St. Lawrence community celebrates Bob Kemp’s life

By Megan Bocchinfuso –

On August 18 at David Crombie Park, the St. Lawrence commu­nity celebrated the life of active member Bob Kemp, who died on May 29. Family, friends, Di­vision 51 police and many mem­bers of the community attended.

From 2010-2018, Bob Kemp Day had been his yearly event for the children at St. Lawrence day camps, with games, food and activities. This year it was held in honour of Kemp. Food and refreshments were provid­ed.

Daughters Melanie Mahaney and Corrina Perkovich said their father did everything out of the goodness of his heart. He joined every neighbourhood commit­tee, marched in parades, planted flowers in the spring and put up Christmas lights in December. He did this with no personal agenda, they said, just to make the neighbourhood a better place. He eventually was known in the community as the “unoffi­cial mayor of St. Lawrence.”

“He did his best to make the community look better, and be better,” Mahaney said.

Kemp grew up a foster child and wanted to help similar peo­ple in his adult life. He gave jobs to homeless people at his company Old Time Event Crew, where they did maintenance, gardening and trash collection. Kemp was also a volunteer with 51 Division, where he won many awards.

“I think he loved the police so much because they’re there to help and provide for the com­munity – and that’s what he does.”

Police officers and detectives including Sergeant Peter Troup and Detective Steve Smith, re­counted first meeting Kemp at the 51 Division station. They thought “Who is this guy walk­ing around like he owns the place?” Other officers respond­ed, “Don’t worry, that’s just Bob!” Quickly Kemp formed friendships and gained respect.

Every speaker at the event shared similar stories. Sergeant Troup said “Bob, if we had more people like you, our communi­ty would certainly be a better place.”