Stork took break as baby boom cooled

Stork took break as baby boom cooled


A weary proverbial stork working overtime since 1945 took some time off in 1956 with deliveries during the post war Baby Boom that was winding down.

The Baby Boom had been filling Hotel Dieu and Cornwall General nurseries since the end of the Second World War.

Vital statistics released by city hall in January 1957 showed a total of 922 babies were born at Cornwall General and Hotel Dieu in 1956, a drop of 531 from the previous record-setting year. It was a mark that would go unmatched.

There were 249 marriages, one less than in 1955. October led the field with 33 marriages, while there were 31 in July and 30 in September. The city had 205 deaths, with 22 in December and 21 in each of January and April.

It wasn’t just cold in Cornwall on Jan. 15, 1957, it was record setting bone-chilling cold.

The 46 below zero (Fahrenheit) overnight temperature registered at the Tollgate Road weather station was a record for the city and made Cornwall one of the coldest spots in the country.

The overnight low in Aklavsk, North West Territories, 250 miles above the Arctic Circle, was 42 below zero.

But if backyard weather watchers in the rural parts were right, the city experience a “heat wave”.

Residents in Glen Water (living along the river) and Long Sault reported overnight lows of 52 below zero. 

It was so cold, work on the St. Lawrence Seaway Project came to a stand still for the first time, and in Maxville the high school closed for the day when the heating system lost the battle to keep classrooms warm. When school buses couldn’t get started, Charlottenburgh District High School closed for the day. 

Telecommunications into and out of the city were interrupted when the main telegraph line between Cornwall and Montreal snapped in the cold. 

ALSO IN JANUARY 1957: Treasure Island Honey Factory, owned by Victor Abrams, in Mille Roches was destroyed by fire. … The Standard-Freeholder celebrated a circulation milestone with 14,076 recorded in December, with 9,258 sold in the city. Outside numbers showed 379 in Summerstown, 267 in Morrisburg, 265 in Alexandria, 260 in Lancaster and 138 in Maxville. The paper had 192 carriers and 65 dealers. … Kenyon Agricultural Society announced plans for a 3,000-seat covered grandstand at the Maxville Fairgrounds. … The Borden Milk plant in Maxville was destroyed by fire. … Central Public School winter carnival race winners were John Ross, Richard Liscomb, Bernice Eamer, Douglas Hyde, Sandra McDermid, Ross Stenson and Betty Swift. … Cornwall Scouts selected to attend the World Boy Scout Jamboree in England were Otto Vass, Ian McDonald and Donald Duffy. … Moe Racine scored 27 points to lead undefeated St. Lawrence High School to a 63-44 win over Brockville Collegiate in EOSSA senior basketball play. Bill Payment had 16 points and Doug Billing eight. … The Ottawa Hotel in Alexandria was purchased by Arthur Contant, owner of Ernie’s Hotel on Highway 2 west of Cornwall. … Arrested for purse snatching one day after he was released from jail where he did time for theft, a 20-year-old Cornwall man was given a two-year jail sentence. Court was told the victim, an elderly woman, suffered a broken shoulder when she tried to hang on to her purse which contained $200. … The post-annexation police force that merged Cornwall Township and Cornwall Police departments had 52 officers that included two motorcycle officers, a three-man traffic unit, five-man detective branch and four patrol shifts that included a foot patrol. Recruits needed to be at least five-foot-11 and have at least two years of high school. The merger also made George Stiles city solicitor, Frances Flanigan relief officer, R. A. Kennedy road superintendent, Wilfred Bertrand building inspector and Percy Bonneville collector of taxes. … Nine Hungarian freedom fighters arrived in Cornwall from Halifax to start a new life after fleeing the invasion of their country by the Soviet Union. They arrived at the train station with their possessions in beaten cardboard boxes and well-travelled suitcases and one request, “All we ask is a chance to start a new life,” said one. “And a job.” 

THIS AND THAT: Sen. Bernadette Clement did a great interview on CBC1 Radio aired during the Christmas-New Year’s holiday. … Local artist Jane MacMillan has produced another calendar featuring her art work. … It was 59 years ago this month that rookie Joe Namath signed a three-year contract with the New York Jets of the American Football League worth $427,000 million, which made him the highest paid rookie in any sport. The rival NFL complained that the contract would drive up salaries and ruin the game. … The provincial NDP says if it forms the next government it will spend millions on providing free heat pumps. … I know you don’t stay awake night thinking about this but Willie Wise’s release from a U.S. federal prison is set for Nov. 24, 2029. … Some U.S. police forces so in need of officers they are overlooking “minor” criminal records when recruiting. 

TRIVIA: Which television show has had the longest run: 1) Price is Right, 2) Saturday Night Live (SNL), 3) Day of Our Lives, 4) General Hospital, 5) The Tonight Show.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Peter Falk was the detective in Columbo who used the catchphrase “Just one more thing…” 

QUOTED: “I’ve got seven kids. The three words you hear most around my house are ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’ and I’m pregnant.’ ”

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