Honouring a community figure

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

Daniel MacEachern dmaceachern@thetelegram.com
Published on April 7, 2012
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."

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