EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Friday, June 22, 2012

Graham Bertrand chairs Taste of the North with Jimmy Dillon as Carnival King and Debbie Ferguson as Queen in 1978

Jim Dillon, Graham Bertrand, Debbie Ferguson Bonhomme, MJM
Graham Bertrand was the chairman of 'A Taste of the North', the Chapleau Winter Carnival, while Jimmy Dillon, who was instrumental in reviving the annual winter celebration was honoured by being named King of the Carnival in 1978.

Debbie Ferguson was the Queen of the Carnival while I can't remember who Bonhomme was that year.

Graham, 34 years later, was co-chair with Nadia (Huard) Fortin of the 90th anniversary reunion festival of Chapleau High School, being held from June 29 to July 1.

My files show that Graham was a member of the Chapleau Recreation and Festival Chapleau committees in 1973, so for more than 40 years he has been actively involved in the life of his community -- and I won't even try to list all the ways he has volunteered  for Chapleau activities.

I will mention one though -- Graham was a great trainer for the Chapleau Intermediate 'A' Huskies when they played in the Northland Intermediate Hockey League. He also played donkey baseball!

Bill Scheer, Pat Swanson, Graham Bertrand

Graham was also co-chair with his wife Rose of the 100th anniversary of Chapleau celebration in 2001. He is also Chapleau' fire chief.


Jimmy Dillon was chairman of the winter carnival committee during the 1950s as well as serving as manager of the Chapleau Huskies -- Intermediate 'B' teams who were always entered in the Northern Ontario Hockey Association playoffs, and at carnival time, vied for the Ernest  'Sonny' Bignucolo Memorial Trophy. Sonny, an outstanding goaltender was killed while on active service in Canada;s Armed Forces.

Someone once told me that Jimmy was a great manager who even accounted for "every piece of tape." He was also president of the Chapleau Liberal Party Association when Lester B. 'Mike' Pearson, who became prime minister, was the local Member of Parliament,

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ad Astra pays tribute to Dr. Karl A. Hackstetter while Student Council president Darryl Downey proclaims 'School spirit was our fight' at Chapleau High School in 1965-66

Dr. Karl A. Hackstetter
The Chapleau High School yearbook 'Ad Astra' paid tribute to departing principal Dr. Karl A. Hackstetter for setting a high standard for students and "trying to kick us over it."

Dr. Hackstetter who had taught at the school from 1954 to 1957 returned as principal from 1962 to 1965, but left before the new school on the hill was opened in the fall of 1966.

The editors of 'Ad Astra', led by Carole Futhey dedicated their yearbook to Dr. Hackstetter as their way of saying thank you for setting high standards, expressing the hope that "we hope that we will not disappoint him. They were exciting years."

The tribute said that Dr. Hackstetter "terrorized and goaded us, stretched us and pushed us. The experience often left us limp, but it also left us stimulated.

"Because he immensely enjoyed every activity, he tried to teach us to find satisfaction in everything we did. He not only tolerated non conformity, he loudly demanded it.

"The greatest crime was shoddiness. the most prized qualities were originality and a sense of style."

I had not seen this tribute to Dr. Hackstetter until this week when John Theriault made parts of 'Ad Astra' available, but on a very personal note, this is the person I knew when he taught me when I was a student at CHS during his earlier time there in the mid 1950s. Not only was Dr. Karl A. Hackstetter my teacher but he became my friend and one of the great influences on my life. At this late date I extend thanks to the students who published the tribute to him in the yearbook some 46 years ago.

CHS Student Council  1965-66 Names Below
Student council president Darryl Downey, in his yearbook message proclaimed that "School spirit was our fight" and went on to share how it was clearly evident during the year, the last in the school on the banks of the river on Pine Street where the civic centre is now located.

"The school spirit was clearly shown in the turnouts to all school activities whether in hot days of late summer or frigid days of winter," Darryl wrote.

Highlights included successful participation in fundraising to put artificial ice in the Chapleau Memorial Community Arena, the publishing of the 'Schoollite' newspaper, the success of the school curling team in Sudbury and CHS TEEM winning the town hockey league championship.

It was really a year of transition in Chapleau with several historic moments. The high school student population had passed 200 as they prepared to move to the school on the hill; high school hockey, popular for much of the school's history since 1922 would end with a town championship. It also marked the end of high school hockey with the arrival of the Chapleau Junior 'B' Huskies in 1966-67 with newly installed artificial ice in the arena.

