EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Jack Shoup: a lifetime of service devoted to youth, church, community, and country

Mr Shoup at CPS dance circa 1954
Twenty years ago now when I was editor of Insider, the faculty newsmagazine at College of the Rockies I was writing about our duty to serve and participate, and referred to Frank Coulter who had been a member of the public school board in Chapleau for at least 17 years.
At a function honouring Frank for his service, I asked him why he had stayed on the board so long.

He told me that "Mr. Shoup told us we had a duty to serve and this is one way I could do it."

He was referring to John Martin 'Jack' Shoup, who was the principal and teacher at Chapleau Public School for 31 years with a leave of absence so that he could serve in the Canadian Army in World War II. Mr. Shoup had also served in World War I, and as Ian Macdonald recalled participated in the famous battle of Vimy Ridge.

According to Wikipedia the Battle of Vimy Ridge fought between April 9 and 12, 1917, was the first occasion when all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force participated in a battle together and thus became a Canadian nationalistic symbol of achievement and sacrifice. A portion of the former battleground serves as a preserved memorial park and site of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.

Ian, the retired head of the department of architecture and professor emeritus at the University of Manitoba, and always available for research assistance, who attended Chapleau Public School, said Mr. Shoup made the observation about the artillery barrage that preceded the attack on Vimy Ridge. He observed then that "he can still hear it to-day," and that would have been in 1951 or 1952.

After World War I, Mr. Shoup continued his teaching career which he started when he was 17 in the Sudbury area and came to Chapleau in 1927 as principal and teacher at the public school. He retired in 1958.

However, in 1939 he again joined the Canadian armed forces, went overseas, was wounded and eventually became a training officer for the duration of the war.

Upon returning to Chapleau, according to a story in the Chapleau Sentinel when he died, Mr. Shoup continued his "long career of devoted service to youth, his church, his community, his country and as a teacher." 

He and his wife Agnes also raised their three children in Chapleau.

A member of Harry Searle Branch Number 5 (Ontario) of the Royal Canadian Legion he served as president and was made a life member.

In 1947, in a speech to Legion members after completing his first term as president, he encouraged members to be involved in community life, adding that  the hall was becoming more and more a community centre every day and that more and more facilities would be added for the benefit of both the general public and veterans. He was returned for a second term as president.

By 1955, the Legion had taken over ownership of the hall when B.W. 'Bubs' Zufelt was reeve. It had been using it for many years after St. John's Anglican Church, for whom it had been built as a parish hall by G.B. Nicholson, could no longer afford it. 

It was built in memory of Lorne Nicholson and all his friends who were killed in World War I by his parents.

Mr. Shoup became the longest serving councillor in the history of Chapleau from the time the municipality was incorporated in 1901 until the present -- 16 one year terms!

Well known as chair of the Chapleau Recreation Committee and the beach day committee, Mr Shoup organized the children's parade and races for years, and skating races at the winter carnival too. Kids received dimes for participating.

When I posted a photo of Mr. Shoup in a parade with the children on Facebook, it prompted a flurry of comments summed up well by Graham Bertrand: "You could hand out ten dollar bills today and not be remembered like Jack Shoup fifty plus years later like he is."

Mr Shoup far right
Along with Vince Crichton and Bunt Burrows, he was an umpire for the Chapleau Fastball League for years, which prompted, to say the least, some "comments" at times. Little known perhaps, is that when Keith "Buddy" Swanson, Tom Welch and Lorne Riley were trying to bring junior "B" hockey to town in 1966, Mr. Shoup was a staunch supporter.

Buddy told me that Mr. Shoup was the only person, other than them, who attended the first meetings, and he encouraged them to continue with the plan. Of course they did and the rest is history.

In 1960, he was honoured by being named King of the Chapleau Winter Carnival.

He became a charter member of the Chapleau Rotary Club in 1951, sat on the board of Lady Minto Hospital, and taught Sunday school at Trinity United Church. He was also on the United church board.

Angelo Bucciarelli, Mr Shoup, Rotary Governor, Art Grout, Bubs Zufelt
Although I have been retired for 13 years now from the faculty of College of the Rockies, my thoughts always return to school at this time of year, and when I came across a copy of Insider, I decided to share a bit about Mr. Shoup, who with his counterpart John McClellan at Chapleau High School defined education for the better part of 30 years in Chapleau.

However, on a very personal basis, Mr. Shoup was a great friend of my family. As many readers will recall, my mother Muriel (Hunt) Morris taught with him at Chapleau Public School for years. He also brought the Sudbury Star every day to our house for my grandparents Edythe and George Hunt, on one of his walks, always with his stick. After my grandfather Harry Morris died in 1957, he also assisted my grandmother Lil (Mulligan) Morris and made sure she was OK. They both lived on Elgin Street.

And so, as the Chapleau Sentinel observed when he died, Mr. Shoup was a "devoted and highly respected" citizen. Mr. Shoup not only told his students they had a duty to serve and participate -- he did it at all levels.My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Thanks to Ian Macdonald and to Louise (Tremblay) Etter for making newpaper clipping available


edythe rose said...

Mr. Shoup was my teacher in Grade 8 and every Friday afternoon he would sit on the edge of his desk, swinging one leg, and read to us. The most dramatic was Enoch Arden and he did it so well.

Michael J Morris said...

He was my teacher in Grade 7 and 8 and I just recalled he did the same thing .. don't recall the books but we also got him to tell stories. MJM

Michael J Morris

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


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