EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Aging better and enjoying the ride as the merry-go-round slows down with each week a new adventure of Chapleau Moments

Gosh, with all the really big stories floating around the twitterverse recently, I thought that I would pontificate on at least one of them.

But to mark the eighth anniversary of Chapleau Moments I will leave them alone, and share some thoughts based on a column written by Virginia Bell for Huffington Post on "aging better", particularly as it relates to doing the column all these years.

Bell claims it gets better as you get older "You get better. Life gets better. The merry-go-round slows down and you can finally enjoy the ride..."

I really am not the one to judge if the columns have improved at all over the years, but on a very personal basis, I have really been enjoying the ride --- I have learned so much about Chapleau, its life, its times and, most wonderfully, its people since 1885 or so. And folks, in eight years, I am the first to admit I have only scratched the surface.

As far as life goes, I agree with Bell wholeheartedly as  my merry-go-round slows down and I enjoy the ride. For example, each week is a new adventure as I research a column. and so often say to myself, "I never knew that..."

But before I continue with my metaphor mashing, I need to thank some of those people without whom I would never have been able keep the column going. And I know naming names is always risky, as my memory sometimes fades, but I will mention at least a few.

Mario Lafreniere, the publisher of the Chapleau Express has been totally supportive since Day One, and I appreciate the opportunity he gave me to do the column. And I would never have been able to co-author 'The Chapleau Boys Go To War" with my cousin Michael McMullen if I had not been writing it.

I also appreciate Michael's assistance with other columns, as well as filling in for me along with Ian Macdonald earlier this year with columns while I was away in Orlando --- and both Michael and Ian have been part of it all for the entire eight years. Both are Chapleau boys who continue to have a keen interest in the community.

Mike and Ian have produced some real insights into Chapleau's history, and I hope they will continue to do so.

Harry 'Butch' Pellow my lifelong friend died on December 13, 2016, and I often go back and read some of his contributions. Despite living in Toronto most of his life, Butch never forgot his roots, and shared his memories. I miss him greatly. Butch's brother Dr Bill Pellow has also been a great help.

Doug Greig, researcher extraordinaire, is also gone now, but all of us interested in Chapleau's history, owe him a deep debt of gratitude for his work in compiling  the community's history.

My cousin Anne (Zufelt) McGoldrick, has been so helpful too. There is little she does not know about Chapleau people, and if she doesn't, she finds it very quickly. Thanks Anne.

When I first started the column, I relied heavily on the collections of my mother, Muriel (Hunt) Morris, and my aunt, Marion (Morris) Kennedy.

The Richard Brownlee Papers have also been a great source of information, and I am so thankful to Margaret Rose (Payette) and Bobby Fortin for kindly loaning them to me.

Over the past eight years, I have heard from so many people, and I thank all of you so much.

 My two trips home for the 90th anniversary reunion of Chapleau High School in 2012 and to launch "The Chapleau Boys Go To War" in 2015 were awesome experiences as I wandered about town, and chatted with so many folks. I must mention my back lane tour in 2015 with my lifelong friend Ken Schroeder --- wonderful memories from our growing up years, and Ken has a great memory.

I have spent almost all my life doing and teaching communications, media and so on starting with a play when I was in Grade 4 at Chapleau Public School.

I recall that after retiring from College of the Rockies faculty  in 2000, the phone didn't ring as much; I was no longer the centre of attention as the sage on the the stage in front of the classroom, which I had, at least in my own mind, been for more than 30 years. It was downright depressing and I recall chatting over coffee with Dr Berry Calder, the college president about it.

Berry laughed and gave  me the solution. "Come up here and and get a cup of coffee from my pot which you have been doing for years, wander the halls and chat." I did and soon I drifted away from the college, gradually making the adjustment. I hardly ever visit now.

MJM a Michael Pelzer photo

Back to Virginia Bell who offers good advice on aging better: "The projects we pursue and the life we lead need to reflect ...and be aligned with who we are now and not who we once were. If we're able to make that transition then getting older can be a rich and fulfilling experience."

