EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Saturday, December 31, 2011

Chapleau 2012 begins with hockey from Chapleau to Senneterre to Florida

Names at Bottom

Henry Byce recently sent me a photo from a hockey tournament he attended in 1979, and it struck me as a great way to end 2011, and begin 2012 which for many of us will be defined as "CHAPLEAU 2012" as we head home to celebrate at the 90th anniversary reunion festival of Chapleau High School. The dates are June 29 to July 2, 2012.

Here is Henry's email:

"Hey Chief, continuing with your hockey theme, I thought I would include a "blast from my past". This photo was taken in 1979. It was a hockey tournament in Senneterre Quebec. I don't know how we did in the tourney, but I know we had fun. You coached and taught most of us in this picture. As a kid watching the Huskies was one of the greatest memories I have, and to have 2 great players as our coaches was awesome. With the high school reunion fast appraoching, I hope I get a chance to see and talk to many of my former team mates.
Thanks Chief".
Yes, Henry, I did coach and teach most of you on that team when you were playing Midget hockey in 1982-83 and kindly called the your team "The Chiefs" after my nickname, which was actually given to me by the 1970-71, Midget hockey team.

Let me explain for those who don't know how I came to be called Chief.

One day at practice, Keith McAdam called me "MJ", and having become "Mr. Morris" by virtue of now being a s teacher at Chapleau High School, I appropriately lost my temper, letting the team know I was Mr. Morris to them, and I stormed from the dressing room downstairs in the old Chapleau Memorial Community Arena. 

Through the door I could hear the players discussing the situation when suddenly Lionel Corston spoke up. 

"I have it,"Lionel said, "we will call him the Chief. We are the Indians and he is the Chief." (I use the word Indians in the context of this anecdote.)

The players agreed, and led by team captain Jamie Doyle. they came through the dressing room door and each one in turn with a smile on his face, said "Hi Chief". What could I do? The kids had won a big one and they knew it.   CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE ...

Names at bottom
The coaches of Henry's team were Pat Swanson and Paul McDonald, both of whom as he says were "great players" on the Chapleau Intermediate A Huskies of the Northland Intermediate Hockey League from 1975 to 1979. a team I also coached and managed, sharing those duties over the years with Doug Prusky.

Regarding Henry's hope that he gets a chance to visit with many of his former teammates at the CHS reunion, Charlie Purich is hoping that a hockey reunion can be included in the festivities. Let me know if you are interested.

After receiving Henry's email the other day, I hauled out two photos to include with this post, one of The Chiefs and the other of me with some members of the Intermediate A Huskies in Florida about 1978.

Shortly after I posted I received an email from Mark Dillon, who played on the team in Senneterre and then THE CHIEFS,

Here is Mark's message:

Glad to see the pictures of hockey past from Henry and the Chiefs. The Senneterre tournament we were in the "B" Division, which was above us,( I think we were "C" back home) and we lost in the final to Val D'or before a packed house. We were a contact team and unaware that Quebec wasn't. After a few (french term) " Placage" penalties we took the contact out of our game lol. Great showing by all made it very memorable for me. 

The Chiefs team made up of:  standing  yourself, Gary Murphy, Doug Hong, David Freeborn, Jamie Doyle, Mike Payette, I think Jean Marie Besnier, Rory Foran, David McAdam playing out, Donald Omer Landry, Mr. Bellevance. Kneeling Shawn Russell, Mark Dillon, Shane Gilham, Barry Hong missing is Billy Scheer.

 I was lucky to play with you guys since there was no midget team in minor hockey to play for that year. I always  laugh at the picture. Jamie is holding my hair back after my mom complaining about the bangs in my eyes. I believe we won the regular season but lost to Swanson and the guys in the playoffs. 

Thanks so much to Mark and Henry for their memories. 

