Caught twice in the same night

Seaway News - - Opinion - MUS­INGS

Po­lice might have been a tad char­i­ta­ble on Sept. 6, 1938 when they called two crooks who hit the sleepy vil­lage of Finch twice in the same night “pro­fes­sional safe crack­ers.”

Bur­glar bun­glers might have been a bet­ter de­scrip­tion. Or, per­haps the crooks just had a bad night.

First, they at­tempted to blow open the safe at the Cana­dian Pa­cific Rail­way of­fice dur­ing the early morn­ing hours. The sturdy safe door didn’t budge and they beat it out of the of­fice empty-handed.

A few min­utes later they gave it an­other shot with plan B. The target was the Ge­orge L. Mclean and Sons garage.

Per­haps fig­ur­ing they didn’t use enough ni­tro­glyc­er­ine at the CPR of­fice, they upped the charge.

Just as in the CPR at­tempted heist, the crooks pa­tiently drilled a hole in the com­bi­na­tion and in­serted the ni­tro, lit the fuse and took cover. And blow it did. The door came fly­ing off the steel safe. It trav­eled across the of­fice and crashed through the front win­dow. It landed on the front yard. Pieces of glass trav­eled 50 feet across the street.

They quickly grabbed $25 from a cash box that had been pried open and re­treated to a wait­ing car.

Neigh­bours, shaken from their beds by the thun­der­ous ex­plo­sion, told po­lice they saw two men run­ning from the garage of­fice and head­ing north to­ward the CPR sta­tion where po­lice fig­ured they had left their car.

Days be­fore sev­eral busi­nesses in Corn­wall and sur­round­ing area had been hit by thieves who at­tempted to break into safes.

The crime spree ended with the Finch jobs. Per­haps they got into a new line of work or moved on.

ALSO THIS WEEK IN 1938 - Corn­wall Col­le­giate In­sti­tute Board was in­ter­ested in es­tab­lish­ing a French course at CCVS. A pe­ti­tion from the St. Jean Bap­tiste So­ci­ety urged the board to es­tab­lish the course as a way to en­able English stu­dents to be­come more pro­fi­cient in French. If enough stu­dents showed in­ter­est, the board planned to hire a full-time French teacher. ... Stor­mont MP Lionel Chevrier laid the cor­ner­stone for the new Corn­wall Ar­moury. A cop­per box con­tain­ing var­i­ous reg­i­men­tal doc­u­ments and pa­pers was placed be­neath the stone where it re­mains to this day. ... The big­gest Labour Day parade in the city’s his­tory - spon­sored by the Corn­wall Trades and Labour Congress - had 2,500 par­tic­i­pants and 14 floats. The two- mile long parade fin­ished at St. Lawrence Park with a pic­nic and field day. ... Cen­tral Park pool closed for the sum­mer. Sil­ver Bridge re­mained open but with­out a life­guard. ... A Corn­wall Jail in­mate who es­caped with a com­pan­ion by climb­ing the 16-foot court­yard wall was cap­tured two months later in Oneida, N.Y. where he had tried to rob a store. The other es­capee re­mained at large. ... Corn­wall coun­cil planned to in­cor­po­rated three blocks of the town­ship. The area was bounded by Fifth, Marl­bor­ough, Sec­ond and Bald­win. It in­cluded the Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal and Ath­letic Grounds. ... Bur­ton He­ward and his Rhythm Knights had top billing at Hub­ble’s Com­mu­nity Hall, 308 York St. A dance at Mille Roches Arena fea­tured Sparky Dukelow’s 10- piece or­ches­tra. Bill Bushell and His Mod­ern Ram­blers were play­ing at the Green Val­ley Pav­il­ion. Ad­mis­sion was 25 cents. ... Fawthrop’s Gen­eral Store, 412 Sec­ond St. W., had two cans of Clark’s Ir­ish Stew for 25 cents, one-pound of Maxwell House cof­fee for 35 cents and two cans of Heinz soup for 25 cents. ... Corn­wall Col­le­giate and Vo­ca­tional School started the new school year with 896 stu­dents and 25 teach­ers. At Corn­wall (Cen­tral) Pub­lic School 900 stu­dents were regis­tered. Cen­tral Ward Sep­a­rate had 700, West Ward Con­vent 575, East Ward Boys 765 and East Ward Girls 801. ... Farm­hand Lloyd Mc­cor­ris­ton was robbed as he walked along Church Road near the CN tracks east of Moulinette. The three men who at­tacked and robbed him were thought to be tran­sients trav­el­ling the rails. ... An 81-yearold Corn­wall man was charged with ar­son after fire de­stroyed a Cartier Av­enue ten­e­ment.

THIS AND THAT Might be time for mu­nic­i­pal politi­cians to check their fi­nan­cial port­fo­lios. In Hamil­ton, Mayor Fred Eisen­berger has de­clared a con­flict of in­ter­est in the cannabis de­bate around the coun­cil ta­ble. His fi­nan­cial in­ter­ests in­clude stock in a mar­i­juana grow-op. ... Not hear­ing much from the guardians of pub­lic health across the prov­ince vis-a-vis the health dan­gers and cannabis. ... One of the fastest grow­ing com­mu­ni­ties in Canada is Petawawa. Be­tween 2011 and 2016 its pop­u­la­tion grew by 7.5%, thanks mostly to an ex­panded mil­i­tary pres­ence. Petawawa has the sec­ond high­est an­nual me­dian house­hold in­come in the prov­ince. Its $86,048 is just $403 be­low Ot­tawa. Hawkes­bury has the low­est in all of Canada: $ 42,384. Corn­wall’s me­dian is $ 51,712. ... An­other lo­cal mem­ber of what news­caster/ au­thor Tom Brokaw called The Great­est Gen­er­a­tion is gone with the pass­ing of WW2 vet­eran Gerry Grant. He was 94. He was three years younger (18) than the le­gal drink­ing age (21) when he en­listed in the army and was shipped off to Eng­land.he met and mar­ried his wife Dorothy in Corn­wall and went on to serve as Alderman from 1986-1988 ... Some­body men­tioned that their fa­ther was a Lan­caster bomber pi­lot fly­ing mis­sions over Ger­many at age 21. He was the old­est mem­ber of the sev­en­man crew. The Great­est Gen­er­a­tion for sure.

AROUND AND ABOUT Is it just me or are they mak­ing lids on jars harder to open? There was a time, be­fore the safety scare, when one quick twist did the trick. ... Strange sight the other day: A teenager seen us­ing a pay phone. ... Reader re­calls his grand­mother us­ing a wash­board to do the laun­dry. He also re­calls a time when a sewing ma­chine was used to sew up ripped jeans or shirts. And darn­ing nee­dles were used to knit wool socks for the win­ter. ... Any­body re­call drive-ins and cum­ber­some me­tal speak­ers that were sus­pended from the car win­dow?

TRIVIA This in­sti­tu­tion had served the city and United Coun­ties for 169 years when it closed in 2002. It has rein­vented it­self as a tourist at­trac­tion.

TRIVIA AN­SWER Fuller­ton’s Drug Store was part of the Royal Ho­tel Build­ing, Mc­connell Av­enue and Mon­treal Road.

FI­NAL THOUGHT Lead­er­ship is solv­ing prob­lems. The day those serv­ing un­der you stop bring­ing you their prob­lems is the day you have stopped lead­ing them. They have ei­ther lost con­fi­dence that you can help or con­cluded you do not care. Ei­ther case is a fail­ure of lead­er­ship.

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