Well-known, always-smiling man was allegedly assaulted in his own home
No matter who he meets on the street, Gordie Milley has a smile and wave for them.
He’s known as a man who wouldn’t hurt anyone. But he has been hurt in an attack and as a result, the people of Corner Brook are rallying around him.
Milley, 56, was allegedly assaulted in his townsite home sometime between June 23 and 24. He’s in hospital in St. John’s where he’s undergone surgery on his jaw, according to Facebook posts by a family member.
As news of what happened to Milley spread via social media, people began to reach out, offering their support and wishes for a speedy recovery. Many also called for justice, some in a not so favourable way.
Among those who felt they needed to do more than just wish Milley well was Angela Menchions.
“Every time that we go downtown, he’s there,” she said. “He’s always waving to people, always smiling, telling stories.”
Menchions was appalled to learn of the alleged assault against Milley, who has some mobility and communication issues.
“How can somebody go into somebody else’s home, especially somebody who doesn’t do any harm, like Gordie?”
Menchions set up a fundraiser for Milley through Facebook with the goal of raising $1,500. By mid-afternoon on Tuesday, $5,616 had been realized.
That has Menchions feeling good about people in general.
“Overwhelmed by people’s support and how much they love Gordie and how much they’re willing to contribute," she said.
The fundraiser is set to run until July 15. It’s been extended once and can be again if donations continue to come in.
Menchions hopes the money can turn something bad into something more positive for Milley when he returns to Corner Brook.
"I just see the effect that he has on people. How much he warms them up. How much he makes people laugh." — Dustin Parsons
Dustin Parsons agrees and used the platform of his company, Steady Entertainment, to promote the fundraiser.
“I just wanted to do that because I know Gordie personally from around town. I find him a very pleasant person. He puts a smile on my face.”
He said Milley is a positive person.
“I just see the effect that he has on people. How much he warms them up. How much he makes people laugh. He’s always dancing around.”
Parsons said the attack on Milley was senseless, on many levels.
“If they really wanted to, that person could have robbed Gordie blind without having to lay a finger on him," he said.
Parsons is also working on a slideshow of pictures of Milley that he plans to share directly with him as a way of lifting his spirits.
“He loves getting pictures with people and he’s always asking people to take his picture," said Parsons. "I thought it would really warm him up to see a slideshow or sort of presentation of all those pictures over the years.”
He’s put the call for pictures out through Facebook and says he has had “tons and tons” of photos sent to him.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary is continuing to investigate the alleged assault and did confirm they have a person of interest in the matter. No charges had been laid as of Tuesday.