HENRY'S TEAM: Back row (l-r) P.Swanson(coach), D. Desbois, D. Morrison, D. Dionne, D. Lafreniere, C. Vezina, T. Broomhead, J. Rioux, A. Barsalou Middle row M. Dillon, K. Dillon, M. Houle, P. McDonald(coach)
 Front row A. Madore, R. Martel, M. Lingenfelter, T. Sawyer, H.Byce, J. Castonguay, D. Vandal

HUSKIES IN FLORIDA: Back from left Jim Gill, Dave McMillan, MJM, Danny Vaughan, Brad Prophet, Chris McMillan, and kneeling Bill Scheer, Pat Swanson

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

WINTER IN CHAPLEAU by jody terio


glimpses of snow banks falling 
momentos in dark black dots of old pieces
once a part of your life and melted
in snow in spring, a mitten, hockey glove puck.
My mother tied the mittens on with string  
made of wool by grandma watson they would shrink
and muffle, get smaller and smaller
til they only fit the smallest, then got lost 
under snow.
Red or blue.
And i would know a friend 
only by her snowsuit.  Her face wrapped
up frost on the eyelashes, we are marching
down the road to school.
Every day.  I hardly remember 
but for the marching. 
Can’t remember undressing.  Except for
puddles. Far reaching into  corridors.
And shoes inside of boots
A mother doing six of them.  Boots with buckles
Heaps of them
at the door, at home,
at friends, coats and boots
sweaters, hats, snowpants.  Everything is
shiny slick, damp. 
And finding yours in the pile, yours 
are red this year. Passed down through
hundreds of distant brothers and sisters
you are fittest red cheeked
and hungry for soup hot chocolate.

                                                   -jody terio

jody terio is the daughter of Joan and George Theriault. She is the artistic director of Little Red Theatre. http://www.littleredtheatre.on.ca/home.html

Sunday, December 25, 2011

John Theriault wins 2011 Buckwheat Award as Bob Fife, Chapleau hockey, figure skating and the Fifties tops in popularity on Michael J Morris Reports

John Theriault emerges as the winner of the second annual Buckwheat Award for 2011 on Michael J Morris Reports for his photo feature on the Chapleau Intermediate "A" Huskies who played in the Northland Intermediate Hockey League from 1975 to 1979.

LINK TO JOHN'S PHOTO FEATURE http://michaeljmorrisreports.blogspot.com/2011/03/john-theriault-presents-chapleau.html

Bob second from right seated 1972 Pres of CHS Student Council
My feature on Robert Fife, from Chapleau, who is now Ottawa Bureau Chief of CTV News, actually had the most page views of any story in the history of the blog, but is ineligible for the award because I wrote it. http://michaeljmorrisreports.blogspot.com/2011/01/robert-fife-from-chapleau-winner-of.html

Tee Chambers, Butch Pellow, Aldee Martel 1954
Visitors sure seem to like hockey as the next most popular was a photo feature on Chapleau hockey from 1910  to 1967. A Chapleau team actually made a road trip to Sudbury in 1893.http://michaeljmorrisreports.blogspot.com/2011/02/chapleau-hockey-moments-from-mcewen-cup.html

Coming in fourth was anoher photo feature of Chapleau in the 1950s with pictures provided by David McMillan. http://michaeljmorrisreports.blogspot.com/2010/08/chapleau-in-fifties-trip-down-memory.html

Sally (Uugo) Crichton
In fifth place was a feature on the Chapleau Figure Skating Club, to which many of the community's figure skaters contributed. Special thanks though to Ann (Card) Morin and Pat (Purich) Russell. http://michaeljmorrisreports.blogspot.com/2011/04/chapleau-figure-skating-club-annual-ice.html

The Buckwheat Award is named after my beloved cat who died at over 20-years-old in 2009. The first winner was Michael McMullen with a story on growing up in Chapleau.

Congratulations to John, and thanks to everyone who helped me with Michael J Morris Reports in 2011.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Uneek Luxury Tours presents scenes from sunny Florida

Awesome sky at Orlando
Uneek Luxury Tours, located in Orlando, Florida, kindly provided this outstanding selection of photos to share with my Canadian friends particularly those who are headed into the midst of Winter, if Facebook posts are any indication these days.
The pool at midnight
In fact, after I posted some Winter scenes from Chapleau, after returning from my trip to Florida. one FB friend requested that I post some from sunny Florida.

And it was, for my entire stay. All photos are by Michael Pelzer of Uneek Luxury Tours.

Car included to give scale to size of home
Here is link to web site http://uneekluxurytours.com  Be sure to visit Uneek Luxury Tours web site  and blog  http://uneekluxurytours.blogspot.com!

View at Bella Collina Estates

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Churches quickly established as Chapleau founded in 1885 with services in partially completed CPR station and tent during bitterly cold winter

St John's Church with Rev Robert Warrington
As Christmas approached for the residents of Chapleau in the Winter of 1885, from reports of the time, it was bitterly cold and disease was rampant. 

