EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Friday, November 12, 2010

Dr. G.E. Young Christmas display important part of Chapleau history

UPDATE: Dr. George Edward "Ted" Young died November 14, 2010 at age 95, in Chapleau. 

UPDATED November 14, 2012

For at least 50 years in Chapleau, Ontario, one of the major highlights at Christmas was the display at the office of Dr. G.E. Young. This year I am delighted to be able to share with you images from the display that Dr. Young created before he converted the original home of G.B. Nicholson into his office and apartment complex at the intersection of Lorne and Beech  streets. Mr. Nicholson was the first reeve of Chapleau.

These photos would likely be from the early Fifties.

These photos are from Dr. Young's personal collection and he made them available some years ago.

Dr. "Ted" Young, born and raised in Chapleau, came home, and practised medicine there for more than 50 years.

Please email me your memories of Christmas in Chapleau and comments on Dr. Young's display. mj.morris@live.ca

Dr. G.E. Young cable television pioneer

Dr. G.E. Young transforms garbage dump into beach

Thursday, November 11, 2010

'Hinge students' at Chapleau High School participated in locked door rebellion during exciting days at new school in 1966, Tom Corston recalled, as planning begins for 90th anniversary reunion in 2012

CHS gym class on field 1960s
Tom Corston referrred to those who attended both the "old" and "new" Chapleau High School as "hinge students" as he recalled the exciting days in 1966 as the school moved from Pine Street to its present location on the hill.

Writing in the souvenir newspaper published for the 75th anniversary in 1997, Tom says they were exciting days moving from the old to the new.

"We were leaving behind a venerable building that we were aware held valuable memories for our elders. Their initials were well carved into many an old desk and their portraits hung on every available wall space.

"But the old building had become overcrowded and a firetrap." Tom recalled classes being held in the converted basement gymnasium, "freezing in gym shorts out on the back field on cold autumn days because we had no gym; and learning of all things in the 60s to fox-trot. as part of gym class, in the dusty basement of the old town hall."

Tom reminded me of a decade earlier when we learned to waltz at dances in the old high school basement when Dr. Karl A. Hackstetter was a teacher at the old high school... He had returned as principal for three years just before the new school opened.... and it appears that the fox-trot became the dance of choice.

When I received a message from Graham Bertrand advising that a meeting is planned for November 24 in the council chambers of the civic centre in Chapleau at seven p.m. to start organizing the 90th anniversary celebration of Chapleau High School in 2012, Tom's article came to mind and I contacted him about using parts of it in a column. Tom, who is now the Anglican Bishop of Moosonee, replied quickly, "Just fine."

1967 reunion Margaret Rose, Alex in centre
In 1982 and 1997, CHS marked its 60th and 75th anniversaries respectively with hugely successful celebrations, and if the positive reaction on a Facebook page is any indication, the 90th will be quite a party too. Margaret Rose Fortin and Alex Babin were the co-chairs of both reunions.

Tom wrote that the new school was "indeed, beautiful. We who were among its first residents, were so very proud. It required a bit of a longer walk for most of us, in a day before school buses, but it had fully equipped labs, bright classrooms with big windows, a library, a beautiful gymnasium and shiny floors, kept so diligently by a custodial staff to three from the one elderly janitor who cared for the old school.

"Suddenly a great change for us, as well, was that we were all assigned a locker and no longer just a hook upon which to hang our coats."

Tom outlined some of the rules at the new school, some of which were the usual, but he noted that girls had to wear dresses and boys dress pants and no jeans. That rule was not changed until a vote by students in the 1970s several years after I had returned to teach at CHS, and I recall that although a the dress code was changed the results were closer than I thought they would be.

But the rule that led to a student rebellion was the one where students had to stay outside the school during the lunch hour, except for bus students.

Tom shared the story of the student rebellion at CHS:

"We had become frustrated with a rule and with those who were our masters. As i remember it, it was a cold winter day and we had to wait outside the new building during rhe lunch hour. After all, we could never be let loose to have the run of the new building while the staff was off for lunch.

"We were cold and disgruntled. We pounded on the door but to no avail. Then it started small but the rabble rousers among us began to agitate and and before long we were a crazed mob of unruly demonstrators, the likes that CHS had never seen before

"We rebelled! And when the doors were finally opened we moved as a yelling, unruly mob into the new gym not even taking off our shoes.

"We went on strike. We held a sit-in and we sang and we shouted and refused to return to class.... We were strong . We spoke with one voice. It was heady stuff. No one could control us or change our minds."

But, as Tom reported, things changed quickly. The rebels were doing well until the school principal Bill Mair returned from lunch, walked into the gym, and "with one great yell sent us all scattering. It had all lasted 20 minutes and the rule stood!"

However, there was one very significant change at CHS during Tom's time there in 1968 when he was president of the student council -- the new school colours.

"Students had become disgruntled with the old school colours of green, white amd red. .. The opinion was that a new school needed new colours..."

Although some graduates of the school were a bit disgruntled about changing the colours, finally a decision was made and the chosen colours became dark blue and light blue.

"It was a drastic change and some of our parents disagreed, " Tom wrote. "But we were undaunted in our choice. It was ours -- we liked the new colours , and liked even more the stamp we were able to put on our new building and on the history we were making."

Tom also noted that ot her members of the school colours committee included Joan Whitney, David Stevens, Clem Pilon, Marjorie McCrea, Gordie Welch and Gerry Bowland.

