EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Chapleau a busy community at Christmas time more than 60 years ago with Letters to Santa too

Just over 60 years ago, Chapleau was a busy place as the Christmas season arrived.

Here are some of the highlights.

On December 5, 1949, the first Canadian Pacific Railway train with a diesel engine arrived at  11:50 a.m. It was powering Passenger Train number 3 heading west to Vancouver. We were all let out of school early to go to the station and experience this historic moment. Chapleau was also selected for diesel repair shops.
Ian Macdonald collection

Construction was being completed on the "new" Chapleau Memorial Arena on Lorne Street as 1950 drew to a close. It was officially opened in February 1951.

At the official opening of the memorial arena, Welland S. Gemmell, the MPP for the riding that included Chapleau said, just moments before Reeve B.W. 'Bubs' Zufelt led the official opening ceremonies "Chapleau is now well on the way to being on the map. It is now definitely located on the Trans Canada Highway and this should mean a great deal to the community. We in government have tried to give your community as much assistance as possible...". 

More than 60 years later, still waiting for that one to happen.

The sewage plant and system had been completed in the Fall of 1950 just before Winter arrived even though there had been the possibility of a challenge under the Lord's Day Act which prevented working on a Sunday except for essential services in those days. Council had approved the work to get the job done. The citizen did not proceed with the challenge.

In the 1950 municipal election Reeve Zufelt was returned to office for another one year term while the councillors were J.M. Shoup, George Young, Arthur Grout and E.J. Lepine. Clerk-treasurer was J.R. Serre, a member of one of Chapleau's earliest families.

However, it was Christmas time and the Chapleau Post was carrying Letters to Santa.

I have received a positive response to the previous Letters to Santa including one from an old friend asking me when I got my first skates. Well, I don't exactly recall the year but out of the mothballs of memory I remember my mother, Muriel E (Hunt) Morris and my Zufelt cousins (Betty, Anne, Joan) taking me to the old old rink and holding me up. Mom wore something like hockey skates.

Mostly though I joined the kids of all ages in town on a Friday night skating to the "Light of the Silvery Moon" up on the wall at one end while the Town Band provided the music.

Here are some letters:

Merrick Goldstein: "For Christmas I want a hammer and peg set, a top and a car".

Gary Brunette: "Will you please send me a pedal car, a pair of skates, pair of skis, two guns and gun case, Mounty suit, a wagon, a bike, a train and a toboggan. Don't forget to come to my home for dinner. Don't forget now."

Billy Cachagee: "I would like 2 Gene Autry guns. I would like 5 and one half foot skis, and a sleigh. I would like a standard size Ukelele and a hockey game pool table, hockey stick and puck and a Pedro Target game. Thank you Santa".

Judy Tees: "How are you? For Christmas I want a pair of white skates and a white and brown Teddy Bear. Love".

Diane Serre: "I am seven years old. Will you bring me some paints, chalk, crayons, toy piano and slippers".

Dawn Goldstein: "Thank you for the nice Christmas presents you left me last year. Now I will ask you what I want this year. A big Christmas stocking, a doll house and furniture, a Barbara Ann Scott doll and a toy refrigerator. Love".

Linda and Gordon Bolduc: " My sister and I are very glad that you are coming. My sister wants a Barbara Ann Scott doll. I would like a Mountie outfit. Be seeing you".

Wayne Brunette: "Will you send me a toboggan, train, Mountie suit, two guns, a wagon, box of paints, a pedal car, pool game, surprise box, pair of skates, pair of skis".

Lynn Martin: "I am trying to be a good boy and would like you to bring me  a pop-gun, Texas Ranger gun, tracks and shunting train. I will leave you some lunch".

In 1950 Rev. E. Roy Haddon had arrived in Chapleau to become rector of St. John's Anglican Church. While in Chapleau he was active in the Legion as he had been in the British Armed Forces serving as a chaplain. Mr. Haddon was also first president of the Chapleau Rotary Club established in 1951.

