Know Your Carleton Place Olympians!

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The summer Olympics are almost upon us. Did you know we have a former Olympian in our midst? When I was volunteering at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum  today I found this picture from the old Carleton Place Canadian photo files at the museum.

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       Photo of John Edwards-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

1975 Almonte Gazette–After four years of trying, Carlton Place’s John Edwards has won a berth on the senior Canadian canoe team. John finished first in the mens. 100ft m tre C -l event and came second in the 500 metre event in Toronto last week-end. John will participate in the senior men’s world championships in Yugoslavia this summer.

 

John Edwards (born July 1, 1954) is a Canadian sprint canoer who competed in the mid-1970s. At the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, he was eliminated in the repechages of the C-2 1000 m event while finishing ninth in the C-1 1000 m event.

Edwards grew up paddling at the Carleton Place Canoe Club in Carleton Place, Ontario, and became the first Olympic competitor from that club when he competed in C-1 1000m and C-2 1000m at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.

Edwards served as the Domestic Development Director at CanoeKayak Canada (CKC), then known as the Canadian Canoe Association, from 1999 until 2015. In that role, Edwards oversaw a period of significant evolution in the sport in Canada and around the world. Under Edwards, the number of racing clubs and the number of participants in the sport in Canada grew by an unprecedented amount. Edwards also initiated CKC’s Aboriginal Paddling Initiative and the PaddleALL program for paddlers with disabilities, and championed the expansion of opportunities for women in canoeing.

Edwards has also had significant influence on the sport internationally, serving as a member of the Board of the International Canoe Federation and as Chair of the ICF’s Paracanoe Committee. Edwards was the driving force behind acceptance of Paracanoe into the Paralympic Games, and his committee is charged with expanding the accessibility of the sport on a world-wide basis.

Concurrent with his employment at CKC, Edwards enjoyed a long career in politics, serving as a municipal councillor for Ramsay Ward in Mississippi Mills, Ontario for more than 17 years. He still holds that position today.

Edwards is married, with two daughters and four grandchildren.–Wikipedia

Well done John!!

NB-Andrew willows who was a paddler also made Carleton Place proud in the Olympics.

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John Edwards speaks…

Dear Linda,
Thanks for the old photo from the archives. I still have my Olympic parade uniforms! It was such a great time for me in those days. I don’t know who did the Wikipedia biography…..just one error: I was at the 1972 Munich Olympics as well.
My ‘takeaway’ from my experience was the amount of support and faith the Town of Carleton Place put into me. I was only one of the beneficiaries of this positive attitude. Many others performed way beyond what a small town of 5,000 people (1970) could expect. I think of Janet Findlay, Madeleine Montreuil, Susan Gifford(:), Roger Tuttle, Linda Tuttle, Peter Pommerville, Eric Grantner, Lynn Armour, Andrew Shepherd, Scott MacIntosh, Helen Code, Steve Bittle, John Drader, all of whom went on to become Champions of Canada, Canada Games Ontario Team members, Junior National Team members or Canadian Senior Team members.
CPCC punched way above its weight and it did so because we believed we could and the whole Town supported us. It was simply a question of faith and a positive attitude.
Between 1988 and 1993, I was Commodore and with Susan’s youth leadership was able to reinvigorate our attitude of faith in young paddlers. Two more Olympic paddlers were produced; Ryan Cuthbert and Andrew Willows (Athens & Beijing). Good coaching was always the solution.
Today CPCC paddlers are still participating in national team projects for the next generation.
Think BIG and have faith!!

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About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

6 responses »

  1. I worked with John ages ago in the Heritage Canada Main Street Project in Perth. He was an architectural visionary and had the broadest shoulders I had ever seen 🙂 Tis good to know his accomplishments are recognised. Bravo!

    Like

  2. Dear Linda,
    Thanks for the old photo from the archives. I still have my Olympic parade uniforms! It was such a great time for me in those days. I don’t know who did the Wikipedia biography…..just one error: I was at the 1972 Munich Olympics as well.

    My ‘takeaway’ from my experience was the amount of support and faith the Town of Carleton Place put into me. I was only one of the beneficiaries of this positive attitude. Many others performed way beyond what a small town of 5,000 people (1970) could expect. I think of Janet Findlay, Madeleine Montreuil, Susan Gifford(:), Roger Tuttle, Linda Tuttle, Peter Pommerville, Eric Grantner, Lynn Armour, Andrew Shepherd, Scott MacIntosh, Helen Code, Steve Bittle, John Drader, all of whom went on to become Champions of Canada, Canada Games Ontario Team members, Junior National Team members or Canadian Senior Team members.

    CPCC punched way above its weight and it did so because we believed we could and the whole Town supported us. It was simply a question of faith and a positive attitude.

    Between 1988 and 1993, I was Commodore and with Susan’s youth leadership was able to reinvigorate our attitude of faith in young paddlers. Two more Olympic paddlers were produced; Ryan Cuthbert and Andrew Willows (Athens & Beijing). Good coaching was always the solution.
    Today CPCC paddlers are still participating in national team projects for the next generation.

    Think BIG and have faith!!

    Liked by 1 person

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