EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Saturday, December 17, 2016

"Overcoming ugliness with beauty, meanness with generosity, lies with truth and evil with good" at this Christmas time

Shortly before Christmas in 1948. I attended a service at St. John's Anglican Church where a prayer desk was dedicated in memory of my father Flying Officer James E. Morris, who was killed on active service in the RCAF on July 16, 1943 during World War II.

The prayer desk had been given to the church by the family in memory of my father, and I was seven years old, at an age where I was starting to come to terms with the fact that he was not coming home. 

Yes, I had my mother, Muriel E. (Hunt) Morris, my grandparents Edythe and George Hunt and  Lil and Harry Morris, as well as my aunt and uncle Elsie and B.W. 'Bubs' Zufelt and my Zufelt cousins, my aunt Marion Morris --- and my friends in Chapleau. All have played a most important role in my life.

But, to this day, whenever I reflect on my own growing up years, somehow I go back to 1948. 
Canon Sims

Let me share some thoughts expressed by Rev. Canon H.A. Sims, the Rector of St. John's at the service. They seem as appropriate today in our troubled world as they were three years after the end of World War II. In part, here is what Canon Sims. a World War I veteran,  said:

"There is not the slightest necessity for civilized men to destroy their civilization in warfare. Nothing is settled by warfare which could not be better settled in some more reasonable, humane and decent way.

"Warfare is caused by men  who have allowed the spirit of the devil rather than the spirit of God to determine their thinking.

"Peace does not come through wishing for it or through praying for it... peace comes only from those who make it; who work harder at making peace than men working at making war.

"We must make peace by working hard at overcoming ugliness with beauty; overcoming meanness with generosity; overcoming lies with truth and by overcoming evil with good."

During World War II. and in the years since, there have been countless families and children. who like me and my family, were affected by war, and acts of terror, and each time, which is almost daily, I shake my head a bit, and wonder why. But, I know, I care and I understand the lasting effect of these events on our lives.

However, here I am, at Christmas 2016, reflecting on the words of Canon Sims, but so thankful that my mother decided we would stay in Chapleau where she rejoined the teaching staff at Chapleau Public School, and my grandparents lived ---- and I had my friends, many of who remain part of my life, even though most of us  are no longer living in Chapleau.
Harry and Brigitte

On December 13, we lost one of our dearest and oldest friends, Harry 'Butch' Pellow, a member of one of Chapleau's pioneer families, who had been my friend since we were about five. Butch died in Toronto, and I will share more about him in the new year. My deepest sympathy to his wife Brigitte and family. Rest in peace my friend.
Chapleau gang at Butch and Brigitte party 2014

Recently,  there were two posts on Facebook sharing thoughts about Christmas I thought were awesome. 

The first from the Society of St John the Evangelist I I paraphrase. It suggested that if we think of someone in our life who is lonely, or hurting --- do something for them. Invite them for coffee, or a meal. Pay them a visit. Phone them. Show them they are not alone!. 

Jim Roberts. my good friend,  who lives in Cranbrook, a founding member of our Friday Morning Coffee Club,  but is originally from the United States, and served in the United States Marine Corps in Vietnam, posted a 'Dear Santa' letter on Facebook.
Jim Roberts

It reads: "I don't want much for Christmas. I just want people to be happy. Friends are the fruit cake of life, some smelly. some cooked in alcohol, some sweet, but mix them together and they are all my friends. At Christmas you always hear people talking about what they want and bought. This is what I want: I want people who are sick with no cure to be able to be cured. I want children with no families to be adopted. I want people to never have to worry about food, shelter and heat. I want peace and love for everyone."
CHS gang at 2012 reunion

Maybe, just maybe, if each of us in our own way, followed the thoughts expressed in the posts  by SSJE and Jim, we could move the world a bit closer to fulfilling the comments made by Canon Sims back in 1948. 

I have included a couple of photos from Chapleau gatherings in recent years --- one from the Chapleau High School reunion in 2012 and another from a party at the home of Harry 'Butch' and Brigitte Pellow in 2014. Chapleau folks have always been super at bringing people together. 

My very best wishes to all of you for Christmas and the holiday season. Every blessing!!!!  My email is mj.morris@live.ca

HARRY ALEXANDER (BUTCH) PELLOW February 8, 1941 - December 13, 2016

After beating the odds for several months, Harry passed away at Princess Margaret Hospital as a result of complications from a brain tumour.

