Looking back-week of May 31

70 Years Ago

June 2, 1948

– Napanee’s Edward Baldree was one of two men tragically killed while on duty with the Canadian National Railways near Parry Sound. A 36-ton steel girder was being lifted into place on a bridge when it topped over a giant crane. Baldree was standing on the bridge when he was struck and killed instantly. The father of eight had been with the CNR for nearly 38 years after starting with the company at age 12. He had come to Canada with his parents from England at age 7.

– W.C. Cochrane, the customs officer at the Port of Napanee indicated total revenue for the station increased annually over a four-year period from 1943 to 1948. The $240,000 of revenue in 1947-1948 was up 118 per cent over 1943-1944. The port was responsible for baggage, mail parcels, and shipments coming into Lennox and Addington County and Tyendinaga Township.

– The Napanee and District Salvation Army was hoping the public would respond to a plea to help reach its 1948 target of $1,550. The canvas was short $440 from reaching that total in order of fulfilling the mandate of “Helping the Helpless.”

40 Years Ago

May 31, 1978

– Randy Sherman Davey, 20, of Napanee was awarded the Star of Courage for rescuing five people from a fire in a burning apartment building in Picton in March 1977. Davey was to be decorated by Gov. Gen Jules Leger at a ceremony later in the year at Rideau Hall. Just six Stars of Courage were announced with three being awarded posthumously. It was noted Davey put his own life in extreme danger to enter the burning building.

– While no official announcement had been made, NDSS principal D.E. Thompson was set to become the Lennox and Addington County Board of Education’s new superintendent of schools. All but one of the board’s trustees were present at a personnel relations committee meeting to vote after interviews had taken place. Sources said the board had not discussed Thompson’s replacement at NDSS, but students and teachers alike were mentioning vice-principal Rodney Hughes as a possible replacement. That move would leave the board searching for two vice-principals at the school as  Jack Walmsley was moving back to the classroom.

– The Beaver was encouraging readers to clip a photograph of Napanee’s historic Canadian National Railways station for delivery to CN’s Rideau district manager J. Robert Burns, to encourage him to save the landmark from potential demolition in favour of a more modern passenger shelter.

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