Howard George Morry
Howard George Morry
Born: 14 Dec. 1934
Married: 9 Nov. 1957
Died: 8 Nov. 2016
Mary Perpetua Carroll
Born: 05 Jan. 1930
Outer Cove, Nfld.
Died: 14 Jul. 2017
Howard George and Mary Perpetua (Carroll) Morry’s wedding
Maintaining the Morry Tradition in Farming
Not many people think of Newfoundland and Agriculture in the same sentence. Yet it is a fact that the earliest settlers, back to the time of Lord Baltimore’s settlement in Ferryland, found ways to draw a livelihood from the sparse soil and unpredictable weather of this harsh but beautiful land. In the Morry family too there is an old tradition of farming that dates back many generations. For as much as the family drew most of its wealth in days gone by from the fishery and the shipping and trade activities surrounding the fishery, in this remote part of the world it was essential to grow and raise the main staples upon which a healthy and stable society depends.
Thomas Graham Morry, Howard’s grandfather, was well known for his ability to produce bounty from the land. The Morry farm in Ferryland was established on land well away from the shore to take full advantage of the shelter and what soil there was available in that region.
Growing Up In Ferryland
As a young boy, Howard George learned from his own father, Howard Leopold the basic skills of the farmer and was immediately captivated by the whole idea of producing bounty from the land rather than the ocean, as were most boys of his age in that region. Thus began a lifetime of involvement in agriculture.
Induction into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame, October 2005
Howard’s lifetime of involvement in agriculture, including his 35 year career with the Federal Department of Agriculture’s Research Station in St. John’s and his work as the President of the Sheep Producer’s Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, not to mention his own remarkable successes in farming in Kilbride, all came to be recognised publicly in October 2005 for the contribution that he had made to Newfoundland and Canada when he was inducted into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame. The words in his citation issued at that time can perhaps capture best this lifetime of achievements:
|Howard G. Morry Newfoundland and Labrador
Howard George Morry has been involved with the agricultural industry his entire life, having grown up on a mixed farm in Ferryland, NL. After several years working in Ontario in the early 1950s, Mr. Morry attended Nova Scotia Agricultural College graduating in 1955 with a diploma in Agriculture. He has spent much of his working life with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (1955-1990) where he was entrusted with the care of the Newfoundland Local Sheep Flock at the St. John’s Research Station in addition to his duties in agronomy, soils and entomology. In his 35 year service, he was recognized as a knowledgeable and trusted employee who could be depended on to complete the assigned tasks. He has farmed continuously, returning to full-time farming following retirement in 1990.
Mr. Morry was President of the Sheep Producers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SPANL) from 1994-2000 and from 2002-2005. Under his leadership the Association developed a sheep strategy for the province to further develop the industry. His countless hours of work on this were done without monetary compensation but with the satisfaction of knowing that the strategy would help all sheep farmers. Mr. Morry has ensured that training has been available for all sheep farmers. He has overseen seminars on lambing, flock health, coyote prevention and control, secondary processing and many other topics with serious implications for the advancement of the industry. In his tenure as President, the Association has achieved financial stability and membership has increased dramatically. Mr. Morry is recognized as the voice of the small farmer and he is constantly battling for the rights of the small producer whether it is sheep or another commodity.
Mr. Morry has worked and continues to work, with industry on the preservation and conservation of Newfoundland Local Sheep. He is asked by industry to work on registration and tattooing of animals and undertakes this work without hesitation or compensation. He has been on the Newfoundland Local Sheep Steering Committee since its inception in 1990. His knowledge of the history of this unique animal is valued by all who are interested in the preservation of Newfoundland heritage.
Howard has worked tirelessly with government to deal with the threat that coyotes pose to the sheep industry. He devotes many hours of volunteer time to the Coyote Control Committee.
Mr. Morry has been a valuable source of information and advice to new farmers, government and industry. He is respected for his tireless work for the sheep industry as well as his honest and straightforward views. His industry presentations at the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture Annual General Meetings are often the highlight for observers. He is known for speaking from the heart and is appreciative of any efforts farmers, government or individuals make to help his industry.
