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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 17, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta 30 THI UTH5RIDGE HIRAID Wednndoy, Febiuory 17, 1971 t Cross abduction a nightmare says Susan Vertes Daughter had dreams of execution WINTER FALLS Possaic Falls, on the normally polluted Passaic River near Pat- erson, New Jersey, have not been- noted for their beauty of late. But with the temp- erature dropping well below freezing, the falls have taken on a crystaline look. Mrs. Florence Dennis elected by IODE PINCHER CREEK (Special) Mrs. Florence Dennis was re-elected regent of the Cap- tain McPhail Chapter of the IODE at the annual meeting held recently at the home of Mrs. Allison Day. Other officers will be Mrs. Hilda Milne, first vice-regent; Mrs. Maggie Johnson, second vice-regent; Mrs. Monica Lynch Staunton secretary; Airs. Miriam Fraser, trea- surer; Mrs. Rose Wollman, education secretary; Mrs. Nina Appleby, Echoes secre- tary; and Mrs. Dorothy Her- big, standard-bearer. The following appointments were made: Mrs. Betty Lynch- Staunton, honorary regent; Mrs. Dotty Buchanan, hon- orary vici-regent; Mrs. Joy Cameron, and Mrs. Allison Day, services secretary; Mrs. Helen Mitchel, membership; Mrs. Annie MacLean, hospital- ity; Mrs. Florence Ewasben, social; .Mrs. Irene Dennis, scrapbook; councillors: Mrs. Lena Hewitt, Mrs. Dotty Bu- chanan, Mrs. Mae Hammond, Mrs. Mable Erickson and Mrs. EIi2a Sorge. Mrs. Annie MacLean was nominated pro vincial council- lor. Last year was an active pro- ductive year for the chapter with a membership of 35 Many public services were rendered, one of which was volunteer hours for the Rec Cross, hospital auxiliary, blooc donor clinic, arthritic cam- paign and summer games. Fund-raising projects to car- ry on the work of the order included1 the tag day, baks sales, sale of greeting cards, and the book stand sales. Two bursaries were present- ed, one to a vocational student and one to a matriculation stu- dent. MONTREAL (CP) The I night Pierre Laporte was found I murdered Susan Vertes, daugh- ter of James Cross, dreamt her father was being executed by his Front de Liberation du Quebec abductors. In an exclusive interview with The Gazette. Mrs. Vertes said the night the former Quebec labor minister was found stran- gled was one of the worst expe- riences she suffered during the 60 days her father was kept in captivity by terrorist kidnap- pers. Although Mr. Laporte's body was found in the early hours of Oct. 18, Mrs. Vertes did not hear of his death until about seven hours later but during the night she dreamt of her own father's execution which had been erroneously reported while she slept. She was awakened by a friend who told her of Mr. Laporte's death. "That was the first time in my life that I had a brandy at in the morning." she said. About five hours later, a note was received from Mr. Cross, senior British trade commis- sioner in Montreal, saying he was -till alive. MARVELLOUS, REASSURED "It was a marvellous Mrs. Vertes said. "It was very reassuring." The ordeal began for the Cross family with the diplo- mat's abduction from his Red- path Crescent home Oct. 5. ,Mrs. Vertes, 24, was inter- viewing a student as part of her job as guidance counsellor at Lachute high school when her department head told her of the abduction. Together with her Hungarian- bom husband, Gabor, she rushed to her parent's home where she was given the full story by Mrs. Cross. While watching the 6 p.m. news that night, Mrs. Cross re- alized the name of the drug her husband needs for a high blood pressure condition was not being given in its proper form on the broadcast. However, Mrs. Vertes said, her father told her after his re- lease he took the drug given him by his abductors although he was not sure it was the cor- rect medication. It seemed to work, he said. On Oct. 6 a letter was re- ceived from Mr. Cross, who later said he had been blind- folded and kidnapped for the first 48 hours of his captivity. Zeller's FEBRUARY 18-19-20 DAYS ONLY South Lothbridgo Shopping Centre on Mayor Magrath Drive AM I ABLE TTI i rmr> Opc" Daily lo 6 p'm'; Wednesday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; FROM ZELLERS Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Telephone 328-8171 Mrs. Vertes said her father now suffers from astigmatism which causes imperfect focus- ing and blurring of his vision. She said he now has to wear glasses for the condition which may have been caused by a "n u n -1 i k e" bonnet the kid- napped diplomat had to wear during his captivity so he could not see his captors. Mrs. Vertes said the letter was short and "you could tell from the handwriting that he was still handcuffed or some- thing." POLICE ALERT