It is with immense sadness that we announce the recent passing of a remarkable man, Mr. Ronald E. Lawless, former president of CN and Via Rail, Member of the Order of Canada and an active member of the Old Brewery Mission’s board of directors since 1989—notably as Chair, then for the past eight years, as Chair Emeritus.
A decisive visionary with a tremendous heart, Mr. Lawless was one of the first to declare with absolute certainty that putting an end to homelessness was not a dream but a possibility. He was an inspirational leader, a businessman and pioneer whose kindness and generosity will always be remembered.
In his foreword, published in Soup to Self-Sufficiency (Old Brewery Mission, 2014), Mr. Lawless wrote:
“Our goal today is to eradicate chronic homelessness, and we see that goal on the horizon. We need the support of governments, charitable foundations and citizens at large to forge the partnerships with our community that are necessary to achieve that goal.”
Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends and loved ones.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that memorial contributions be made to the Old Brewery Mission, an organization and a cause that he held very close to his heart. We are ever so grateful for their generous gesture.