Lynch, William (Bill)

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Lynch, William (Bill)

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William P. Lynch (Bill) operated the only carnival to be operated exclusively out of Atlantic Canada. Bill Lynch was born on 25 August 1900 and moved to McNabs Island in 1905 with his parents, Matthew and Josephine (Palmer) Lynch. After the 1917 Halifax Explosion damaged the island and destroyed existing carnival businesses, Lynch decided to revive the shows, purchasing his first merry-go-round in 1920. He managed the ride alone until 1924, when he partnered with Ray Rogers and began to travel around Nova Scotia, establishing the Bill Lynch Shows in 1925. The partnership did not last, but, by 1928, he had acquired a few concessions and a Ferris wheel. In 1929, Lynch won the bid for the Halifax Exhibition and was asked to return in 1930.

By 1940 the Bill Lynch Shows were Canada’s biggest carnival, including acts such as the Three Maldos, the Rooneys, and Flash McHugh. Lynch was passionate about working with children with disabilities, arranging free visits to the empty carnival and donating to children’s charities. He died on 23 October 1972, after 52 years in the carnival business. Clarence “Soggy” Reid operated the business until his own death in 1995, when John Drummey took over. In 2003 the Bill Lynch Shows were split into Maritime Amusements and Carnival Time.


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