Rev. H.W. Strapp was the minister at Trinity United Church and he was also director of the Town Band and president of the Chapleau Hockey Club as well as being involved in other activities.

Here is a Christmas message from  Rev. Msgr. Romeo Gascon D.P. of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church In the Chapleau Post in 1950.

"Que la paix qu’amène la naissance de Jésus à Noel soit avec vous tous les jours de la nouvelle année.
Que la paix soit partagée par tous les peuples et nations.
Un Joyeux Noël et une bonne et heureuse année."

"May the Peace brought in this world by the birth of Christ on Christmas morning be yours every day of the New Year.
May the Peace be given to all the Nations.
A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all."

Thanks to Doug Greig and Mario Lafreniere. My very best personal best wishes to all of you for Christmas and the holiday season. Enjoy but stay safe out there. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Bill Groves of Chapleau brings back memories of home in Winter

Bill Groves of Chapleau provides us with some of his outstanding photos depicting Winter scenes from the area. 

To those of us who no longer live in Chapleau, Bill's photos truly bring us memories of home in Winter.

Bill also coordinated the very popular Ice Fishing Derby at Chapleau for many years.

 He provided a photo of him with a lake trout he caught at Como Lake.

Thanks for the memories Bill. 

Merry Christmas to you, Barbara and family!

There was no place like home for the holidays even when it meant shovelling three feet of snow off the roof.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Santa Claus greeted by 600 kiddies when he arrives by plane at Forestry Point on Chapleau visit in 1950

River Hockey from Butch Pellow "shoebox" collection
Santa Claus was King for the day in Chapleau when he played host to over 600 children after arriving by plane at the Forestry Point, the Chapleau Post reported.

Making his annual visit to the community in 1950, the "jolly old fellow" was greeted by the kiddies who "braved a bitter north wind" to the Point as they followed the truck outfitted with his sleigh and reindeer where he was coming in by plane.

Steeping off the plane, Santa found himself amid the cheers of the children who then escorted his sleigh on a trip to Main Street where he was greeted by cheering crowds on his way to the Town Hall, where he met each child personally and gave them a gift.

Mothers with babies were first in line then the huge throng of over over 600 children followed.

Ladies of the Canadian Legion were in charge of serving hot dogs and chocolate milk to everyone while Legion members had organized the rest of Santa's visit.
The Boys from Butch's collection

During the same week of Santa's visit, the local branch of the Lest We Forget Club held a party at the Legion Hall for children of deceased service men from World War II. Entertainment was provided, and the children also were part of the entertainment.

Santa also visited this party held annually in the years after World War II. As I recall Winnie (O'Hearn) Bucciarelli was one of the main organizers.
Nicholson Home after Dr Young bought it
The Chapleau Post also ran letters from Santa in its Kiddies Corner section, and I browsed through them from one edition of the paper. Here is a sampler. Interesting after all these years to read the gifts that children wanted circa 1950.

Gordon McKnight: "I would like a water pistol, a game, a pair of mitts and a meccano set if you can bring them to me. Thank you Santa".

Estelle Soucie: " For Christmas I would like a pair of skates, size two, a party set and a desk. I hope I get it all."

Kenneth Schroeder: "I would like a two-wheeled bicycle for Christmas but my Mother and Daddy think I am too small yet".

Vincie Crichton: " Will you please bring me a sleigh, a hammer, some plasticine and a doll for my baby sister and a Teddy Bear that squeaks".

Arthur Raymond, Devon: " I am six years old. Please bring me a pair of skis and a little tractor that winds. Thank you".

Teresa Raymond, Devon: " I am a little girl one years old and I would like a nice doll with curly hair or pig tails and a small washing machine. Thank you".

Patricia Purich: "For Christmas I would like a doll with curly hair, a toy sewing machine, a toy stove and a pair of skates".

Charles Purich: "I would like you to bring me an electric train, a pair of skis and a big truck. Thank you".

Earle Freeborn: "I would like to get a toboggan for my dog, an air rifle, a pair of skis. Thanks a million".

