City voters used a wide broom of historic breadth at the ballot box in the 1958 municipal election.
When the 13,179 votes (57% turnout) were counted, the council table had seven new aldermen (as they were called), a council cleansing that has never been matched.
Mayor L. G. (Archie) Lavigne survived, beating off challenges by Dr. Elzear Emard and Ald. Nick Kaneb. Lavigne, the incumbent, was on the mayoral ballot for the first time. He had been promoted to mayor by his colleagues after Mayor Emile Menard, former Cornwall Township reeve, died just seven months after being elected in one of the greatest mayoral upsets in city election history, beating Cornwall’s longest serving mayor, Aaron Horovitz.
The final mayoral count: Lavigne 5,422 (39%), Emard 4006 (30%), Kaneb 3,751 (29%).
Kaneb outpolled his two opponents in three of the six wards but finished far behind Lavigne and Emard in the two heavily populated east Cornwall wards. In Ward One he garnered 280 votes while Lavigne and Emard each topped 1,000.
The seven new aldermen were N. J. Bonneville (Ward 2), Ralph Carrara (Ward 1), Doug Fawthrop (Ward 3), Arthur Cardinal (Ward 1) , Rheal Lemire (Ward 2), Gerald Parisien (Ward 4), Larry Keen (Ward 6). Parisien, who succeeded Ed Lumley, would go on to become a three-term mayor (1975-1985).
Re-elected were Donald Murray (Ward 6), Bernie Miller (Ward 3), Robert MacDonell (Ward 4), James Ross (Ward 5), Harold Shields (Ward 5). Among the defeated was Cornwall’s first female member of council, Mary Mack. She finished a distant third in Ward 3.
THIS WEEK CIRCA 1958 – When the John T. Walsh ferry pushed off from the U.S. mainland en route to Cornwall Island it had four passengers. When it reached the Cornwall Island dock a few minutes later, it had five. The fifth was born to Mrs. Frank Cook of St. Regis, Que. who with two friends was trying to make it to Hotel Dieu Hospital in Cornwall. Since the ferry was registered in the U.S., that made the newest member of the Cook family a U. S. citizen. … The Oasis Seven with Charlie James was playing at the Oasis Pavilion. Admission was 75 cents. … The Roxy Theatre was showing Peyton Place considered too steamy for young eyes. Admission was restricted to 18 and older. … Brookshell Motors moved to Brookdale Avenue just south of Thirteenth Street from the corner of Brookdale and Second Street. … The new CNR overpass on St. Andrew’s Road (Pitt Street) opened to traffic. Construction was started in April. … At St. Lawrence High School graduation ceremony, William Johnson received the gold medal for highest Grade 13 average on eight papers. He was studying engineering at University of Toronto. June Hiscock received the silver medal while Mary Lanier was recipient of the bronze medal. Howard Perry was recipient of a full scholarship at Royal Military College. … With a lack of volunteers and funding the annual Santa Claus parade was cancelled. … Passerby James Davey helped pull Irving Bingley from Cornwall Canal after his car went of control and plunged into the icy water. … Nathan Phllips, who grew up in Cornwall on York Street across from what was then Hotel Dieu Hospital, was re-elected mayor of Toronto. … J. E. Anderson Motor Sales opened its used car lot at Fifth and Pitt Streets. The dealership was on Second Street West. It later became Healy Motors. … City Smoke Shop snack bar at 15 Second St. E. held the grand opening of its Coral Room. … Winnipeg Blue Bombers defeated Hamilton Tiger-Cats 35-28 to win the Grey Cup.
SEEN AND HEARD Nice touch. In his Hall of Fame induction speech, former Canadiens captain Guy Carbonneau singled out some of the people who helped shape his NHL career. Among those he named was Orval Tessier his junior coach in Chicoutimi. Carbonneau had an impressive 182-point season with the Sags. … Great line: Toronto Globe and Mail sports columnist Cathal Kelly said Sheldon Keefe being named coach of the Leafs was akin to being named captain of the Titanic — after it hit the iceberg. …. Now that the Conservatives have posted a string of landslide victories in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, federal and provincial, might be time for the Liberals to consider taking out political funeral insurance. … The most dangerous place for students in the United States is not out on the streets, it is in the classroom. So far this year, 400 gun/shooting incidents in U. S. schools. … There should be a law that folks at the top of the union food chain who call on their members to strike have their six-figure salaries replaced with strike pay. … If I’m a member of the teachers’ union that has a strike mandate I’m saying, ‘Whoa. Not so fast. We have the Christmas break, a dozen or so snow days and March break coming up. Let’s wait for spring.’ ” … Just four months until pot hole season.
THIS AND THAT Construction in parking lot at Ninth and Pitt is for a new TD Canada Trust branch building to replace the one on the other side of the parking lot. … Wonder how many Canadian TV sets were tuned to the Cowboys-Patriots game Sunday night during the Grey Cup game? … Think back to Canadian football’s golden era and names like Bernie Faloney, Sam Etcheverry, Jackie Parker, Hal Patterson, Normie Kwong, Russ Jackson and Ron Lancaster come to mind. And then there was the two-day Fog Bowl fiasco. … Tale of two cable networks: CNN, bad Trump. Fox News, good Trump. Both claim fair and balanced coverage. … Note to Trudeau the Younger: Don’t worry about the NDP defeating your minority government. Another election before 2022 would bankrupt the party. Besides, the way promises (big spending) are thrown around during an election, the country can’t afford another one so soon.
ONE FINAL THING Until four years ago Ron Ruckstuhl was living a normal life. That changed when the former Cornwall businessman (Computer Sense) now living in New Brunswick was diagnosed with a terrible neurological disease called Lewd Body dementia. At age 49, he was told that if the disease followed its normal course, he had four to seven years left. At the top of his bucket list was to see a Leafs game in person. Thanks to his son in concert with broadcaster/media celeb Paul Bisonnette, Sportsnet, the Leafs and Auston Matthews, it came to be – the game in Toronto (against Los Angeles) along with a post-game visit to the dressing room where Matthews, who came through with a promised goal, presented him with an autographed stick. Check it out on You Tube – “Ron Ruckstuhl hockey game”.
TRIVIA ANSWER The Canada Steamship Lines warehouse stood on the canal bank at the foot of Water Street from 1914 until 1958 when the canal closed.
TRIVIA This company developed St. Lawrence Park (now part of St. Lawrence College campus) as a recreation mecca: 1) Canadian Cottons as a gift to Cornwall Township, 2) Courtaulds as an away-from-work venue for its employees and their families, 3) Cornwall Street Railway to boost ridership on its street cars, 4) A Montreal subdivision developer to encourage people to move to that part of the townsip, 5) A B.C. logging company owned by a Cornwall native son who wanted to give back to the community.
QUOTED “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” – Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, president of University of Notre Dame 1952-1987.