Barbara A. Martindale- For What It's Worth February 24, 2014
The death notice of Benno Kruck on December 28, 2013 included among memberships in organizations that he was the founding member of the Caledonia Regional Chamber of Commerce.
In fact in 1972, Benno Kruck was the first president of the Caledonia Regional Chamber of Commerce and the meetings were held at his restaurant known as The Coach House.
Nancy Fuller later named her gift shoppe, originally located beginning in 1984 in the building where Benno Kruck did business, The Coach House. This quaint, unique building was taken down to expand space for Winegard's car lot when the Coach House Gift Shoppe moved in 1997 to the present larger location in downtown Caledonia.
No doubt, Benno Kruck saw a need for a Chamber of Commerce as one of Caledonia's business owners. He would have called together business colleagues such as Don Smith, Stan Parke, Bryce Jones, Tom Spratt, Tony Kragten, Ed Butikofer, Dr. Phil Doneff and others. Don Smith is the only one left on an important list that the Chamber proudly refers to when documents are needed to prove the Chamber's existence. Bryce Jones, lawyer, drew up the incorporation papers and directed the proceedings to draft the by-laws.
General meetings had an attendance of some 15 business members who met at the Coach House restaurant at 8 p.m. Directors meetings of some five people were held at 6:30 pm, also at the restaurant.
Presiding at the June 28, 1972 meeting, Benno Kruck led discussion on entrance signs, flower pots and hangers, petunias for cement boxes on the sidewalks, checking the county atlas for correct names and spelling on street signs, setting up proper guide lines for sidewalk sales, whether a farmers market would be an asset for Caledonia, helping merchants to pave private parking lots, bus transportation to the Six Nations Reserve and a map of Caledonia.
Don Smith, to this day, looks after Plate Glass Insurance, which at that 1972 Chamber meeting gave a brief explanation as to how it came about and its function.
Benno, his wife, Edith, and family of two children, Peter and Brigitta, moved to Hamilton in the late 1970s. Edith passed away just days after her husband of 63 years on January 13, 2014.
Benno was in his 89th year and Edith in her 86th year. There are five grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
Benno Kruck left behind a legacy as founder of the Caledonia Regional Chamber of Commerce dedicated to the Caledonia business community for 42 years.