Harry Hong: "Would you please bring me a left hand hockey stick if possible?"

Gerald Goheen: " I would like a cowboy suit, a set of guns and a coca cola car. Please do not forget all the other little boys and girls. I will leave you tea and cake".

Myra Ann McKnight: "I would like a doll, a doll's stroller, a purse, an umbrella, a sewing machine and a washing machine and a pair of mitts if you have them".

Sandra Lemick: "I would like a doll, a doll's carriage, plastic furniture and a doll's house. Bonnie wants a doll a carriage too. I'll leave cake and tea".

Freddie Barty: "I would like a Jack-in-the-box, a tractor, and truck and 2 gun cases. This is for my brother Georgie and me".

As an aside and off the topic of Santa and the kiddies, in December 1950, the Chapleau Post reported that Harold Kennedy had arrived in Chapleau as the one person Ontario Provincial Police detachment. He had served in World War II as a paratrooper. Harold started dating Marion Morris, my aunt, who had come home to establish the Simpson's order office, and in due course he became my Uncle Harold.  These old copies of Chapleau newspapers produce some gems. Thanks Doug Greig.  My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Saturday, December 7, 2013

"Therefore ... be sure, Wealth or rank possessing, Ye who now will bless the poor, Shall yourselves find blessing."

At Cocoa Beach, Fl. Photo by Michael Pelzer
When Good King Wenceslas looked out and saw the snow with the moon shining bright in about the year 1000, he could have been describing the weather on almost any Christmas Eve in any Canadian community.

Before I go any further with King Wenceslas  as revealed in the popular carol 'Good King Wenceslas', I only recently discovered that he was not really a king, but the Duke of Bohemia, and he was looking out on the Feast of St Stephen, the day after Christmas. To me it doesn't really matter as the carol brings back fond memories and delivers a message that applies any time.

My mother Muriel E. (Hunt) Morris directed many concerts and musicals during the 32 years that she taught at Chapleau Public School, and she was also the choir director at St. John's Anglican Church for years. Music was an important part of our home, and that's how I became acquainted with King Wenceslas as a boy.

It became the carol that to me applied most to the weather at Christmas time. Looking outside before leaving for Christmas Eve service, "the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even. Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel..."

As we headed to St. John's, I would hum the carol and think to myself that all that needed to be added was the smoke going straight up into the skies, the temperature hovering at Fifty degrees below Fahrenheit and the wonderful display and music coming from Dr G.E. Young's clinic.

I have spent Christmas in other Canadian communities, and no matter where I am, it seems Good King Wenceslas is my theme song. The lyrics were published in 1853 by the English hymn writer John Mason Neale.

Now, the carol addresses a subject that I never thought about much as a child growing up in Chapleau. I had my family, friends and a community where people cared about and helped each other in times of need.

Even though there were times when I missed my father James E Morris who was killed while on active service in the RCAF in World War II, I had my mother, my grandparents George and Edith Hunt and Harry and Lil Morris as well as my aunt and uncle, Elsie (Hunt) and B.W. 'Bubs" Zufelt and my cousins, and my aunt Marion (Morris) Kennedy.

And I had my many good friends in my growing up years, and as a teenager would run between the Anglican church and the Roman Catholic church which some of my friends attended, making it an ecumenical Christmas Eve. Afterwards we all partied together no matter the church.

But as the King walks with his page, "a poor man came in sight, Gathering winter fuel." The page tells him that this man lives "underneath the mountain."

On Christmas Eve in Chapleau those many years ago, as we greeted people on the street who were going to or coming from their respective churches, I never really thought about those who may be homeless and without food--- living underneath the mountain, so to speak.

The good King took immediate action though telling his page to gather food and wine and pine logs that they would take to the peasant and see him dine, "through the rude wind's wild lament, And the bitter weather."

The page was ready to give up as the night grew darker and wind blew stronger, but the King encouraged him and they made it to their destination.

