In addition to Joe’s great entrepreneurial success was also his legacy of community & cultural contributions to the Southwestern Ontario area just some of which are noted below.
In 1957 the Catholic Church was planning a major renovation to St. Peters Basilica in London however due to the fact they were unable to locate bricks matching what had already been used on the church it appeared the project would not be completed. Joe found the bricks in a building that was being torn down in St Thomas. He took a sample to St Peters and they were indeed a match. Joe had all of the bricks transported at his expense for construction of the two towers. He also donated 2 of the 12 bells that were required for the towers. Due in no small part to Joe's participation the project went ahead and was completed in the spring of 1958.
|Joe's induction as a Knight of Malta
Joe served as a member of the London Separate School Board for over 30 years. He was a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Western Ontario and served as regional officer fo the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews. He also served as vice-president of Christ King Cultural Foundation and for many years was on the advisory board of St. Joseph's Hospital.
In 1971 a small emergency arose when the Port Stanley fire siren failed and there was no money in the budget for a replacement, ever ready to help Joe purchased a replacement siren and presented it to the village of Port Stanley. In 1972 he also donated a Zamboni to the newly built Port Stanley arena.
Joe also made a generous donation to the London Rowing Club so they would be able to construct a new building for meetings and storage of boats. In appreciation the club named the new facility "The Joe McManus Canoeing and Rowing Facility".
The Grand Theatre was also a frequent beneficiary of Joe's generosity and the McManus Theatre was made possible through a sizeable donation after his passing.
In 1958 Joe was recognized for his seemingly endless contributions of time and money to worthy causes by being dubbed a Knight of Magistral Grace of the Sovereign Order of Malta. Joe has also been immortalized, in the philanthropy category, on a monument located in downtown London depicting the 51 most prominent Londoners of all time.
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