Seniors Situation Room by Dawn Ford – Memories of Central Public School 080717


Cornwall Ontario – Central Public School was a second home to a lot of us growing up over the years in Cornwall in the 40’s and 50’s. We went to kindergarten at age 5 for 1/2 a day and then grades 1 to 8. We attended classes from 9am to 12 and then scurried home for a quick lunch and back to school from 1 to 4pm.The weather didn’t matter…we walked. Fred MacMillan was our Principal.

When I was in Grade 4, the Memorial Park School opened. Some of my classmates and I who lived on the west side of Augustus Street were transferred to the new school. From the grade 4 class at Central Public, we were put in the grade 5 class with Ms. Donaldena McIver for the rest of the year. Then, next term, we went on to grade 6 with Mr. Petepiece who was also the Principal. I loved that class because we had lots of crafts to make like Paper Mache items and wonderful sessions of finger painting. We had a tall pole outside which had a long rope attached and a big ball at the end. We played with it at recess batting it back and forth and had lots of fun.

When I look back to all the school years I somehow remember the fun times and not so much the academic. That’s a kid’s memory for you. We did learn reading, writing, and arithmetic…the three ‘R’s and of course, English grammar, spelling, history and science and all that is taught in grade school at the time. ‘ We had quill pens and desks with ink wells for some time. I still have a pen nib.

After grade 6 we were back to Central Public for grades 7 and 8. I don’t remember who our grade 7 teacher was but we had Mr. George Edgerton for grade 8. Back at the school the girls had classes of Home Economics (cooking, sewing) music lessons on the violin, clarinet, and alto.etc. (Instrumental Music) and the boys had wood working. Again, fun memories. I do remember standing up with other classmates in rows to recite multiplication tables and spelling. Now the kids have calculators I am told and don’t have to memorize 4 x 4 and 12 x12, etc.

The book,” A Journey to Remember, A history of our beloved school” by Debbie Ledoux about Central Public School was published in 2002 by Kelly Andrew Heard and printed in Summerstown, ON by P&L Printing. It is great to read about all the staff and all the activities of the school in the past since its beginings in the mid 19th century.

On page 60 and 61 there is an article about the Lacrosse teams. It states that, “Richard Herrington, ( my nephew), an outstanding player for the intermediates, won three books as a prize donated by Reginald Kyte of Kyte’s Bookstore”.

Lots of photos and interesting stories to enjoy in this book.

The 17th Annual Alzheimer Society’s Golf Tournament will take place on August 18th, 2017 at the Summer Heights Golf Links. It is in support of the Alzheimer’s Society of Cornwall and District. All proceeds go directly to the support services provided to families of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias throughout the counties of Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Prescott and Russell, and Akwesasne.

All golfers are welcome to register as individuals, twosomes or foursomes. The Registration fee is $145 per player or $120 per person for club members. Tee off time is 11am. Golfer’s tee-time preferences will be accommodated as much as possible.

The tournament features an 18 hole, best ball scramble format including electric cars, door prizes, hole activities and a BBQ lunch. There will be a steak dinner following the tournament as well as a silent auction and an awards ceremony honoring the participants.

For more information or to register call 613-932-4914 or on line:

The Alzheimer Society is also going to host two long term care education sessions which will take place at the Alzheimer’s Society Aug. 16 & 23 (Part 1 & 2) from 10am -3:00 pm. Call 613-932-4914 for more information.

Here is a fun project to tackle on a hot lazy summer’s day. I have had it for years but don’t recall who gave it to me..just that it was fun:

The Giraffe Test

1) How do you put a giraffe in a refrigerator?

The correct answer : Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

2) How do you put an elephant in a refrigerator?

Did you say, Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant and close the door? Wrong answer.

Correct answer; Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

3)The Lion King is hosting an Animal Conference. All the animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend?

Correct answer: the elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there. This tests your memory. Ok, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.

4) There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles and you do not have a boat. How do you manage it?

Correct answer: You jump into the river and swim across. Have you not been paying attention? All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.

According to Anderson Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the professionals they tested got all the questions wrong but many preschoolers got several correct answers. Anderson Consulting says this conclusively dispproves the theory that most professionals have the brains of a 4 year old.

I have to admit, I got them all wrong but I had some pretty good logical answers, never-the- less. lol.

Just came across this photo of the old days at Central Park(now Horovitz Park) and our wonderful old swimming “Pool”. It was the place to be in the summer when I was growing up. My sister Evelyn is the little girl on the right and we think her smaller friend on the left may be Carol Hutt. In the background we can see kids and adults peeking over the fence into the pool watching the swimmers.

We enjoyed the park with the beautiful water fountain, two big cannons and lots of space for everyone. There was big raised Band Shell which had been used for concerts. In our wet bathing suits we would lie on towels in it or on the hot pavement or the grass.

In 1958 the Park was renamed Horvitz Park, after our beloved Mayor, Aaron Horovitz.

Another picture from the old photo album: Here is a photo of Dr. Nat Shah of Cornwall and myself at Mount Carmel House Treatment Center in St. Raphael’s ON. The year is 1983 and Dr. Shah had just joined our staff as Medical Director. We were so lucky to have had his medical help and wisdom for many years. Handsome guy, eh?

