Honouring a community figure

Daniel MacEachern
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Family of late barber hopes to put home plaque in namesake neighbourhood

Gus Galgay had to close his well-known barber shop last year after discovering he had a brain tumour. He operated his shop out of the basement of his house on Hamilton Avenue for years. Since his recent passing his family is interested in honouring him in the community. - File photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

The family of the late Gus Galgay hopes to honour the longtime barber with an official designation for the area of St. John's long known as "Galgay's Range."

Jonathan Galgay, Gus's son, has formally asked St. John's city council to put up a plaque with the name "Galgay's Range" at the top of Sudbury Street, next to the family home, where Gus ran his barbering business for decades.

"Since Dad passed away, I've been receiving phone calls and emails from a number of individuals who (said), 'Too bad you couldn't do something to recognize your father.' We thought about maybe having a scholarship in his name or putting a plaque near the shop itself. After doing some research and reflection, the term 'Galgay's Range,' came up, and I remember as a child looking at an old archival picture, and I can't seem to track it down, but it was a picture of the range. It was kind of a specific area."

Jonathan says it would look down on the range, which stretches from the corner of Alexander Street to Victoria Park.

The former Gus's Barber Shop is directly in line with the former range, says Galgay, and the family formally requested in January to review the request.

While Gus's brother Frank Galgay is the city's Ward 2 councillor, Jonathan says he's spearheading the request on his own, rather than going through his uncle, to avoid any potential conflict of interest.

Jonathan says Galgays have lived in the area for a long time, with census data going back to the 1800s. "It's not specifically a dwelling. It's the people who lived there. The people who grew up there and a lot of memories of people from the park."

He said the family received confirmation last month the request has been referred to the city's nomenclature committee for a recommendation.

"The CEI Club is right across the street, and that's apparently becoming a beautiful condominium. It's all going to be redeveloped," he said.

"I figured once that happens, the landscape is going to change a little bit, and I thought it might be nice to do something and honour him in some type of way."

dmaceachern@thetelegram.com Twitter: TelegramDaniel

Organizations: Barber Shop, CEI Club

Geographic location: St. John's, Sudbury Street, Alexander Street Victoria Park

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Recent comments

  • Michele
    May 03, 2012 - 16:15

    Galgays Range was a name given to a row of houses in St.John's West close to the gas co. house and the Railway Threstle the park next to the range was the West End Park later renamed " Victoria Park" in 1899. Would it not be more suitable to place a plaque in that area. Galgay's Range was never a term but a name.

    • Weston
      May 09, 2012 - 11:47

      Gallagher's was the official name, Galgay's just lived there. If you read the article, it seems as if his son is making a special request to honor his father - linking the past to present. perhpas reading Old St. John's you can get a breif on the history. anyway, heard on vocm that its a done deal. good for the family. other ranges are also recognized, celebration for all other families associated with their specific Range. telegram should follow up

  • Townie
    April 09, 2012 - 06:40

    No offence to the family, but isn;t it a bit soon. Next we will be naming Doc O'Keefe's street to honour him. And then Andy Wells. Etc. You got to like instant history. Just add water/

  • Toby Dunne
    April 08, 2012 - 16:32

    What a wonderful tribute this would be to a wonderful man and his family. The city of St. John's is driven by families with legacies such as the Galgays. It would be a great commemoration by the city to acknowledge the culture and character that Gus has contributed to St. John's. Well done Jonathan.

  • Anna Warford
    April 07, 2012 - 21:36

    I am in full support of the City approving this request. Gus Galgay was a true gentleman. He went out of his way to help others with acts of kindness. In all the years I have known Gus, he always had a smile on his face. Gus and his family were more than good to our family when we faced some difficult times. He always put others before himself and now it's time for us and the city to recognize him for all that he has done.

  • Doreen & Gerry Noseworthy
    April 07, 2012 - 14:57

    We think it is a most fitting tribute to this long-standing, community-minded individual who gave so much of himself to his city and its citizens. As much as Galgay's Range is a part of historic St. John's, Gus Galgay and his barber shop also reflected that same tradition. Through his warm and welcoming ways, to all those he served and met in his lifetime, Gus became part of the very fabric of life in that part of St. John's and will be forever loved, missed and remembered by those whose lives he touched. He never knew what a profound effect he had on people; it was simply who he was. We see this as a perfect way to just say "Thanks, Gus" to a city icon.

  • West Ender
    April 07, 2012 - 14:03

    This is truly a good news story, one in which should be closely followed. Gus Galgay was a remarkable man. I would be very disappointed if the city didn’t go through with this; or not assist in some way shape or form. I’d like to see Councillor Frank Galgay publically support this at council regardless of any conflict. Gus Galgay was a very influential man; his funeral at St. Patrick’s church was standing room only. Keep up the fight and I wish Jonathan much luck on this.