Writing Chapleau Moments reflects part of me "aging better"  as my merry go round  has slowed and each week I am able to share a bit of the life, times and people of Chapleau. Yes, Virginia, getting older is a rich and fulfilling experience!.

P.S. I have provided photos of some of the Chapleau gang at a party in 2014 at the home of Butch and Brigitte Pellow in Toronto.

My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Photo Info

Butch, Dr Bill, Ian, MJM

Mike McMullen and MJM in serious chat about book


All these guys played hockey in Chapleau.Back Jim Machan, Vince Crichton, Ian Macdonald, Geoffrey Hong, Mike McMullen. Front. MJM (briefly), Frank Broomhead, Bill Hong, Butch, Jim Hong, Bill Hong, Yen Hong, Aldee Martel, Ken Schroeder

All the girls were In CHS Cadet Corps. Neil Ritchie was commanding officer. Back Donna Lane, Betty Anne O'Brien, Doreen Cormier, Anne Keays, Naomi Mizuguchi, Gemma Ouellet, Shirley Cormier, Dorothy Honda. Front Neil. Diane Dowsley, Butch, Alison McMillan, Joy Evans, Jean Hong

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Flag raising ceremonies at Chapleau Centennial Museum described as 'heritage moment' in community's history

Totem pole a Terry Way-White, Jack Whitney project
When the Chapleau Centennial Museum was officially opened on July 1, 1967 as part of the community's celebration of Canada's 100th anniversary, the flag raising ceremony was an important part of the proceedings.

The centennial committee headed by Arthur Grout had contacted the premiers of all the provinces and the prime minister requesting that a flag be donated for the occasion. It happened!

The flag raising ceremony was conducted after a Colour Party composed of members of Branch Number 5 of the Royal Canadian Legion arrived.

They just didn't raise the flags  had found representatives from each province to participate and do it.

 As I was working on this column, seeing their names brought back so many memories of growing up in Chapleau.

Here are the participants taken from a Chapleau Sentinel story.

Reg Thrush, who was born In England raised the Canadian flag.

Mrs. Earle Campbell, born in British Columbia raised her home province's flag, while Mrs. Ruth Smith did the honors for Alberta where she was born. Mrs. Edith McKnight raised the flag of Manitoba her home province.

Lorrie Gerset, sister of Jim and Ted Demers travelled from Saskatchewan to raise its provincial flag.

Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Goldstein raised the flag of the Yukon. Their daughter Dawn was working as a nurse there. The Nothwest Territories did not have a flag.

Moving east, D. O. Payette raised the flag of Ontario while Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Martel did so for Quebec.

Nova Scotia born Layton Goodwin raised his province's flag while Mr. and Mrs. James Good from New Brunswick raised their flag and Emmet Brazel did so for Prince Edward Island his province of birth. Mr. and Mrs. Walter Steed raised the flag of Newfoundland.

Thirty years later in 1997, at a flag raising ceremony to replace the flags, Recreation Director Terry Piche described it as a "heritage moment", and his comments applied equally to that ceremony as it did to the 1967 one.

In 1997, coinciding with the celebration of the 75th anniversary of Chapleau High School, the flag raising ceremony was re-enacted but unfortunately the newspaper reports did not name the flag raisers.

However, Terry told those attending of the significance of the flags as "a symbol of the unity of the community" and the importance of preserving its heritage. So true. Throughout its history, people have come from all parts of Canada, and indeed many other countries to live in Chapleau.

Let me conclude with an aside that I came across while doing this column. I found a very short newspaper story suggesting that First Nations people camped on the site where the museum is located before the Canadian Pacific Railway arrived in 1885 --- members of the Memegos family.. If not on the exact site, nearby when they met surveyors circa 1881. I will leave that one alone for another day.

My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Thursday, July 6, 2017

'Putting wheels in motion' resulted in World War I battleground tour for Dr Frank Broomhead

Putting the "wheels in motion" while JR Broomhead was on a trip to England earlier in 2017, resulted in a World War I battleground tour for his father  Dr. Frank Broomhead, who has been a history buff since he was a kid growing up in Chapleau.

