The Chapleau Recreation Committee was active in 1973 announcing a summer program designed to assist in the provision of recreation and leisure time activities for all age groups in the community.
Major highlights of the program were the first Summerfest, which was an expanded Beach Day and the founding of the Chapleau Senior Citizens' Club.
Summerfest headed by Ed Swanson as chair, with Margaret Rose (Payette) Fortin as secretary was expanded to an entire weekend on the August Civic Holiday weekend rather than just one day.
The Chapleau Sentinel reported that events included a 10-speed bicycle race, five-mile road race for the Thomson-Morris Memorial Trophy, mutt show, parade, ball games, children's races, baby contest, water events,dances and Summerfest Queen contest
The committee included Annie Bowland, Peter Elliott, Earle Freeborn, Manlio Spessot, Greg Lucas, Raoul Lemieux Jr, Jim Mulligan, George Travis, Graham Bertrand, Wally Clarke, Janet Tokarchuk, Ken LeClaire, Bill Ritchie, Mark Mizuguchi, Denis Ladouceur and Richard Ladouceur.
Lise Lafreniere was named the first Summerfest Queen with Catherine Welch and Maureen Lavoie as runners-up.
Looking at the program for the weekend, there were 54 businesses and individuals who contributed prizes to Summerfest activities with a sincere vote of appreciation to J..E. Martel and Sons Lumber Ltd., A and L Lafreniere Lumber Company, Chapleau Lumber Company, the Redwood Dining Room and the Bridgeview Motel for their "special contributions" toward the success of Summerfest.
Chapleau also had an Opportunities for Youth program in 1973. Assisting the recreation committee with many programs were the OFY, "Summer Chapleau' participants Jamie Doyle, Maurice Blais, Richard Desbiens, Catherine Welch, Michael Paquette, Peter Freistatter, and Robert Petrunka.
The recreation committee summer staff of Eileen McCrea, Joan Warren, Denis Foran, Patricia Fortin, William Brady, Keith McAdam and Mary Lou Futhey also assisted.
Through Canada World Youth the group from Malaysia also became part of the Summer activities, and hosted a special evening featuring dances and food from their country.
Meanwhile, the first meeting of the Chapleau Senior Citizens Club was actually held on the lawn of the of the old Chapleau High School on Pine Street.
At that first meeting, Mrs Agnes Freeborn assumed the position of acting president, and was soon thereafter succeeded by Mrs. Min Blackburn. Mrs Freeborn became a vice president. Councillor Ernie Gilbert represented the township on the executive.
In 1978, when Cedar Grove Lodge was opened, the drop-in centre was named after Mrs. Freeborn recognizing her work in the community.
The first major outing by the the newly formed senior citizens club was a bus trip to Dubreuilville with Marcel Bourgeault as the bus driver.
Although the recreation committee planned to improve conditions at the Chapleau beach, that was made more difficult because the addition to Chapleau Public School eliminated much of the waterfront, the Sentinel reported. However, the committee hoped to make it a pleasant location for citizens.
And now that Chapleau Public School itself was "eliminated' in 2014, the community faces new challenges at the waterfront over 40 years later.
A new innovation was the introduction of a Summer Playground for youngsters undertaken in cooperation with the Sports and Recreation branch of the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org