The Last Of The Fron­tiers­men

Part 2

Stanstead Journal - - CLASSIFIEDS - Spe­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion Merrick Belk­nap

A life­long his­tory buff, Merrick Belk­nap is a reg­u­lar contributor to The Jour­nal. A res­i­dent of Stanstead, he has do­nated many items from his col

lec­tion of ar­ti­facts to our So­ci­ety and oth­ers. Sur­prise shoot­ing in 1939

Dur­ing the evening of De­cem­ber 16, 1939, my co-worker came into the guard­house, re­tired to the bunk and lit a cig­a­rette. As I pre­pared to re­place him on duty, a po­lice car ar­rived. Two po­lice of­fi­cers en­tered the guard­house and be­gan to ques­tion my co­worker about a com­plaint they had re­ceived while he was on duty at the main gate. He be­came angry and threw his cig­a­rette, strik­ing one of the of­fi­cers in the face. He was quickly sub­dued, then given a warn­ing to watch his be­hav­iour in fu­ture.

Soon after their de­par­ture, he took down his shot­gun from the wall and com­mented that he would set­tle mat­ters in his own way. An­tic­i­pat­ing his in­ten­tions, I con­tacted my su­pe­rior, who took ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion by warn­ing the po­lice. They, in turn, pre­pared them­selves by tak­ing cer­tain pre­cau­tions. As they saw him ap­proach the po­lice sta­tion with his gun, two of­fi­cers placed them­selves on each side of the door while another bent down to­ward the door, in­tend­ing to grab him as soon as he en­tered the sta­tion. But he was sus­pi­cious and with­out hes­i­ta­tion, fired a shot into the door, hit­ting the Deputy Chief in the cheek. In a flash, the Deputy Chief and a con­sta­ble rushed out­side and over­pow­ered the man, who was then placed in a sta­tion cell.

A doc­tor tended to the Deputy Chief’s wounds, but he was then trans­ported to the hos­pi­tal where eight pieces of lead were re­moved from his face. Later, nine pieces were re­moved.

As for my co-worker, he got away with spend­ing a few months in prison. A num­ber of things were taken into con­sid­er­a­tion when he was sentenced, in­clud­ing the fact that he was a World War I veteran, fel­low vet­er­ans were very sup­port­ive and it was pointed out that he was un­der stress as a re­sult of war in­juries. He re­turned to Magog shortly after his re­lease and the in­ci­dent soon be­came lo­cal his­tory.

(On a per­sonal note, it seems like such a long time ago, but if there are any mem­bers of the force still with us, I would like to con­tact them.)

Mem­bers of “D” Squadron on duty at the Doin­ion (sic) Tex­tile plant. Left to right: Joe Dus­sault, Merrick Belk­nap, Ger­ard Re­nauld and Al­fred Aspinall.

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