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Saint John in Saint John County, New Brunswick — The Canadian Atlantic
 

Charles Gorman

 
 
Charles Gorman Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 15, 2019
1. Charles Gorman Marker
Inscription.  
English:
Charles Ingraham Gorman, born 1897 in Saint John, quickly grew into a boy with great energy. He thrived on competition. Once he had ice skates he dazzled family and friends with his speed on ice. At ten Charlie competed in his first speed skating race. At 15 he won the Maritime Speed Skating Championship.

Europe was moving towards war that erupted in 1914 in Germany. Britain mounted troops and looked to Canada for support. Charlie was 17, old enough to volunteer. He joined the historic 104th Saint John Artillery Regiment and became a gunner, operating a machine gun on the battlefields of France. Young Charlie saw action in Vimy Ridge and Hill 70 before being wounded in 1918 with shrapnel in his leg. The war ended. With other Canadian troops he returned to Saint John in 1919.

Although doctors told Gorman he would never skate again, by 1920 Charlie was back into competitive speed skating. He won the 1924 US amateur speed skating title and the world championship two weeks later. Charlie lost both in 1925. In 1926 on a bitterly cold January day crowds gathered around the local Lily Lake in Saint
Charles Gorman Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 15, 2019
2. Charles Gorman Marker (wide view)
John for a new competition. An estimated 22,000 people saw Charlie win the World Speed Skating Championship against Clas Thunberg, former world champion from Finland. When Charlie retired from speed skating in 1928 he held seven world records.

The public's appreciation of Charlie's athletic success (also a track star and baseball player) carried into business. As a personal friend of K. C. Irving, the founder of Irving Oil, Charlie managed the company's first Saint John service station. His name "Charles I. Gorman" was prominently headlined out front. In the tough 1930s economy Gorman's name helped win new customers at three of the company's original service stations. Charlie managed those Irving stations until his health failed and he was hospitalized.

In 1940 Charles I. Gorman died, age 42. Photos of his funeral procession show thousands of mourning Saint John people lining the streets to pay a respectful goodbye to Charlie, their own superhero.

Français:
Charles Ingraham Gorman, né en 1897 à Saint John, est rapidement devenu un garçon plein d'énergie. C'est par la compétition qu'il réussit à se démarquer. Dès qu'il reçoit sa première paire de patins, Charles éblouit famille et ses amis par sa vitesse sur la glace. À dix ans, il participe à sa première course de patinage de vitesse. À 15 ans, il remporte le Championnat de patinage
Charles Gorman Statue image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 15, 2019
3. Charles Gorman Statue
de vitesse des Maritimes.

L'Europe s'apprête à entrer en guerre, qui éclate en 1914 en Allemagne. La Grande-Bretagne forme alors seis troupes et se tourne vers le Canada pour obtenir de l'aide. Charlie, qui avait 17 ans à l'époque, est assez âgé pour s'engager. Il s'enrôle dans le 104e régiment d'artillerie de Saint John et devient artilleur, combattant avec une mitrailleuse sur les champs de bataille en France. Le jeune Charlie participe aux batailles de la crête de Vimy et de la colline 70 avant de se faire blesser à la jambe par un obus en 1918. La guerre prend fin. Charlie retourne à Saint John en 1919 avec d'autres troupes canadiennes.

Bien que les médecins lui annoncent qu'il ne pourra plus jamais patiner, Charlie reprend les compétitions patinage de vitesse en 1920. Il remporte le championnat de patinage de vitesse amateur des États-Unis en 1924 et le championnat du monde deux semaines plus tard. Charlie perd ces deux compétitions en 1925. En 1926, par une journée glaciale du mois de janvier, il gagne le championnat du monde patinage de vitesse devant une foule de 22 000 personnes réunie au lac Lily, à Saint John, damant le pion à Clas Thunberg, ancien champion du monde finlandais. Lorsque Charlie prend sa retraite du patinage de vitesse en 1928, il détient sept records mondiaux.

L'engouement du public pour la réussite de Charlie dans le monde
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de l'athlétisme (il est également une vedette de la course à pied et un joueur de baseball) se poursuit dans le monde des affaires. En tant qu’ami de K. C. Irving, le fondateur de Irving Oil, Charlie gère la première station-service de l’entreprise à Saint John. Son nom « Charles I. Gorman » figure bien en évidence sur la façade de la station-service. Dans la conjoncture économique difficile des années 1930, le nom de Gorman permet d'attirer une nouvelle clientes dans trois des premières stations-service de l'entreprise. Charlie gère ces stations-service Irving jusqu’à que sa santé se dégrade et qu'il doive être hospitalisé.

En 1940, Charles I. Gorman décède à l'âge de 42 ans. Les photographies de son cortège funèbre montrent des milliers d'habitants de Saint John endeuillés massés le long des rues pour venir dire un dernier adieu à Charlie, leur propre superhéros.
 
Erected by J.D. Irving, Limited.
 
Location. 45° 15.429′ N, 66° 5.41′ W. Marker is in Saint John, New Brunswick, in Saint John County. Marker can be reached from Lancaster Avenue 0.2 kilometers east of Bridge Road (New Brunswick Route 100), on the left when traveling east. Marker is located along the walking path in Wolastoq Park, near the center of the park. Touch for map. Marker
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is at or near this postal address: 211 Lancaster Avenue, Saint John, New Brunswick E2M 2K8, Canada. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. William Kilby Reynolds (a few steps from this marker); Robert Foulis (a few steps from this marker); Mills at Union Point / Les usines à Union Point (within shouting distance of this marker); K. C. Irving (within shouting distance of this marker); Françoise Marie Jacquelin (within shouting distance of this marker); Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley (within shouting distance of this marker); The New Community of Saint John / La nouvelle localité de Saint John (within shouting distance of this marker); Rebels Attack / Les attaques des rebelles (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Saint John.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Wolastoq Park
 
Also see . . .  Charles Gorman. Despite suffering a shrapnel wound in one leg during WWI, Charlie Gorman's international success earned him the title of "the man with the million dollar legs." (Submitted on November 4, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceSportsWar, World I
 

More. Search the internet for Charles Gorman.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 4, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 31, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 49 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 4, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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