EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chapleau Curling Club 1971 season headed by president Ed McCarthy ended with 'zest' as Charlie Law rink won final bonspiel

Ed McCarthy, president of the Chapleau Curling Club in 1971, said the season got off to a shaky start but it ended with a lot of good curling and fellowship.

The Chapleau Sentinel reported that the final bonspiel saw 16 rinks in action battling it out for top honours. Charlie Law who had been "threatening" all season emerged as the winner of the "A" Event following a "fierce battle' with the David Bromley rink.

Charlie had Janet McCarthy as third, Bill Ward as second and Mae Ward as lead. David put up a good fight with Marianne Crichton as third, George Boyd as second and Mona Rioux as lead.

In the "B" Event another "ding dong" battle saw Bill Bromley the skip, and members Marcel Labelle, Anita Deluce and Millie Labelle pull out a close win over Fred Johnson and his rink of Sandra Schultz, Rodney McAuley and Irene Johnson.

The "C" Event was another well contested game which was won by the George McLeod rink. Members were Phyllis O'Riley (to become Phyllis McLeod a bit later) and Ed McLeod and Penny Park.

They all helped George defeat a rink skipped by Peewee Rioux, who had great help from Freda Rioux and Jim and Dianne Collings.

The Sentinel noted that in the finals of all three events there "many incidents of interest to liven up the contests with a six ender along with a couple of five enders helped the games onto an even keel when it seemed like a runaway was in progress".

Apparently it happened in each of the final games and added "zest" to them. A social and dance ended the final bonspiel.

However, a couple of weeks earlier Peewee Rioux and his rink won the First Event in the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 5 annual Shamrock Bonspiel. They were awarded a trophy by Ray Bradley of Molson's, as well as jackets.

I sent a note to Mario Lafreniere of the Chapleau Express with this column about the wonders of technology, commenting that I put this one together while enjoying sunny Orlando, FL, and picked curling in Chapleau as the topic. Thanks Doug Greig for Chapleau Sentinel. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Great excitement prevails in Chapleau on VE Day in 1945 with whistles blowing and church bells ringing

George Collinson (centre) honored for 50 yrs in RCL, left is son Toddy and right John Rose
Very great excitement prevailed in Chapleau on May 8, 1945 with the news of the unconditional surrender of Germany which became commonly referred to as Victory in Europe or "VE Day".

The Chapleau Post reported that the "very atmosphere" in the community seemed to change at once. "Whistles from the CPR engines and shops, fire sirens blosing and church bells ringing made the people realize that at last the great day had come.

"Everyone was happy that at times it was hard to know whether to laugh or cry. As if by magic flags appeared on housefronts.

"Schools were closed immediately and the children were excited as the older people."

A peace celebration dance organized by the Canadian Legion was held with the Town Hall filled to capacity.

Later a VE Day celebration was held but a "very cold wind and snow" made outdoor activities impossible so they took place in the Town Hall.

Les Beeston was the master of ceremonies and a "carnival spirit was evident."

Speakers included Reeve Frank Edwards, Reg Thrush, Harry Searle (one of the main founders of Branch Number 5 and a World War I veteran), and Rev. H. W. Strapp, the minister at Trinity United Church.

A play "The Trial and Hanging of Hitler" was perfromed. It starred A.H. Leigh, Reg Thrush, Vera Purich, J. Deluce and Ross Kemp.

Following the celebration which included a treat of hot dogs, the children paraded to the Regent Theatre for a free show.

A Monster Dance was held in the Town Hall in the evening.

Writing about VE Day, my aunt Marion Morris, who had lost her brother, my father Flying Officer James Morris , who was killed on active service in the RCAF on July 16, 1943, noted in a letter to me many years later "parishioners of all faiths streamed into their churches -- no parade -- just Thanksgiving for all the boys and girls in the services and prayers -- joined together from all churches."

After VE Day, the Legion organized a Service of Thanksgiving at the Cenotaph. Children from all the schools attended as well as a huge number of citizens.

Speakers included Walter Steed, a World War I veteran and branch president at the time  as well as Rev. J.H. Morris of St. John's Anglican Church (no relation) and Father Romeo Gascon, of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church.

Wreaths were placed on the cenotaph by Reeve Frank Edwards, Mrs. L.A. Montgomery, Ross Whitney, Terence Delaney and Hiram Paul. The Last Post was played by Tom Godfrey Sr. Father Gascon pronounced the Benediction

 The Canadian War Museum web site sums up the end of World War II in Europe: "On April 30, 1945, Hitler committed suicide. On May 5, German forces in North-West Europe surrendered. Victory in Europe, or VE, Day was officially celebrated three days later. 

Thanks to Doug Greig. 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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