EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dr. G.E. Young remembered as exceptional person who holds a special place in the hearts of those whose lives he touched in more than 50 years as a doctor in Chapleau and his involvement in community life

MJ with Dr Ted 2004 at Creston BC. 

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Dr Young. New Pics courtesy Bob Lewis, Betty O'Shaughnessy
When I was growing up in Chapleau and had come down with one of the common childhood diseases, after my mother left for school, I would suggest to my grandmother that we call Dr. Young who for sure would come and make me better.
Almost momentarily, or so it seemed, Dr. Young would appear with his black bag, and sit beside my bed. take my pulse and termperature, and my favorite, take out his stethoscope and and have me take deep breaths to make sure I was still alive. Then he would talk with Nanny, my grandmother, Edith Hunt, who assured me she would follow his instructions and in due course, I would be "all better" and head back to school.

When my dog Rex was hit by a car while I was still in public school, I carried him into the house, in tears, shouting at my mother, Muriel E. Morris, "Call Dr. Young." She did and once again, it seemed within moments, he arrived. After examining Rex, he told me to put a blanket near the wood stove as well as food and water, and let him be. Amazingly, Rex recovered and lived another 10 years. Dr. Young had done it again.

With the news on November 14, that Dr. George Edward "Ted" Young, who served Chapleau and area for 50 years as a medical doctor had died at age 95, Chapleauites everywhere I am sure have been sharing Dr. Young stories.

Mr. Cockburn chats with Dr Young, 1976
For almost a century, born in Chapleau on December 2, 1914, to George and Mabel Young, he strode like a colossus through every aspect of community life -- as a young athlete who became famous for swimming to Mulligan's Bay, as an officer in Number 1181 Chapleau High School Cadet Corps, as a medical student at Queen's University who came home to practise for six months and remained 50 years before he retired in 1994, as the builder of the Chapleau beach, as a member of township council, as a cable television pioneer, and as one who was constantly undertaking new projects, many of which were never quite completed.

In his long life, Dr. Young fought for many causes, always in his view to make Chapleau a better place.

When I received the news on November 14 that Dr. Young had died, like so many from whom I have heard, I reflected on his life and times in Chapleau. On a very personal basis, Dr. Young looked after me as a patient, and for all his care I will always be most appreciative. When I was reeve of Chapleau, I recall meeting with Ministry of Health officials in Toronto, and one doctor there remarked, "Dr. Young is considered one of the best diagnosticians in Ontario." No argument from me on that one. I likely would not be writing these words if he had not been.

Over the years I came to know Dr. Young even better when he was a member of council, and then as a dear and close friend. Interestingly, my father, James E. Morris was about three weeks older than Ted Young, and they grew up together in Chapleau. Dr. Young shared many stories with me about life in Chapleau in his growing up years, usually beginning them with, "As I tell you..."

On the occasion of Chapleau's 100th anniversary in 2001, I was so delighted to travel home and stay at Dr. Young's, just enjoying his company and sharing Chapleau tales. In 2004, he travelled across the country in his motor home and visited me in Cranbrook BC. Gordon Woods, my friend, drove the motor home. Many may not be aware that his mother was from Creston, just an hour away from me, and we travelled there one day to visit his grandparents' grave and the church where his parents were married.

Dr Young with other councillors 1976 parade
Upon arrival at the cemetery, I was concerned that we may not find the grave, but he walked directly to it even though he had not been there in many years. We then visited the church. I was so privileged to be able to share these moments in his family history with Dr. Young.

I could go on and on with my own Dr. Young stories but others have their memories of Dr. Young and have shared them with me these past few days. From over 100 email and Facebook messages, here is a sample.

Jamie Thibault: "May God Bless Him and that special place that we all have in our hearts for those people that have touched us in our lives be made extra large for all he has given to Chapleau and its citizens. Today Chapleau has lost a bit of its identitity and I hope something will be done to commemorate this fine Man. R.I.P."

