Lily Fielding (centre) with Mayor Brian Bigger and city councillor Deb McIntosh.
The Fieldings are a founding family of our community, and they have contributed greatly to it for several generations. The Fielding Foundation gave the city 121 hectares – 300 acres – of bush land for Kivi Park. The new multi-use sports and outdoor park is named for Fielding’s parents, Susanna and John Kivi, and honours them as well as all families of Finnish descent who settled in the Long Lake area.
Thanks to a donation of $245,000 from the Fieldings, the 12-acre site of the former Long Lake Public School was purchased and donated to the city to extend the park. Money was also provided to demolish the school.
“I have lived in Long Lake my entire life,” Lily said in a news release about the donation. “I grew up here and went to school here, married my husband, Cliff, in the Voima Hall, and together we raised our children in the community. I wanted to do something special in my 100th year to give back to the community that has given so much to me.”
In addition to sizeable donations to Laurentian University this year, Lily donated $15,000 to the Greater Sudbury Police Service, and an additional $35,000 to the City of Greater Sudbury’s EMS and Fire Services. The police service will use its gift to help support the Chief’s Youth Initiative Fund. The EMS and Fire Services will use their donation to support the NEO Kids Foundation.
Lily also donated land in Little Current to support efforts to develop affordable seniors’ housing in the municipality.
These are not the first gifts the family has made to the community. In 2015 alone, the Fielding Foundation donated $533,600 to 17 organizations/charities including the university, the Manitoulin Health Centre, and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.
A chapel was built in 1968 at Thorneloe University as the result of a generous gift of the family in memory of Clifford Fielding’s parents, George Parker and Agnes. In 2011 the Fielding Memorial Chapel of St. Mark, with the support of the Fielding family and other donors underwent extensive renovations and was officially reopened by former governor-general Adrienne Clarkson.
Lily’s father-in-law George Parker Fielding was born in England in 1858. He moved to northeastern Ontario around 1897 and his first job in Canada was working on the Canadian Pacific Railway right-of-way to Sault Ste. Marie. He was also one of the first tappers and skimmers at the Canadian Copper Smelter in Copper Cliff before he settled on a farm in Waters Township.
He married Agnes Caesar in 1899. She was born in Sweden and came to Canada with her parents.
Their son, Clifford Alexander Fielding, one of nine children, was born in 1915 at the family farm, property that was later donated to the community to create Fielding Memorial Park in Lively. Clifford and two of his brothers, Carman and Cecil (the Fighting Fieldings), were champion boxers in their youth. His parents died when he was still a young man.
When Clifford died in 2004 at the age of 89, his obituary said, “Following graduation from Copper Cliff Public School, he left school to provide for his family. He joined Inco in 1933 as a car and locomotive repair person. Two years later he started his own transportation company under the name Fielding & Son to provide services to haul ore and gravel for the mining companies within the Sudbury District. The original business, operating under the name Alexander Centre Industries Ltd., includes Waters Holding Corporation and its operating companies Wavy Industries Ltd. and Fisher Construction Ltd., (now Fisher-Wavy Inc.) of Sudbury and Fisher Harbour on Great La Cloche Island.”
Clifford served on corporate, community and business boards including the board of Canadian Pacific Ltd., 1970-71 and 1984-86. He was on the board of governors at Laurentian University from 1964 to 1977.
An early environmentalist, in the 1970s Clifford oversaw the planting of more than one million trees on company property.
The family has had a long relationship with the university. Last year, in October, the family announced a $3-million donation. As a way of thanks, Laurentian named their new state-of-the-art facility the Cliff Fielding Research, Innovation and Engineering Building.The donation was also given in honour of Lily and Clifford’s son, Malcolm James, who died in 2000. Like his father, he was a respected businessman in the community.
The Fieldings built the Brenda Wallace Reading Room in the J.N. Desmarais Library in memory of their daughter who died in 1997. Brenda’s husband, Jamie Wallace, currently oversees the family’s business interests which contribute to the region’s economic stability. Wallace was the first Laurentian grad to serve as chair of the board of governors and he was the honorary chair of the Next 50 Campaign
Wallace played a large role in establishing the Fielding Foundation in 2002 with a mandate to relieve poverty, advance education, support religious institutions and benefit the community.
In November 2016, the family made a $1-million donation in the memory of Norinne Fielding Perdue, Lily and Clifford’s grandaughter, to the university’s research and development centre. The Norinne E. Perdue Collaborative Research and Development Centre will be housed in the building named for her grandfather.
Lily and Clifford were married 68 years. Grandchildren Murray Fielding, Craig Fielding, Jeff Wallace, Kristen Wallace and Gordon Wallace, and the great-grandchildren carry on their legacy as members of the Kivi Park advisory board.