EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Friday, May 11, 2012

Two of the stars of 'The Perfect Idiot' at Chapleau High School in 1987

They played major roles in the CHS production of 'The Perfect Idiot' in 1987, but neither of them was the perfect idiot. Who are these great young (in 1987) actors?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New era in Chapleau High School history launched in 1961 as feeling of pride once so strong revived and flourished as ratepayers approve new school by overwhelming margin

Robert Lemieux with John McClellan
A new era in the history of Chapleau High School was launched in September 1961, resulting, five years later, in the opening of the new school on the hill which has now served  secondary school students longer than the original CHS on the banks of the river on Pine Street.

When a record number of students arrived for classes In September 1961, the first order of business was to gather on the lawn in front of the school to watch dedication ceremonies of a new flag and flagpole, donated by Branch Number 5 of the Royal Canadian Legion, and the co-operation of the department of lands and forests. The proper materials, the working of building and erecting the flagpole was carried out under the direction of Ken Encil.

The ceremony, symbolizing a new beginning for CHS, was conducted by branch president Herb Doig, assisted by Scotty Welch with a colour party on parade. The flag was hoisted by Wilf Simpson, assisted by the school's new principal Luther P. Emerson.

Writing in the Sudbury Star, Margaret Costello noted that "with the school in its present clean condition, clear cut schedules and a clear understanding of what the school has to offer them, the feeling of pride in the school which was once so strong among its pupils, but went into eclipse during the past few years, should revive and flourish once more."

Susan Cecile, who was back at CHS as a student and editor of News and Views, the student newspaper, wrote, "Chapleau High School has changed! And what a change! After a year and a half in the big city of Sudbury earning a living and and studying some Grade 13 subjects, we returned three weeks late to be greeted by a new system and new faces along with many other changes."

With the arrival of Mr. Emerson, the school had, with the exception of Mrs. Gladys Bowles, an entirely new teaching staff, including George L. Evans, who would be an integral part of CHS life until 1989 when he retired.
The changes at CHS were being implemented by the new members of the high school board who were committed to providing the best possible secondary school education for Chapleau students -- a number that had reached over 200 as the school year got underway.
The board chair was L.T. 'Len' Harris and the members included Frank Braumberger, Paul Belair, T.N. 'Ted' Demers, R.A. 'Ricky' Selin and George Collins. A new school was the ultimate goal, a project that had failed to gain much community support, but they called a meeting of ratepayers to consider the matter of passing a resolution asking township council to approach the Ontario Municipal Board to raise a debenture in the amount of $420,000.
Mr. Harris reviewed the present situation at the school, emphasizing the serious shortage of space. Mr. Braumburger gave a five year enrolment increase projection predicting that by 1965 there would be 280 students, while Mr. Demers spoke on the costs and Mr. Belair provided a translation into French.

Finally James Lane moved that the discussion end and that a vote be taken. By the overwhelming margin of 73 to 8, the ratepayers approved a motion calling for a new high school with a gymnasium. Scrutineers were George Theriault, Roy May and Charles Bartlett, while D.O. Payette chaired the meeting. It would replace the school opened in 1922.

In 1961, D.J. "Jim" Broomhead was the reeve of Chapleau, and he was a staunch supporter of the project. In fact, in 1966, when the new school opened, he was then a member of the school board and chaired the official opening ceremonies.

To emphasize the changes that were taking place, John McClellan, the teacher and principal who had defined CHS for 30 years visited Chapleau for a mini reunion and ceremony in which he presented Robert Lemieux with the Austin McClellan Award as the top student. Held at the Redwood Dining Room with Thane Crozier as master of ceremonies, Mr. McClellan "recalled with relish" his association with his former students and the school over 30 years until he retired in 1956.

Mr. McClellan also welcomed Mr. Emerson as principal. Among those attending with Mr. and Mrs. McLellan were Mr. and Mrs J.M.Shoup, (the former principal of Chapleau Public School), Jim Hong, Nancy Honda, Thane and Helen (Jacomb) Crozier, Frank Broomhead, Shirley Jacomb, Robert's parents Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lemieux, Mrs. Elsie Wilkinson and Mr. and Mrs. Emerson.

Mr. Shoup spoke about the graduates who were now established in successful careers and congratulated those in attendance on their success. Mr. Shoup had taught most of them.

Mr. Emerson left at the end of the 1962-63 school year and the board was able to recruit Dr. Karl A. Hackstetter, who had taught at the school from 1954 to 1957, to return as principal. Strict but fair, Dr. Hackstetter, once described as "our indomitable principal" by George Evans, he continued the new era and stayed three years until the new school was ready to be opened.

An architect was hired, plans were made and land obtained for the new school, and the vision of the new board was becoming a reality but one more obstacle suddenly loomed. The provincial government decided to amalgamate school boards and it was announced that Chapleau schools would become part of the Sudbury Board of Education. 

No way, said Chapleau, arguing that Sudbury was not going to run the community's schools,  and after an intense lobbying effort, the government backed down and the result was the Chapleau Board of Education with responsibility for Chapleau Public School and Chapleau High School. The public school section of the board had five members and the high school section those five, plus three representing Roman Catholic separate school supporters. 

And so, the school on the hill opened in 1966, thanks to the efforts of the school board members who launched the new era in 1961, and made it all happen. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Popular Chapleau High School production also presented in Wawa. Who is this actor?

This Chapleau High School graduate was one of the stars of the school's very popular production 'You'll Get Used To It - The War Show' by Canadian playwright Peter Colley in 1987. The play even went on the road to Wawa.

Michael J Morris

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


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Following the American Dream from Chapleau. CLICK ON IMAGE