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Debating the future of R.G. Dow pool

BY RICK PUSIAK northern life When Copper Cliff residents huddle Thursday night to discuss ways of keeping the R.G. Dow pool open, one person in particular will have a special interest in the proceedings.
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BY RICK PUSIAK
northern life

When Copper Cliff residents huddle Thursday night to discuss ways of keeping the R.G. Dow pool open, one person in particular will have a special interest in the proceedings.

Peter Dow, son of Richard Godfrey Dow, will be at the 7 pm meeting in the church hall at St. Stanislaus Church on Balsam Street in Copper Cliff.

When the pool opened at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 1971, it was named after PeterÂ?s father, a well-respected Copper Cliff mayor and later regional councillor.

The younger Dow continued his fatherÂ?s political legacy and served with distinction for numerous years on council and on the police services board.

Peter was in his 20s when the ribbon was cut on the Copper Cliff pool located on land donated by Inco on Market Street.

Dow was there with his wife Stella and their young children and watched with pride as a building was named in honour of his father.

Â?He was very pleased,Â? recalled the former alderman for Copper Cliff.

His dad was serving his 13th term in office.

Â?(The ribbon cutting) was a big deal. We had the whole town there. The place was just jam packed with people. Of its size (the pool) was probably the most modern of the day.Â?

Dow remembers championship diver Beverly Boys of Pickering was brought in for the ribbing-cutting ceremony to put on a demonstration.

Boys was fourth in her event in the 1968 Olympics and 1971 Canadian Division Champion.

The pool, the first of its kind in this part of the province, was one of many gems in Copper Cliff.

A first-class arena, curling club and Legion branch were also constructed over the years, all on property donated by Inco.

Dow said discussion on the future of the Copper Cliff pool has gone on for some time.

Â?I used to have to fight for it year after year after year,Â? said Dow.

Â?It would have gone down sooner than it is going to now by the looks of it simply because they (the city) made a deal with the YMCA to run it.Â?

The municipality has covered annual utility, maintenance and repair costs, as well as capital repairs.

The YMCA provides staffing, scheduling and runs pool programs.

But Dow said with declining usage in recent years the pool never paid for itself and has been in the red.

Â?IÂ?d hate to see it closed,Â? said the former politician.

There is a fair bit of nostalgia in Copper Cliff for the days before annexation by the City of Sudbury and later the creation of the Regional Municipality.

The town was a vibrant community with the largest police force in the area.

The police department was in fact rented out to Inco to provide security for the nickel giant that, in those days, employed over 20,000 people.

But now the community is a little tired. Dow said when Inco ran into hard times it stopped putting money in its rental properties.

In time the houses in Copper Cliff would be put on the open market starting in the late 1960s.

Ward 1 councillors Gerry McIntaggart and Eldon Gainer will host Thursday nightÂ?s meeting.




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