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Thursday, June 2, 2011
'We're the cream of Chapleau, just let loose', sums up Chapleauite participation in WFN Ultimate Fishing Town contest with proof from Jon-Jay Bradley Corston fishing trips
In fact, having become caught up in the excitement of the contest, mostly because of the enthusiasm I saw on Facebook, and articles in the Chapleau Express, I see it as a tremendous unifying force, and what a way to launch the reunion festival for the 90th reunion of Chapleau High School a year from now. We will all have to take time to go fishing.
Chapleau was the leader in final round of voting and the winner will b declared on June 6.
Let me share an example of how the contest has been bringing Chapleauites together, that, to me at least, goes far beyond winning the contest.
Moments ago, honest, and the timing was not staged, as I was typing away,(on Tuesday) I received a Facebook message from John Broomhead, including a link to the CTV News coverage of Chapleau in the fishing contest. Janet, his sister, now the Economic Development Specialist for Chapleau, was interviewed. I taught both John and Janet, and immediately I thought of many conversations I had with Janet about poetry, and english literature generally.
They are the children of Anna and Arthur Broomhead, and members of a family that has made an immense contribution to the betterment of Chapleau since its early beginnings. And a fishing contest brings us back together again.
However, I digress, as I so often do.
As Mr. Nicholson left office, Chapleau was a modern community by 1914 - with a Town Hall, water system. some street lights, a hospital, a golf course, arena and sidewalks.
And, of course, on a Sunday afternoon, they would go down the "front and back rivers" to Mulligan's Bay and yes, go fishing.
Two of the great moments in Chapleau history centred around World Wars I and II when so many of the community's own served in Canada's armed forces.
When those who served came home, they contributed immensely to the betterment of the community, and I could go on forever about them. Those of us who live or have lived in Chapleau know who they are.
Perhaps my aunt, Marion (Morris) Kennedy summed up how the community came together at the end of World War II. Shortly before she died, Aunt Marion wrote a piece in which she said that on VE Day in 1945, "parishioners of all faiths streamed into their churches, no parade - just Thanksgiving. All the boys' and girls' names in the services were prayed for - joined together in all churches."
Chapleau has also experienced wonderful winter carnivals, Canada (Dominion) Day, and Beach Day celebrations that have brought the community together, and since 1893, the earliest reference to an out of town hockey competition I have found, fans have packed the three arenas to cheer for their teams, and travelled to other places too. For example, it amazes me that news reports claim that 2200 citizens packed into the Chapleau Memorial Community Arena for its official opening in 1951 when Reeve B. W. Zufelt crowned Betty Ann Payette as winter queen.
But Chapleau has packed the arenas on other occasions and they have been part of my experience of great moments as a hockey referee, coach and manager and as a fan.
In 1976, over 1000 former citizens came home to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the municipality's incorporation, and in 2001, likely about the same number for the 100th anniversary.
Alex Babin and Margaret Rose Payette, both graduates of Chapleau High School, who became members of the teaching staff, co-chaired the 1982 and 1997 highly successful reunions marking the 60th and 75th anniversaries of the school.
I am sure each person will have their own memories of great moments of life in Chapleau, those times when they focused on something that brought people together, perhaps a church anniversary, or a tournament, or a family gathering.
The WFN Ultimate Fishing Town Contest now takes its place in the history of Chapleau when Chapleauites all, no matter where we are living today, voted daily, and then were given friendly reminders to vote again, and again, and.... right up until voting closed. What a great experience!
Two Chapleauites, Pat (Purich) Russell and Louise Cooper, of the Nixon family, recently reminded me of the old Chapleau cheer, and so from Cranbrook, BC, where I am finishing this piece before leaving for a vacation in Florida, and having voted for the final time, here it is. Join me in
Black bear, beaver, muskrat, moose,
Locomotive, baggage car, pullman and caboose,
We're the cream of Chapleau, just let loose,
You can take the boy or girl out of Chapleau, but you can't take Chapleau out of the boy or girl. My email is email@example.com
THANKS TO JON-JAY BRADLEY CORSTON FOR THE AWESOME PHOTOS
UPDATE... I am now in Orlando |FL
Michael J Morris
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