Frank Coulter, who had attended Chapleau Public School and Chapleau High School, cut the ribbon to officially open the expanded and renovated public school at graduation exercises for Grade Eight students in June 1973.
Frank was also being honoured for his 17 years of service on the public school board and its successor the Chapleau Board of Education. He had served as public school board chair and stepped in to the same position when Rev. Murray Arnill resigned from the new board of education.
After the ribbon cutting he was presented with a barbecue by board member Scott Thomson, in appreciation for his years of service to education in Chapleau.
I asked Frank after he had retired from the board why he served so many years. His reply was simple: "Mr. Shoup told us we had a duty to serve and this was one way I could."
J.M. Shoup, a veteran of World War I and II was the principal of Chapleau Public School for 30 years.
The graduation exercises also marked the end of elementary school for the 54 Grade Eight graduates who would be attending the high school for the 1973-74 school year. CHS was experiencing record enrolment with over 450 students registered in the 1972-73 school year.
In his remarks, board chair Mansel Robinson said he felt that the board could be well justified in "puffing their collective chests on the spectacular results of the additions and renovations" to the school.
He added, according to an article in the Sault Star by Maggie Costello: "... it is a million dollar school with a million dollar staff and million dollar students."
Sitting on the public school section of the Chapleau Board of Education at this time with Scott and Mansel were W.D. 'Doug' Jardine, Ron Jackson and Murray Hazen. Scott, Mansel and Doug, like Frank had attended both the public and high schools. Ron had been a teacher at CHS.
Chapleau reeve T.C. 'Terry' Way-White who had also attended both schools paid tribute to the school boards. He said he felt that Chapleau was second to none in education.
"We never had what today's Grade Eight has received..."
Jean Paul Spessot was presented with the J.M. Shoup Award, a board award to the student with the highest academic standing in Grade Eight. Mansel presented Jean Paul with the award.
The Rebekah Citizenship Award was presented to Catherine Remus. It was awarded to the student for academic effort and outstanding school citizenship. Mrs. Hendricka Johnson, noble grand of Sincerity Rebekah Lodge made the presentation.
Graduation certificates were presented to the students by assistant principal Ronald Holmes assisted by teacher Wallace Clark.
Following the official part of the ceremonies, the school choir under the direction of Mrs. Jeannette Gjoni with Mrs. Wilma Schmidt at the piano sang four selections.
Maggie Costello commented: "The fresh young voices, finely trained, had a lovely tonal quality and were a versatile group, their attacks sharp and part singing in tune and altogether delightful".
To wind up the program there was fine display of physical education activities under the direction of physical education teacher Don Bosley.
Perhaps you were there, one of the 54 students, graduating from Grade Eight, ready to move on to the high school on the hill.
REMEMBER WHEN AT CHS!
I received the following CHS memory from Vivian Edwards. Thanks Vivian.
"You sure are great on what went on in Chapleau High School. The only thing I hated was the school dances. Gees, all the guys stayed in a corner and if one walked across the way all the girls would wait, heart be still, he's coming to ask one of us to dance. Naw he was going to the washroom."
A PERSONAL THANKS
I received a note this week from John Broomhead telling me that while Dr. Frank Broomhead was in England for John's recent wedding, they visited a cemetery and saw a tombstone with the name Morris on it, who had been killed in World War II, and wondered if it was my father. It wasn't as my father Flying Officer James E. Morris is buried in Ripon Cemetery, Yorkshire, but I so much appreciate that they would think of him. Very kind. Thank you. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org