The top news story of 2018
A drum roll please as we take the covers off the top local news story in the year that just expired - 2018.
It’s a slam dunk.
The hands-down winner is the election of veteran city councillor Bernadette Clement who ran away with the Oct. 22 mayoral race, collecting more votes than the other three contenders combined. It ranks as one of the most lopsided mayoral victories in local municipal history.
Not only did the energetic legal clinic lawyer, a Montrealer who has adopted Cornwall as her home, become the first female to claim the Cornwall mayoral chain of office, but she became the first black female mayor in Ontario, perhaps the country.
She isn’t the first made-in-Cornwall trailblazer. There are two noteworthy Cornwallites who made political history when it comes to breaking down barriers.
In 1930 Cornwall voters broke down a huge barrier when they elected Romanian-born immigrant Aaron Horovitz as Canada’s first Jewish mayor. He served a total of 18 years as mayor, longer than any other local head of council.
Horovitz and his brother Louis came to Canada in 1910 with little more than a suitcase and a dream. A year after getting off a boat they were in Cornwall setting up shop in an old building which became home to the Prince Clothing Co. It started with a few sewing machines and 25 employees.
In 1955, Nathan Phillips, who grew up in Cornwall after his family moved here from Brockville when he was an infant, became Toronto’s first Jewish mayor. In fact, Phillips became Toronto’s first non-Protestant/ Orange Lodge mayor, a string that dated back to the late 1800s.
Phillips, who spent years on Toronto city council, served as Toronto mayor until 1962., when he retired. Toronto honoured Phillips by naming the new city hall and square after him: Nathan Phillips Square which serves as a focal point for Canada’s largest city.
On his first day in office, New Year’s Day, Phillips wrote his mother back in Cornwall, telling her that it was hard for him to believe that he, a Jew from a small town, was sitting in the Toronto mayor’s office.
Things we may or may not be witness to in 2019:
You won’t see city lawyer Sean Adams putting his busy legal practice on hold to join the Martin Short/Steve Martin comedy tour.
Adams and his son, Nick, travelled to Ottawa in October to take in the sold-out show at TD Place.
The senior Adams had no idea he would end up part of the show.
Before the comics launched into their Three Amigos! routine, they decided that in the absence of movie sidekick Chevy Chase, they needed to recruit somebody from the audience as the third amigo.
As luck would have it, Adams, sitting in the back row of the floor seats, got the call to join the duo on stage with 10,000 people taking it in.
Learning the lines was not a problem. He had just one word.
The comics slapped a huge sombrero, similar to the ones the actors wore in the movie, on Adams’ head and told that when the performers sang“We are the ...”he was to break in with a solo burst of “Amigos!” The routine was repeated three or four times.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Adams who figures he was on stage with the comics for about 10 minutes. “My son was convinced that it was staged. It wasn’t.”
Despite his stage “success”, Adams plans on sticking with his day job.
* The final chapter in the NDP’s Quebec honeymoon will be written in the October federal election.
* The Ford government will do what previous provincial governments have done when it comes to complaints from municipalities visa-vie the arbitration system: Nothing.
* The National Enquirer will run a cover story claiming that Donald Trump underwent surgery to shorten his nose. It’s called acute Pinocchioitis.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ***** Vital statistics released by city hall on Jan. 2, 1957 showed that the proverbial stork made fewer visits to the Hotel Dieu Hospital and Cornwall General Hospital.
The number of births in 1956 totalled 922, down from a record 955 in 1955. Marriages also declined to 249 from 292, all but a handful were church weddings, while the number of deaths dropped to 209 from 292. Most funerals were held in churches.
ALSO THIS WEEK IN 1957 - In the traditional mayor’s New Year’s Day address on CKSF Radio, newly-elected Cornwall mayor Emile Menard, who had defeated long-time city mayor Aaron Horovitz, said the city was writing a new page in its history. It was the first election for the enlarged city which had annexed chunks of Cornwall Township, expanding from one square mile to 32 square miles and a population leap to 36,000 from 17,030. The outgoing mayor pledged his full co-operation during the transition . ... The first baby born in the new year was a baby boy born to Mr. and Mrs. Emmanuel Seguin of 807 Guy St. It was the couple’s fifth child . ... The local Bell Telephone office said Dec. 31 set a call record. The day ended with 123,000 calls . ... A Moose Creek man was sentenced to five months in jail for being in possession of stolen goods . ... A city man was given a three-month jail sentence for stealing a pair of shoes valued at $7 from a Pitt Street store. The man asked for leniency because he was intoxicated at the time of the theft . ... A 20-year-old city resident was sent to prison for two years after he pleaded guilty to robbery with violence. Court was told the man ripped a purse from a woman, breaking her shoulder. The purse contained $200 which was not recovered . ... James Hickman became the first president of the Long Sault Chamber of Commerce. It was previously known as the Mille Roches-Moulinette Chamber of Commerce . ... The city was preparing for the arrival of 20 Hungarian freedom fighters who had fled their homeland during the revolution.
TRIVIA ANSWER The first pastor of Nativity Parish was Father J. J. Kelly, an Irishman. He was fluent in both French and English. While the church was being built, the cornerstone was laid in 1887, Father Kelly had a small wooden chapel constructed to serve the fledgling congregation.
TRIVIA This wife of an MPP served on Cornwall city council.
ONE LAST THING “You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and stop telling your where they are going.” - P. J. O’Rourke