IBS Crest The Irish Benevolent Society of London
The Irish Benevolent Society, since 1877, has provided an opportunity in the London area for
the Irish and their descendants of all faiths, and their friends, to work together in harmony
for the purpose of preserving their Irish heritage and performing works of benevolence.

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James T. (Jim) Hardy – Honourary Life Member

James T. HardyJim Hardy traces his Irish roots through both sides of his family. His mother Mary Geary was born in Cappoquin, County Waterford, where her father James owned a pub. She immigrated to Chicago in 1914where she joined members of her extended family. His father Joe initially came to Canada in 1922, then went (illegally) to Chicago in 1924 and adopted the original family name, Hearty. Jim's grandfather Tom,originally from County Monaghan, was a police officer in England and had anglicized the name to Hardy.

Jim's parents met and married in Chicago where his brother, Father Joe Hardy, was born. Jim was born in England (reluctantly) after the family went there to visit family and was unable to return due to World War II. The family immigrated to London (Ontario) after the war and Jim attended St Patrick's Elementary School, De La Salle High School and Catholic Central High School.

After a two-year stint with the Bank of Montreal (London and Glencoe), he enrolled at Christ the King College (UWO) and graduated with a BA in Arts and Economics. He joined Calrkson Gordon (now Ernst & Young) and became a Chartered Accountant in 1965 and a Partner in the firm in 1970. In 1981 he was appointed Senior Vice-President and General Manager of District Trust Company and oversaw the winding-up of the Company in 1982. He then joined Price Waterhouse and became a Partner in 1983. In 1986 he became the Superintendent of Business, and ultimately Associate Director and Treasurer, for the London District Catholic School Board (and predecessor boards). After retirement from the School Board in 2003, he acted as Financial Consultant for several years to the Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association.

He has been active in many business, professional, church and social organizations, including Co-Chair of the Parkwood Hospital Phase II Campaign; Chair of the Board of King's College (UWO); a Member of the Board of the London Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Children's Aid Society, and the Ontario Association of School Business Officials; Treasurer of the Monsignor Feeney Foundation; and a Member of the Finance Committee and Human Resources Committee of St Joseph's Health Care.

Involvement with the IBS

In 1980, at the invitation of family friend Leo White, Jim joined the Irish Benevolent Society. He was encouraged by his former neighbour and long-time Treasurer of the Society, John B. Carson, to become involved in the governance of the Society. He subsequently became a Director, and in 1992 became its 111th President.

Jim has played a substantial role in the organization of the Society. As the Chair of the Finance Committee and a Member of the Investment Committee, together with Treasurer Charles P.Corbett, Jim has ensured the Society maintained good fiscal health. He was responsible, with Charles and others, for finding "lost" share certificates which were ultimately worth almost $100,000. Collectively, the income from the Endowment Fund that was established (currently worth $350,000) has allowed the Society to provide donations, scholarships and bursaries to numerous beneficiaries, which over the past ten years alone have totalled some $145,000. He was also part of the Committee which organized several successful "Our Paddy's Pace" events from 2001 to 2003, a fundraising run/walk which raised significant funds for scientific research for Lawson Health Research Institute.

In 2015, Jim was a member of a Committee, chaired by then IBS President Doug Reycraft,which examined the structure and organization of the Society. This led to the incorporation of the Society as the "Irish Benevolent Society of London and Area" under the "Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act." Over the years he has served on the Planning Committee for the annual St Patrick's Day Luncheon and watched it grow substantially. He was involved in the initial planning for the "Review of the Structure, Objectives and Purposes" of the Society which is currently underway. He was Secretary of the Society from 2016 to 2020.

Jim's meritorious service to the IBS was recognized with a Leprechaun Award in 2006 and appointment as Honourary Life Member at the 2019 Annual General Meeting.

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