October 25, 1952 saw the dedication of the new 144′ x 62′ Trinity Parish Hall. The building of the new hall left the Mountain Memorial Hall at 204 Augustus Street available for other uses. The older one storey building was built with funds donated by the Rev. Jacob J.S. Mountain in 1884 and it was raised in 1908 in order to install a concrete basement to accommodate the growing parish.
On February 19, 1953, the parish entered into an agreement with the Navy League of Canada to make the hall available part-time to the Sea Cadets for $40 per month. Others using the hall included St. John’s Ambulance Corps, a Senior Citizens Club and the Y.W.C.A.
On April 14, 1953, after about a year of laying groundwork, James Turney, Chairman of the Cornwall Sea Cadet Committee, received the official warrant establishing R.C.S.C.C. Stormont. Presenting the warrant is J.F. Jefferies, C.D., R.C.N. Looking on in the center of the photograph is Commanding Officer Lt. Louis J. Desjardins. The presentation took place at Navy House in Trinity Church’s Mountain Memorial Hall.
In 1958, Mountain Memorial Hall was being used by the Conservatory of Music of Cornwall, having been leased for ten years at $120 per year. On May 22, 1962, Mountain Memorial Hall burned and was a total loss. It was the regular night for choir practice (apparently the youth choir rehearsed there and then joined the adults in the church) and Scouts, but fortunately the choir was in the church and the Scouts were outside. The Scouts helped rescue church records from the office, which was located in the old hall.
During the Corps’ time at Navy House, we also found a few references to them making use of three other buildings. The Corps had space in the basement of the second Salvation Army Citadel at 9 First St. W. A public parking lot behind Melody Music store is on that site today.
In this photo, taken on October 16, 1958, the Legion presented a cheque to cover a year’s rent at the former St. Columban’s Hall at 444 Pitt Street. The presentation was repeated a year later. The Legion stepped up to the plate when Navy League was experiencing some difficulty covering all of the corps’ expenses.
For a time, they were on the third floor of the Lawn, Leblanc and Turner building in the Princess Alice Hall. The building was destroyed by fire in the winter of 1963. The photo above was taken prior to the third floor addition that housed the Princess Alice Hall. Lawn’s Smoke Shop and Lawn’s Pool Hall were housed in the same building. The entire complex was destroyed by fire. This south east corner of Pitt at First Street houses the Cornwall Square parking garage today.
On February 25 1965, the Corps’ new head quarters in the basement of the Post Office, was officially opened. The Cornwall Public Library occupies the building today. In the above photo are Lt. Phil Filion C.O., Lucien Lamoureux M.P., Ed Riviere Legion President, Mrs. Lamoureux, Rev. Walter Ohrt Corps’ Chaplain and Lt. J. Jackson A.O.
Lt. William Denniston X.O. credited the M.P.’s efforts largely for the success in obtaining more suitable quarters. The Legion bore the brunt of the cost of the needed renovations.
Until 1968, most years the Corps enjoyed Christmas Dinner at Beach Hall followed by a cadet party at headquarters. To make room for the Cornwall Square which opened in 1969, Beach Hall was one of the buildings demolished in that block. Beginning in 1968, the Christmas Dinners were relocated to the Masonic Hall on Second St. East for a time.
This post was inspired by and excerpted from a book commemorating 110 Stormont’s 60th Anniversary in 2013. The book was edited by Don Smith and the product of research conducted by local historians Don Smith and John Bulloch. The book includes most of these photos and many others, obtained from a variety of sources including the SD&G Historical Society Archives, Doug Fraser’s photo albums, a negative from Ran-Gal Photos and a commemorative book on Trinity Church.