EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Chapleau only town to provide respite from angry protesters as Prime Minister Trudeau travelled by train in 1982, says National Post

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 mj.morris@live.ca

Here is link to May 2016 story:

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Chapleau Legion branch sponsored 'Kiddies Picnic' at Bucciarelli's Beach just before school resumed in 1947

Just before school resumed in 1947, Branch Number 5 (Ontario) of the Royal Canadian Legion sponsored the 'Kiddies Picnic' at Bucciarelli's Beach, the Chapleau Post reported.

It proved to be a very popular event as "large crowds of children" gathered at the Legion Hall an hour before the convoy to the popular swimming area, established by George Bucciarelli, was scheduled to depart

"Being the last half day of summer freedom before settling down to the srious business of school, the picnic was popular. Promptly at 1:30 p.m., the kiddies were loaded in to trucks and cars and transported to Bucciarelli's lake where all sorts of fun had been arranged," the paper reported.
George Bucciarelli

The morning had been "cloudy and gloomy" but "Old Sun put in an appearance about noon and the afternoon was bright and sunny."

"Water sports were held under supervision and the kiddies had a wonderful time. Hot dogs, candy and ice cream were provided to wind up the afternoon and they were returned to town in time for supper."

After the Chapleau boys returned home from serving in Canada's armed forces in World War II, they were very actively involved in community life. 

In fact, in 1947, J.M. Shoup, the long time principal of Chapleau Public School, who had served in both World War I and II, in a speech to the Legion members told them they had a "duty to serve", and they did. Mr. Shoup was president of Branch 5 in 1947.

The picnic is just one example of many where the branch was either organizing an activity, or its members were involved.
Regent Theatre

Moving on to some other highlights from the Sept. 7, 1947, edition, Harvey Fortunato, the owner of Queens Taxi announced that his new headquarters was located next to the Regent Theatre. He would also have one car stationed at the Queens Hotel at all times for the convenience of the hotel patrons. (The Queens Hotel later became the Sportsman). He promised quick courteous service. Phone number was 335. 

The Sun Life Assurance Co. announced that Albert Evans its Chapleau district representative who had been with the company since 1942, had won membership each year in the company's Leader Production Club. His 1947 qualification was substantially higher than ever before  and established him as one of the leading life underwriters of Northern Ontario, and first in the North Bay territory, which included Chapleau.
Later Fitch's now site of Pentecostal Church

Gladys Fitch, the proprietor of Fitch's Quick Lunch said, "Clean home cooked meals at reasonable prices with courteous service. Fish and Chips  every Friday  -- to take out 30 cents per order --- yes, that's not a typo -- 30 cents per order.

When I was working as a newspaper reporter in the 1960s, in those years when there was great passenger train service on the CPR main line through Chapleau, I met several people, who had shopped at Fitch's. 

But, P.V. Wade, the legendary managing editor of the Star-Phoenix in Saskatoon told me when I was working there  that while travelling through Chapleau on a troop train during World War II, the troops would disembark and march over the old overhead bridge.

Their destination -- the liquor store on main street. Certain soldiers would be permitted to break ranks and go shopping. Mr. Wade had served as a captain in the Canadian Army, and was also assigned to the staff of General Dwight Eisenhower, as Canadian press attache,  but he remembered Chapleau -- the bridge and the liquor store.

The Chapleau Post also reported that the forest fire situation was back to normal again after a month of hot dry weather and numerous bush blazes.

And no. I don't recall if I attended the "Kiddies Picnic" in 1947. Most likely I did. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Michael J Morris

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


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Following the American Dream from Chapleau. CLICK ON IMAGE