As I reflected on "Good King Wenceslas" it struck me that one of the most incredible moments when I lived in Chapleau was a telethon broadcast over Dr. Young's cable TV system in the early 1980s to raise funds for those in need, and over $20,000 was raised during the show. I was cohosting the telethon with other local "personalities", sponsored by the Chapleau Rotary Club, and as the donations poured in, I became more and more amazed at the outpouring of support.

As many of you know, especially my former students, I love metaphor and have been collecting them all my life. I hope I have not mixed them too badly as I have talked about the Good King Wenceslas.

At this Christmas time, I extend my very best wishes to my family and friends who have shared moments of their lives with me during the past year. Thank you so much and Merry Christmas.

My thoughts also turn to all those good people, who have shared some moments of their lives with me, past and present, in so many communities across our country and in the United States. Joyeux Noel!

 I leave all of you wherever you may be with the last words from 'Good King Wenceslas',

"Therefore ... be sure, Wealth or rank possessing, Ye who now will bless the poor, Shall yourselves find blessing."

End Note: I selected 'Good King Wenceslas' by the choir of Yorkminster as I think my Mom would have enjoyed this version.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Newspapers from the North Star to Chapleau Express served community for most of its history

For most of its history, Chapleau citizens have been served by a local weekly newspaper, and what a fascinating experience it is to explore the community's life and times by browsing through their pages.

Since I started writing about Chapleau moments over four years ago now, each week I have been able to share some of the community's history, much of it from the newspapers that were published over the years.

Before I give you a short history of those newspapers, let me answer the question I have been most asked -- "Where do you get all the information?" In the beginning, much of it came from files kept by Muriel E. (Hunt) Morris, my mother, and Marion (Morris) Kennedy, my aunt. 

Over time, new sources started to send me "stuff" (as it is commonly called in the newspaper business), and never a week goes by that I do not receive at least one new story idea and or "stuff". If I tried to name all those who assisted, I would surely miss someone, but I must mention -- Anne (Zufelt) McGoldrick, my cousin, who is an expert on Chapleau folks, Doug Greig, who is doing the community a great service by compiling the historical record for future generations and Hugh Kuttner who established chapleau.com

And I also thank Michael McMullen, my cousin, and Ian Macdonald and Harry 'Butch' Pellow, my long time friends, who always take time to provide assistance.

Enough already. On to the Chapleau newspapers.

The first one the North Star appeared in 1893-94 and the editor was Frank Morris (no relation) a Justice of the Peace, and it was followed by Chapleau Weekly News, printed in Sudbury from 1910 to about 1915.

The Chapleau Headlight published by the Citizens League of Chapleau was on the scene from 1915 to 1917 and it one of its mandates seemed to be keeping the community "dry" -- in other words free from alcohol.  It was also highly involved in recruiting for service in World War I.

In its first edition of December 3, 1915, Doc Hustler a local character who apparently lived in a shack and sold newspapers from a baby carriage inserted this notice: "That I Doc Hustler have gone out of the newspaper business and have taken up my tools and am now open to do all kinds of first class painting, paper hanging and graining. Anyone engaging Mr. Hustler will be assured of an A 1 job."
Doc Hustler

After the Headlight folded some years later, Roy Lavery founded the Chapleau Times which operated in 1929-30. His office was in the YMCA on Lorne Street.

Arthur Simpson who was born in England arrived in 1930 after a group of Chapleau citizens persuaded him to move there and within a year the Chapleau Post was founded, located at 17 Young Street, and it was part of the community until 1961.

It really covered Chapleau news, and I just happen to have handy the issue of December 2, 1948, send to me by Ken LeClaire. Here is what was happening: "Reeve Zufelt Re-Elected 8 Qualify for Council", "Hockey club Organize for Coming Season", "Rev. R. Gascon Elevated to Domestic Prelate", "Calgary Team Stampedes at Station", and that's just a sampler.

In 1958, Mid North News arrived with Basil Scully a Sudbury television personality as president, and Arthur Grout, Reg Thrush and J.M. Martel as directors of Chapleau News and TV Ltd. It lasted only 38 issues but Chapleau also had its own television station for a time -- CHAP TV. I got my start in journalism there.

