REMEMBER THESE GUYS?
They made a million dollars’ worth of Three Villages history 15 years ago
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