CHS Student Council 1966-67 See names below
As an aside, two former CHS students Keith J 'Buddy' Swanson and Lorne Riley, were among the founders of the Jr. 'B' Huskies and shortly thereafter Earle Freeborn joined the team first as coach then as manager during some of its most successful years. The vast majority of players were CHS students throughout the team's history.

For the historical record, William Mair was the first principal of the new CHS on the hill, while Bob McEachren was the first Student Council president there.

Next week at this time (Wednesday)  I plan to be on my way home to Chapleau for the 90th anniversary reunion festival and so much look forward to hearing stories about CHS and catching up on the lives of everyone who has been a part of it throughout the years. My thanks to John Theriault and Gail (Coulter) Cyr. My email is mj.morris@live.ca


Student council of CHS in 1965-66, the last one at school by the river. Top row from left: D. Edwards, S. Wright, P. Gray, Mr. J. Parker, P. Bernier, C. Marcil, J. Bruneau, B. Corston. Front row from left F. Stevens, S. Lane, president Darryl Downey, B. Beynon, G. Boucher


The members of Student Council in 1966, the first at the new CHS were Back row

David Futhey, Ted Eveline, Peter Gray, Peter Simpson, Mickey Jurynec, Jim Connelly.
Front row
Linda Martin, Alanna Downey, President Bob McEachren, Marjorie McCrea, and Gerry Boucher.

Three young ladies on Chapleau High School steps in the 1950s

These three young ladies, seen on the steps to the Girls Entrance (yes, we had a Girls Entrance and Boys Entrance, and never the twain did meet except on school dance nights) of the old Chapleau High School. They were students in the mid 1950s. (Photo from Joy (Evans) Heft collection)

Who are they?

My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Richard 'Murch' Murchland directs Two Dates for Tonight at Chapleau High School

Richard Murchland, more commonly called 'Murch" outside of school, directed the comedy Two Dates for Tonight  by Chapleau High School during the 1958-59 year with Joy Evans as the lead actress.

The play was performed in the Town Hall.

I was in Grade 12 at the time and Mr. Murchland taught us English, Latin and Physical Education. The only teacher I ever called by his first name or nickname outside of school, "Murch" who came from Atlantic Canada was one of my all time favourite teachers giving me a lifelong love of the poetry of William Wordsworth. He also did not mind if we called him 'Murch' outside of the school of course.

He got stuck with Latin and his major moment as our Phys Ed teacher may have been the day he went too far back for a pass, and ended up in the river -- he made the catch although he was drenched suit and all.

When I received photos from the play from Joy (Evans) Heft a few hours ago, from the mothballs of memory came so many wonderful moments at CHS from 1955 to 1959 when I was a student there. It is time for the reunion folks where all our fond memories can be shared!!!

In 1958-59 I had television show on CHAP TV, the local station, with Phyllis Chrusoskie airing once a week from our studio on Young Street. Joy and I also wrote a weekly high school column for Mid North News, owned by Arthur Grout. It just struck me that I have been doing and teaching journalism, communications, media for 53 years. WOW!

In her email, Joy recalled that Dawn Goldstein and Coleen Gibson were particularly good in their roles and quite humorous.

"I was the lead actress and the lucky one to have two dates", Joy wrote. "I also had to throw a cake into the face of one of the suitors, Jimmy Bucci,  so the actors took turns making a cake for each performance (they were not so easy to buy off the shelf in those days)."

Joy also noted that the play went on the road to Sheppard and Morse where at one point she fell off the makeshift stage at the cake throwing point, breaking a crystal plate that belonged to Mrs. Tony Morin, Rita's mother.

Joy also included two photos from the production and let's hear from you if you can identify the cast members, or if you were part of the production.

Thanks so much Joy.

Please feel free to send along CHS fond memories/photos as the reunion nears. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Sunday, June 17, 2012


If you attended Chapleau High School from 1926 to 1956, you know who this person is without a moment's hesitation. If you attended later, chances are you have heard of him. He defined the school.

And, no question, stories about him will be told at the 90th anniversary reunion festival starting in less than two weeks!!

Please feel free to share your favourite memory of "Mr. ???".

My email is mj.morris@live.ca or simply comment below.

Michael J Morris

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


click on image


Following the American Dream from Chapleau. CLICK ON IMAGE