Dream of a Royal Return Lives On

Claude McIntosh - Mac's Musings
Dream of a Royal Return Lives On

For some the dream lives on, rekindled time to time by one of those infrequent Ontario Hockey League (OHL) pre-season games at the Ed Lumley Arena, like the one played Saturday night between Kingston Frontenacs and Erie Otters, strangers to local fans.

In the spring of 1992 the Royals and 30 years of rich junior hockey history were kidnapped by since convicted felon Willie Wise and hustled off to Newmarket, where the club lasted two seasons before sold and shifted to Sarnia where the Royals play on as the Sting.

Twice since, the city and hockey fans who live the dream have been left standing at the proverbial junior hockey altar. First there was the Owen Sound franchise in 2000, closely followed by Toronto St. Michaels. In each case, an 11th hour reversal derailed the move. Behind the scenes, the city had made a commitment to the prospective owners – a group of Michigan doctors – to add rink-side seating. A general manager – Ken Cook – had been hired and he was on the verge of signing Ted Nolan as coach. That is how close it was.

Another hockey club, believed to have been Mississauga, made inquiries few years back but it turned out to be a tire-kicking exercise.

When it comes to an OHL franchise playing out of the LumDome, one can never say never. A crowd of 3,895 saw the last Royals home game, a playoff game against Ottawa. And, in an attempt to keep the franchise from moving, a two-week campaign secured commitments for 1,300 season tickets for two seasons. Wise upped the ante. He wanted 2,000 season tickets sold for three seasons with the city guaranteeing the third season sales, something he knew the city wouldn’t commit to.

Perhaps, in the not-too-distant future, there is an OHL franchise looking to move and will take a serious look at Cornwall.

Meanwhile, the dream lives on.

THIS AND THAT Retired television journalist and Cornwall native Robert “Bob” Fisher nailed it when Housing Minister Steve Clark was telling anyone and everyone that he had the backing of Premier Doug Ford and would not resign. The same day Fisher, who spent years covering Ontario politics for Global TV, said “He’s done!” …. Before anyone thinks Clark‘s future as MPP is in jeopardy, guess again. He holds one of the safest Conservative seats in Ontario. As someone quipped a manikin could win as long as it was dressed in blue. … Do you think the federal Liberals would be talking about shutting down oil production if the oil was in Quebec and not Alberta?

THIS MONTH CIRCA 1966 – After city council was told that it could not arbitrarily increase terms of office to three years from two, the clerk was instructed to prepare the question for a referendum on the Dec. 5 municipal election ballot. Voters approved three-year terms by a slim margin, fewer than 100 votes. In the election, Nick Kaneb defeated incumbent Dr. Elzear Emard by 600 votes and five new aldermen were elected: Jack Pescod, Francis Guindon, Doug Fawthrop, Matthew Holden and Angelo Lebano. Fawthrop and Holden were returning after sitting out a term. …. Cornwall and District Labour Council planned to protest the use of non-union workers hired for the public library expansion. It also criticized the use of non-union workers painting houses on Montreal Road owned by Courtaulds. … Newly ordained priest Father Claude Halle was assigned to St. Francis de Sales Parish. … When the public and separate school boards finished head counts, the number of students attending local elementary and secondary schools added up to 13,500. … An inquest ruled the death of an employee at the Dominion Construction Materials plant on Cumberland Street in April was an accident. The worker was crushed by a fork loader in the plant yard. … A grand jury handed in its annual inspection report and it gave the counties jail another failing grade. It recommended that the province replace the facility with a regional institution. … City industrial commissioner William Anderson said the city had made great strides in attracting industries to the city over the previous five years. In all, 2,215 jobs were created and total investment in new plants and expansions tallied $65 million. He said 7,405 people were employed in the industrial sector. … On Sept. 1, CTV launched colour broadcasting. It was estimated that only 2% of the five million TV sets in Canada were colour sets. … New Westminster Athletics won the Canadian junior B lacrosse title with a 14-11 win over Cornwall Wildcats in Fort William (Thunder Bay). Cornwall opened the series with a 17-13 victory. It was the first loss of the season for the British Columbia team which came back to tie the best-of-five series with a 12-8 win. However, the next day the Canadian Lacrosse Association announced that the series was being reduced to a best-of-three series. The reason given was that the CLA wanted the players to get back to school. Not true. The real reason was that nobody was showing up for the games and the CLA was losing money. Chuck Chin (as he was called in the day) scored four goals for the Cats. Ron Thompson and Wayne MacDonald each had two with Terry Riley, Ron Robillard and Al Herrington notching singles. Coach Norm McCrimmon and general manager Claude Proulx were unavailable for the second game after coming down with food poisoning.

TRIVIA ANSWER Gloria LeRoy played Mildred “Boom Boom” Turner, the buxom middle-aged blonde in All in the Family. She had two roles. The first as the secretary at the plant where Archie worked and later as the barmaid at Archie’s bar.

TRIVIA Sir Charles Tupper had the shortest term as Canada’s prime minister, serving just 68 days. Who holds the second shortest time in office: 1) Sir Mackenzie Bowell, 2) Joe Clarke, 3) Arthur Meighen, 4) John Turner, 5) Kim Campbell.

QUOTED “I love being Canadian. I think growing up in Canada gives you a world perspective that I certainly enjoy.” – Ryan Gosling, actor who grew up in Cornwall.

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