The population of about 400, ninety-five percent of them men, had arrived earlier in the year after the Canadian Pacific Railway issued instructions to make Mileage 615.1 on its transcontinental line a divisional point, by placing a boxcar on the exact spot. The boxcar became the first station, office building, and train dispatcher's office but before the end of the year a roundhouse and water tower had been built.

NOTE: Ian Macdonald provided photo of the 'boxcar' to which I refer. It was actually a passenger car. See below.

A station and office building were under construction and Chapleau had become a community of surplus boxcars and tents.

As Ian Macdonald noted in his monograph 'Mile 615.1: Building a Northern Community', the major churches of the day "quickly established themselves in the earliest stages of the community's development." 

The car used as station 1885. CPR Corporate Archives

But the partially built station played another role than meet the needs of the CPR. In December 1885, it was used for meetings by members of the Church of England, later called the Anglican Church of Canada. to establish a presence in the fledgling community.

Archdeacon Gowan Gillmor fondly called 'The Tramp" who on one of his journeys to minister to the CPR construction crews walked from North Bay to Port Arthur, now Thunder Bay. Archdeacon Gillmor was instrumental in the founding of St. John's Church, and it is quite possible he conducted Christmas service in 1885 in a partially completed railway station while attending meetings to plan the church building.

First CPR station at Chapleau 1886
St. John's almost didn't happen as a motion was presented to drop the matter as it was impossible to raise the sum of $500 needed to build the church. A grant of $400 was available.
St John's, Bishop Tom Corston photo

Mrs. R.V. Nicholson preserved an account of the meeting where it all changed when Annie Nicholson, just 17. and her friend Minnie Richardson, volunteered to go out and raise the funds. Off they went canvassing from Cartier to White River, and at the next meeting they said a "really strong box" would be needed as they had raised slightly more than one thousand dollars. The first St. John's Church was opened and dedicated on July 1, 1886, and Christmas services were held there in 1886.

CPR Yard Chapleau 1886 with wood burning engine 231
It was located on old tennis court at Pine and Young. The present St. John's was completed in 1908.

Mrs. Nicholson's account was made available to me when I wrote 'Sons of thunder ... Apostles of Love', marking the 100th anniversary of the parish.

As an aside, when St. John's celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1985 when Rev. Jerry Smith was rector, Linda Tebbutt and Sharon Henderson played the roles of Annie and Minnie in an historical re-enactment of the really strong box. 

Meanwhile, in 1885, there was also a Roman Catholic presence in Chapleau which had been established by the Jesuits, according to an account by Father Albert Burns, s.j., of Chapleau. 

Father Burns wrote that the Jesuits followed the CPR construction gangs and many of the order were dedicated to opening new parishes along the way. Once established, they would be turned over to the bishop and Chapleau benefited from the work of the "zealous missionaries" of the Jesuit order. 

Father Edward Proulx s.j. was a most beloved priest in Chapleau and was responsible for a heating system in the church as well as the construction of the rectory and establishment of a separate school.

In fact the Jesuits were in charge of the Roman Catholic presence in Chapleau from 1883 to 1911 when Father Romeo Gascon arrived. Father Burns noted that Father Louis Cote s.j conducted the first Roman Catholic baptism in Chapleau on April 12, 1883.

For Christmas services in 1885 it would appear that they would have been held in the first Roman Catholic Church in the community built that year  where Collins store at the intersection of Birch and Lorne streets was later located.

As another aside, it is quite possible that Patrick A. Mulligan, the first of my ancestors to arrive in Chapleau would have attended the Roman Catholic service at Christmas 1885. In a family history, my cousin Michael McMullen writes that Patrick was an early Chapleau pioneer arriving in late 1885. He built a store at the northwest corner of Birch and Young Streets and it opened for business in 1886 as Murrays and Mulligan, General Merchants. Patrick was the uncle of Michael's grandmother, May (Mulligan) McMullen, who arrived in Chapleau about 1900, and mine Lil (Mulligan) Morris, about 1910.

However, by 1891, Sacred Heart Church was built on its present location and expanded in 1898. It was destroyed by fire just before Christmas in 1918, but the present church was built during the following year and Father Gascon celebrated mass in it on Christmas Eve, 1919. On Christmas Eve, 2011, the present church will celebrate its 92nd anniversary.