JR was visiting John Broomhead, the son of Anna and Arthur Broomhead, who lives in England, and as plans progressed, John got in touch with me about the trip. The wonders of Facebook!

John explained that given Frank's interest in the Great War specifically, and 2017 being the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge - a defining moment in the history of Canada - the battleground tour was arranged with a tour guide. JR and his father made the trip in June.

John told me he was "amazed but not surprised" at Frank's knowledge of the Great War (1914-1918), as was the tour guide. I am not. Out of the mothballs of memory, I vividly recall walking down Chapleau's main street when we were both students at Chapleau High School, and then I was amazed at his interest in history.

On their tour they wanted to "track down" as many "Chapleau boys" as possible who died while on active service in our armed forces during World War I.  Obviously I am delighted, as is Michael McMullen, my cousin and co-author of 'The Chapleau Boys Go To War' that Frank took a copy of the book along and used it as a reference.

They located 12 Chapleau boys, and  provided some photos. See below for names and biographical sketches.

As an aside, 32 with a Chapleau connection died while on active service in World War I. We identified 283 volunteers, a remarkable number, given the size of Chapleau.  In World War II there were 418 enlistments and 29 died.

John shares the story of the trip that he, JR and Frank made: "On Day 1 we drove to Ypres, Belgium and covered the John McCrae Memorial (Advanced Dressing Station, Essex Farm),  Langemark Cemetery - one of only three German Cemeteries for the fallen german soldiers in WWI, Vancouver Corner (St. Julien Memorial for the Gas attacks and the Canadian defence of St. Julien in April, 1915) and the fight for Passchendaele in 1917. We ended the day at the very moving Menin Gate 'Last Post' ceremony which takes place every evening at 8pm."

"Day 2 took us to Vimy to see the trenches, tunnels and the impressive Canadian memorial there, and then a visit to the Somme battlefields in the afternoon where we saw the preserved Newfoundland Park battlefield at Beaumont-Hamel, the large (British) Thievpval Memorial to the Missing and the battlefields around the village of Courcelette (where the Canadians fought in September and October of 1916 including the Memorial to the Tank Corps -- the first usage of tanks in WWI, and the Regina TrenTrench."

"It was a lot to pack in two days - but was very moving and informative."

They were able to identify 12 with a Chapleau connection, and Michael McMullen kindly provided brief biographical notes on each of them. More details on each are in our book 'The Chapleau Boys Go To War'.

Tyne Cot Cemetery, Passchendaele, Belgium
E.D. Turner
Edgar Turner was a member of the Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment) 24th Battalion, when at 18 years of age, he died on November 6, 1917.

Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium

The following five Chapleau Boys died in Belgium during the First World War and were listed as missing and presumed dead.  Their names are commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial.  
J. Hewitt
James Hewitt enlisted in the Canadian Army at Niagara, Ontario on September 7, 1915.  He was with the Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment) when
he died on June 13, 1916 at age 26.
W.D Unwin
William Unwin enlisted in the Canadian Army at Val Cartier, Quebec in September 1914. He was a member  of the Canadian Infantry (Eastern Ontario Regiment), 2nd Battalion, who died on April 24, 1915 at the age of 21.
P. Chappise
Peter Chappise enlisted in the Canadian Army at the Niagara Camp, Ontario
on August 31, 1915 in the 37th Battalion. He was 22, when he died on June 13, 1916 in the service of the Canadian Infantry (Ontario Regiment), 3rd Battalion.

W.S Haskins  
Walter Haskins enlisted in the Canadian Army at Lindsay, Ontario on March 27, 1916 in the 109th Battalion. He was 19 years of age and serving with the Canadian Pioneers, 124th Pioneer Battalion when he died on November 14, 1917.

A.A. Therriault  
Alfred Therriault enlisted in the Canadian Army, 52nd Battalion at Port Arthur, Ontario (now part of Thunder Bay) on June 16, 1915. He was 24 and with the Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment), 52nd Battalion when he died on June 9, 1916.