An outstanding senior in Cornwall just celebrated his 90th birthday: George Pommier. Mr. Pommier is well known in our community, a highly respected business man and someone we all admire very much. Happy Happy Birthday.

This cat of mine, Tiger, is really something. He is very furry and a bit chubby. He has short legs which are a bit of a problem for getting a good high leap onto something like the couch. He gives it a couple of tries, then turns around, walks a bit, comes back, goes for what I call his ‘running jump’ and hops on the couch. His ‘running jump’ is really a bit of a stroll pace but it works for him. Very cute.

A few of those wonderful church bulletins sent in by a friend which apparently actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced at church services:

1)The Fasting and Prayer conference includes meals.

2) The sermon this morning: ‘Jesus Walks on the Water’. The sermon tonight: ‘Searching For Jesus’.

3) Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husband.

4) Don’t let worry kill you off – let the church help.

5) Miss Charlene Mason sang, “I will not pass this way again”, giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

6) This evening at 7pm there will be hymn singing in the park across from the church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.

7) At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be , “What is hell?” Come early and listen to the choir practice.

8) Pot Luck supper Sunday at 5pm – prayer and medication to follow.

9) The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.

10) The Pastor of the Church would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend and a great week, Dawn.


  1. Dawn you made me roar with laughter and tears as well. Dear Daw you are wonderful and I mean that fully. Ladies to lend their electric girdles instead of griddles for pancake breakfast. I used to go to Horwitz Park as a child to swim and I cried because it no longer exists. Kytes book store with Reggie Kyte OMG the memories. Mr. Petepeace and the other man named I remember.

  2. Dawn I had a good laugh about your cat Tiger trying to get up on the couch. You might have read about me falling inside the bus next to the driver just a week ago when I went to the doctor with my daughter. The step to go onto the bus is too high for my old age and arthritis and I landed on the floor next to the driver. We went out to a shopping area near the airport to see the dermatologist.

  3. Dawn I love those stories of yours and you bring back the better days and in a small place. Here in Ottawa you know nobody. The park where I took my kids when they were little is all gang central and we don’t go there – not since the late 80s era. It was very bad then but now terrible.

  4. Dawn when I think about what they did to Horowitz Park I get horrors about what will happen to the Legion Park and area with condos. OMG Dawn the same design on Heron Road near where I live and always for sale and rent and in a questionable area if you get my drift. Very bad gang central. Mixed housing with the best down to the lowest level. It is a nightmare day and night. Emergency sirens.

  5. Jules is on a roll again.

  6. Yeap, she is . What happened to “We will no longer allow multiple comments in a row by the same viewer.?”

  7. Author

    Hugger that’s per story, and there are always exceptions to policy which is why you are allowed to use a pseudonym 🙂

  8. Enjoyed your column Dawn. Thanks.

  9. Arrggghhhh!!!!!

  10. I remember when Hubby and I were first married 43 years next month we would sometimes go to Horowitz Park and sit on a bench under a big tree and it was nice. Now that park is gone and I remember someone who wanted to make a beach in Cornwall. Cornwall had nice parks and was taken away putting up buildings in the wrong place. I miss that park and I would miss the Legion Park as well.

  11. Jules: there is still part of the park left but it is not the same. It was a shame to lose most of it. I wonder where the band shell went??

  12. Wonderful as always, Dawn. I LOVE taking your walks down memory lane…pls keep’em coming. ..they are great. Keep up the good work.

  13. Dawn keep the good memories coming. My much elder sisters went to Central Public back in their day. What I remember about Central Public was walking in the school yard and the fountains in the park. That was a nice school and I haven’t been back to see it. The more life changes it gets wrecked. We have some good memories of Cornwall but too much has changed.

  14. Repetitive, but what else can be expected.

    It’s called “tourism.”

  15. Dawn when I look back at how Cornwall was and Cornwall today it is a real shock. Cornwall used to be a nice town but today it is a mess in more ways than one. People who have never lived in my day as a child and in your day don’t know what we are talking about. Some of the ladies on here do remember and we want to read those stories along with the pictures. Those were the good days.

  16. I would like to echo your greetings to George Pommier. I worked for George at The House of Gifts which was located in the Cornwallis Hotel. It was a great place to work part time thro’ my high school year ands for several summers. This was during the years of building the seaway and there were lots of American tourists.
    Happy Happy Birthday George on your 90th birthday.
    Great column.

  17. Dawn hubby purchased his latest vehicle in Cornwall and has the tag marked Cornwall as his key chain and always picks on me about Cornwall. Cornwall was much better in the past and that is so true. Everything got changed for the worse. I remember that bandshell and I don’t know where they put it. You might be able to contact the town and see if they know what happened to it.

  18. Author

    Jules even though we call out some of the scandals in Cornwall it’s meant to be positive. This city has a lot of positives, especially compared to some communities including Ottawa. I don’t think I’d ever move back there. The best thing about Cornwall is if you get the enablers to stop propping up the clique this city can be something very very special.

  19. Jules: I was in the Horovitz Park to day and it is lovely. Smaller than it was but very well kept with arrangements of flowers and some benches. You would like it.

  20. Hi Dawn that is good to hear about Horowitz Park but I wish that they left the park as is and built somewhere else. That was a very nice park at one time and I remember it very well since I used to take swimming lessons in that park way back in the 50’s era. I have good memories of that park and was a great place for kids who live in that area of town.

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