A history of Trinity United Church in Chapleau notes that "when construction was being pushed westward by the Canadian Pacific Railway in the early 1880s, the Methodists were not slow in sending their missionaries along to minister to the spiritual needs of the men engaged in the construction business".

The church history says that one of the first of these missionaries was Rev. Silas Huntingdon, who arrived in Chapleau in June 1886. It adds that his first services were conducted in a partially finished store on Birch Street.

Trinity United Bill Groves collection
Mr. Huntingdon returned to Chapleau bringing with him a young student minister  who conducted services for a time in a large tent near the corner of Lorne and Birch Streets. He began the erection of the first Methodist church on the site of the present Trinity United Church at Lorne and Beech Streets. He organized the first Methodist congregation in Chapleau.

However, the history also mentions  that Rev. Ralph Homer also came to Chapleau and during the winter of 1885-86 held services in a tent approximately where the Boston Cafe/ Redwood Restaurant was located. Possibly the Methodist congregation held its Christmas service in a tent.

Life was tough for the founders of Chapleau, as they had left their homes to make a new life for themselves and their families in the bush of Northern Ontario, and by 1886, the tents, boxcars and shacks were being replaced with permanent structures, and this included their churches. 

I started thinking about the establishment of the respective churches in Chapleau in the 1880s while in Florida a couple of weeks ago while out for a walk in beautiful sunny weather, and decided to share a glimpse at those moments in the history of Chapleau at this Christmas time. I know. I know. Only someone raised in Chapleau would think about bitterly cold winters while in Florida!

My very best wishes to all for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Father Lucien Bouillon from school car student to high school cadet corps officer to first Roman Catholic priest ordained in Sacred Heart Church in Chapleau

Father Lucien
Lucien Bouillon, who later became the first priest ordained in Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Chapleau, received his early education in the school car that served communities along the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Before moving into Chapleau when Lucien was ten, his family lived at Carry, a hamlet west of Chapleau on the CPR line.

"My first school experience was that of a school car which was very small with only about seven students and Mr. Wright as our teacher," Lucien wrote in the Chapleau Sentinel, marking the 100th anniversary of Sacred Heart Parish.

He also recalled attending mass in the living room of a private home with the priest and very few people attending.

After moving to Chapleau, Lucien found the town, the school and the church much bigger. "Going to school was almost a trauma because on my first day of school I got lost with the halls and all the doors compared to a one room school car."

At Sacred Heart he began serving mass for Mgr. Romeo Gascon at the early morning service and listening to D.O. Payette sing 'the Mass of Angels' all in Latin.

As a student at Chapleau High School, Lucien became a member of 1181 CHS Cadet Corps rising to the rank of Cadet Lieutenant in command of a platoon by 1957

Ian Macdonald recalled that Lucien attended the Royal Canadian Army Cadet camp at Ipperwash, Ontario in the summer of 1955 in the senior leaders course "along with myself (Ian), Ray Soucie. Ton Comte and Brian Fraser. You usually had to take that course to qualify as an officer in the cadet corps in those days."

The Bouillon Family 1986
Lucien was also very active in the Chapleau Ski Club, and the development of its "new hill (the present location) in the 1950s.

Back at Sacred Heart parish, Lucien assisted in digging out the basement with pails as part of the construction project of the parish hall, and was greatly involved in the Catholic Youth Club under the leadership of Mrs. Marie Tremblay. He particularly recalled the club's trips to Ottawa and Banff.

When he was in Grade 12, Father Marchand asked Lucien if he would be willing to meet with the Bishop to see if he could go to seminary to study for the priesthood, even though at the time it was not his first choice of vocation.

The rest is history.

On June 19, 1965, Lucien was ordained priest in Sacred Heart Church in Chapleau by Bishop Jacques Landriault when Fr. Lampron was the parish priest, making history as the first priest to be ordained in the church.

Father Albert Burns s.j., of Chapleau, preached the sermon as Lucien celebrated his first mass at the church.

However, he preached his first sermons at Sacred Heart as a deacon during the Christmas season of 1964.

During his priesthood, Lucien served at several parishes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hearst including Sacred Heart, Chapleau.

Whenever in Chapleau Lucien enjoyed visiting with his old friends Jiggs and Marie Tremblay, and celebrating Mass at their camp at Esher. He also enjoyed the outdoors all his life.

