Saying Goodbye to Cathie Hawkins McOrmond



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”.


Related reading:

McOrmond excited for future beyond Carleton Place BIA

Cathie Hawkins McOrmond — She’s Just a Small Town Girl

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.

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