CORNWALL, Ontario - Rose Durley is no stranger to the back to school season.
For 38 years now, Mrs. Durley has been making the short walk from her nearby home to the corner of Third and Sydney Streets to serve as a crossing guard during the school year.
It’s an occupation that she deeply enjoys and one she keeps returning to year after year.
“They say it’s my second house,” said Mrs. Durley with a smile. “I love doing it. I get along well with the kids and I love talking to all of the people.”
Mrs. Durley was one of 10 school crossing guards who were recognized by the City of Cornwall on Tuesday, August 19th for having 10 or more years of service. The employees were presented with certificates during a training session at the Cornwall Civic Complex in advance of the upcoming school year.
Councillor Denis Carr, who spoke on behalf of Mayor Bob Kilger and rest of City Council, thanked the group for their hard work and dedication.
“You have a very important job looking after our children on their way to and from school,” Councillor Carr said. “The City is very proud of the work you do.”
Tommy Sauve, Corporate Health, Safety and Training Officer, reminded the crossing guards that they provide an important service to the community, often in trying conditions.
“You’ve come out in the coldest of weather, the hottest of weather, in the rain and in the snow,” he said. “All the while you’ve promoted health and safety in our community. You are making a difference in making Cornwall safer for our kids.”
Other crossing guards who were recognized for their years of service include Yvonne Menard (25 years), Susan Stoner (16 years), Ronald Gagnier (15 years), Tom Goncalves (14 years), Wendy Britton (14 years), John Britton (13 years), Irene Dow (13 years), Jennette Depatie (13 years) and Stephen Key (11 years).
The City of Cornwall presently has a roster of 25 school crossing guards – 21 full-time and 4 spares. Part of a crossing guard’s job is to create a safe gap in traffic to allow pedestrians to cross safely. A crossing guard also encourages safe behavior among pedestrians at the school crossing and observes and reports any incidents or conditions that present a potential safety hazard.
Crossing Guards are given the authority under the Highway Traffic Act to require vehicles to stop and obey their stop sign. Drivers who don't obey a crossing guard could be fined up to $180 and lose three demerit points.
All vehicles are required to come to a complete stop and remain stopped until the children and crossing guard are safely off the road and have lowered their stop sign. Motorists are asked to be aware of school crossing areas and obey the school crossing guards.