Looking back week of April 12

70 Years Ago

April 14, 1948

– The first cement was poured on a new West Ward elementary school just east of the Napanee Collegiate and Vocational School. The Hamilton-based contractors, The Brennan Construction Company, were focused on finishing one four-room wing of the school to have it open for occupancy by the fall.

When completed, the school was expected to have 12-13 rooms, including areas for home economics and sop work. There would also be an auditorium, a Kindergarten room, and teachers’ areas.  The estimated total cost was $306,000.

– A Napanee man sentenced to a three-year term in the Kingston Penitentiary for child abuse did not receive a warm welcome from his fellow inmates. Edward McCoy was transfered from the Lennox and Addington County Gaol on a Friday to begin his sentence. On Tuesday morning, it was reported he had been sent to the infirmary after other inmates attacked him and beat him.

– The new Amherst Islander ferry made its first trip to Kingston after being refurbished by Canadian Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd. The ship was a converted Second World War U.S. landing craft. Prior to being rebuilt, it reportedly had several visible bullet holes. Amherst Island paid for 20 per cent of the repairs, while the provincial government paid for 80 per cent.

Meanwhile, the retired ferry was put up for sale. It was anchored on the shoreline at Stella.

40 Years Ago

April 12, 1978

– Deseronto police chief Carl Beattie announced he’d resign from the post he held for 10 years, effective July 24. Sources within the department suggested he grew tired of the life of a small-town cop and no longer found leading a three-man department challenging.

Another source suggested the decision might have been a reaction to the town deciding not to replace an officer who failed to recover from an on-duty incident.

– Bill Vankoughnet, 35, of Napanee was nominated as the federal Progressive Conservative candidate for Hastings-Frontenac, ahead of an expected election that June. Vankoughnet emerged from a crowded field with eight other candidates as members trimmed the ballot in four rounds of voting.

Vankoughnet urged party membership to come together and said he’d seek their help to  retain the riding, held by the retiring Douglas Alkenbrack.

– The Lennox and Addington County Board of Education lost its superintendent of schools when Robert Saunders received a Ministry of Education offer he deemed “too attractive to turn down.”

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