The Hero of Robin St: Martin Tremblay

The Hero of Robin St: Martin Tremblay
Photo by Victoria Borodinova from Pexels

Before starting the Robin St Neighbourhood Watch, Martin Tremblay had quiet beginnings. As a young man growing up in Sault Ste. Marie on Robin St, Martin was fascinated with comic books and superheroes. It wasn’t so much the superpowers they had that intrigued him. Instead, it was their elevated sense of justice and commitment to the community. It was their ability to stand up for the underdog, those who could not stand up for themselves, that drew Martin to them.

Martin was smaller than most of his peers during his formative years. It wasn’t until his late teens that he developed height, coordination, and athleticism. As such, he often found himself on the wrong side of bullies and others looking to take advantage of his size.

At first, the constant bullying caused Martin to lose respect for himself. He stopped believing what family and other people who loved him told him. He started believing his bullies. His self-esteem was burnt to the ground, and he felt as if he had little to no will to try anything.

Even as an adult, Martin honestly admitted that he suffered from anxiety, struggled with self-esteem, and needed reassurance to feel that he could do certain things independently. Martin said that he never hated his bullies. Deep down inside, though, he wanted them to experience the same nightmare they had put him through.

Still, there was something inside Martin that drove him to want to be the protector of those who could not protect themselves. So he often found himself standing up for himself and others. When bullies would try him, he would fight back as hard and as mean as possible. He garnered a reputation for helping bullies develop bruises and black eyes.

As Martin got older and grew into his body, he realized that fighting aggressively, even to defend himself or those he cared about, could eventually lead to some terrible circumstances. In one fight, he got knocked out.

In another fight, he hurt a kid so bad that he feared the kid would suffer permanent injury.

He needed to take a different approach. It was about that time that Martin met Eric. Eric was in the same boat as Martin, suffering relentless bullying. Whereas Martin grew into his body as he hit his teenage years, Eric did not. It seemed like the bullying became more relentless.

Thanks to shared experiences, Eric and Martin became fast friends. They often discussed the best way of protecting themselves and helping those around them feel secure. Eventually, Martin understood that meeting bullying with physical force would only get so far. What was needed was a multi-disciplined approach that offered protection, education, and a space for people to feel safe in their skin. That is when they started the Robin St Neighbourhood Watch in Sault Ste. Marie, an institution that to this day still serves the local community.

Following the success of Robin St Martin eventually retired to spendmore time with his family, allowing the residents of Robin St to take over the task of making his community a safer place for people. Criminals of any sort, in Martin’s opinion, were just bullies, but bullies rarely stand up to a crowd that sticks together. They looked for soft targets and people who lacked the ability or the community behind them needed to protect themselves.

Martin was famously quoted as saying, “Bullies and criminals are like cockroaches. They feel the most comfortable operating in the dark, taking advantage of soft targets. A bright light and a sturdy shoe are often all it is needed to squish them both.” The community will always carry the name of Robin St: Martin for his love of community and his relentless desire to be the voice of those who had no one to speak for them.

You can learn more about Martin and his amazing story here: robinst.ca/martin/



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