EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Allen Laframboise visit to Chapleau included another photo-op with Engine 5433 48 years later

Allen Laframboise was there on the historic day in 1964 when Canadian Pacific Railway Engine 5433 arrived in Centennial Park. 

On a visit to Chapleau 48 years later in 2012, with his wife, he saw a photo from the occasion, and he and his brother Terry were in it. So, he took a photo of himself under the "5" in 5433 and recently sent them both to me.

He came across a Chapleau Moments column I had written on the engine. He explains: "I was there  that  day it was moved  into its place.  In 2012 I was in Chapleau and visited  the museum with my Brazilian wife. In the museum is  a panoramic photo of that day and when I looked at it closer I realized I was in the picture .  I am standing under the wheel just below the 5 ,  my brother Terry is beside me to the right.   I added the shot of me again in 2012 standing in the same spot  48 years later."

I followed up with Allen and he brought me up to date and shared what he has been doing since 1970-1974 when he attended Chapleau High School. He reminded me I taught him history.

Allen related that he is  an aircraft maintenance engineer on Helicopters ( basically a mechanic on Helicopters),  "since graduating Canadore College in 1979 started my career in aviation in the maintenance side.   

"My first job was in Edmonton and I stayed there until 1981 before moving to the Vancouver area and lived there until 1989.   In 1985 I started working for a company called Okanagan Helicopters based in Vancouver and in 1987 they merged with two other Canadian companies to form CHC ... and I have been with them for 30 years.     Is quite a large company in the Offshore oil and Gas support around the world but not that much work in Canada anymore.   Has been American owned for about the last seven years."
He left the Vancouver area in 1989 and moved to Thunder Bay for just under two years then located in Blind River and lived there until 2008 when he moved to Brazil.    
Brass replica of Engine 5433 Ian Macdonald collection
His work places reads like a travelogue. "In the last 36 years my work has taken me to most places in Canada ,  8 provinces and the territories, only provinces I have never worked in are New Brunswick and PEI.    A few places in the United states,  Wyoming , Utah and a few times to Alaska.  Since 1985 most of my work has been overseas ,  last time I actually worked in Canada was 1991.    I have worked in Greenland, Egypt, India,  Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Georgia,   Azerbaijan, Turkey, Philippines , Norway and currently in Brazil."
"In 2006 I was assigned to Brazil to help support the Brazil maintenance department on a new company CHC had acquired there. I worked touring up until 2008 when I took up a resident position here and have been living here ever since.    We operate 43 helicopters,  all supporting the offshore oil  industry.    

"Since 2006 I have lived in three different cities in Brazil all in the State of Rio de Janeiro,  place called Macae,  Rio de Janeiro ( city) and now a place called Cabo Frio.    

"It is a really nice country,  people are nice, food is excellent,  people love the beach, barbecues and beer  ( doesn't get much better than that).    There are security concerns with people being robbed by the bandits ( banditos as they are called here). Up until now I have not had any problems personally,   just have to stay aware and try to avoid high risk areas.    
"In all this time I am still working on my Portuguese language skills and still have a long ways to go. "
Here is a summary. Engine 5433 is a testament to Chapleau's railroading past. The Iron Horse #5433, was proudly placed in the park in 1964, through the initiative and generosity of Arthur and Nettie Grout. This unit actually worked these tracks for many years west of Chapleau. It weighs 275 tons, measures 95 feet long, and hauled 1900 tons in its prime.

To place the engine on location meant building a special spur, or track, straight across from the roundhouse. A building had to be demolished to make way for the spur, which ran right up to the main line on the engine side, and continued on the other side of the main line. With a gang of trackmen, and everything timed to the minute, the spur was laid across the main line. The steam engine was then pushed across by a diesel. Within 30 minutes, the Iron Horse was in place, and the main line cleared again for service.

Also of historical interest is that J.M. "Bud" Park was the engineer on Engine 5433 for its trip from the roundhouse to the park while Earle Freeborn was the engineer on the yard engine diesel.

Thanks to Dr Bill Pellow for the information on placing Engine 5433 in the park. Allen is another example of that saying, "You can take the boy or girl out of Chapleau, but you can't take Chapleau out of them." Thanks for sharing Allen. Enjoy life in Brazil but stay safe out there. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

P.S. Allen also advised that he got "The Chapleau Boys Go To War" on Kindle. (key words are "chapleau boys war" or you can get a copy at Chapleau Village Shops or www.amazon.ca or www.amazon.com.... thanks Al

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Michael J Morris

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


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