By Jill Passmore, Visitor Experience Co-ordinator
Terence Vincent Kelly was born in Toronto on May 28, 1931. He and his twin brother John were brought up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. At age 16, the young men returned to Canada where Kelly eventually studied law. He moved to Oshawa in 1949 and worked at General Motors for several years. In 1956, he started his own law firm, which is still in operation today and known as ‘Kelly Greenway Bruce.’
Many knew him throughout the region as a sports fanatic who took every opportunity to watch and support the many sports that were played in Oshawa and abroad. His love of sports and community involvement came together in the 1960s, when local citizens raised funds and campaigned to have a new sports complex built in Oshawa. Terry Kelly was the one who spearheaded the campaign and served as the Finance Chairman for the project. Nonetheless, he was also a driving force in many other local and provincial charities.
Mr. Kelly was inducted into the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Oshawa Walk of Fame in 2007 and served as chairman of the Canada Sports Hall of Fame Selection Committee. His community work was recognized with many prestigious awards including the Centennial medal in 1967 and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977, Queen’s Gold Jubilee Medal in 2002 and Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
In 2005, the Ontario Justice Education Network established the Kelly Cup. The OJEN is a non-governmental agency who develops innovative educational tools that introduce young people to the justice system, help them understand the law, and build their legal capability. The Kelly Cup is a series of competitive mock trials for students, whose past winners include O’Neill CVI from Oshawa and All Saints CSS from Whitby.
Terry Kelly passed away in 2015 after practicing law for over six decades. In his obituary, son Tim Kelly said, “He wanted to see Oshawa thrive.” After living in Oshawa for over sixty years, Terry Kelly saw a lot of change in Oshawa. He did his best to ensure that people were active, and had a safe place to play sports. Before he died, Terry lived to see the name of the Civic Fields changed to Terry Kelly Field and the project officially came full circle.