|River Hockey from Butch Pellow "shoebox" collection|
Santa Claus was King for the day in Chapleau when he played host to over 600 children after arriving by plane at the Forestry Point, the Chapleau Post reported.
Making his annual visit to the community in 1950, the "jolly old fellow" was greeted by the kiddies who "braved a bitter north wind" to the Point as they followed the truck outfitted with his sleigh and reindeer where he was coming in by plane.
Steeping off the plane, Santa found himself amid the cheers of the children who then escorted his sleigh on a trip to Main Street where he was greeted by cheering crowds on his way to the Town Hall, where he met each child personally and gave them a gift.
Mothers with babies were first in line then the huge throng of over over 600 children followed.
Ladies of the Canadian Legion were in charge of serving hot dogs and chocolate milk to everyone while Legion members had organized the rest of Santa's visit.
|The Boys from Butch's collection|
During the same week of Santa's visit, the local branch of the Lest We Forget Club held a party at the Legion Hall for children of deceased service men from World War II. Entertainment was provided, and the children also were part of the entertainment.
Santa also visited this party held annually in the years after World War II. As I recall Winnie (O'Hearn) Bucciarelli was one of the main organizers.
|Nicholson Home after Dr Young bought it|
The Chapleau Post also ran letters from Santa in its Kiddies Corner section, and I browsed through them from one edition of the paper. Here is a sampler. Interesting after all these years to read the gifts that children wanted circa 1950.
Gordon McKnight: "I would like a water pistol, a game, a pair of mitts and a meccano set if you can bring them to me. Thank you Santa".
Estelle Soucie: " For Christmas I would like a pair of skates, size two, a party set and a desk. I hope I get it all."
Kenneth Schroeder: "I would like a two-wheeled bicycle for Christmas but my Mother and Daddy think I am too small yet".
Vincie Crichton: " Will you please bring me a sleigh, a hammer, some plasticine and a doll for my baby sister and a Teddy Bear that squeaks".
Arthur Raymond, Devon: " I am six years old. Please bring me a pair of skis and a little tractor that winds. Thank you".
Teresa Raymond, Devon: " I am a little girl one years old and I would like a nice doll with curly hair or pig tails and a small washing machine. Thank you".
Patricia Purich: "For Christmas I would like a doll with curly hair, a toy sewing machine, a toy stove and a pair of skates".
Charles Purich: "I would like you to bring me an electric train, a pair of skis and a big truck. Thank you".
Earle Freeborn: "I would like to get a toboggan for my dog, an air rifle, a pair of skis. Thanks a million".
Harry Hong: "Would you please bring me a left hand hockey stick if possible?"
Gerald Goheen: " I would like a cowboy suit, a set of guns and a coca cola car. Please do not forget all the other little boys and girls. I will leave you tea and cake".
Myra Ann McKnight: "I would like a doll, a doll's stroller, a purse, an umbrella, a sewing machine and a washing machine and a pair of mitts if you have them".
Sandra Lemick: "I would like a doll, a doll's carriage, plastic furniture and a doll's house. Bonnie wants a doll a carriage too. I'll leave cake and tea".
Freddie Barty: "I would like a Jack-in-the-box, a tractor, and truck and 2 gun cases. This is for my brother Georgie and me".
As an aside and off the topic of Santa and the kiddies, in December 1950, the Chapleau Post reported that Harold Kennedy had arrived in Chapleau as the one person Ontario Provincial Police detachment. He had served in World War II as a paratrooper. Harold started dating Marion Morris, my aunt, who had come home to establish the Simpson's order office, and in due course he became my Uncle Harold. These old copies of Chapleau newspapers produce some gems. Thanks Doug Greig. My email is email@example.com