Friends reflect on Bill Paul's legacy as London Ontario's town crier
The city of London has lost its beloved longtime Town Crier, Bill Paul, who died of natural causes on Saturday at the early age of 66.
Paul was known for his community involvement, attending various fundraising events, birthdays and parades.
"He was making balloons, he was volunteering for charities, he led the Santa Claus parade, he also, for many years, was involved with the United Nations," said longtime friend, Ed Corrigan.
Apart from his active community involvement, countless people can recall a phone call from Paul on their birthday, he was known to keep books with hundreds of people’s names and contact information in it to ensure he didn’t miss a day.
"No word of a lie, he would be making 5000 calls a year," said another friend of Paul’s, Don McLeod.
His friends called him kind and generous with his time, rarely turning down an event invitation.
His final appearance was about a month ago at a 75th birthday party for three Londoners.
The pandemic was hard for Paul because there were less gatherings and events for him to attend.
With all the downtime this year, he and Don McLeod were working on raising funds to get him a brand new town crier uniform.
"We had part of the gear already put together for him, we just needed to get the robe done," said McLeod.
He adds Paul was looking forward to wearing it to events after the pandemic, hoping to help boost community morale.
McLeod is still hoping to raise enough funds to purchase the robe and fulfill his friend’s wish of having a new town crier uniform.
Plans for Paul’s funeral will be arranged next week.
Those closest to Paul plan on arranging a virtual celebration of life that will be open for the public to attend.