Vimy Memorial, Vimy, France
The following five Chapleau Boys died in France during the First World War and were listed as missing and presumed dead.  Their names are commemorated on the Vimy Memorial.  
 A. Mortson
Alexander Mortson enlisted at Niagara on September 7, 1915 in the Canadian Army, 37th Battalion. He was with the Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment), 13th Battalion, when he died on September 4, 1916.  He was 30.

J. Moir
John Moir enlisted in the Canadian Army on March 8, 1915 in Toronto, Ontario. He was serving with the Canadian Cavalry Machine Gun Squadron when he died on December 1, 1917 at age 26.
A. Evans
Ambrose Evans  joined the 106th Light Infantry in Winnipeg, Manitoba in August 1914 and then enlisted in the Canadian Army at Valcartier, Quebec on September 25, 1914.  He was with the Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), Royal Canadian Armoured Corps (R.C.A.C.), when he died on May 25, 1915 at age 31.

A.E. Jefferies
Albert Jeffries enlisted in the Canadian Army at Oshawa, Ontario on November 30, 1915 in the 116th Overseas Battalion.  He was serving with the Canadian Army (Eastern Ontario Regiment) when he died on May 3, 1917 at age 26.
P. Hall
Percy Hall enlisted at Chapleau in the Canadian Army, 227th (Men of the North) Battalion on April 30, 1916. He was serving with the Canadian Machine Gun Corps, 1st Battalion, when he died on August 29, 1918 at the age of 22.

Regina Trench Cemetery, Courcelette, France
J.F.P Collings
John Collings enlisted in the Canadian Army at Halifax on November 25, 1914. He died on October 1, 1916 at age 24 as a member of the Canadian Infantry (Nova Scotia Regiment), 25th Battalion.  

 Thanks so much John, JR and Dr. Frank. Also thanks to Michael K. for his assistance. 'The Chapleau Boys Go To War' is available at Chapleau Village Shops or on  www.amazon.ca. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Chapleau Junior 'B' Huskies win league and NOHA championships in Canada's Centennial Year of 1967

names below
I took a course in twentieth century European history from Dr Jacques Goutor, back in the 1960s and the first thing I learned from him was that hockey kept Canada together. Well, he didn't actually come out and say that exactly, but on the first day of class he told us about his arrival in Canada from France.

Dr Goutor told us that upon arriving in Toronto, he went out and bought the newspapers and the headlines were LEAFS WIN STANLEY CUP! It was 1967, our Centennial year as a nation, and the Toronto Maple Leafs had defeated their arch rivals the Montreal Canadiens in six games. It was to be the last time the Leafs would win Lord Stanley's mug.

Dr Goutor, who at the time had little knowledge of hockey and its importance to Canadians, said he decided to stay here because it had to be a safe place if the headlines were about a sporting event. He was raised in France and lived through the horrors of World  War II and its aftermath. Dr Goutor became a Professor of History at the University of Western Ontario. He retired in 1996, and died a couple of years ago. 

Meanwhile, in 1967, as Canada was marking 100 years as a nation, in Chapleau, the headlines could have been CHAPLEAU JUNIOR 'B' HUSKIES WIN LEAGUE AND NOHA CHAMPIONSHIPS, although I don't have a copy of the Chapleau Sentinel to confirm it.

As our nation marks its 150th anniversary in 2017, I have been looking back at the community's history, and the amazing success of the Junior 'B' Huskies in their first year in the International Junior 'B' Hockey League in 1966-67, stood out as an outstanding moment in sports.

In 1965, artificial ice was installed in the Chapleau Memorial Community Arena, largely because of the efforts of Mrs. A.W. 'Hockey' Moore, after whom the present arena is named, raised most of the funds to accomplish it.
Mrs Moore

In the summer of 1966, according to an article by Keith 'Buddy' Swanson, a "chance meeting" on a golf course between Tom Welch, publisher of the Chapleau Sentinel, and a director of the Wawa Travellers, led to the founding of the Chapleau Junior 'B' team, and its entry into the International Junior 'B' Hockey League for the 1966-67 season.

Buddy, Tom and Lorne Riley founded the team. Buddy and Lorne had coached a pretty good Midget team the previous year, and Buddy coached the Intermediate 'B' Huskies to the Northern Ontario Hockey Association title, winning the Max Silverman Trophy.

Off Buddy and Lorne went to Wawa for a league meeting where they received tentative approval to become part of the league for the 1966-67 season. However, back in Chapleau, the response was not all that enthusiastic, as only J.M. 'Jack' Shoup,  showed up, other than the founders, at three different meetings. Tom Welch urged them to continue anyway, and they did.

They went out into the community and recruited an executive with Tom as the first president. The executive included Arthur Grout, Earle Freeborn, Albert Tremblay, Jack Shoup, Ken Stevenson, with Roger Mizuguchi responsible for advertising and public relations. Sonia Vaughan became treasurer.

Lorne became the coach with Buddy as manager, while Andre Rioux was trainer. Richard Morin was named the team captain.  

The roster included Merrick Goldstein, Reg Bouillon, Ted Swanson, George Swanson, J.C. Cyr, Corky Bucci, Greg Vaughan, Robert Morin, John Babin, Gerry Boucher, Bruce Pellow, Ray Larcher, John Laframboise, Jamie Broomhead, John Loyst and Mickey Jurynec. 

Unfortunately, Lorne became ill and was unable to complete the season as coach so Buddy took over bench duties, and Lorne attended all the games and they discussed strategy between periods.

They finished the season in third place with 14 wins, eight losses and two ties which meant they met Wawa Travellers the first place team in round one of the playoffs. They had not enjoyed much success against the Travellers in regular season play --- and it looked like the Huskies would be eliminated quickly.

The Travellers took a 3-0 game lead in the best of seven playoff round, and then ...

The Huskies bounced back to tie the series at 3-3. In the final game, the Travellers had completely collapsed losing 13-3 to the Huskies.

In the finals against the Sault Michigan Indians, the Huskies won it in seven games and were the winners of the Mac Nicholson Trophy as league champions.

But their season wasn't over. Two weeks later they played Kapuskasing for the Northern Ontario Hockey Association Junior 'B' title and the Colin Campbell Trophy in a two game total goals series. The Huskies won 13-5.

And now, as Canada marks its 150th anniversary as a nation I believe it is good to reflect on those moments  in our history that brought us together, rather than divided us. Fifty years ago, Buddy Swanson, Lorne Riley and Tom Welch, the players and the executive of the Chapleau Junior 'B' Huskies made it happen in Chapleau  Dr. Goutor was right about Canada.
Huskies at 40th anniversary reunion 2007

I based this column on excerpts from the two articles that Buddy wrote about the team in 2009. He wanted to tell the story of that remarkable year. HAPPY CANADA DAY!  My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Names TOP PHOTO  1966-67 Huskies Back from l: Andre Rioux, Lorne Riley, Merrick Goldstein, John Babin, Ray Larcher, Mickey Jurynec, Greg Vaughan, Robert Morin, Reg Bouillon, Gerry Boucher, Jamie Broomhead; Front: Corky Bucci, Jean- Claude Cyr, George Swanson, Richard Morin, John Loyst, John Laframboise, Ted Swanson, Bud Swanson and missing Bruce Pellow, Bruce Fortin. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Fond memories of Sacred Heart School in Chapleau by Leona (Downey) Murphy from World War I years

see below
As another school year draws to a close, I discovered excerpts from Leona  (Downey) Murphy's fond memories of Sacred Heart School, which provide insights into school life in Chapleau as World War I began in 1914. It was prepared for the 100th anniversary of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church

Although I have been retired as a faculty member at College of the Rockies for 17 years now, each June, my thoughts return to school, and so I looked for information about education in Chapleau's early years!

Leona was a daughter of Patrick and Annie Downey, a pioneer family.

 They arrived when Chapleau  was "a hamlet with one school, the public school which all students attended, no hospital, a cluster of a few businesses mostly situated near the railway and a few outlying farms. The rest was bush," according to an article by their granddaughter Joy (Evans) Heft in Chapleau Trails, edited and published by Dr. William R. Pellow.

Leona recalled her first day at Sacred Heart School "at the ripe age of five" in 1914 as if it was yesterday. In those days new classes began at Christmas, Easter and in September.

Her first teacher was a Miss Rheaume who she describes  as a "very gentle person who never raised her voice but maintained good discipline in a crowded class."
see below

She recalled that one day they heard a high pitched sound coming from  a coal bin. "Of course the boys had to ferret it out; it turned out to be a bat. None of us had ever seen one before. We were provided with a lesson in natural science."

During the winter months, the heat was provided from a coal furnace and the temperature was to be maintained at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. However, at one point the school was closed for a few weeks when a caretaker forgot to fire up one evening, pipes burst. "a great mess!"

The school was also closed during epidemics of diphtheria and Spanish flu.

World War I broke out in 1914, and Leona recalled students singing songs including 'Good Luck to the Boys of the Army', 'Men of the North', 'Tipperary', and 'Over There'.

There was no radio in Chapleau then and only a few phonographs, but they learned the words and tunes.

The students were also active in the Chapleau branch of the Canadian Red Cross Society making mufflers and ear tapes to be sent to Chapleau boys overseas.

"The little knitters would sit in the fire escapes with wool and knitting bags."

School principals were able to declare a picnic day or organize a snow shoe tramp.

Disaster struck on Christmas Eve, 1918, when Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church burned down and nothing was saved except the "Blessed Sacrament" which Father Romeo Gascon, the parish priest, entered the church and retrieved it.

For the next year while masses were held in the Town Hall Auditorium fund raising for a new church opened on Christmas Eve 1919 was a priority. As there were no telephones at the time in Chapleau, students became church messengers.

World War I ended before she left the school and she recalled that when the news was received that it was over, the school was closed. Again, without radio, news of the events were received at the CPR Telegraph office, and then the recipents would rush out to "Tell Everyone".

Leona also mentions an ecumenical side of life  when the separate school grades 7 and 8 hosted public school to a sleigh ride and bean supper, singing and an impromptu program".

Although I am not sure who actually sponsored it, I recall a sleigh ride when I was a kid, with many Roman Catholic friends and we sang Christmas carols, One of which was 'O Come All Ye Faithful' which Lawrence 'Ton' Comte and Raoul Lemieux taught me it  in Latin as 'Adestes Fideles'.

Leona noted that Chapleau has "always had the ecumenical spirit. It was a great place to spend our growing years."

In 1927 Leona returned to teach at the school. "I had just turned 18 and inexperienced, so it was an interesting an exhausting year --- a large class."

But it all turned out well. She didn't think that any of her pupils "went to jail" and many were successful in their professions and other walks of life."

Once again, I must acknowledge the tremendous work by the late Doug Greig for his work in digitizing and making available so much of Chapleau's history. Rest in peace my friend. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

photo information

Separate school class picnic 1917. back E. Fortin, B. Martin, A. Petrosky, C. Bouillon, H. Vezina. 2nd row H. Seymour, B. Downey, C. Martin, H. Burch, I. Mulligan, E. Perfetto. Third row L. Brunette, M. Stadnisky, E. Fortin, A. Blais, J. Stokes. Front V. Downey, L. Hertopan

Charles Mulligan takes class for sleigh ride. Charles Mulligan was a relative  of MJM

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Florence and Simon Kruger played important roles in community and Sacred Heart Church in Chapleau

Florence and Simon Kruger, who both arrived in Chapleau in 1907, played important roles in the life and times of the community and Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church for many years.

Florence Fitzpatrick, born of Irish parents, and Simon Kruger who was of German-Polish descent, both from the Ottawa valley, met in Chapleau, and were married in 1911.

In 1907,  she was the teacher at the public school, while her future husband arrived to be the bookkeeper at Smith and Chapple Ltd. Both were college graduates in their respective fields. A year later Mr. Kruger accepted position as clerk to locomotive chairman at the CPR, later becoming a fireman and engineer. Mrs. Kruger became the first principal of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic School.

