Moody until his death in 1963. Mount Kerr in Jasper National Park, Alberta is named after Kerr, as is Chip Kerr Park in Port Moody.
“This new marker honouring Chip Kerr is a great addition to our stone marker program,” said Mayor Mike Clay. “Port Moody was built and nurtured by strong and courageous individuals who saw the value in working for the benefit of the community as a whole. The City’s stone marker program provides us with an opportunity to recognize those who have made Port Moody the amazing place that it is today.”
The stone marker program was established in 1999 to honour a person or event that has made a significant contribution to the civic, cultural, or societal history of Port Moody. A bronze plaque, 10 inches by 10 inches, which includes a brief description of an important event or a resident’s service to the community, is permanently fixed to a large stone and placed in a meaningful location, such as the person’s place of residence.
Visit portmoody.ca/stonemarker to learn more about the stone marker program.