First town crier with Down syndrome recognized as honorary member of Ontario Guild of Town Criers

Will Brewer, a Halifax man living with Down syndrome, was presented with an Honourary membership to the Ontario Guild of Town Criers at a meeting of Halifax Regional Council on Oct. 30, 2018. Alexa MacLean/Global News

The Town Crier of Olde Halifax — the first in Canada with Down syndrome — has received another feather in his cap.

Will Brewer was presented with an honorary membership in the Ontario Guild of Town Criers, on Tuesday at a ceremony before a meeting of Halifax Regional Council.

“I don’t know what to say,” Brewer said at the ceremony before thanking his family members in attendance.

READ MORE: Halifax man ‘gives voice’ to those living with disabilities

The Ontario guild voted unanimously in favour of the motion at its annual general meeting last summer and the guild’s director, Bruce Kruger, was on hand to present the membership.

“In recognition that people be celebrated equally and respectfully and whereas the official Town Crier of Olde Halifax has demonstrated utmost effort, determination and competence, which diligently showcases the abilities and contributions of people with Down syndrome,” Kruger said during the presentation.

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Mayor Mike Savage said people often second-guess the decisions that council makes, but no one has doubted them on their decision to appoint Brewer as the official Halifax Ole Town Crier.

“Will we are so proud of you and so proud of the job you are doing and so proud of the advocacy you are doing on behalf of people with Down syndrome,” said Savage.

After two years of trying, Brewer was named the official town crier as of Canada Day. The role had been vacant since the previous town crier, Peter Cox, died in 2009.

The crier is in charge of reading official proclamations and attending events in the municipality as needed.

Brewer was born with Down syndrome but has previously told Global News that he has spent his life pursuing opportunities that inspire others living with disabilities to find their purpose.

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“I hope that everyone can spread their voices around the community and maybe they’ll find their meaning in everyday life,” he said.

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