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Saturday, October 3, 2009
CHAPLEAU HIGH SCHOOL CELEBRATES ITS 90th ANNIVERSARY IN 2012 HERE IS LINK http://michaeljmorrisreports.blogspot.com/2010/11/chapleau-high-school-reunion-dates-set.html
Writing about the new school in a souvenir newspaper marking the 60th anniversary of Chapleau High School in 1982, George Evans, the longtime vice principal and history teacher at CHS, noted that a "new era" was beginning.
"The new era began in September 1966 when the high school moved to its new home on top of the hill. For a couple of trying months we shared the building with the contractors who were still working to finish it. Then we had it all to ourselves, the bright classrooms, the spacious gym, and the library," George wrote.
The original new school consisted of a gymnasium, library, two shops, two science laboratories, five classrooms, one typing room, an office and staff lounge.
The school replaced the original CHS located on Pine Street where the Chapleau Civic Centre is now. On June 22, 1922, the municipal council passed a by-law making Chapleau a high school district. Max Brunette was the reeve at the time. In 1925 a wooden building on the site was renovated and the larger building was encased in brick, which became home to high school students for 41 years. (Information taken from Pioneering in Northern Ontario by Vince Crichton Sr .)
At the official opening of the new school on November 5, 1966, D.J. "Jim" Broomhead, the master of ceremonies for the occasion said, "Today we feel we have done something for Chapleau." Jim, a former CHS student, now a member of the school board also served as reeve of Chapleau.
L.T. "Len" Harris, the school board chair, accepted the key to the building from architect John Shaw. Mr. Harris, also a former student, expresed his gratitude to everyone who had made the day possible. He observed with satisfaction that Chapleau students would now have the same educational opportunities as other students in Ontario.
Other board members were George Collins, Paul Belair, Frank Braumberger and R.A. "Ricky" Selin. Board secretary was Mrs. R. Deluce.
At the official opening, Rev. Murray Arnill of Trinity United Church gave the invocation and benediction while representatives of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 5, Chapleau, presented the colours to the school.
William Mair was the principal, and for the benefit of those of you who were students in 1966-67, here are the teachers. How many do you remember? They were George Evans, Annalee Barg, Gertrude Caffet, Rheo Courchesne, Ora Devine, Ruth Doig, Georgette Harris, Lloyd Hulton, Robert J. Lemieux, Casey Roznik, Terrence Spratt, John Symons, Marie Tremblay and Bruce Watt.
Within three years an addition was added to the original school as the baby boomers were arriving in full force. As an aside I got there just as construction was to get underway on the addition.
Shortly after the new school opened, Elmer Freeborn arrived as the business administrator for the newly created Chapleau Board of Education, a position he held until his retirement in 1992. Elmer died recently and I extend my most sincere sympathy to Margaret, his daughter and all the Freeborn family on the loss of a father, brother and uncle who in his lifetime contributed immensely to the betterment of Chapleau and its people. On a very personal basis I so much appreciated all Elmer did for me over the years that I taught at CHS.
Not only did Elmer make an immense contribution to education in Chapleau but he also served on the municipal council, the hospital board and with other groups in the community. Elmer is from a family where duty and service have been part of their daily lives for many years. His father served as reeve of Chapleau; his mother was president of the Ladies Auxiliary to Branch Number 5 of the Royal Canadian Legion and founding president of the Chapleau Senior Citizens Club and the drop-in centre at Cedar Grove Lodge was named after her, and his brother Earle is currently the mayor of Chapleau. Thank you Elmer. Rest in peace.
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This post appeared originally in my Chapleau Moments column in the Chapleau Express.