The Chapleau Press appeared during 1961-62.

On November 19, 1964, Tom and Leah 'Bud' Welch published the first edition of the Chapleau Sentinel, and they continued to operate it until July 1977, with an article "May We Bow Out". Tom and Bud had been very active in community activities, with Tom being one of the founders of the Chapleau Junior 'B" Huskies of the International Junior "B" Hockey league in 1966-67. 

They retired and were succeeded by Rene and Diane Decosse who operated the Sentinel until 1999.

A "new kid on the block" arrived in March 1997 when Jim and Phyllis Prince arrived and launched the Chapleau Express. Jim had been a well known Timmins television personality, who I had known when I started as a daily newspaper reporter at The Daily Press there in 1964 -- wow, 50 years ago in 2014!
Jim Prince

In September 2005, Mario Lafreniere took over the Chapleau Express as publisher and editor, and he is the reason I have been writing Chapleau Moments since July 2009. I had started a blog, Mario saw it and invited me to write for his newspaper. 
Mario Lafreniere

I have just touched on the history of Chapleau newspapers here, but for me, who has been doing and teaching journalism, media and communications for so long,  it is a privilege to be able to share some of those "first rough drafts of history" from them about the people, life and times of the community. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mansel Robinson described as 'history freak' served on Chapleau Board of Education during 'baby boom' years

Mansel Robinson, who served as a member and chair of the Chapleau Board of Education during the height of the baby boom years shared some memories of growing up in Chapleau with Jennifer (Swanson) David after he retired from the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1983. 

I also share some of his son's memories.

At the time, Jennifer, the daughter of Bunny and the late Keith (Buddy) Swanson, was writing a column in the Chapleau Sentinel called 'Pioneer Days'. Jennifer later received a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University.

Jennifer's latest book is a fascinating story about a little piece of Canadian history in 'Original People. Original Television. The Launching of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network."

Born in 1923, Mansel said in an interview with Jennifer that he  was raised in a "little house on Grey Street" in a "sparsely populated neighbourhood."

"I remember when they used to have a circus in an open field behind the (Roman Catholic) graveyard". He also recalled "stealing" potatoes probably from his own back yard and "roasting them down by the back river behind the RC graveyard."

Mansel recalled that in those days horses and buggies outnumbered cars and a neighbourhood fence covered the south side of Main street and right in front of barber shop a huge maple tree was a landmark on Birch Street.

"It was a crooked old maple tree right in front of the barber shop and most people were sorry when it was taken down (about 1949)".

A highlight while growing up in Chapleau was to go to the show at the Regent Theatre on a Saturday afternoon for ten cents.

"if you had a cowboy picture and The Three Stooges as the comedy piece it was a big day."

After the show Mansel and his friends would go and reenact it by the river and if it was a movie with the Three Musketeers, there would be sword fights.

As an aside, not much changed between Mansel's growing up years and mine in the late 1940 and early 1950s as we played in the same place with the Big Rock as the central place on the back river.

He also recalled pleasures like going for a drive "down the road" -- which was not very far in those days, and skating on the pond on the back river in the Winter.

Among his chores was getting the wood ready and stored for the winter.

He told Jennifer an interesting anecdote about the fire alarm system. Certain corners had red fire alarm boxes and in the event of a fire someone would run to the box and pull the alarm. It would put the alarm into the CPR boiler room and would blow the CPR whistle..

Every corner had different codes and his was one long and three short -- if you know the codes you would run to the fire.

Mansel attended Chapleau Public School and Chapleau High School, and later worked at Dalton for Austin Lumber and then at the smelter in Coppercliff but returned home and joined the CPR first in telegraph office then as a trainman.

By this time World War II was underway and he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force, returning to the CPR at war's end in 1945.

In 1949, Mansel told Jennifer, "I married the postmaster's daughter" speaking of his wife Isabel, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Collinson. Mr. Collinson was Chapleau's postmaster for many years. They had three children Steven (Mansel), Verlie and Wendy.  

