Blind River Digital Collection
Guarding Angels, Blind River and Elliot Lake, The Standard, 1995
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Full Text

Page 14 The Standard,Wednesday,June28,1995 BLIND RIVER PUBLIC LIBRARY RECEIVED AUG 31, 1995

Guarding Angels

Area crossing guards make region safe for children to walk home

By BRENT COOPER and KEVIN MCSHEFFREY of The Standard

ELLIOT LAKE - It's the corner of any street in any town. This corner belongs to the guard.

Nobody cross this street without the go-ahead. Nobody.

Nobody that is carrying school books, that is. This person is a crossing guard, a task that occupies a few hours a day, yet to some, is the best time of their day.

When one is off sick, a replacement is called in at the last moment and does the job.

Becky Whitmell has patrolled the crossing at Mississauga-Axmith avenues for the past five years.

I do the job becausc I love the outdoors and I love kids."

Whitmell says she has been lucky in that nothing serious has happened during her tenure. The same can't be said for Valarie James, a guard in the city for 13 years. Ten of these years has been spent at her Hillside Drive North -

Amsterdam Road section.

James says she took the job after quitting her restaurant job years ago.

"I had a young daughter in school and I wanted to be with her during the holidays," she says as she looks for crossers.

"And of course, I like the kids. I've see many of them grow through grades one to eight.

James says she has seen her share of accidents, especially one years ago when a motorcyclist crashed into another vehicle.

But the most memorable incident that she remembers involved her on her first day.

"It was a wet day and one car couldn't stop properly. In fact, it slid by and just touched me while I was crossing.

"My husband told me to quit. But of course, I didn't."

Pat Tessier can understand what James went through. She experienced a near-hit herself one day.

"I was standing in the middle of the street." says the five-year veteran of Hillside Drive South-Roman Avenue," It was a beautiful day and I was crossing some kids, when a lady decided she wasn't going to stop.

"I had to step aside for her to miss me."

Maria Santos hasn't had any experiences like her co-workers. She says everything has been quiet for the past four years at the Mississauga - Timmins crossing.

She says everything appeals to her about her job, with maybe the exception of the weather at times.

Margaret McDonald makes sure than Derek MacLeod, Brian Nolan and Samantha Daybutch cross the Colonization - Hanes -Michigan crossing safely after school lets out for lunch. McDonald has been a crossing guard at the same spot for the past eight years. (Photo: Kevin McSheffrey)

But what she likes most about her job is the people she meets.

"They stop and talk sometimes. I get to meet a lot of people here."

Cenie Blanchard says dealing with the children at her Pearson Drive - Bennett Road corner has made-her job enjoyable.

"Some kids start off bad, but after spending some time with them, they become nice. And I get to teach them about the rules.

"They're lots of fun to work with."

Elizabeth Deraiche agrees with Blanchard. With the exception of two years, she has been patrolling Esten Drive North and Hergott Avenue since 1978.

This is a job she started in her driveway, acting as a crossing guard for her children from her house on Washington Crescent.

"So the police asked me to this fulltime and I agreed.

"I love the outdoors. I've never been sick. I love the kids, I love the people who come to talk to me, wave at me. I even know the dogs by name.

Deraiche says she is like a second mother to the children.

(See next page)

Photos

Pat Tessier

Elliot Lake

Hillside Dr. S - Roman

Tamara Maitland

Blind Rver

Causley Street

Elizabeth Deraiche

Elliot Lake

Esten Dr. N - Hergott

Frank Bourdage

Blind River

Murray Street

Gloria Lemay

Elliot Lake

Ottawa - Washington

Valarie James

Elliot Lake

Hillside Dr. N - Amsterdam

Becky Whitmell

Elliot Lake

Mississauga - Axmith Ave.

Maria Santos

Elliot Lake

Mississauga - Timmins

Richard Sanche

Elliot Lake

Ottawa - Lisbon

Cenie Blanchard

Elliot Lake

Pearson- Bennett

The Standard. Wednesday. June 28,1995 Page 15

Playing, talking and just being around children highlight of crossing guards' days.

(Continued from previous page)

"Some of the kids I put on the buses before have kids I put on the buses today," she says with a smile.

Gloria Lemay's six years as a guard- the last four at the corner of Ottawa and Washington ended yesterday.

She is moving to the new subdivision and will have to give up her post.

However, she will take with her the memories, especially one in particular.

"Sliding down the hill in the winter." she says, looking at the slight slope near her comer. "I just join right in."

She says she also likes the fact the children confide in her like they would a friend.

Perhaps the quietest corner in the city is at Ottawa and Lisbon. For now that is.

Richard Sanche helps student cross there, many of them going a few metres from him to Lakeside Public School.

He says there isn't much traffic for him to handle. That is until fall, when College Boreal opens its satellite campus.

Sanche says he did the same job in his hometown of Haileybury until he came here three years ago.

He says he decided to pick up a stop sign again because it is " nice to have something to do, a reason to get up in the morning. "

Photo

The Standard. Wednesday. June 28,1995 Page 15

Playing, talking and just being around children highlight of crossing guards' days.

(Continued from previous page)

"Some of the kids I put on the buses before have kids I put on the buses today," she says with a smile.

Gloria Lemay's six years as a guard- the last four at the corner of Ottawa and Washington ended yesterday.

She is moving to the new subdivision and will have to give up her post.

However, she will take with her the memories, especially one in particular.

"Sliding down the hill in the winter." she says, looking at the slight slope near her comer. "I just join right in."

She says she also likes the fact the children confide in her like they would a friend.

Perhaps the quietest corner in the city is at Ottawa and Lisbon. For now that is.

Richard Sanche helps student cross there, many of them going a few metres from him to Lakeside Public School.

He says there isn't much traffic for him to handle. That is until fall, when College Boreal opens its satellite campus.

Sanche says he did the same job in his hometown of Haileybury until he came here three years ago.

He says he decided to pick up a stop sign again because it is " nice to have something to do, a reason to get up in the morning. "

Photo

Tamra Maitland, the crossing guard at the traffic lights at the Causley Street crossing, goes about her daily business of ensure students cross the busy intersection safely. Maitland is a two-year veteran at the busiest crossing location in town. One of her biggest concerns is the speed at which the traffic whizzes through the intersection.


Creators
Brent Cooper, Author
Kevin McSheffrey
, Photographer
Media Type
Text
Image
Item Type
Clippings
Description
This is a newspaper story about area crossing guards and how they make the region safe for children to walk to and from school. The article also features two black and white photos of guards in action and head-only photos of ten of the crossing guards including Tamara Maitland and Frank Bourdage of Blind River.
Notes
All the guards interviewed indicated it was their love for kids and meeting people that made their jobs so enjoyable.
Pagination
p. 14
Date of Original
June 28, 1995
Subject(s)
Local identifier
local people
Language of Item
English
Geographic Coverage
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 46.18336 Longitude: -82.95817
Copyright Statement
Protected by copyright: Uses other than research or private study require the permission of the rightsholder(s). Responsibility for obtaining permissions and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Contact
Blind River Public Library
Email
WWW address
Agency street/mail address

8 Woodward Avenue

P.O. Box 880

Blind River, ON P0R 1B0

(705) 356-7616

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Guarding Angels, Blind River and Elliot Lake, The Standard, 1995


This is a newspaper story about area crossing guards and how they make the region safe for children to walk to and from school. The article also features two black and white photos of guards in action and head-only photos of ten of the crossing guards including Tamara Maitland and Frank Bourdage of Blind River.