They had four children: Rita, Lou, Joan and Helen.

From the time of their arrival they were an integral part of the life and work of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, according to an article prepared by their daughter Helen marking the 100th anniversary of the parish.

Mrs. Kruger was president of the League of the Sacred Heart and promoted its work for more than 30 years, and was a member of the Catholic Women's League for over 50 years. She was corresponding secretary of the Chapleau council, and served as president for three different terms.
click on image to enlarge

She was also instrumental in raising funds to pay off the church's debt organizing the first St. Patrick's Tag Day and tea. She also compiled  the history of the Chapleau Council from 1921 to 1964.

At the Diocesan level she served as president for three different two years terms and also as treasurer and secretary.

In 1964 it was a memorable occasion for Mrs. Kruger when at the Diocesan level she was honoured by receiving the first life membership.

Mr. Kruger was a charter member, honorary member and Grand Knight of the Msgr Gascon Council of the Knights of Columbus. He was also well known within the church for his rendition of "The Magnificat" at Sunday Vespers while a member of the church's mixed choir.

He served for many years as a trustee on the separate school board including time as secretary-treasurer and chairman, and as Roman Catholic representative on the high school board for 25 years.

He also served as chairman of the Grievance Committee for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Engineers for many years.

While researching this column it was interesting to learn that in 1911, Mr. Kruger and my grandfather Harry Morris, played on the hockey team that won the McEwen Cup, for the town championship. In an article, Mr. Kruger was described as a "rugged defenseman" for years on the CPR Shops hockey team.

 He was also an avid tennis player and was involved in implementing the gym equipment in the St John's Memorial Hall in 1920. (now the home of Branch 5 of the Royal Canadian Legion)

Mrs. Kruger was an active member of the Ladies Auxiliary to Lady Minto Hospital, the Canadian Club and the Chapleau branch of the Canadian Red Cross Society, especially during World War I and World War II.

I extend my most sincere thanks to Ann (Bedford) Midgley for her great assistance in providing me with information fro this column  about her grandparents. Much appreciated Ann. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Names for hockey team

Chapleau Hockey Team and executive in 1912. This was the days of a seven-man hockey team.
Back row left to right: Fred Leclair, Dr. J.J. Sheehan, Oliver Lesak, B.E. Lewery, Fred Knox, H.S. Meller.
Centre row left to right: Simon Kruger, Tom Thomson, Oscar Tremblay, Omar Royal, Gordon Sheppard.Front row left to right: D.O. Payette Ernie Cressey, T.H. Wolfe

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Walter Leigh 'honoured and respected' Chapleau citizen started railroading on wood burning locomotives

Ina Robinson, Charles Reid. Mr Leigh
When Walter Leigh first started railroading, "those were the days" of wood burning locomotives and a round trip between divisional points on some occasions took about a week, according to an article by Margaret "Maggie " Costello in the Sudbury Star.

Maggie was paying tribute to one of Chapleau's "long familiar figure, honoured and respected" during the 60 years he had lived in the community.

Born in Toronto in 1868, he began railroading as a fireman in 1887 in southern Ontario, moving to Chapleau in 1900. Mr. Leigh died at age 93 in 1963. He worked up to engineer retiring in 1935.

Maggie wrote that in his early days of railroading before locomotives were converted to coal, it took about three loads of coal in the tender to move  a train between divisional points, adding it sometimes took a week to make round trip.

She described Mr. Leigh as "small in stature, large in outlook, with rugged constitution from the day he established his home here he became active and constructive member of the community -- with a large circle of friends widened to include just about everyone."

He enjoyed the outdoors "and the wealth of pleasure and education it had to offer in all seasons. He was an ardent fisherman and expert paddler."

Mr. Leigh was an "expert skater" as well and in fact won a fancy skating award in one of Chapleau's early winter carnivals.
Rose House, 1912 on corner, Leigh house 1908

In 1908 when Chapleau was still centred close to the railway station and yards, he "ventured far afield" according to Maggie, when he built the first house on Pine Street on the river side of the street. The "new" St. John's Anglican Church was down the street from him.