Throughout the period of Mr. Cross' captivity, police re- mained in the family home and warned the .kidnapping would not be an overnight affair. "But the police were great morale Mrs. Vertes said. "There was one policeman in particular I think his name was Claude. He had tre- mendous perception he was kind and reassuring. "Without him, I don't think any of us could have got through all of this." Mrs. Vertes, her husband and mother invented nicknames for the police to make identity eas- ier. "We called one Anon and another CBC because he looked like someone who reads the news on television." Mrs. Vertes described the first week of her father's captiv- ity at the Redpath Crescent res- idence as "like a nightmarish I Christmas party the house j was like a mess hali." "We were catering for an enormous number of people even though our hearts weren't in it." On Oct. 10. Mrs. Vertes and her mother decided to go for a drive and when they returned they heard that Mr. Laporte had been kidnapped. SHED TEARS "I burst into tears when I heard the news because it seemed to me inhuman that someone else.shoii'd he going through the same thing." Mr. Vertes, 34, left the Cross home to return to the apartment he and Susan had left when Mr. Cross was kidnapped. "I left the house because there were too many people too much noise and Mr. Vertes explained. "You couldn't even take a walk around the block without some policeman being with you." During the 60-day period, let- ters and flowers poured into the Cross home but many of the notes left Mrs. Vertes and her mother "near tears." "The people expressing them- selves, they had already buried said Mr. Vertes who "never thought for a moment" that his father-in-law was dead. Following Mr. Laporte's fu- neral, Prime Minister Trudeau and Quebec Premier Roger Bourassa visited the Cross home for about 15 minutes. "There was not much they returning to Montreal but her could Mrs. Vertes said. mother slaved in Berne until During the ordeal, privacy be-1 Mr. Cross was released Dec. J. came an almost unknown word On her return to Montreal, Mrs. Vertes decided to resume her work and she had been back on the jcb for just over a week when she received word that her father was about to be re- leased. Although police had tracked down the kidnappers and had been preparing to make an ex- change for seme hours, Mrs. Vertes and her husband did net hear the news "until about 10 a.m." They both went to the. home of a British government official to await the expected exchange. In Berne. Mrs. Cross was out at a bridge party and did not hear that an exchange was like'y until noon Montreal time. At 10 p.m., Mrs. Vertes was reunited with her father who had been handed over to Cuban officials after seven persons connected with the kidnapping were granted safe passage to the Caribbean island. Mr. Cross' daughter thought at first glance that her father looked as if he had just crossed the Irish Sea by ferry. "He looked like he just got off the Irish mail boat from Holy- head." Mr. Cross was taken to hospi- tal for a medical check after word was received that the kid- nappers and their group had ar- rived in Cuba. for the Cross family. Mr. and Mrs. Vertes commu- nicated by telephone but the calls were monitored by police. When the couple was together they were rarely alone. Curious onlookers continued to file by the house although many of them apparently were unsure which building was the Cross residence. "I could almost hear them say 'this is said Mrs. Vertes, "but many times they were looking at the wrong house." In late October and early November, Mrs. Vertes and several friends staying at the Cross home came down with what the diplomat's daughter described as "some kind of bronchial ailment." Sirs. Cross and her daughter decided to traval to Switzerland and agreed to a police sugges- tion that they travel under as- sumed names. Bu the two were not in- formed of their aliases and "when we arrived at the air- port, an official kept calling my mother Mrs. Imray. BECAME FIRM Mrs. Vertes said her mother finally became exasperated and shouted "I'm not Mrs. Imray, I'm Mrs. Cross." Mrs. Vertes remained in Switzerland for 10 days before Serve up the pancakes Pouron the Rogers'! ROGERS' PANCAKE SYRUP with the golden flavor of cane-sugar syrupl And also take home ROGERS'GOLDEN SYRUP in the tin or handy plastic container. For a free ROGERS' RECIPE BOOK, write: B.C. Sugar Refining Co. Ltd., Rogers Street, Vancouver, B.C. freshness built in Flavor and freshness have kept Nabob Canada's leading coffee for gener- ations. And you get the sama fine quality pound after pound after pound. These qualities are guaranteed by- Nabob's airtight poly liner in every package. 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