Chapleau has been recognized by a National Post reporter as the only community that provided some "respite" from angry protesters who greeted Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau as he travelled across Canada by train in August 1982.
In an article on August 22, 2016, by Tristin Hopper carried in the National Post and other Postmedia newspapers he notes that "Only the Ontario town of Chapleau provided some respite. There, poultry farmers banded together to present the prime minister with a gift basket of fresh eggs."
Actually, Ernest Lepine of Chapleau, upon learning of the reception the prime minister was receiving as he travelled with his three sons Justin (now our prime minister), Alexandre and Michel, visited the Valentine Poultry Farm and arranged to get eggs to present to him when the train stopped in Chapleau. The farm was and still is owned by Ross Broomhead.
Mr. Lepine, in making the presentation to Mr. Trudeau said "Here are some Chapleau eggs for you. We're not throwing them at you. We're giving you a feed of eggs."
Nonetheless, the gesture by Mr. Lepine, and the four dozen eggs provided by Ross, have now been recognized by a major newspaper as part of Canadian political folklore. In fact if you Google, "Pierre Trudeau eggs," the National Post story is number one.
The reference to Chapleau is included in Mr. Hopper's story about the present location of the railway car in which Mr. Trudeau was travelling.
"... it’s only at a private museum in B.C.’s interior where, owners say, you can gaze upon the most infamous Trudeau artifact of all: the restored railcar from which the 15th prime minister flipped the bird to B.C. protesters in 1982.
"The car is at Three Valley Lake Chateau, a resort just down the road from Craigellachie, site of the last spike on the Canadian Pacific Railway.
There, in the resort’s Railway Roundhouse..." is the car.
Apparently Mr. Trudeau "borrowed" the car from Governor General Ed Schreyer for the trip.
The famous car was bought by the owners of Three Valley Lake Chateau in 2005, and has been restored, including a cardboard cutout of Mr. Trudeau giving his famous finger salute. I visited the web site and the resort looks like a great place to visit. It is reasonably close to where I live near Revelstoke so maybe I will visit it one of these days.
Its web site says it has the "largest display" of old railway memorabilia and equipment anywhere.
In 1982, the incidents across Canada were reported by the international media. “Trudeau Rail Car Pelted With Rocks and Food,” reported the New York Times.
The Trudeau train was pelted with eggs and tomatoes at various places, and several cartoons were created later immortalizing the event particularly at Salmon Arm. In most, Mr. Trudeau is shown wagging his middle finger, which became known as the "Trudeau salute" as protesters threw eggs and tomatoes at the railway car.
I first wrote about Mr. Lepine and the egg presentation at Chapleau in May 2016 based on information provided in a Pioneer Days article by Jennifer (Swanson) David, and from the mothballs of my own memory, having covered the Chapleau stop for CBC Television News.
When I saw the Tristin Hopper article, actually first of all on the Star-Phoenix in Saskatoon online, and saw Chapleau mentioned, I just has to share it. Here is link to the story http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/national/museum+says+preserved+railcar+from+which+pierre+trudeau/12143411/story.html
In fact there is another reason. Fifty years ago I was a reporter at the Star-Phoenix, and fifty two years ago on September 1, 1964, I started my daily newspaper career at The Daily Press in Timmins. My email is email@example.com
Here is link to May 2016 story:
Here is link to May 2016 story: