Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thugs beat politicians at beauty pageant in the Point - 1958 mayhem

Pageant runner-up Joan Dwyer
   Only in Point St. Charles could a beauty pageant end up with thugs beating politicians.
  That ugly incident occurred when Betty Simpkins, 18, was announced the victor of the contest over Joan Dwyer, by a score of 163 votes to 117 in front of 400 people at the Ukrainian Hall  on Saturday May 10, 1958.
   Local dignitaries were invited on stage and city councillors Adeodat Crompt and MP/Councillor Gerard Loiselle came up, but Councillor Frank Hanley and M. Colette declined, suggesting that they disapproved of the result.
Councillor Frank Hanley
  Then a young man who identified himself as Dwyer's brother stood up and demanded a recount. "It's a set-up man!" he yelled.
   The organizers were intimidated and agreed to count anew, but when they returned to the ballots they noticed that 100 votes for the winner had gone missing and about 30 young thugs appeared, leading to confusion as people scurried to escape the increasingly ominous gathering.
Gerard Loiselle
Point St. Charles
MP and City Councillor
   The thugs beat Crompt up and smashed his glasses.
   Someone tossed a beer into Loiselle's face and stole his wife's fur coat, while the editor of a local paper, M.A. Allard was hurt in a beating as was a cop outside. About 20 more police officers showed up and restored order. The prizes of $1,000 to be distributed among the contestants had been kept in a safe place and were not stolen.
   Loiselle later told Alain Stanke of the Petit Journal that his car and house windows had previously been smashed, as had his office equipment and that he had been threatened repeatedly. He said that his wife bas suffered a nervous shock and couldn't stop crying after the pageant.
  Councillor Andre Lecourt didn't attend because he had been repeatedly threatened. "For 15 days my family and me have been living under threats, we've been getting phone calls night and day and it's almost impossible for me to go out unaccompanied."
Councillor Adeodat Crompt
after the beating
   Allard, editor of a local newspaper, also said that he had been threatened.
   Hanley declined to comment on the issue.
   Not sure what became of the lovely young Simpkins. We believe she grew up at 2151 Grand Trunk and her father Harold was a foreman at Continental Can, according to Lovells. 
   Joan Dwyer had a lot of family in the Point, including adults Doug (driver for CN), Jason, a chauffeur for Hydro Quebec and Joan a typist at Northern Electric, all of whom lived at 547 Fortune. She could also have been in the family of Continental Can foreman Harold Dwyer's family at 1773 Grand Trunk, just down the street from the Simpkins residence and right next to the Ukrainain Hall.
  (Source: Le Petit Journal "De la casse, des coups mais pas de "Miss" by Alain Stanke May 11, 1958, p. 58) 

1 comment:

Sean Anthony said...

That's a great story!