Wally Hoffman, who has died at the age of 84, was for many years a fixture in the centre of Knowlton, running the shop, the Lyon and the Wallrus – spelt with a double L for Wally – with his long-time partner, Gwen Simpson.

The two moved to the Eastern Townships from Montreal 35 years ago and ran their framing and antique business from Knowlton for many years before moving the business to their home near Sutton.

The two challenged Quebec’s sign language law in court, a case which received national coverage. After a five-year battle they eventually lost their challenge to the law when the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the case.

Wally was born in Montreal and worked as a salesman. He started his own business selling hot tubs and saunas. He loved cars, and owned six used Porsches that he tinkered with.

He was an enthusiastic skier and was an instructor earlier in life. He was a volunteer in the Adaptive Ski Program at Owl’s Head, worked for Meals on Wheels, and was a member of the Lion’s Club for many years.

There will be celebration of Wally’s life at the Fairview Hall at the Brome Fair Grounds on October 19 from 1p.m. to 4 p.m.