His son in an interview with the Klondike Sun in 1999 after he became writer-in-residence at Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon, said he had done many things including working in a lumber mill, fighting fires, running a blast furnace, working the rails and doing a lot of backstage work at theatre adding  "I grew up listening to my father tell stories and his father and great uncles and stuff."

When I read this comment, I immediately recalled the time I first heard his father, Mansel Robinson, tell a story to a group, and sat in wonder as he told it. His father was an amazing storyteller. He  was also not keen on having his son work on the rails. 

Mansel, the son, also related that his father was a "history freak" adding that "his trick was to send me to the library to find some history books he hadn't read. But he had read everything..." He  also gave credit to his mother, Isabel (Collinson)  for creating his interest in stories, saying, "Even as a kid I could sit and listen to my mother and her friends have a coffee and a chitchat".

However, in his own right, Mansel has achieved great success. His  plays include Bite The Hand, Scorched lce, Street Wheat, Downsizing Democracy, The Heart As It Lived, Collateral Damage and Colonial Tongues. He has won the City of Regina Writing Award, Geist Magazine's Award for Distance Writing and the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild Manuscript Award. 
G Evans, M R Payette, Mansel, Jim Walsh 1982 reunion
Mansel served many years on the Chapleau Board of Education during time of the physical expansion of both Chapleau Public and Chapleau High School to meet the demands of increasing enrolment. He was also active in Branch  Number 5 (Ontario) of the Royal Canadian Legion and the Independent Order of Oddfellows.

Retiring in 1983 from the CPR, Mansel enjoyed spending time at the family's camp at Mulligan's Bay. Mansel died on April 19, 1998.

It has been such a delight to share some of Mansel Robinson's memories from Jennifer's story and also from his son Mansel (Steven) and to Doug Greig for bringing Jennifer's column to my attention.  My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"Heart of My Heart" theme song for travelling Chapleau Bantam team on private railway car in 1954

"Heart of my Heart, when friends were dearer then, too bad we had to part.." lines from one of the top songs of 1953 by The Four Aces may well have been the theme song for Chapleau hockey teams throughout the community's history. 

For sure it was the theme song of the Chapleau Bantams hockey team of the day who sang the song over and over again on a road trip to Sudbury in their own passenger car on the Canadian Pacific Railway.  Imagine, a Bantam hockey team having its own private car. 

Chapleau hockey teams were travelling by train at least by 1893 when one went to Sudbury to play. Apparently, they lost 2-1.

However, after playing minor hockey in their home town, many players have moved on to other communities, but whenever they meet, those old good days are recalled. I have written elsewhere that hockey reflects "the invisible hand of Canadian compromise" and is an important part of the fabric of Canadian society.

In fact Dr. Jacques Goutor, who taught me Contemporary European History, more than a few years ago now, told us that after arriving in Canada from France he  told his wife this would be a good country. Why? The headline in the Toronto newspapers was LEAFS WIN STANLEY CUP. The year: 1967! Leaf fans have been hoping for a repeat ever since.

However, commenting on my views about hockey,  Lorne Riley, the head of corporate communications at Dubai Airports, who studied Journalism and Law at Carleton University, and was a student of mine at Chapleau High School responded.

Chapleau fans will recall that  Lorne's father, Lorne Sr. was one of the best hockey coaches in Northern Ontario years ago, and a founder of the Chapleau Junior "B" Huskies of the International Junior "B" Hockey League

Although Lorne agreed that hockey is one of the ties that binds this great nation, recalling games huddled under the heaters, or jammed against the glass of the press of the crowd, and an "electric" atmosphere existed especially in the playoffs, he fears the tie is fraying.

He mentioned the decline in local enrolments for minor hockey, especially in Ontario, but across the country and interestingly, at least to me -- "new age diversions like the internet, video games, satellite TV .. things that we never had to contend with" are contributing.