Darlene (St. Denis) Lafontaine whose stepfather Raymond "Rusty" Campbell and other members of her family worked with Dr. Young for years wrote. "My tears for him are of great sadness. He lived a long and fulfilling life and his support towards our family will always be remembered. When I moved to Timmins, he actually came into my new workplace with my brother in 1994 to make sure that things were going well...He will be remembered in an honorable way!! Thanks Michael, he was one of the reasons education became important to me....His support will forever be remembered.

"He was truly a great man....Chapleau was all the better because of him...It was an honor to know him and the time he shared with our family will certainly be remembered. My charm bracelet from him at my grade 8 graduation will always be near and dear to my heart...."

Tom, Bud Welch, Dr Young, Leona McCrea at my barbecue
Gwen MacGillivray: "Chapleau has lost a great man. He was the last of the "town" doctors who knew everyone and their families...who made house calls and truly cared about each of his patients, friends, neighbours...he was a good and kind man who will be remembered fondly by generations of us. RIP Dr. Young."

Dave Doig who lived almost across Pine Street from the Young family home wrote: "Decent, fair, intelligent, generous man. Safely delivered me (and I think most of my siblings as well) to this world. Gave back more than he took from Chapleau. He'll always be one of Chapleau's iconic citizens...missed but not forgotten." Dave also advised that he shovelled the snow for Dr. Young's mother, to earn a few dollars and sometimes he even got a butter tart.

Patty(Riley) Burton "He was always good to our family. When my dad's mom passed away he was the first to call and give sympathies to my father, shortly after that he had to do it again when my father passed away. (Patty's grandparents were Mr. and Mrs. Harry Riley and her father, Lorne Riley)

"I remember him most by saving my son's (Wesley) life when he was an infant. No other doctor knew what was wrong with him. Dr Young looked at him and within 2hrs we were flying out in a snow storm to the Soo. He also called the Soo on a daily basis to check on Wes. He later would tell me one more day and we probably would have lost Wes. Wesley was also the last baby Dr. Young delivered...he will always be remembered as a caring, loving doctor and person...I owe him because without him I wouldn't have my son...so thank you Dr Young for everything you have done and given to the Riley family!! Rest in peace!!"

Patty's son Wesley, who happens to be a very good writer, is now in his first year as a student at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Darlene (Bouillon) Ranger wrote that she had many Dr. Young stories but "this one i love.

"I was a nurse's aid at the old Lady Minto. I would of been seventeen and lived in the nurses' residence. Those were the days... Party party party... The director of nursing was Mrs. Crozier who ruled her hospital with a wooden spoon as well as an iron tongue. I can still hear her keys clanging as she made her rounds in the am.

"I /we as I would of never have been alone did party this one time and was so sick and could not go to work. I knew that would not sit well with you know who. I need a good excuse...

"Call the Doctor.... Good thinking... Dr. Young came to residence quickly and checked me over.. He had a bit of a smirk on his face but oh well he is here and will help me....

"Help me? He put me in hospital...Remember, I am not really sick and I know he knew... Off you go my dear. You are too sick to stay here and too dehydrated....i am very worried about you ? Hello.... i am not really sick.... I get admitted not for overnight but for five days... Every day he visits me and states oh Darlene you are still to sick to go home... He kept this up and knew exactly what he was doing... Made me stay in hospital on total bed rest .. Could not get out of bed.... Doctor's orders... He was bound and determined to teach me important life lessons..

"As the years progressed Dr. Young and I had many laughs and this laugh was the one he enjoyed the most....What were you thinking Darlene?...In my mind today as well as yesterday he was my A list Doctor... We will miss him and the lessons he taught me stays with me even today...God bless you my dear friend rest in peace."

Later, Dr. Young delivered both Darlene's sons Derek and Sean.

In the life of Chapleau, George Edward "Ted" Young, singlehandedly at times, through his actions strongly influenced the course of events both as a medical doctor and in many other aspects of community life. He was an exceptional person. Rest in peace my friend, and thank you.
My email is mj.morris@live.ca

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Michael J Morris

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


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