This is the speech I gave at Orm’s Funeral this week at St. James
I have to be honest here– most of my best conversations with Orm Giles were in Walmart. I never went to Walmart without bumping into Orm Giles. We used to have our fireside chats on the bench beside the front door where Orm and I would plot to glue coins to the floor and see how many people would try and pick them up. Orm was everything to me. Each time I would bump into him he would haul his flyers out when Walmart used to price match and he would be telling me what I should be buying whether it be in aisle 4 or 5 or maybe even 6. Orm was an iconic retired politician, but he was a master of the grocery flyers–yes he most certainly was.
Orm not only had savings information– he would also give me council advice on that same Walmart bench next to the front door. It was my two for one Roll back special. When I got elected I told Orm I had so many great ideas– so many— and what was the easiest way to get them done. He looked at me and said ,” Well first you have to have 3 other people vote with you”, and I looked at him just like they had slashed everything on aisle 7 and said NOOOOOO. Are you kidding me?
Now when I hear people that are going to enter the world of politics and do this and that and the other– I laugh and say, “No, not unless you have 3 other people vote with you!” and I know that for a fact because Orm Giles told me so.
I had great respect for Orm as he represented his community in municipal politics for over 30 years. I know how hard it is to represent your community, but we do it because we love where we live and boy Orm loved Lanark County. He made many many important decisions for our town and one day he jokingly made a decision for Walmart,
“Hey Linda, what say we tell Walmart to buy 30 new cashes and only open 2 of those cashes?”
Orm had a wicked sense of humour and he once told a story to his son Stephen about the house I was documenting across the street where they lived. They were an odd lot that lived there — no doubt about it. Apparently they used to come out late at night and dig for worms to go fishing. Orm looked out the window one night and said,
“Would you look at that we have a couple of miners across the street digging for gold!”
Only in Carleton Place.
As far as I can remember Orm was a Councillor, Deputy Reeve and Deputy Mayor of the Town of Carleton Place and Warden of Lanark County. He had a park named after him and he lobbied the government of Ontario for years for the expansion of Highway 7.
When I posted about the passing of Orm on Facebook I got a great many comments and Id like to read a few :
Orm was a great citizen who lead by example RIP SIR!
Very sorry for your loss – your Dad served the community with honesty and integrity.
He was the Royalty of CP! I was sharing stories about him tonight. So many! Sylvia Giles you Dad (& Mom) was a true gem!!
He sat with my Dad on his last day on earth along with Don Stanley. I will never forget that.
I‘m truly sorry to hear this news, Sylvia. Even when you know it’s inevitable, it still comes as shock. I wish you and Stephen the best as you celebrate this good and decent man. My sincere condolences. My thoughts are with you.
I am so sorry to hear of your father’s passing Sylvia. Your Dad was such a sweet nice man. He was always there to greet us all at church. My condolences to you and your family.
Duncan and I are so very sorry to hear this sad news. Orm was a gentleman who served Carleton Place for many years with grace and style. He will be truly missed. Our condolences to the family. Sending our deepest condolences to Sylvia, Chris and Stephen. Orme will be greatly missed!
So today we mourn the passing of Orm Giles and I am so grateful that he raised two wonderful children named Sylvia and Stephen, who will carry on his legacy and keep me informed of what I should watch out for in town affairs. I am so grateful for that, but I have one thing that I am heartbroken that I never knew.,. I never knew that Orm’s first name was Clarence. To me that was information that should have been spoken about on our Walmart visits. Because Walmart is a place that you can never be ashamed of who you are.
I am going to truly miss the man that was named Clarence Orm Giles. He was one in a million! Love you Orm and Ill keep that bench in Walmart warm for you.