Lyon Rapley was born in Strathroy in 1890 and died of diphtheria in 1894, at the age of four. Manfred and Annie Rapley, his parents, lived at 132 Front St. W. across from what is now the Strathroy United Church. They had a life-sized statue of a dog cast, which they displayed on their front lawn for many years in memory of Lyon. Manfred Rapley died in 1935 and his wife in 1939. During her terminal illness, Mrs. Rapley was nursed by Mrs. Amy Holt R.N. and before her death gave the Dalmatian statue to Mrs. Holt.
They, in turn, displayed the dog each summer on their front lawn at 158 High Street. As the years passed, Charlie Holt became a good friend of Dr. Allan Marshall, a Veterinarian, and when a new animal clinic was planned by Dr. Marshall and Dr. Floyd Denning, Charlie Holt gave Dr. Marshall the statue for the clinic.
The clinic was built in 1974 and “Charlie” as he was now called, took up residence on the front lawn of the clinic at 425 Frances St. and still, into his second century is on guard at the front door.
Our thanks to Miss Charlotte Rapley, a niece of Manfred Rapley, for her help with this information.