EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Those were the days my friends in the life of Chapleau

Alison McMillan, Sharon Swanson, Gemma, Donna Lane, Joy Evans 2012
"Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never loseFor we were young and sure to have our way.La la la la...
Those were the days, oh yes those were the  days..."

 Ever since I received photos from Gemma Ouellet, the words of Those were the days my friend have been running through my mind, along with memories of the 1950s when we were both students at Chapleau High School, along with everyone shown in the photos she provided from those days.

Ian Macdonald kindly provided video from CHS in 1956. What memories... It is at end of text. Enjoy

But before going any further Those were the days my friend is likely best remembered as recorded by Mary Hoskin in 1968 which made the top ten on the hit parade. The lyrics have been credited to Gene Ruskin. However, some of us who remember movies from the 1950s may recall it from Innocents in Paris, sung in its original Russian version. I vaguely do!

Vince Crichton, MJ, Neil Ritchie, Danny Mizuguchi
Gemma included photos from life at CHS which captured two of the major events of the year -- initiation in the Fall (1955-56) school year in our case and the annual inspection of 1181 CHS Cadet Corps in the Spring of the year.

These two included social events -- the annual wiener roast and dance at Bucciarelli's Beach to end initiation and the Cadet banquet and dance to close off inspection day.

But Gemma also sent a selection from the 90th anniversary reunion festival of the school in 2012 which many of us attended, and two years later I am still thinking about it as part of "those were the days my friend" seeing so many of the "kids" from my high school days and catching up. Thanks once again to the committee for making it happen.
Gemma, Alison, Harriet Chambers, Betty Ann O;Brien

The photos speak for themselves -- as a then and now selection, and thanks so much Gemma for providing them.

Gemma's photos arrived at such an excellent time for me, as I am celebrating five years of writing Chapleau Moments on a weekly basis, and in the beginning I really never thought I would have enough material to keep it going six months. Well, here we are, and thanks to Mario Lafreniere for giving me the opportunity.
Harry 'Butch' Pellow, Joy, Sharon

For over a year I have also been writing a weekly column for the Cranbrook Guardian, and it all slows down the approaching "winter of my years" at least just a bit.... I have to think about both  Cranbrook and Chapleau each week. It reminds me of directing plays and coaching hockey in Chapleau at the same time and confusing "acts" with "periods", as in telling hockey players we had to do better in the "third act" and vice versa to actors for the "third period".
Alison, Gemma, Joy, Darryl Downey, Vince

Yes, my friends, those were the days, and for a time, once we moved from home, except for family and close friends we lost touch. Now, in a moment, in an instant, we can be in touch globally. Just this week for example, I received an email from Lorne Riley who lives in Dubai. It arrived in seconds from the moment he hit send

Take the popularity of Facebook for example. I joined  at the suggestion of some of my former students, and I extend great thanks to them. I have been able to reconnect with so many people with whom I had lost touch for many years, and catch up on their lives. Facebook is also an example of the success of new media with its convergence of all media to digital forms.
Shelby Cortson, Sharon, Betty Ann

I doubt very much if I would have been able to do the "BIG ROCK" column without Facebook. Comments came from folks still living in Chapleau and all over the place

 In 1995,  after launching a graduate program in New Media Communications at College of the Rockies (would now be called Social Media).
Gordon B, Gemma, Judy Gibson, "Buttons" Pat P. Betty A, Ken S

 I spoke at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Journalists. I argued that the Internet, in due course, it would be a major contributing factor in politics. Interestingly, the old guard in the room vehemently disagreed with me, while campus journalists supported my position. Today we live in a 24/7 news cycle, in an Internet world.

And so, yes indeed, those were the days in the life and times of Chapleau that I share with you weekly and I hope they come alive as you recall those yesterdays.. I extend my most sincere thanks to all of you who have been in touch over the past five years, and as I told an old Chapleau friend recently, we have only scratched the surface. A special thanks to Gemma this week. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Here is the video ... thanks Ian.

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Michael J Morris

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


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