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Tom Rowett: Port Perry proud

Many of Port Perry’s Mayors are native to our town, and our current Mayor, Tom Rowett is no exception. Born to Jim and Connie at the Port Perry hospital, Tom was the youngest of three sons.

Tom’s roots in this area go back another generation, when Dorothy and Fred Walker, Tom’s grandparents, purchased a cottage in Caesarea. They loved the area so much, they decided to open a bake shop. Walker’s bakery was a success, and people would come from miles around to buy the delicious treats.

After a number of years, Fred and Dot wanted a business on Port Perry’s Queen Street. They opened a hobby shop, which was there for many years. Tom’s parents lived in Caesarea while his dad managed a machine shop and his mom worked at the CIBC in Port Perry. They moved to Blackstock, and Tom’s mother, Connie, worked as the manager of Simpsons Sears on the corner of Queen and John Streets. When Tom was almost two years old, the family moved to Kent Street, where he was raised.

Most of Tom’s family stayed local. His twin uncles, Harvey and Victor, live in Port Perry where Harvey owned and operated the very successful Green Apple Cabinets. Tom’s Aunt Marjorie lives in Oshawa, and his Uncle Fred has a karate club in Port Perry. Although Tom’s mother moved to Oshawa, she often spends time in North Durham.

Tom went to R.H. Cornish and then to Port Perry High school, excelling in mathematics and computers. His first job, at 14 years of age, was at the Conway Place Restaurant (where Vos’ Independent Grocer is now), as a busboy. He also worked at the Olco gas station (now home of Petrocan), where he pumped gas and look after the station.

At 16, Tom decided he wanted more of an indoor job and was hired by Jim Grieve at the local IGA (now the home of Foodland). At first, he worked as a stock boy but later moved into the office. It was while working at the IGA that Tom fancied Christine Carter, one of the employees in the deli department. Christine’s family go back to the early 1800’s in this area and her relatives still live in Blackstock.

Tom attended Wilfred Laurier University, majoring in business and economics. He finished his degree in three years and still worked at the IGA whenever he could. After graduation, he and Christine became an item, and in 1997 the couple were married.

Tom worked full time at the IGA, putting his business skills to use. His brother John was manager of the store, and his other brother Jim, worked there as well. As much as Tom enjoyed the job he wanted more, and Christine and he decided to begin a tax practice, as a part-time business.

The financial world was something that really appealed to Tom. He studied and received his license as a financial adviser, specializing in holistic financial planning. His business was known as Tom Rowett Financial. Christine also worked in the business, and through hard work the couple did very well.

In 2000 their son Tyler was born, and they built a house in Port Perry. Tom gave up working at the IGA to pursue a career in financial, wealth and estate planning. He moved his business to Water Street and in 2006 changed the name to 1st Financial Centre.