Andre, Jiggs, Father Lucien, Marie, Helene
In his article for the celebration of the Sacred Heart Centennial, Lucien wrote that "... the memories are numerous and heart warming, and every time I return to Chapleau they are felt and remembered especially in the faces recognized, the places visited and the circumstances remembered. When I celebrate Mass and drive around they seem to come to life."

Lucien George Bouillon, 72, died on September 17,2011. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Louis and Jeanne Longchamps active in Sacred Heart Roman Catholic church in Chapleau for over sixty years

In the early 1920s, shortly after Jeanne and Louis Longchamps arrived in Chapleau, there were ony four automobiles, one of which the citizens had given as gift to Dr. J.J. Sheahan, who practised medicine in the community from 1907 until his death in 1942.

Dr. Sheahan received his car on July 21, 1921 while the others belonged to Father Romeo Gascon, Edgar Pellow and Len Perfetto.  
In the spring of 1916, Octave Morin came to Chapleau from Bic, Quebec, in Rimouski County to work as a carpenter for the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1925 his wife Claudia and children Andre, Albert, Marie, Jeanne, Antonio, Marianne, Gerard, Cecile, Philippe and Lucienne joined him in Chapleau. Their first home was near the old horseshoe bridge where Zenon and Amanda Rioux later lived.
Louis Longchamps, age 19, arrived in Chapleau on August 1, 1922, with his brother Albert while Lorenzo would follow a few years later.
Mr. Longchamps started working for the CPR as a carpenter where his first foreman was Arthur Grenier and then Octave Morin.
But his father Charles Longchamps had earlier worked on the construction of the CPR and was one of the workers present when William Van Horne, the company president, visited the Jack Fish site in 1884.
He became acquainted with Mr. Morin's daughter Jeanne, and they were married on October 20, 1930 at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Chapleau. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1980.
During the first years of his marriage Mr. Longchamps worked at Nipigon on a new bridge there, returning to Chapleau and living at 16 Lorne Street near the present post office from 1940 to 1978. I so well recall that Mr. and Mrs. Longchamps chose to become among the first occupants of an apartment in Cedar Grove Lodge when it opened in 1978.
They had two children Louise, who married Angelo Mione, and Jean Louis 'Johnny' who married Joan Bryson.
Mr. and Mrs. Longchamps were very active in the life of Sacred Heart Parish for more than 60 years.
Mrs. Longchamps was the founding president of the Ladies of Ste. Anne, established in the parish in 1958.
Mr. Longchamps was part of the parish team which dug out and built the church basement when Father Marchand was parish priest in the late 1950s.
In an interview in the Chapleau Sentinel marking the 100th anniversary of the parish, Mrs. Longchamps recalled that envelope boxes that were still in place on church pews at Sacred Heart, were all made by her father, Octave Morin. She remembered that Father Gascon would visit her father as he worked on them and admired his patience.
As I was working on this story, I could not help but reflect on the members of the Longchamps and Morin families, and the contribution they made to life in the community from their arrival in a place with four automobiles in the early 1920s and on. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Identify members of Chapleau High School Chess Club of 1972-73

Name these members of the CHS Chess Club of 1972-73.
Last week's answers
Four of the Chapleau Reeves who graduated from CHS:  M.J. Morris seated and standing T.C. Way-White, D.J. Broomhead and F.A. Card.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Grant Henderson CHS Graduate of 1927: "Were I to pick my bringin' up place, I'd choose the same old town"

The girls of Chapleau High School 1926

Perhaps Grant Henderson, who graduated from Chapleau High School in 1927 sums up so well the reason that those of us who no longer live in Chapleau "must go back" as he wrote in a poem about the time of the school's 60th anniversary reunion in 1982.

Grant wrote in part that he must go back to Chapleau again, and "all I ask is to meet old friends, and raise a glass on high." 
On November 14, 1924, 1181 Chapleau High School Cadet Corps was established and remained an important part of high school life for 39 years, being disbanded on January 1, 1963. The annual cadet inspection usually held in late May on the field behind the Pine Street school was also a community event with large crowds attending, while the day ended with the Cadet banquet and dance. 

For most of its history, the Cadet corps and bugle band were the personal domain of John 'Old Mac' McClellan, teacher and later principal, but interestingly, he was not the first one to look after the corps. That would have been a Mr. Ashdown, the school principal.

Interestingly in his poem Grant refers to Mr. McClellan as 'OLD MAC' even though he would not have been that "old" when he first arrived at the school. Having been a school teacher though, being old seems to go with the territory as students perceive us as being old. I admit that I am getting there now!

