Stan and Brian Cassidy at Brian’s UNB Graduation in 1966.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Brian Cassidy is a Stan Cassidy Foundation Director and one of Stan’s three sons. In this blog post he gives a sense of what it was like growing up in the Stan Cassidy home.
Timeliness in all things; do an honest day’s work; honesty is the best policy; respect the environment; put it back where you got it; keep your workplace tidy and organized; help those less fortunate. These are only a few of life’s great lessons I learned growing up in my father’s shadow. A larger than life figure in the community, he was the solid patriarch of the Cassidy household. Dad lived these principles every day, so he was an excellent role model.
“Where is he now?” was a frequent question heard in the home. Always on the go, he worked long hours and most days he would return to the office in the evening. He was a high energy guy but not reckless. Every action or trip or idea was calculated to optimize the benefit. He made trips around the world and while many of these trips were pleasure in nature, he was always learning from others and brought those lessons back home. He would work to see that those lessons got implemented in as much as they were relevant to living in New Brunswick. And by the way, don’t ever think of leaving New Brunswick because he firmly believed that this was the most beautiful province in all of Canada! He recognized very early in life that health and education were essential to one’s well-being and those things must be basic rights enjoyed by all citizens. He could talk the talk and walk the walk. Making excellent health care and education affordable to all became almost a crusade.
He always believed that if a job was worth doing, it was worth doing right; and attention to detail was essential. Every cable or roll of wire was neatly wrapped and tied when done with and stored in the proper location. His workplace was clean and tidy and even envelopes were carefully addressed and the stamp placed carefully on the upper right corners of letters.
He would have made an excellent statistician. He kept detailed notes on all projects and activities. The dates and times of all phone calls were carefully recorded. Letters home from his world travels would always give the exact time of landing of the aircraft – to the minute!
His penmanship was superb and he never understood the modern phenomenon of scribbled signatures. His handwriting and signature varied little through his entire life and he almost always signed his name SBCassidy. He had a real gift for drafting, and among my prized possessions is a drawing of an airplane that he did in 1930 while studying electrical engineering at UNB.
Stan Cassidy’s signature on a 1930 drawing of an airplane; Stan’s signature
44 years later – on a 1974 document – is largely unchanged.
I recently had occasion to buy a part for my stove at a local appliance shop. Once they realized that I was Stan’s son, they related a story of how he would always hand deliver his payment cheques. While this may seem rather odd, I can see a method to his madness. He always paid bills on time (and encouraged me to do likewise) but he also believed in paying as close as possible to the due date so that your own money is working for you as long as possible. Now if you are waiting to the last moment to pay that bill then one should hand deliver. However there is another aspect to this story. Dad was very much a “hands on” kind of guy with customers and other businesses in the community. He was a very charming fellow – superb at small talk and building personal relationships. This was one of the keys to his building a successful electrical contracting business.
Stan never aspired to have the biggest electrical contracting business or the biggest rehabilitation centre but he did want the best. He aspired to excellence in all things. He did enjoy being just a little different than others. He drove Oldsmobiles, and they were always red with a green roof. Even when two-tone vehicles were popular, you could never order a red/green combination; so he would order all red and upon delivery the car would go straight to the paint shop to get a green roof. These cars were affectionately known as The Green Hornet.
Stan Cassidy’s Green Hornet in 1955.
Dad was a good athlete and dancer. He played hockey in his youth. In later years he very much enjoyed fishing, hunting, speed skating and curling. Now Dad’s curling goals (yep, he was the Skip) were not to win any club events; rather he preferred travelling (in his private aircraft of course) to bonspiels far from home such as Boston, Chicago and Quebec City. It was not unusual to combine these pleasure trips with a little business. Flying of course was his number one passion and I have memories of flights to Saint John and Moncton and then a phone call from the airport; an expensive phone call!
Stan Cassidy was one of those very special individuals who always seemed to know where he was going and others had two choices: pitch in and help or get left behind. He was in every sense of the word, Stan the Man, the not so ordinary boy from Clover Hill, Kings County, New Brunswick.
To learn more about Stan Cassidy in stories and photos, visit the Cassidy Family website.