Updated: Dec 13, 2021
Distinguished supporter of youth
William Lloyd Thomas Perry, the son of a pastor, was a track star at Chatham Collegiate and Vocational Institute. He had also been elected as Premier of the Ontario Older Boys Parliament.
After graduating from Wayne University, Detroit, Michigan, Lloyd went on to study law. When he enlisted with the RCAF on October 8, 1942, Lloyd Perry made the news in Chatham, Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario.
Lloyd enlisted as aircrew, and as with many other RCAF members, he served at British
Commonwealth Air Training Program schools in Canada. As the Second World War was coming to an end the RCAF began reducing its number of personnel, so Lloyd was released from service on February 14, 1945. He and so many others had served their country honourably.
Using his Veterans’ Gratuity to help support his education, Lloyd graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1950. At the time, there were few Black lawyers in Ontario, or anywhere in Canada. Lloyd was immediately hired to work for The Office of the Official Guardian of Ontario to help ensure the legal rights of children and persons with disabilities. Within a decade, Mr. Perry had become a Deputy Director, and in 1975 he became the Director, a post he held until his retirement in December 1985. For much of his professional career, Llyod Perry lectured on legal matters related to children’s and minority rights, assisted in legal developments in the Caribbean, and wrote many articles for legal journals.
Throughout his life Lloyd was always volunteering his time and skills to various communities and organizations. He was active with the African Methodist Episcopal Church where his father had presided, and he joined the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council of Churches. For over 20 years he maintained a relationship with the Older Boys Parliament, where he trained young Ontarians on how parliament worked and provided leadership training. He was a leader at the Woodlands Boys Camp, a Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Vice-President of the Canadian African Students Foundation and African Crossroads. He also trained youth through the Foundation for International Training, where he also served on the Board of Directors. In 1995 he was awarded the Order of Ontario.
Lloyd Perry passed away in January 1997.