I wrote about Cathie Hawkins McOrmond awhile ago, and now I must write that today, Friday, is her last day at work for “Downtown Carleton Place”. McOrmond’s Facebook page used to be consumed with town events squeezed in between her family’s photos. Now there are mostly inspirational posts, as Cathie chose to work her last 8 weeks as Project Manager for the Carleton Place BIA after her job became null and void in the restructuring of things.
I am not going to get specific about the colour of the grass on either side, but an unplanned departure is never good news. The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart, and that is what Cathie has done. Today, let us celebrate Cathie as a friend, mother and the never to be forgotten face of downtown Carleton Place.
You might not know that Cathie initially wanted to become a social worker when she was in High School. Sadly, the wayward youth of the Ottawa Valley did not have privy to her talents, and instead, the town of Carleton Place acquired Cathie to cheer lead us on at all our local events for the past decade.
Cathie has lived in Carleton Place since her high school days, and her family is very active in the community. The business graduate has many notches in her belt: teachers aid, life skills trainer, Crime Stoppers, Commodore at our local Canoe Club, and the list goes on.
Whether or not you agreed with her sometimes– you could always see the passion she has for our community. Makim Gorky once wrote that only mothers can think of the future- because they give birth to it in their children. Cathie’s mother used to be a volunteer tuck shop coordinator for the Carleton Place Hospital. She had encouraged her daughter to volunteer there also, as she felt it would give her a sense of community.
There is no doubt in my mind that losing Cathie is a loss, but hopefully we can learn something from it. As Rocky McDonald- former chair of Downtown Carleton Place, formerly the Business Improvement Association (BIA) said to the Carleton Place and Almonte Gazette:
“Though, I do want it to be said I loved working with Cathie every second,” McDonald noted. “She is an amazing individual.”
“She really does have the town at heart,” he continued. “Unbelievable…that woman cares more about this town than, honestly, town hall cares about this town.”
To be a champion, you have to see the big picture. It’s not about winning and losing; it’s about every day hard work and about thriving on a challenge. That is and always will be Cathie–as an old Japanese proverb says: “Fall seven times, stand up eight”.