They made a mil­lion dol­lars’ worth of Three Vil­lages his­tory 15 years ago

Stanstead Journal - - CLASSIFIEDS -

What to do with the money wasn’t as im­por­tant as sim­ply get­ting their hands on it the day after they won, how­ever. There was a se­vere snow­storm the Thurs­day they drove to Mon­treal to pick up their win­nings. The trip took five hours and they had to spend the night in the city. Lot­tery of­fi­cials found a ho­tel for some of them but the only rooms avail­able were in a sleazy dump with bro­ken win­dows and doors that wouldn’t lock, Tay­lor re­called. They picked up their cheque the next day and drove back to Rock Is­land where Yvon Ouel­lette, man­ager of the Bank of Com­merce, kept the bank open un­til they ar­rived. The Stanstead Jour­nal was there when the 10 men cashed the cheque and picked up their $100,000 vouch­ers. A photo shown them stand­ing with Ouel­lette. “The man­ager said it was the first cheque for $1,000,000 he’d cashed that day,” the cap­tion says. But did the money change them? Pea­cock ac­tu­ally won a lit­tle more than the oth­ers, sort of. The win­ning ticket – one of 10 the men bought for $10 each – was pur­chased at his fa­ther’s store on Main Street in Rock Is­land. His fa­ther, Alden Pea­cock, got $10,000 for sell­ing the win­ning ticket. Bob Pea­cock, 42, is still grind­ing. He stayed at But­ter­field’s un­til it closed in 1982 and works at Tivoly Cut­ting Tools in Beebe. For him, the money was some­thing he could al­ways fall back on, and it’s the same for the rest of the Thread Club. All of them ex­cept two are still in the Three Vil­lages. Ed Win­tle moved to Smith’s Falls, Ont., and Robert Craw­ford works for Tivoly in Gaffney, South Carolina. Two of them were able to go into business for them­selves thanks to their win­nings. Arm­strong owns food vend­ing

El­win Shep­ard ma­chines and Tay­lor is part owner of Bo­mats, a gran­ite in­dus­try sup­ply company in Beebe. Galazzo, who was the old­est win­ner, re­tired in April, 1975, bought a mo­bile home in Florida and spent the next nine win­ters there. He sold the home in Florida in 1985 and now lives full-time in Beebe. McIn­tyre works at Rus­tic Fence in Stanstead and has a house in Tomi­fo­bia that he doesn’t owe any money on. Bolduc, who cuts steel in a Magog plant, said he dou­bled his money through in­vest­ments. Shep­ard bought a house in Hol­land, Vt. – just across the U.S. bor­der – and at age 60 still goes to work ev­ery day for a ply­wood man­u­fac­turer in New­port, Vt. “I like to get up and have some­where to go,” he said. Smith works at Do­min­ion Gran­ite in Beebe and has a home in Cedarville that his win­nings helped him buy. But none of them say they’re much dif­fer­ent than they were on Nov. 17, 1974. “If it hadn’t have hap­pened, it wouldn’t have made a dif­fer­ence,” Smith said. “It’s a help that’s all.” “It puts you on easy street, any­way,” Galazzo said. Shep­ard, who wanted to know what other mem­bers of the Thread Grinders were up to th­ese days, said sim­ply: “It was just one of those things.” And Arm­strong, who was 20 at the time and was called “Scrap­per” by his co­work­ers be­cause he had a habit of ar­riv­ing at the thread-grind­ing depart­ment with a black eye, sees it as an “ex­pe­ri­ence”: a bit of luck he wishes other peo­ple could have too. “We still got our pro­duc­tion out the next night,” he said. “I didn’t want to go to work but my fa­ther said I should.”

Sal­va­tore Galazzo Brian Arm­strong

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