|See names at bottom|
Whenever I receive an email from Charlie Purich with "Excited" as the subject line, I know he is going to share something about hockey in Chapleau with me.
Such was the case last week when Charlie emailed me with the news that the Chapleau High School 90th anniversary committee had given him the go-ahead to work on a hockey reunion as part of the activities for the reunion in 2012. It is all very tentative at the moment, but looking back at the history of Chapleau High School, hockey was an important part of life with school teams and of course the Huskies on which many students played.
Back in 1929, just seven years after CHS opened, a writer in the school's magazine called 'High School News' wrote a column called "Homebrew and Otherwise" taking those who ran junior hockey in Chapleau to task for importing players when there were local players available.
"Now with the beginning of this season, 1929-30, we find imported hockey players in town and we find about thirty town boys suitable (after a few weeks practice with a coach) for Junior hockey. Why there are so many imported boys in town nobody but the committee seems to know," the writer noted. I have had this article for many years, and believe it was written by Jim Morris, my father, or so I was told by the person who gave it to me.
The thirty players were juvenile age players who the writer says have been promised to the junior team, and if accepted, Chapleau would have a "Homebrew Junior Hockey team by the end of the season."
Meanwhile, with the (natural) ice already forming in the arena, the Juveniles, with a close connection to CHS, are "eagerly engaged" in selecting players for four teams. John McClellan, teacher, later the school's legendary principal coached juvenile hockey. The team captains, all CHS students at the time were W. Murphy, F. St. Amand, Gordon McKnight and Newt Pellow.
Playing on one of the Juvenile teams with Mr. McClellan as coach were Gordon McKnight, Jim Morris, Donald Robinson, Eric Young, William Moore, Bobby Perpete, C. McAdam, Joe Crichton and Romeo levesque.
The article concludes that it is hoped that by end of the season, Chapleau will have a "homebrew" junior hockey team. Sorry I can't tell you the result of their efforts in 1929-30, so will fast forward to the years when CHS had a highly competitive team.
In the 1950s the school had a team that played in the town league and against outside competition, and by the early 1960s, the school yearbook was calling Charlie Purich 'the catalyst of the hockey team." By the way, Charlie's father, Jimmy Purich donated the first trophy to Chapleau Minor Hockey in 1953, and I have just recently received a photo of the winning team from Ken Schroeder, for a later day. Charlie's sister Pat (Purich) Russell lives in Chapleau.
After graduating from CHS, Charlie played for Laurentian University, and was a member of its 1966-67 Ontario Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship team.
|David Futhey, Bruce Pellow, Darryl Downey|
Darryl Downey, who played on CHS TEEM as it was called, wrote to advise that the team played in the Chapleau Mercantile Hockey League, noting that members of the Chapleau Huskies were on other teams -- mentioning Earle Freeborn, Tonto Pilon, Albert Tremblay, Gilles Boisvert plus "imports that joined up when they arrived to work in the banks, lumber companies, etc."
" I remember one time we went to play in Marathon and John Futhey Sr. got himself, David Futhey, and I a ride in the head end of a train that Eric Young was engineering. What a blast! Those were the days, my friend."
That trip would have been more than 30 years after Eric Young had been playing hockey in Chapleau on the Juvenile team. Eric, the younger brother of Dr. William Young and Dr. G.E. Young, excelled at many sports.
After Highway 101 opened to Timmins in 1962, Chapleau began to play teams from the Porcupine area.
|Ted Swanson, Jack Boucher, Brian Corston, Larry Wright|
When Dr. Karl Hackstetter returned as CHS principal in 1963, he became an ardent supporter of CHS TEEM, never missing a game, and going to the Redwood afterwards to celebrate victories. (I assume.)
After hearing Charlie's news about a hockey reunion as part of the CHS 90th anniversary reunion, I wanted to share a bit about high school hockey in the community. With the arrival of the Chapleau Junior "B" Huskies in 1966-67, high school hockey teams became part of Chapleau's history, as fans supported the team in the International Junior 'B' Hockey League, with over 90 percent of the players being "homebrew" throughout its history, and students at Chapleau High School.
Before someone points it out to me, the homebrew teams changed a bit in their composition with the arrival of the Chapleau Intermediate 'A' Huskies in 1975, but that is a story for another day.
I will keep you posted on the progress of the hockey reunion and just want to pass on that Charlie says local contacts are needed to make it happen. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pass it on. As Darryl wrote, "Those were the days my friends," and what great stories will be told. Thanks to Charlie Purich, Darryl Downey and Lark Ritchie.
NAMES FOR CHS TEEM... Thanks to Merrick Goldstein for help with names
Here is the 1965 CHS TEEM.. Back from left: Peter Grey, John Babin, Jim Lapp, Richard Morin, Bruce Pellow, Jim St. Amand, David Stevens, Mike Tangie, J. Parker (coach), Brian Corston, Darryl Downey, Keith Corston, Merrick Goldstein. Kneeling: Larry Joyce, Albert Bignucolo, David Futhey, Reg Bouillon, Gerry Boucher, Ted Swanson. (Lark Ritchie photos)