EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Saturday, March 19, 2011


The Chapleau Intermediate "A" Huskies, who came to be known simply as "The Intermediates" were important players, in community life, both on and off the ice, from their founding in 1974 until they played their last game in the Northland Intermediate Hockey League in 1979.

John Theriault kindly provided the photos you see here that capture part of what life was like with them during those years.

They were an integral part of my life, and I hope as you look at the photos, you will have fond memories of "The Intermediates" --- the team for all seasons!

Let me just add that while I am most closely associated with the team, it was Doug Prusky, who was either coaching  or managing the team, as we changed roles at times, that brought them their greatest on ice success.

I am bringing up the rear as the players participate in "A Taste of the North", the Chapleau Winter Carnival.

I am going to leave it to you to identify the players -- at least for the most part!

Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub.

The Intermediates participated in many summer activities, including the annual Summerfest sponsored by the Festival Chapleau Committee. Yes, that is Graham Bertrand on the right -- the team's trainer.

On the ice and on the ballfield behind the Chapleau Civic Centre, The Intermediates could always attract a crowd. Were you there watching RP?

Those donkeys could be ornery critters just like the Timmins North Stars. We faced them four times in the NIHL semi-finals and finally beat them in the fourth attempt. It was like we had won the Stanley Cup.

Looks like Ron Larcher has his work cut out for him here. In the background you can see the  golf clubhouse and Dr. G.E. Young's boathouse.

Over you go! Up! Up! And away!

When I was in first year at Wilfrid Laurier University in 1960, I was the organizer with some of my buddies of a bed push from London to Waterloo. We set a world record

The best we could do in Chapleau was have bed  races down main street. I got to ride on one bed and the guys made me wear a helmet.

Ernie Gilbert, a long time Chapleau councillor, and a great hockey fan, on the left, was Carnival King. I am there with Ernie and Bonhomme because at the time I was reeve (mayor) of Chapleau.

Once again to John Theriault, thanks for the memories and for letting me share your photos here.

I just can't resist closing with a comment Jamie Doyle made to me, "Chief, we were a real good hockey team, and would have been even better if we had ever had a practice with everyone there." Indeed Jamie, and that's a story for another day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lady Minto Hospital in Chapleau described as 'splendid institution' when it opened in 1914 also served communities between Sudbury and Fort William along CPR line

Lady Minto Hospital (www.chapleau.com)
After the Lady Minto Hospital was opened on April 18, 1914 to serve the needs of Chapleau and communities along the Canadian Pacific Railway, it was described as a "splendid insitution" in a Chapleau Headlight editorial.

"The citizens of Chapleau feel they have a right to be proud of their public institutions, and a visit to the hospital will convince anyone that they are not being over egoistical" the editorial said. It is a "spendid institution". Construction began in August 1913.

When it opened, Lady Minto Hospital was the only hospital between Sudbury and Fort William, now Thunder Bay. In those days Chapleau was primarily a railroad town with lumber operations also opening up along the CPR line. There were many serious injuries and the need for a hospital between the two larger communities became apparent. Dr. J.J. Sheahan, who arrived in 1907 was one of the prime movers behind getting a hospital at Chapleau. J.J. Scully, then the CPR superintendent at North Bay agreed and Chapleau got the hospital.

The funds for construction were raised through a public subscription campaign with the CPR being the largest donor with $5,000, followed by the Victorian Order of Nurses with $3,000, with the latter assuming responsibility for the hospital with a local board.

The hospital had four private and two semi-private wards as well as women's and men's public wards with 20 beds in each at normal capacity. The Headlight reported that it had up-to-date operating and sterilizing rooms, and baths, lavatories and overall "in every way a modern and up-to-date institution."

The furnishings were described as the best "giving the whole insititution an appearance that would be difficult to excel.

"There are no doubt many larger hospitals than the Lady Minto at Chapleau but we believe it will be hard to find any more complete and up-to-date in every detail and appointment."

By 1914, Chapleau citizens were justifiably proud of the progress in the community. Led by G.B. Nicholson, the first reeve from 1901 to 1913, who was also secretary of the first hospital board, the new Town Hall was also opened in 1914, and Chapleau was a busy place.

The first president of the hospital board was Dr. J.J. Sheahan, who practised medicine in Chapleau until his death in 1942.

Fast forward to about 1950, and the hospital board realized it was time for renovations. At the annual meeting of 1952, Charles W. Collins, the chair of the board and D.O. Payette, secretary, presented plans which would also include a nurses' residence.

Mr. Collins urged the board members to go on record as supporting the project "100 percent" which they did.

By 1955 the renovations including the nurses' residence had been completed. The sun parlours on the east and west ends of the hospital located on Elm Street, across from Queen Street (I just realized that not all readers would know where the Lady Minto Hospital was located). were enclosed and the space provided turned into wards.

Of all the improvements perhaps the most important was an elevator that became a reality through a generous gift from the W.E. Mason Foundation. Mr. Mason was a great supporter of Northern Ontario and founder of the Sudbury Star newspaper.

The kitchen had been moved to the basement with all new equipment described as 'the last word in cooking convenience for large scale service. Miss Sophie Herner had donated a spacious dining room for the nurses, which doubled as a room for hospital board meetings. Lab technician Sigvard Pearson had a new "bright room well stocked with testing materials and equipment."

Arthur J. Grout, the chair of the board estimated the total cost of the renovations at $315,000.

By this time, Dr. G.E. Young was chief of the medical staff, while Mrs. S. Crozier was director of nursing.

In the early 1970s, planning started for the replacement of Lady Minto Hospital and that is a story for another day!. My sincere thanks to Anne (Zufelt) McGoldrick and Doug Greig for their tremendous assistance in researching the history of Lady Minto Hospital. Any errors are mine. . 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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