George Crichton, Hugh McMullen, Grant Henderson
Grant recalled that one day the students released an owl in class which undoubtedly caused quite a commotion , "OLD MAC was called" who stood appalled "before his feathery blast". adding that "Perhaps it's best to leave the rest to history and the past."

Dances were very popular in the 1920s, and held in the Town Hall basement once a week, according to Grant. He also recalled dancing "with one's best girl in a close knit whirl, and dancing cheek to cheek."

My mother Muriel E. (Hunt) Morris would tell me about dances in the 1920s when she was  a teenager in Chapleau. They were also held in Perpete's Hall  which would have been in a building about where the Chapleau Pentecostal Church is now. My mother would sing and her older sister Elsie (Hunt) Zufelt would play the piano. 

Of course hockey was part of community life in the 1920s with games at the "old old rink" with the potbelly stove keeping the lobby warm. Public skating, in the darkened arena, with the silvery moon at one end and quite often the town band in attendance made it the place to be, particularly on a Friday night. It was still the place to be as I was growing up in Chapleau in the late 1940s and 1950s.

Grant also wrote about Ski Club nights beneath the Northern Lights "with the happy crowd and laughter loud, the swish of running skis". If I recall correctly the ski hill was located on the site that later became known as Dr. Young's hill. 

1181 CHS Cadet Corps 1926. A E Evans far left
Jack Whitney, who attended CHS in the late 1920s, in a talk he gave to students many years later recalled his first day there.

"I shall never forget my first day in First Form. I was wearing black boots (not shoes) black wool stockings up to the knee and knicker-bocker pants which strapped around just below the knee and flopped over just an inch or so. Above this I had on a long-sleeved V-neck pullover, and this was topped by a grinning face and a shock of unruly light hair. I looked a good deal like most of the other boys except for size, shape and colouring. 

"The girls, as I remember wore low-waisted long dresses down to two or three inches above the ankle, with lisle hose and sensible shoes. Most of the hairdos were dutch bobs with a few with long curls and most of the hats were the helmet type, usually of felt, and I believe were patterned after the steel helmets of the previous war."

And so, just a glimpse back to the early days at CHS as the 90th anniversary reunion draws ever closer.

Grant, who went on to a very successful career in business, often returned to Chapleau to visit over the years, usually with his great friend George Crichton, another CHS grad. 

He sums it all up at the end of his poem suggesting that "Perhaps those days through memory's haze take on a richer hue" adding that perhaps that's true but "... this I know, And I've wandered up and down. Were I to pick my bringin' up place, I'd choose the same old town."

Grant "Grizz" Henderson died in 1994.

My thanks to David McMillan for providing me with a copy of Grant's poem, and to Dr. Vince Crichton for additional material. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Monday, November 21, 2011

Name four Chapleau reeves who graduated from Chapleau High School

Name the four Reeves of Chapleau in this photo, all of whom graduated from Chapleau High School.

Answer for last week. Michel Sylvestre, Derek Lafreniere and Dean Harvey in 'You'll Get Used To It'

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Bill Groves of Chapleau, Ontario, once again provides us with some of his awesome photos -- this time some typical winter scenes from the area. including 'deep' snow.

Bill's son Ken in "deep" snow"
Over the next month or so we will be presenting more of Bill's photos depicting winter and the Christmas and holiday season.  Thanks so much Bill for sharing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Homebrew and otherwise hockey part of the Chapleau High School experience since the 1920s with plans underway to be part of the 2012 reunion

See names at bottom

Whenever I receive an email from Charlie Purich with "Excited" as the subject line, I know he is going to share something about hockey in Chapleau with me. 

Such was the case last week when Charlie emailed me with the news that the Chapleau High School 90th anniversary committee had given him the go-ahead to work on a hockey reunion as part of the activities for the reunion in 2012. It is all very tentative at the moment, but looking back at the history of Chapleau High School, hockey was an important part of life with school teams and of course the Huskies on which many students played. 

Back in 1929, just seven years after CHS opened, a writer in the school's magazine called 'High School News' wrote a column called "Homebrew and Otherwise" taking  those who ran junior hockey in Chapleau to task for importing players when there were local players available.

"Now with the beginning of this season, 1929-30, we find imported hockey players in town and we find about thirty town boys suitable (after a few weeks practice with a coach) for Junior hockey. Why there are so many imported boys in town nobody but the committee seems to know," the writer noted. I have had this article for many years, and believe it was written by Jim Morris, my father, or so I was told by the person who gave it to me.

