November 23, 2015

Small town feel!



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.