Thanks for the memories Tom of those years over 30 years ago when you were a student at CHS. As plans evolve for the celebration of the 90th anniversary in 2012, out of the mothballs of memory will come more stories from all those who have been part of Chapleau High School. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

As plans evolve and more information on the 90th becomes available, I will post it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Griffin and Charles Mulligan, from a Chapleau pioneer family served in CEF with 13th Canadian Mounted Rifles in World War I, both wounded, returned home and 'disappeared' in post war years as told by Michael McMullen

Griffin and Charles Mulligan, 1916
Griffin Mulligan, and his younger brother Charles, both born in Quyon, Quebec, came to Chapleau in the early years of the 20th century to work for the Canadian Pacific Railway, joining their mother and three sisters who were already living in the emerging important railway divisional point.

About 1900, their oldest sister, May came to Chapleau for the first time, and married William McMullen in 1906. About 1910, her mother Jennie and two sisters Lillian, my grandmother, who married Harry Morris in 1914, and Kathleen. At about the same time, Griffin and Charles arrived to work for the CPR.

Their uncle, Patrick A. Mulligan, was an early Chapleau pioneer, arriving in 1885 as the CPR was establishing Chapleau as a divisional point on its main line in Northern Ontario. By 1886, Patrick Mulligan had established one of the first stores in Chapleau called Murrays and Mulligan, General Merchants, located at the northwest corner of Birch and Young streets.

At this Remembrance Day, the following is the story of Griffin and Charles Mulligan, two men from a Chapleau pioneer family, both of whom served in our armed forces in World War I, both were wounded in action, returned home and in due course more or less just disappeared from their family and friends in the post World War I years.

Their story is told by my cousin Michael McMullen, the grandson of May (Mulligan) McMullen, about his great uncles, and mine. My grandmother and Michael's were sisters. Michael's story is an outstanding example of using Library and Archives Canada to obtain information about those who have served in Canada's armed forces by examining their service records which are available now.

By Michael McMullen

Charles Mulligan and his older brother, Griffin, were living and working in Chapleau, Ontario for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) when Charles went out to Alberta in 1915. He located in the Medicine Hat-Redcliff area to continue working as a brakeman for the CPR. He volunteered for the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) 175th Battalion in January 31, 1916 in Medicine Hat and was discharged as medically unfit on March 7, 1916.

His service files indicate that he had a Lt. inguinal hernia operation in March 1916 and this is likely the reason that he was discharged. He enlisted again for the CEF on May 31, 1916 in Medicine Hat with the 13th Canadian Mounted Rifles (C.M.R) and this time was accepted. He was 5 feet, six inches, 150 lbs, fair complexion with blue eyes and light coloured hair.

Griffin was working as a Conductor (files also show that he was a switchman) for the CPR out of Chapleau, Ontario when he went to Medicine Hat to volunteer for the CEF in early 1916. He enlisted on February 24, 1916 also with the 13th C.M.R. He was five feet, three inches, medium complexion, with hazel eyes and brown hair. Both Griffin and Charles indicated their next-of-kin as their oldest sister, Mrs. William (May) McMullen, who lived in Chapleau.

They arrived with their Battalion in England on the S.S. Olympic on July 6, 1916 and on July 13th were transferred to the 11th Reserve, Shorncliffe, for training. They were taken on strength by the 11th Battalion on September 17th and then by the 27th Battalion (City of Winnipeg) on September 27th (overseas). Arriving in France on September 28th they were shown as being in the field with the 27th on October 10th.

On December 20, 1916, the service files indicate that Griffin was “buried” in a dug-out likely the result of a mortar shell or other type of explosion/incident. He carried on with full duty, but complained of back pain. While repairing trenches about a week later he experienced disabling back pain. In early February 1917, he fell, spraining his back and right ankle. He was bed-ridden for about 8 weeks at three hospital locations in France and subsequently transferred back to England on April 13th. He underwent treatment for the remainder of 1917 and early 1918.

He was returned to Canada, leaving Liverpool on December 23, 1917 on the S.S. Metagama arriving on March 1, 1918, in New Westminster, British Columbia. He had completed 16 months service with seven of these in France. He located in Los Angeles, California, and worked in the film industry as a cameraman and film technician. His service files indicate that he died on October 20, 1934 in California.

Charles, after some 22 months in the field, including at Vimy Ridge, was wounded on August 26, 1918 in the Arras region of France as the Allies were advancing to the east. The medical records indicate that he was hit on his left side (buttock, thigh and knee) with several gunshot wounds, likely machine gun fire as his group was advancing. He had his first operation the next day and a report indicated “ shrapnel ball and many bone fragments removed.”

He would subsequently have at least three more operations and be treated in various hospitals in France and England. By late 1918, he was in a hospital in England. As a result of his wounds, bullet fragments had penetrated to his groin area and he would deal with difficult healing and infections for nearly a year. As well, he had problems being on his feet for extended periods of time. He was sent back to Canada in mid-September 1919, and subsequently discharged in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on November 4th.

Charles had served for three years and 151 days with nearly two years in France. He indicated that he was going to relocate to Schreiber, Ontario (where his sister May had moved to in 1918) and rejoin the CPR, but that he would probably not be able to carry out the job of brakeman for another 12 months because of his wounds. He moved to the United States in the early to mid-1920s and to the Far East in the early 1930s. He was not heard from again.

NOTE: If by chance anyone reading this post about Charles Mulligan and/or Griffin Mulligan, has any information about them,  please email me at 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