EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Fond memories of growing up Chapleau return for wonderful moments at Harry 'Butch' Pellow party

I took a course in twentieth century European history from Dr Jacques Goutor more than a few years ago ago now, and the first thing I learned from him was that hockey kept Canada together. Well, he didn't actually come out and say that exactly, but on the first day of class he told us about his arrival in Canada from France.Dr Goutor told us that upon arriving in Toronto, he went out and bought the newspapers and the headlines were LEAFS WIN STANLEY CUP! It was 1967, our Centennial year as a nation, and the Toronto Maple Leafs had defeated their arch rivals the Montreal Canadiens in six games. It was the last time the Leafs would win Lord Stanley's mug. As an aside Dr Goutor was one of the best professors I ever had and went from Wilfrid Laurier University to the University of Western Ontario. He died recently.
Tee Chambers, Butch, Aldee 1954 & Aldee and Butch 2014

All so typically Canadian for our Centennial year in 1967-- a team from the heart of English Canada wins the Stanley Cup but the focus for the celebrations of the centennial is on Montreal, the major French Canadian city which hosted Expo '67, and the cup is named after an Englishman who was Governor General at one time. 
Trust me on this one! It is such as this that has contributed  to keeping the country together and safe-- the invisible hand of Canadian compromise!

Dr Goutor, who at the time had little knowledge of hockey and its importance to Canadians, said he decided to stay here because it had to be a safe place if the headlines were about a sporting event. He was raised in France and lived through the horrors of World War II and its aftermath.

To this day, I watch the headlines of Canadian daily newspapers, and headline writers are ecstatic on those days they can proclaim victory for their local hockey team when it wins a title, and are beside themselves with joy when Canada wins internationally. In Chapleau, hockey often has dominated the front page headline from the Chapleau Post to the Chapleau Sentinel to the Chapleau Express.
Fast forward to Toronto, October, 2014. The Leafs have still not won another Stanley Cup, but there we were, more than 60 present and past Chapleau residents, gathered for a party at the home of Brigitte and Harry 'Butch' Pellow. We had travelled from many places for this occasion, and of course, when two or more Canadians meet together, two topics arise -- hometown hockey, and that other great Canadian unifier, the weather.
Chapleau hockey players from Yen Hong who was playing Intermediate hockey in 1949, to his brother Jim, to their respective sons Bill and Geoffrey, who played at home in the late 1970s, to representatives from the 1950s of my vintage in minor hockey and Chapleau High School teams were all there. (They even let me be in the group photo as a hockey player as knowing I was not headed for the NHL, I gracefully retired after one year and became a referee. Thanks guys)
 Baisel C, Mike McM Mrs Broomhead, David Mc, Richard Pilon,Tim Goodwin Charlie White, Ken S, Boo Hong
Jim E, Butch, Ian Macdonald, Dr Frank B
Imagine, 60 years later, the "famous" game for Chapleau Bantam supremacy was still on the agenda. Mike McMullen, who was there with his wife Alison (McMillan), had scored the winning goal in overtime. Frank Broomhead, was there and later I was able to send him a photo of his grandmother, Mrs. Broomhead presenting the Algoma Dairy Trophy to the winning team.
But we also played road hockey and river hockey, and for some reason I was a much better player in those venues.
In a story Butch Pellow wrote a while back, he captured the Hong brothers and others so well and I share part of it again with you.

Jim E on left, Mike McM, Yen
Think of that slap shot by Hong, Hong, Hong, or one of the really big guys when it accelerated over the ice ridges and soared away out over the river; or at you directly, then veered away as it embraced the ripples. Can you recall the sound of the skates cutting through the crisp surface as they raced for the puck, can you recall the whack, slap, and clicking of sticks on each other and on the ice? 

"What about the yelling and chanting and the code words that defined the play. “..over here” “…pass it, pass it”; “…go, go go”; “he scores!” etc….; wild enthusiasm and true abandonment because it would be dark very soon and there were very few lights to mark the way home.

Tout le gang
"Do you remember how the Hongs played hockey and skated? Yen sprinted, was light on his feet, very fast and dipsy-doodled like no one else (except maybe Max Bentley). He even bore the nickname “Ziggy”. Jim was a powerful steady and fast upright skater and a great stick handler as I recall; and our friend Boo skated low, took long steady deliberate strides and always made skating fast look easy; he also had his skates rockered so there wasn’t more than a couple of inches touching the surface."   

Harry 'Boo' Hong was not with us as he has passed away, but we remembered him, and it was delightful that his wife Donna was with us from Vancouver. Of course the conversation turned to so many other topics. Some of us had not seen each other in more than 50 years since our days at Chapleau High School.

Bill C, Butch, Joy (Evans), Jim H on right
But it seemed like only yesterday since we were growing up Chapleau, hanging out in the Boston Café, going down the lake, attending dances at the Legion or Town Hall basement, travelling over the gravel road to Racine Lake for awesome parties the home of the Martel family, preparing for the annual Cadet inspection, banquet and dance, cheering at hockey games in the old old rink and Chapleau Memorial Community Arena, in the electrifying atmosphere of home town hockey, driving around the streets of Chapleau aimlessly in the evening but never too far from Main Street just in case something really big happened, going to house parties, attending church services on Christmas Eve, and the list is really endless.

Ken S, MJM , Yen, Dr Bill Pellow
We were growing up Chapleau and at Butch and Brigitte's party, all were discussed as laughter abounded all day. Those were the days my friends and we thought they would never end, and just maybe for another moment they came alive again at this party

On a very personal note, it was the highlight of 2014 to be with so many old friends as the song says "to pass the time of day" knowing that the greatest resource a community has is its people. My friends -- throughout its history, that has been and is the Chapleau brand. I extend my most sincere best wishes for the holiday season and Christmas to all. Every blessing, and my apologies once again for mixing metaphors!  My email is mj.morris@live.ca

HOCKEY PLAYERS 2014 pic  Back Jim Machan, Vince Crichton, Ian Macdonald, Geoffrey Hong, Mike McMullen, Seated MJM, Frank Broomhead, Bill Cachagee, Butch, Jim Hong, Bill Hong,  (kneeling) Yen Hong, Aldee Martel, Ken Schroeder

 Chapleau Huskies Intermediate team of 1949. Back row are from left O. Robinson, D. Swanson, L. Riley, G. Lucas, Tee Chambers, F.Goheen, K. Strapp, T. Collinson, 'Sonny' Bignucolo, D.O. Payette (manager), P. Serre, R. Hamlin, G. Payette. Front from left, Yen Hong, B. Evans, R. Sonego, Ross Thornton (coach), T. Jardine, A. Mione, J. Morin, M. Mione, C. Fiaschetti.
.The CHS team of 1956-57. Back row from left: David McMillan, Doug Slievert, Stan Barty,Thane Crozier, Clarence Fiaschetti (teacher and coach), George Lemon (principal) Second row: Doug Espaniel, Roger Mizuguchi, Bill Cachagee . Front are Jim Hong, Bert Lemon, Harry Pellow, Ken Schroeder, Robbie Pellow (Mascot) Marc Boulard, Harry Hong, Jim Machan, Ron Morris. Note that Clarence was playing on the 1949 Junior team, and was also first CHS student to return as teacher.

Thanks to Harry Pellow, Ken Schroeder, Diane (Dowsley) Richardson, Mike McMullen for photos

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Michael J Morris

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


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