A humble Angelo nixes centre honour

by Claude McIntosh
A humble Angelo nixes centre honour

The good folks who serve on the Children’s Treatment Centre board came up with a wonderful way to honour Angelo Towndale who planted the seeds for the centre back in 1996, one year after he retired from the children’s aid society, and ever since has worked tirelessly behind the scenes as choreographer-in-chief.

In some ways, he is the treatment centre. It is hard to imagine the centre without Angelo Towndale quietly working the phones in his tiny office on the centre’s second floor. He is the master of gentle persuasion.

The board decided to name the centre the Angelo Towndale Children’s Treatment Centre. Who could argue? Well, there was one person. His name was Angelo Towndale.

So on Friday night, at the 25th anniversary dinner (postponed last year by the pandemic), with much fanfare the surpriseannouncement was made. It received a rousing standing ovation.

But it won’t be.

The man who lives and breathes humility, has declined the honour.

The centre is not about me, he told board members later that evening.

Besides, he would find it awkward beating the bushes for financial support for an organization named after him.

I couldn’t do that,” he said.” It’s just no me. Besides, I get enough (unwanted) recognition.”

Towndale wasn’t at the anniversary dinner. He has been hunkered down in his west Cornwall home since March 2020, when the pandemic hit and everything went into pandemic lockdown.

As someone in his mid-80s, he is being super cautious, even after all his shots and the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

I left the office on March 13 (2020) and haven’t been back,” he noted.

But, that hasn’t stopped him from working the phones, eight to 10 hours a day taking care of business.

Up in heaven, Father Rudy Villeneuve, the man who opened the door in 1965 for a young Loyola University (Chicago) student to come to Cornwall to work for the children’s aid society, is smiling and saying, “That’s Angelo.”

NOTE TO READER: If you don’t believe in Divine intervention and/or predestination you might change your mind upon hearing how Angelo Towndale came to Cornwall and how he walked away unscathed after his car crashed into a fast-moving freight train at the Lancaster rail crossing. That’s a story for another time.

THIS AND THAT: Ah, the topsy turveyness of June. Turned on the air conditioning on Wednesday, turned on the fire place on Saturday. … Reader Ron “Bear” Kyer recalled the car with loud speakers on the roof that drove around town with the driver blaring out public announcements in the 1950s. And, leaflets dropped from a low flying air plane. … One of the first things a new United Counties  council will have on its “To Do” list will be the search for a new chief administrator. Current CAO Tim Simpson will retire at end of the year. … Insp. Dave Michaud of Cornwall Police Service is new president of the Children’s Treatment Centre board. … Separate school board trustee Todd Lalonde considering a run for South Glengarry council. He has an impressive resume that includes almost two decades as a trustee, representing Cornwall and South Glengarry with a stint as chair, a former Conservative candidate and a member of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. … John Tortorella, the head coach everybody loves to hate, is living proof that there is life after death in the world of hockey coaches. He has been hired by the desperate Philadelphia Flyers. … Top selling book yet to be penned? Former vice-president Mike Pence’s biography. … Rolland “Rolly” Fobert who died last week coached one of Cornwall Collegiate’s most successful senior boys’ basketball teams in the 1960s. He also wrote an excellent history of St. Columban’s parish.

THIS MONTH IN 1961: – Cornwall had the dubious distinction of leading the province in the number of residents collecting a welfare cheque every month, on a per capita basis. According to the department of public welfare (as it was called in the day), 8.9% of Cornwall’s 43,989 residents were in need of welfare support cheques. Cornwall also had the highest increase in welfare recipients in April, when the city’s welfare rolls increased by nine percent, almost double the provincial average. … A handsome Cornwall Classical College student named Bob Kilger was chosen to serve as escort for Diane Bellefeuille, newly crowned queen of La Semaine Francaise. She was a St. Lawrence High School student. Kilger would go on to become a long-time MP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, assistant to the deputy Speaker of the house and two-term mayor of Cornwall. … It was dial-up time for the 600 Bell Telephone Avonmore exchange customers. On June 18, the operator “number please” was replaced by the dial service. Customers also got a new seven-digit number.

PART TWO: Ernest Bushnell of Bushnell Communications made a pitch to leave the CBC TV network. He wanted to move CJOH (Ottawa), CFCF (Montreal) and CJSS (Cornwall) to the new start-up CTV Network. The Board of Broadcast Governors was considering the proposal. … Philip S. Robertson was named publisher and general manager of The Standard-Freeholder. Robertson, a Cornwall native, started with the Cornwall Standard weekly in 1928. In 1959 he moved to Toronto to become assistance to St. Clair McCabe, executive vice-president and general manager of the rapidly expanding Thomson Newspaper chain. … Cornwall’s four coin-operated laundromats closed on Sundays after a Supreme Court of Canada ruling that said the province’s laundromats that remained open on the sabbath were in violation of the Lord’s Day Act. … Appleton’s Fish and Chips at Ninth and Pitt streets re-opened. … Seaway Cruise Lines was operating boat tours from the St. Lawrence Park docks. … Stormont MP (Conservative) Grant Campbell called on the government to reduce the retirement age for Canadian workers to 60 from 65. … A 37-mile stretch of the new Highway 401 system was being constructed east of the Aultsville Road. … Several St. Lawrence High School students received certificates for passing the driver training course. They were Gary Ford, William Sommerville, Robert Sommerville, Maureen MacDonald, Jean Gallagher, Sergine Myre and Richard Schell.

TRIVIA: Pat Brady was the comical sidekick in the Roy Rogers television series. What did he nickname the jeep used in the show?

TRIVIA ANSWER: Imperial Oil (ESSO) used the “Put a Tiger in Your Tank” slogan in its advertising during the 1960s. Retired St Lawrence College prof Dick Aubry worked for the oil giant when the company came out with the slogan. Did it work? Aubry said gasoline sales spiked during the months long campaign.

QUOTES: “There are lies, damned lies and statistics.” – Mark Twain
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