Howard and his wife Mary raised their eight children in Kilbride.
Nominated by the Sheep Producers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador in recognition of his contribution to agriculture in Newfoundland and Labrador, Mr. Morry is worthy for induction into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Induction Date: 2005
The Association that he helped to build and has represented since its inception, the Sheep Producers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, nominated Howard for this distinction. Here is the text of that Recommendation.
Howard’s achievements were further recognised by the Minister of Natural Resources in Newfoundland:
Kilbride Man Honoured October 28, 2005
Natural Resources Minister Ed Byrne is congratulating Howard Morry of Kilbride who was inducted into the Atlantic Agriculture Hall of Fame in Truro, Nova Scotia yesterday. Morry has worked in the industry his entire life, growing up on a farm in Ferryland and retiring from Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada in 1990.
Recent Media Reports on Howard’s Farming and Some Innovations He Has Introduced
This article by Barb Sweet appeared in the Evening Telegram in July, 2011:
And more recently, in November 2011, Chris Hodder penned another article, this time in the Downhome magazine appeared:
Praise comes in other forms too. Here is a poem written in Howard’s honour by one of the many sheep farmers he has helped along, Jennifer Decker.
The Island Sheep By Jennifer Decker Roddickton, Newfoundland
In Newfoundland 100 years ago When the winters were long and dressed in snow The farmer was called the fisherman Men were called b’ys and them boys was men.
Sheep in the sheds on back of the house Survived off nothing but snow and brouse. They waited for spring ’round the end of May When the ice pans would melt or float back out the bay.
The fishermen came and sang out “Come Nan.” Sheep knew them well and to them they ran. The men walked them down to the salt beach With a boot in his punt, a fellow stretched back to reach.
Then the man on the land lifted each sheep To the man in the boat on the ocean deep. One by one every sheep was passed Into the wooden punt until at last
There were no sheep left on that shore And the little boat couldn’t hold any more. The b’ys pushed the boat off the beach rock And launched that boat with the fisherman’s flock.
One buddy in the bow, one buddy was rowing. The sheep looked ahead to where they were going To the island of grass surrounded by shore, Their green island home every summer before.
The sheep got carried every spring over water Like them fishermen’s grandfather’s grandfather’s father. But time changes life, 100 years swept that shore. That island’s still there but sheep don’t live there no more.
Years washed through harbours like waves in the storms. They hit hard and strong and came in all forms. Time carried away the boats, the b’ys and the men, Along with the way things always had been.
Now sheep don’t be floated and carried over the sea, To their summer’s island home where they used to be. Time melted Newfoundland sheep from the bay. Like ice pans in the harbour ’round the end of May.
Here is an article that appeared in the En Route magazine found on Air Canada in February 2012. The demand for Uncle Howard’s lamb at upscale restaurants is one measure of its high quality.
Air Canada – En Route March 2012
Food & Drink
The bleating best lamb in Canada has diners flocking to St. John’s, Newfoundland.
BY SARAH MUSGRAVE
The Summer 2014 edition of Agriview, the news magazine of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture, featured a cover article on Howard Morry and his years dedicated to the improvement of agriculture and especially sheep farming in Newfoundland. To see the whole article click on the cover below.
Despite this fame and recognition that came perhaps later in life than ought to have been the case, anyone who knows Howard will tell you that what gives him the greatest pride is the family that he and his wife Mary have raised.
Howard and Mary Morry’s Family ca 1982
Rear: Howie and Gerard
2nd Row: Keith, Brenda and Sandra
3rd Row: Phyllis and Mary
Front Row: Jamie, Howard and Jeannie
Michele, Clark and Blaine, 2002
Brad Morry, ca 2015
Christopher and Meghan, 2002
Jamie and family, ca 1995
Derek, Katelyn, Sandra and Mark, ca 2009
Matthew and group Gan Ainm
James Andrew Morry, 2002
Shannon and Erin, 2003