EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Labour Day in 1959 became Hospital Day sponsored by Lady Minto Hospital with 'fun for all ages from oldest to youngest'

Designating it as 'Hospital Day', the Lady Minto Hospital sponsored a day full of activities on Labour Day in 1959.

The program was designed for "fun for all ages from oldest to youngest", according to a report in the Sudbury Star.

The day's activities also provided the opportunity for citizens to meet the staff of the local hospital.

A parade started from the hospital at Elm and Queen streets, in "old Chapleau", led by the hospital float with its "bedside motif" with Beryl Rowntree, Christina Freeborn, Gladys Ryan, Ann Maureen Bedford, and Claire Fortin caring for the patient -- "a huge toy panda".

There were other floats including one from the Senior Citizens, as well as the Town Band and the Branch Number 5 of the Royal Canadian Legion Pipe Band. The parade ended at the Beach area.

The nurses on the hospital float took up station in the Lodge Room (upstairs) in the Town Hall for a polio shot clinic supervised by Dr. G. E. 'Ted' Young. It was a busy place with 276 people getting a shot. Mrs. Audrey Bertrand arrived to assist at the clinic.

Registrars were Mrs. D.O. Payette, Mrs. Rita Bedford and Mrs. Mansel Robinson.

Down at the beach races got underway for the youngsters organized by J.M. Shoup, who had been doing this job for as long as I can remember. Mr. Shoup had just retired as long time principal of Chapleau Public School in 1958.

A very popular event sponsored by the Catholic Women's League of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church was a pigtail contest. Winners in the various age categories were from youngest -- Lynn Hazen, Helene Tremblay, Joan Martin and Linda Marchioni. Mrs. Ed McCarthy was in charge.

Over at the ball field behind Chapleau High School a championship minor league baseball game between the Cubs and Bruins got underway for the Broomhead Trophy. The Bruins emerged victorious and team captain Neil Midkiff accepted the trophy from D.J. 'Jim' Broomhead.

There was also another ball game with teams coached by Keith 'Buddy' Swanson and Tommy Godfrey which was apparently very popular, but results not revealed.

Meanwhile, another popular event was underway at the Beach area where Walter Broomhead and daughter Karen were providing pony rides for the youngsters.

There was a dance in the Town Hall basement in the evening, highlighted a draw for a car -- winner was George Brady.

Chair for the day was C.B Greenlaw, and committee members included George Riesz, Mr. Shoup. Jim Purich, Vince Crichton, Sylvia Crozier, Mary Chrusoskie, Mrs. W.W. Lawrence, Mrs. George McCallum, Mrs. A. Boulard, and "many others"
In May a successful Tag Day had been held. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Chapleau experiencing 'tremendous power shift' too as societal change in communications takes place globally

More than 20 years  ago now Howard Rheingold, one of the pioneers of virtual communities, said that " a tremendous power shift is underway ... this power shift is about people and our ability to connect with each other in new ways... "

Speaking at the first Writers' Retreat on Interactive Technology and Equipment conference sponsored by the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and Emily Carr College of Art and Design, Rheingold noted in 1994 that he was struck by the "citizen-to citizen movement now known as virtual community" popping up everywhere he travelled.

I was at the conference preparing to teach my first Writing for New Media course at College of the Rockies where I was also working on the development of a grad program in New (Social) Media Communications launched a year later. Very few people at the time agreed with Rheingold and other internet pioneers who believed as I did that we were embarking on the biggest societal change in communications since the days of Gutenberg and his printing press.

I spoke on the topic of how the Internet could defeat politicians, or help them win,  at an annual conference of the Canadian Association of Journalists in 1996,  and argued, that in due course, it would be a major contributing factor. Interestingly, the old guard in the room vehemently disagreed with me, while campus journalists supported my position.The old guard, and me, had never heard of Barack Obama in 1995.
in my office at COTR circa 1995

Fast forward to now! You don't hear much about virtual communities now, as all the talk is about social media. The power shift has occurred despite the naysayers then and now, because of our need to connect, one with the other, and we have choices like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype, and yes, even email.

Recently, I have been thinking about Chapleau folks and how they are connecting with each other no matter where they may live today as I watch a group of Facebook friends communicate with each other each morning. They share the weather report from where they live, so typically Canadian, and other news. I won't identify them as I did not request permission to use their names but I really enjoy their daily meeting.

I have used three photos with this column to provide examples of three Chapleau pages on Facebook which are in my view at least very successful. 

One is the Chapleau History and Genealogy group launched by Louise (Tremblay) Etter which now has over 1,500 members. Its members provide awesome photos and comments related to the history of Chapleau and its people.

