After receiving the Personals column from the Chapleau Press of October 11, 1962 recently, it struck me that the news about the comings and goings of citizens and their visitors was a very important part of community life, and yes, it sold newspapers too.
I learned first hand the importance of social news and personals columns shortly after i became a newspaper reporter in 1964 at the Daily Press in Timmins. Most contributions were handwritten in those days and quite often news reporters were called upon to type them out into a news story. And woe betide if you made a spelling error in someone's name. Actually it was a great experience in "getting the name right" one of the first principles young reporters learn, made more difficult as you had to transcribe all manner and forms of handwriting.
But the Personals column and other social news were a very popular section of the newspaper, maybe even moreso than sports or comics. I realized quickly that "hard news" was not always the main reason people bought a newspaper.
Doug Greig sent me the clipping on the very day that Bill McLeod sent out a news release announcing the launch of his new book 'Chapleau: A Retrospective on LIfe in an Isolated Northern Community.' Doug had coincidentally received the clipping that day and Bill and I are mentioned in the Personal column.
Bill advises that he will hold a book launch in Chapleau on Thursday, September 30 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at the Chapleau Public Library.
It read: "Michal (sp) Morris and Billie (sp) McLeod students at Waterloo College were home for the Thanksgiving weekend." Of course it should have been Michael and Billy, but those were the only misspelled names in the column that I could detect. And yes, Bill and I attended Chapleau Public and Chapleau High School in the same grade and also attended the same university, now Wilfrid Laurier in the same years, different progams.
Here is a sampler of moments in the lives of some Chapleau citizens as reported in the Chapleau Press in the fall of 1962.
Mary and Grant Campbell were busy.
"Mrs. Mary Campbell, Worthy Matron of Melba Chapter 313 was the delegate from Chapleau to the 7th Annual Session of the Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star of Ontario held in the Royal York Hotel. Mrs. L.T. Green also attended."
"Mr. Grant Campbell left for Halifax where he will be the delegate from the Royal Canadian Air Force Association Wing 423 to the R.C.A.F. convention. Mrs. Campbell accompanied him."
Frank Coulter, who served many years on the public school board was off to a convention. "Mr. and Mrs. Frank Coulter spent the week in Sarnia where Mr. Coulter attended the public school convention as the representative from the Chapleau Public School Board."
On a business trip: "Mr. Ovide Cote and Mr. George Collins were business visitors to Montreal where they had the opportunity of attending the Shoe and Leather Fair held in the Mount Royal Hotel which proved very interesting. Mrs. Cote and Mrs. Collins accompanied their husbands and had an enjoyable time sightseeing and shopping."
Meanwhile, "Mr. and Mrs. Mel Richardson and son Paul have returned after a pleasant motor trip to Toronto and Montreal", and "Mrs. Agness Freeborn has just returned from vacation in eastern parts of Ontario and Quebec."
Visiting Chapleau, "Mr. Alvin O'Hearn of Burlington was a visitor with his parents Mr. and Mrs. George O'Hearn", and "Mr. and Mrs. Joe Shannon of Falconbridge were visitors to Chapleau." Mr. and Mrs. Shannon had been long-time employees of Smith and Chapple Ltd.
You don't see Personal columns as much now in the newspapers -- now we can "facebook," "tweet" and send email to each other!
DAVID McMILLAN AT THE BEACH
"Just finished reading your article on the beach area and, in doing so, learned for the first time of the major role Dr. Young played in its development. If I remember correctly, a lot of us learned to swim by initially dog paddling with those rectangular boards held out in front like surf boards as we kicked furiously in order to keep our faces from going under. As we grew older ( unfortunately not wiser ) I recall taking part in a bicycling exercise that was the brainchild of one of my peers that entailed riding your bike off the high diving board. Granted, there wasn't much time or room to get up a good head of steam before you rode your bike down into the water but it was an exuberating couple of seconds and well worth the effort required to haul the bike on your shoulder up the steps to the upper level. We did, however, use our grey matter by remembering to tie ropes to our bikes for retrieval purposes. These events always took place after lifeguards Babe Chambers and Jackie Poynter had left the beach area at the end of their day and if further elaboration is required I'm sure Howard Goheen or Timmy Goodwin could help out in that regard."
HENRY 'SONNY' THERRIEN DIES
I recently received word that one of Chapleau's great hockey players, Henry F. Therrien, "Sonny", 76, Kaukauna, died at Theda Clark Medical Center on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010, with family by his side. Henry was born on July 17, 1934, in Chapleau, Ontario, Canada, son of the late Frederick and Adrian Anne (Levesque) Therrien. He played hockey growing up in Chapleau then attended St Michaels College in Toronto, where he played junior hockey prior to being drafted into the USHL, where he was a two-time league goal scorer for the Indianapolis Chiefs.Prior to representing the U.S. in the 1966 World Hockey Tournament in Yugoslavia, he joined the Green Bay Bobcats. He was also an honorary member of the Flying Fathers Hockey Club in Canada. My sympathy to his family.
Finally, the Chapleau Press was the immediate successor to Mid North News, and was followed by The Chapleau Sentinel. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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