Harry was a distinguished Architect, having graduated with a B.Arch. (Honours) from the University of Toronto and was a graduate of Ryerson University with a Dipl.of Arch.Tech. He was awarded the RAIC's Gold Medal and was a nominee for the Pilkington Award. Harry become a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 1995. He served as a member of the OAA's Conduct and Complaints Committee for several years. His internship was completed in what he frequently described as a postgraduate environment working with some of the finest architects then working on signature buildings for Canada's major institutions and contractors. Prior to graduation,

 Harry worked with John Layng Architect and then Margison, Keith, Sage & Hamlin Architects and Engineers in Toronto as an architectural technologist. In 1970, he joined Parkin Architects Engineers and Planners, where through the firm's eventual transition to NORR, he was an Associate, Manager of Architectural Design, and Partner until 1978 involved in business development, administration and principal in charge of projects. Noteworthy of the projects at Parkin/Searle Wilbee Rowland (SWR)/ NORR were Toronto International Airport's Terminal Two; Four Seasons Sheraton on Queen Street; Westin Hotel on Richmond Street, and a master plan for Toronto Place, a mixed-use development encompassing an entire city block bounded by University, Richmond, York, and Adelaide Streets.

One of Harry's early design achievements, while at NORR, was a design for the National Art Centre (Place Pompidou) in Paris, an international competition judged by Philip Johnson. The firm was one of three Canadian finalists selected from a field of 681 submissions and was a 'premiated award'. Harry's team included Graham Bell, who worked with Harry until his retirement and continues with the company today. In 1978, Harry's restless spirit caused him to embark in a new direction forming Pellow + Associates Architects Inc. Over the course of the next several decades, the breadth of Harry's work and responsibilities included many successful and award winning projects, starting with a national competition for Cornwall Centre in 1978, a mixed-use development in Regina and ending with the design of an 73-storey tower at 50 Bloor West (Harry's dream scheme).

 Harry believed that architecture was a business and a profession and his hands- on creative style was imprinted on the firm's design portfolio. He and his wife, Brigitte built a business around a strong client base that endured for 37 years until a debilitating illness necessitated that he relinquish his role to his partners, David Moore and John Ricci, both of whom contributed significantly to the business' growth and success. Harry valued architecture for its challenges and opportunities and for the many people it brought into his life.

He always asked 'Why' and then 'Why Not' and never took anything for granted. As a consequence of his leadership and steadfast belief in professional and ethical standards, he and his partners garnered the continuing trust of loyal and appreciative clientele. Harry's sense of humour, intuition and fair play served him throughout his business andpersonal life. Harry epitomized the terms 'friend' and 'mentor'. Over the years of practice, people of all ages and nationalities called Pellow + Associates home.

Working with Harry was like being a part of his family. If you were in trouble or needed a hand, he was there for you. Amongst his achievements, Harry led the efforts to enhance the education for current and future students in architectural science at Ryerson University. He was instrumental in getting a team together to raise funds to create the David E. Handley Architectural Science Studios which opened in 2016; completed the Paul H. Cocker Gallery which opened in 2013; and establish a bursary in the name of Stewart Crawford.

As a teenager, Harry worked as a 'meeter and greeter', 'handyman' and 'hunting and fishing guide' at his brother Bill's tourist outfitting business on the Kebsquasheshing River in Chapleau, Ontario and was regularly attired in a jeep hat, jeans and denim shirt along with gum rubber boots and a belt knife. The customers nicknamed him 'the river rat' as they watched him dress the catch of the day. Always loving the North, Harry was a 'bush' guy all his life and enjoyed nothing more than spending time at his camp in Haliburton. Although Harry spent most of his adult life in Toronto,

Harry's home town of Chapleau was ever in his heart and he kept in touch with his childhood friends. He and Brigitte hosted many reunions for the Chapleau 'gang' where the 'remember when' tales and laughter filled the room. Harry is survived by his wife, Brigitte Gee; his two children, Christopher (Tammy) Pellow and Kaylyn (Michael) Bondar; and grandchildren, Christopher (CJ) Pellow, Joshua and Abby Bondar; brother, William Pellow; mother-in-law, Christa Gee; brother-in-law, Michael Gee; and his former wife, Marion Pellow (nee Maycock). He is predeceased by his parents, Aldythe and Clifford (Bill) Pellow and brother, Ross Pellow. If desired, charitable donations in memory of Harry can be directed to the Princess Margaret Hospital or a charity of your choice. There will be no formal funeral services but a 'Harry's Bar' will be scheduled at a future date.

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