One of the things I love most about working at this hotel is our connection to Ottawa’s roots. We are a young town relatively speaking and you don’t have to go back far to get a feel for just how few degrees of separation there are. Randy Boswell, who is writing our story for our upcoming 75th anniversary has uncovered that the early story of the LE is so interconnected to Ottawa coming of age in the ’40’s. Mackenzie King was so involved in our beginnings and looked on the LE as a symbol of what Ottawa would become. My grandfather (A.G. Fournier), used to walk to work with Mackenzie King along Laurier Avenue in the morning. The world is indeed small.
When we were going through some old pics in Mr. Gillin’s office (owner of the LE, now deceased), I found a picture of Pat Gillin taken at St. Pat’s College (see insert) and my dear Uncle Godfrey (Fournier) was also in this picture (upper right corner). Wouldn’t you know, that Uncle Godfrey – at 92, could name so many of the fellows in this picture – and many are names that became very well known in Ottawa. These are the ones he could recall, including the photographer Father Divine. There is Fergie McNaughton, Brian Quinn, Paddy French, Greg Gorman, Father O’Byrne, my dad’s cousin Walter Rainboth, Frank Dunlap the judge, George Ryan, Gerry Mulvihill, Gerry O’Brien, Ambrose Quinn, Greg McIntyre, Melvin Jardine, Paul Timmons, Bernie Downy and Tom Quinn. Not too bad for a 92 year old and Pat Gillin and Fitzgerald who later worked for Pat.
The stories are many and treasured. There are so few degrees of separation really… I am proud to be a part of it all.
While cleaning my house this morning for the anticipated Thanksgiving arrival of my daughter, I found myself lost in admiration for the woman Sarah has become, and I began composing a mental list of all the things that make me so proud of this amazing woman!
Handwritten notes are a tradition in my home which I began from the time my kids were toddlers. Little surprises that we still enjoy, and although my kids know they will find a note somewhere, they still love the words and the thought. Personal and intimate notes often speak louder than a hug.
With a warm heart and a chest full of pride, I placed a Clinique gift bag (gift with purchase kind of gift) and a note that said “I give thanks for the independent, ambitious, bright and creative woman you have become”.
This is one of the many, many, many things I give THANKS for on this Thanksgiving!