I enjoy "Chapleau Kebsquasheshing" the golf club page because weekly it provides information on club activities, most particularly "Adult Night" winners. Despite my almost 30 years away from Chapleau, I still can identify most of the golfers.

And I selected the Trinity United Church page as a great example of how to keep members informed on church activities.

There are many other Chapleau pages, which I am delighted to see, and should any wish to contact me about them please feel free to do so.

Despite having taught social media, I joined Facebook  some years ago now  at the suggestion of former students, and I extend great thanks to them. I have been able to reconnect with so many people with whom I had lost touch for many years, and catch up on their lives. Facebook is also an example of the success of new media with its convergence of all media to digital forms.

At any given time on Facebook, "friends" are using text, still photos, videos and all kind of cool things to communicate with one another and a broader audience if they wish. One-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many!!! While I have focused on Facebook, others like Twitter and Instagram are also in the mix.

While teaching new media at COTR I made many fearless predictions about where we were headed. At times I really didn't have a clue but knew something big was happening. I am still learning.

In the COTR library where students had access to computers, they were banned by the powers-that-be from accessing chat rooms, which in those days was the main reason the students wanted to use the computers. To me it was a sure sign that big changes could not be far off. The kids were way ahead in social networking, while the established order wanted to ban them from the practice. Now kids are "tweeting" and "facebooking" and so on.

When I think of it though, my generation liked to pass notes around the classroom to our friends, which of course was forbidden. Now they stay in touch by texting each other on cel phones, and using Facebook, Twitter, etc. Plus ca change. Plus c`est la meme chose.

I would love to hear your comments on social media and its place in your life, and how you enjoy staying connected with others. Critics welcome too!

My email is mj.morris@live.ca, or feel free to contact me on Facebook.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Cones dropping on roof of tent nestled among pine trees 'great fun' for pupils at early Chapleau school

The first schools established in Chapleau shortly after the community were  established in 1885 was in a tent, according to a handwritten history of life in the fledging community included in the Richard Brownlee papers.

The handwriting is excellent but I can't say for sure if Mr. Brownlee, who arrived in Chapleau in February 1886,  wrote it some years later but it is a great read. Mr. Brownlee's first barbershop was in a tent in "old" Chapleau where the Lady Minto Hospital was built at Elm and Queen streets in 1914. He later in 1886 moved to a leanto attached to the T.A. Austin store in the present downtown area,

As an aside, I wonder if today anyone is keeping "handwritten" notes on Chapleau as it is today. If so I would love to hear from you.

The first school was  in a tent, then in the first Roman Catholic Church at Birch and Lorne where Collins Home Hardware is now for short time, then back to a tent located on Beech Street where the Trinity United Church Manse is located beside the church.

The writer noted that "It was a very pretty spot and the tent nestled among the big pine trees. Great fun was had when the pine cones dropped on the roof making a drumming noise. There were twelve rough hewn seats in the school.

"Another feature of this school was the big stove in the middle, and those who sat near it roasted, while those away froze."

However, by about 1891, a school was located in a small building on Pine beside the Rectory of St. John's Anglican Church.

This was schooling in the community as the 20th century arrived, and Chapleau was incorporated as a municipaility in 1901.

Education of the children however was on the minds of the first council as the writer says that "the first act of the new council was to float debentures for the erection of a public school."

It was built beside St. John's Anglican Church, and later became Chapleau High School

G.B. Nicholson was the first reeve and he was returned by acclamation in the election held each year until he retired from the office in 1913. Members of the first council were A. Rathwell, D. Royal, P.J. MacFarlane and W. Boswell.

Once again my sincere thanks to Margaret Rose (Payette) and Bobby Fortin who kindly loaned me the Richard Brownlee papers. I am writing this column as a state of emergency was declared for Cranbrook and area because of wildfires. Our heat wave continues too.

ADDENDUM  In my column on Charles W. Collins, in providing the names of family members who have managed the business I failed to include Susan Collins, granddaughter of Mr. Collins and daughter of George Collins. My apologies! Thanks Jordan for the email.

Also, the gremlins were really at work as I wrote in my lead of all places that in 1918, the business would mark 90 years with the Collins name. It should have been 2018, next year.

I started my newspaper career at the Timmins Daily Press 53 years ago on September 1, 1964, and there are still occasions when I don't manage to get the words right!  My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Michael J Morris

Michael J Morris
MJ with Buckwheat (1989-2009) Photo by Leo Ouimet


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Following the American Dream from Chapleau. CLICK ON IMAGE