And Lorne added: "Another contributor to minor hockey's gradual downfall is the staggering cost. Equipment, rink rental, club fees and travelling costs have gone through the roof. Even the most passionate hockey Moms and Dads think twice about footing the bill. A changing demographic, with cultural roots more closely tied to cheaper sports like soccer, is also eroding interest and participation in Canada's national pastime.Is Canadian hockey in danger of extinction? Not at all. Is it at risk?"

He concluded that that we need to recall those days when we jammed into the local barn -- "not only to enshrine them in our memory but to use them to encourage parents and children, in small towns and big cities across Canada not to lose touch with our roots and by extension our national identity."

Interesting observations from Lorne, so i decided to share a couple of moments from Chapleau hockey history.

First, back to the Bantams circa 1953-1954. In those days, to end the season, Bantams were divided into two teams and in 1953, it was the first year they played for the Algoma Dairy Trophy. 

Just ask any of the players, it was a hard fought game and the Huskies finally defeated the IOOF 4-3 on a goal by Mike McMullen.

Mike commented: "I remember playing bantam hockey for the Chapleau Huskies team when we won the first Broomhead Trophy in 1953-54... It was an exciting 4-3 victory in overtime over the IOOF team.... We went to celebrate at the Boston Cafe where Harry (Boo Boo) Hong, one of my teammates got his mother to open their family restaurant for our celebration. That game is still mentioned among those of us who played."

Now, let's fast forward to 1970, after Chapleau was connected with highways to the outside world and the Bantams were off to La Sarre for a tournament. The team gave it their best but had to settle for second place. 

They won the first game over Noranda 1-0 and their second 2-1 in overtime on a goal by Jamie Doyle 38 seconds into sudden death. but they lost in the final 5-1 to St Marc Indians.

With no private railway cars available for the trip to La Sarre or anywhere else for that matter by 1970, volunteer drivers were needed and donations were gas as well.helping out on this particular trip according to the Chapleau Sentinel were Bill Walker, Edo Bruns, Father Letendre, Mr. Robitaille, Mr. Parent and Randy Corston.

Volunteers were and still are esential.

Team members, just to jog the memories of those who were following or participating in Chapleau minor hockey included Jamie Doyle, Glen Cappellani, Robert Doyle, Ron Larcher, Kevin Ritchie, Allen Coulter, Keith McAdam, Tom McCrea, Joey Babin, Pierre Joyal, and Michael Paquette. 

I remember these guys so well, both as students at Chapleau High School, and in the Fall of 1970, when some had graduated to the Midgets, they "hired" me to coach their team. They made the next two years of my life among my most memorable, and I still have a plaque all my wall that they gave me.

For sure, I know a tear would glisten, if once more I could listen to those gangs from 1953-54 and 1970-72 who sang "Heart of My Heart." 

Those were the days my friends, and I was so delighted to read in the Chapleau Express that the 2013-14 Chapleau Minor hockey season is off to a good start.  

We need, as Lorne Riley suggested to recall and I would just add continue,  "not only to enshrine them in our memory but to use them to encourage parents and children, in small towns and big cities across Canada not to lose touch with our roots and by extension our national identity."

To conclude, the photos are of the winning and losing teams in the 1953-54 Bantam playoffs because I have friends on both teams and still look forward to singing "Heart of my Heart" with them one more time. And I did not play on either team. I had ended my playing career and become a referee. My email is mj.morris@live.ca


Algoma Dairy Trophy Bantam winners 1953-54 Back from left Basil Collings, Mike McMullen, David McMillan, Richard Pilon, Tim Goodwin. Front from left Charlie White, Ken Schroeder, Harry "Boo" Hong

Bantam coach Garth "Tee" Chambers with Harry "Butch" Pellow and Aldee Martel, Sudbury Arena 1954

Losing team in Chapleau Bantam championship 1953-54 Back row from left Tee Chambers, Jim Machan, Jim Evans, Jack Poynter, Ian Macdonald, Bill McFarlane Front: Wayne Faught, Bill McLeod, Roger Mizuguchi, Aldee Martel

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