Sex was on the minds of several city aldermen during a 1975 November council meeting.
That is sex as in steamy movies shown in Cornwall movie theatres, especially the city-owned Capitol Theatre leased to the Markell Theatre Group.
Ald. Angelo Lebano kicked off the conversation when he said the city should take steps to halt the showing of what he perceived as disgusting sex-oriented movies on the Capitol Theatre screen that were borderline pornography.
He admitted he had not viewed the movies but noted that titles said it all: “Dr. Feelgood’s Sex Clinic”, “Stop It Or You Will Go Blind”, “School of Erotic Entertainment” and “Dirty Lovers”.
And, he said, it shouldn’t just be the Capitol, the city should take steps to ban such movies at the privately-owned Palace and Port theatres and the Seaway Drive-in at Pitt and Tollgate Road.
Eric Markell, spokesperson for the Markell Group, pointed out that the Capitol did have family-oriented, Disney-type movies in the afternoons.
Markell and Port manager Glen McGillivray told council to mind its own business. Both gave council a quick lesson in how the movie business worked when it came to what can be put on their screens.
“All our movies are approved by the Ontario censor board,” said McGillivray. “There’s not a damn thing they (city) can do about it.”
“We are showing what people want, with the censor board’s approval” said Markell, who noted that such movies were restricted to patrons over the age of 18.
Ald. Ken Bough joined his council colleague in railing against “sex-oriented” movies and called on the Stormont Christian Council to join the protest.
Bough suggested the pastors organize protests outside the theatres and said he would be the first to sign up.
Meanwhile, a representative of the provincial censorship board had some advice for the city if it wanted to challenge what the government censors had approved: Hire a good team of lawyers and get ready to spend a lot of money.
Five months after she was run down on the sidewalk by a driver fleeing police, a 16-year-old high school student died of her injuries in hospital on Nov. 16, 1975,
The 24-year-old driver was wanted by police after he failed to return to Joyceville Prison, where he was serving a three-year sentence, while on a weekend pass. He was serving three years.
The teen was walking on the Cumberland Street sidewalk in the Ninth Street area when the stolen car went out of control, with city police in hot pursuit, jumped the curb and struck her. The driver was arrested at the scene.
A few weeks after the June 2 tragedy, Judge Michael Fitzpatrick took no mercy on the driver who was charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm. The judge gave him the maximum five years along with a year’s worth of sentences to be served consecutively, bringing the total time to just over six years plus the two years he still had his original sentence.
ALSO THIS WEEK IN 1975 – Robert Hamilton, city treasurer since 1959, was named chief administrative officer. He succeeded Maurice Engels, the city’s first CAO who left to take a position with the City of London. …. Cornwall Chamber of Commerce urged city council to create a public relations position to help massage Cornwall’s image. Ald. Angelo Lebano accused the media of creating a poor image and said if they started providing city hall with positive coverage the city wouldn’t need a public relations person. … Speaking at the annual Cornwall and District Labour Council meeting, George Harrop, president of Local 527, Labourers International Union of North America, said the city should switch to a board of management system made of up four elected officials and city department heads. He said it would be a more effecient system. He said there was no need for a mayor. … It was announced that the official sod-turning for the $32 million federal transport training institute would be held on Nov. 29. It was expected to take three years to complete. … Over a two-day period the city and area received 46 centimeters of snow, a record for November. … The 150 union employees at MCA Records, on strike since June 2, rejected a two-year offer from the company. The union president said that unless the company came up with more money they could pack up and leave (the city). Unfortunately, the company took his advice and closed the Cornwall operation. … Cornwall Kinsmen took over the YM-YWCA building on Fifth Street East and turned the building over to the city for $1. In return the city named it the Kinsmen Centre. It was to be used as a day-care centre. The Kinsmen also gave the city $25,000 toward the cost of a scoreboard at the new civic complex. … Solist George Beverly Shea appeared at a public concert in Trinity Anglican Church.
L’AFFAIR DON CHERRY – Don Cherry was fired, and rightly so, for his racist rant. But how did Ron MacLean who sat through the episode without a dissenting word, or even a hint of disapproval, survive the purge. Twenty-four hours later MacLean issued a statement that said Cherry’s comments were improper and he apologized for not saying anything while on the air. It probably saved his role in Hockey Night in Canada. As this is being written, Sportsnet hasn’t announced a replacement for Coach’s Corner. One possibility is moving Brian Burke into the slot. Burke would offer more substance and insight than Cherry who had become more of an entertainer than hockey analyst. Don’t feel too sorry for the 85-year-old Cherry. He’ll probably collect the rest of his million dollars for this season.
TRIVIA On Jan. 1, 1945 Cornwall citizens had two events to celebrate. One was the ushering in of a new year. The other was: 1) The size of the city increased 10 fold, 2) Cornwall was granted city status, 3) The last hurdle for construction of the Seaway was cleared when the U. S. Congress signed on with the Canadian government, 4) The mayor played host to the first public levee at city hall, 5) Dozens of SD and G Highlanders home on leave after fighting in Italy were guests of honour at the Cornwall Armoury.
TRIVIA ANSWER The Colonel came to town in April 1965 with the city’s first Kentucky Fried Chicken in a converted house at 131 Augustus St.
QUOTED – Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to grow his own rice and you will save his life. – Confucius.