The thirty players were juvenile age players who the writer says have been promised to the junior team, and if accepted, Chapleau would have a "Homebrew Junior Hockey team by the end of the season."

Meanwhile, with the (natural) ice already forming in the arena, the Juveniles, with a close connection to CHS, are "eagerly engaged" in selecting players for four teams. John McClellan, teacher, later the school's legendary principal coached juvenile hockey. The team captains, all CHS students at the time were W. Murphy, F. St. Amand, Gordon McKnight and Newt Pellow.

Playing on one of the Juvenile teams with Mr. McClellan as coach were Gordon McKnight, Jim Morris, Donald Robinson, Eric Young, William Moore, Bobby Perpete, C. McAdam, Joe Crichton and Romeo levesque.

The article concludes that it is hoped that by end of the season, Chapleau will have a "homebrew" junior hockey team. Sorry I can't tell you the result of their efforts in 1929-30, so will fast forward to the years when CHS had  a highly competitive team.

In the 1950s the school had a team that played in the town league and against outside competition, and by the early 1960s, the school yearbook was calling Charlie Purich 'the catalyst of the hockey team." By the way, Charlie's father, Jimmy Purich donated the first trophy to Chapleau Minor Hockey in 1953, and I have just recently received a photo of the winning team from Ken Schroeder, for a later day. Charlie's sister Pat (Purich) Russell lives in Chapleau.

After graduating from CHS, Charlie played for Laurentian University, and was a member of its 1966-67 Ontario Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship team.

David Futhey, Bruce Pellow, Darryl Downey
Darryl Downey, who played on CHS TEEM as it was called, wrote to advise that the team played in the Chapleau Mercantile Hockey League, noting that members of the Chapleau Huskies were on other teams -- mentioning Earle Freeborn, Tonto Pilon, Albert Tremblay, Gilles Boisvert plus "imports that joined up when they arrived to work in the banks, lumber companies, etc."

" I remember one time we went to play in Marathon and John Futhey Sr. got himself, David Futhey, and I a ride in the head end of a train that Eric Young was engineering.  What a blast!  Those were the days, my friend."

That trip would have been more than 30 years after Eric Young had been playing hockey in Chapleau on the Juvenile team. Eric, the younger brother of Dr. William Young and Dr. G.E. Young, excelled at many sports. 

After Highway 101 opened to Timmins in 1962, Chapleau began to play teams from the Porcupine area. 

Ted Swanson, Jack Boucher, Brian Corston, Larry Wright
When Dr. Karl Hackstetter returned as CHS principal in 1963, he became an ardent supporter of CHS TEEM, never missing a game, and going to the Redwood afterwards to celebrate victories. (I assume.)

After hearing Charlie's news about a hockey reunion as part of the CHS 90th anniversary reunion, I wanted to share a bit about high school hockey in the community. With the arrival of the Chapleau Junior "B" Huskies in 1966-67, high school hockey teams became part of Chapleau's history, as fans supported the team in the International Junior 'B' Hockey League, with over 90 percent of the players being "homebrew" throughout its history, and students at Chapleau High School. 

Before someone points it out to me, the homebrew teams changed a bit in their composition with the arrival of the Chapleau Intermediate 'A' Huskies in 1975, but that is a story for another day. 

I will keep you posted on the progress of the hockey reunion and just want to pass on that Charlie says local contacts are needed to make it happen. Email me at mj.morris@live.ca and I will pass it on.  As Darryl wrote, "Those were the days my friends," and what great stories will be told. Thanks to Charlie Purich, Darryl Downey and Lark Ritchie. 

NAMES FOR CHS TEEM... Thanks to Merrick Goldstein for help with names
 Here is the 1965 CHS TEEM.. Back from left: Peter Grey, John Babin, Jim Lapp, Richard Morin, Bruce Pellow, Jim St. Amand, David Stevens, Mike Tangie, J. Parker (coach), Brian Corston, Darryl Downey, Keith Corston, Merrick Goldstein. Kneeling: Larry Joyce, Albert Bignucolo, David Futhey, Reg Bouillon, Gerry Boucher, Ted Swanson. (Lark Ritchie photos)

Michael J Morris

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


click on image


Following the American Dream from Chapleau. CLICK ON IMAGE