City loses beloved former teacher and member of Jewish community

City loses beloved former teacher and member of Jewish community

CORNWALL, Ontario – The city has lost a beloved former high school teacher and member of the local Jewish community.

Mark Goldhamer, who taught at Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School in the late 1960s and 1970s passed away Sunday. He was 89.

Goldhamer will be remembered by former students of CCVS as a friend of the hundreds of teenagers that walked the hallways of the historic Cornwall high school.

“He was really good interacting with the kids,” said Paul Lusignan, a former colleague of Goldhamer’s, who got to know him even more as members of the unofficial CCVS Coffee Club that meets monthly. “At the end I was picking Mark up, to take him to our meetings.

“We had our quiet little chats.”

Goldhamer was the first-ever computer teacher at CCVS in the 1970s.

“It was data-processing back in those days,” said Lusignan, adding Goldhamer was a proponent of service club work, including that of the Rotary Club.

Goldhamer also enjoyed sports, and his wife Helen has a trophy at the Cornwall Curling Club inscribed in her honour.

Goldhamer was a retired member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and a devout member of the local Jewish community.

When media types were looking for input on an upcoming Jewish holiday, phone calls invariably were made to the Goldhamer household.

In 2006 he told the Ottawa Citizen the local Jewish community was very active in the 1950s where their numbers ran close to 250 people.

Goldhamer lamented the number had dwindled to less than two dozen just a few years ago.

“You have no idea how badly we felt,” Goldhamer told the Citizen of the emotional farewell that saw the removal of the Torah scrolls from the Amelia Street building, which was sold and converted into a dwelling. The scrolls were moved to the Agudath Israel synagogue in Ottawa.

Goldhamer is survived by his children Sharon (Jed) and Brahm (Jan).

A graveside service was held at Beth El Congregation Cemetery, Cornwall, on Monday.

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