Some of his friends felt he was moving far out into the bush... but he told them all his children could snowshoe. Imagine, in 1908, the river side of Pine Street was in the bush.  (See photo)

In due course, Mr. Leigh found the "perfect spot" for a camp at Mulligan's Bay, bought the lot and built one.

Mr. Leigh was an active member of St. John's Anglican Church, serving  on the advisory board for many years.
names below

Mr. and Mrs. Leigh had four children: Alvin, Frank, Elmore and Olive. His son Frank became an Anglican minister, and served as Rector of St. John's in the 1950s while his father was still alive. Frank also served in the Canadian armed forces in both World War I and II, while Elmore served in World War II, and was very active in Branch 5 of the Royal Canadian Legion after his return home.

Into his 90s Mr. Leigh still walked everywhere even on the coldest days and was known for never wearing gloves. He always had a lively interest in everything and everybody.

My thanks to Anne (Zufelt) McGoldrick for her assistance. Anne knew Mr. Leigh well especially when she was a child living on Pine Street. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

photo info

CPR retirees at a reunion banquet. Likely early 1950s. Back row left to right:7) Joe Lepine, 8) F.J. (Shorty) Morris, 9) Arthur Whybray, 10) Jim Encil, 11) Clarence Darby, 12) William Brazel 13) IvorErickson, 14) John N. Burns, 15) W.H. (Scotty) Thomson, 16) Fred Hands, 17) William Card, 18) Joe Delaney, 19) George Young.
Front row left to right:1) Charles Reid, 2) Ed Murphy, 3) Ed Woodard, 4)  Walter Leigh, 5) James Q. Stanley, 6) William Somers, 6a) Robert Nixon

Ina Robinson was crowned Queen of the 1940 Chapleau Winter Caarnival shown with pioneer Charles Reid, and Walter Leigh on right. Mr Leigh skated at the carnival. Ina later married Frank Coulter. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Trinity United Church youth organizations very active as 1950s drew to a close

Youth organizations were very active at Trinity United Church with new members being initiated into Sigma-C and Explorers as the 1950s drew to a close.

In 1959, three new members, James Crichton, Peter Dowsley and Gerry Bowland were initiated into Sigma-C, a group at the United Church for teenage boys.

They had undertaken a six-week study program before being initiated into Sigma-C.

Parents, relatives and friends gathered at the church for the occasion where along with the initiation there was a program of entertainment followed by a social hour.

Under the direction of C.B. Greenlaw and general supervision by Rev. Douglas Stringer, the United Church minister at the time, Sigma-C provided a wide range of activities for boys aged 12 to 14.

Hostesses for the social part of the evening were Mrs. Joseph Crichton and Mrs. Terry Way-White.

Meanwhile, in 1960, a group of "young ladies" aged nine to 11, according to an article in the Sudbury Star "graduated" into the Explorers group at the church. Explorers was under the direction of Mrs. Adam Andrews and Mrs. A.A. Small.
Jim Crichton, Gerry Bowland, Peter Dowsley, Mr Greenlaw

Lyn Pellow was chief explorer in 1960 while Phyllis Bowland and Betty Andrews were secretary and treasurer respectively. Judy Godemair was pianist.

Prior to being graduated into Explorers the girls had been hard at work with preparations learning the Explorer hymn, purpose, prayer and projects.

To mark the occasion Rev. Leonard Warr, the minister at the church, was present to extend congratulations. He also told the girls they were a vital part of the church.

Although I was not a member of Trinity United Church, I have really enjoyed reading about the activities for youth there when I was a teenager in Chapleau during the 1950s as well as its history from the early days of the community. Once again thanks to the late Doug Greig, we have the history of the church on the Chapleau Public Library site

 I have fond memories of activities at St. John's Anglican Church, as well as those that involved friends from the United Church and Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church. Those were great days my friends, and I am still in touch with many of you from them. 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