EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Forest fire threatened completion of Chapleau Centennial project in 1967 but 'All's well that ends well'

The  Centennial Committee was "amazed" at the generosity of Chapleau citizens and businesses, present and past, as support for its building project gave it sufficient cash and pledges received to proceed "in all haste" to complete the project by July 1, 1967.

In fact, volunteers were busy putting the roof on the building during one of the hottest May days on record with all material donated by local lumber companies including Chapleau Lumber Co. Ltd,  A and L Lafreniere Lumber Ltd., J.E Martel and Sons Lumber Ltd., K.W. Biglow, Sheppard and Morse Ltd., Island Lake Lumber Ltd (Oliver Korpela), and Domtar of Sudbury.

All material was being transported by (Tee) Chambers Cartage and Lloyd MacGillivray Cartage. The municipality had made equipment available and employees Mel Black and Maurice Marion operated it on their own time.

Donations were being received and acknowledged in the Chapleau Sentinel and perhaps Grant (Grizz) Henderson, a former citizens summed up the enthusiasm with his comment: "Let the horns blow, the drums bang, the cymbals clang, let the clan gather." He called it  a Come Home Weekend, a Centennial Old Time Party.

Good news had been received from the CPR that it would provide heat for the building to be located in Centennial Park alongside Engine 5433, that had been placed there in 1964, a gift from Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Grout.

Planning for the Centennial project had actually been underway since 1963, but got moving after the Centennial Park was established. Mr. Grout was the chairman.

And then, with apologies to the  poet Robbie Burns for modernizing his words in  'To a Mouse', the "best laid plans of mice and men often go awry..."

The hot weather continued into June and a forest fire was threatening the community by June 3.

District Forester Jim Keddie advised Reeve T.C. "Terry" Way-White of the situation and a meeting was held in the Town Hall attended by the council and other citizens as well as lands and forests personnel and Ontario Provincial Police. The decision was made to evacuate the municipality and the order was given by Mr. Way-White. The exodus began on Sunday afternoon with between 800-900 vehicles beginning the trek out of town after the signal had been given to evacuate. There were 90 boxcars in the CPR yard and a hospital train had left Sudbury to assist with the emergency. At its peak, nearly 400 firefighters were fighting the fire.

Just before the evacuation the Chapleau Sentinel had reported that if "we are not burnt out" the project would be completed on time.

On June 6, the Chicago Tribune reported that residents began "streaming back to their homes after pelting rain relieved the fear the town might be destroyed by a forest fire..." (When I Googled for dates on the fire, the Chicago Tribune story appeared right at the top)

Work resumed and "All's well that ends well", as it was officially opened on time in pouring rain, but the sun  came out in the afternoon. It was opened by Gaston Demers, MPP for Nickel Belt assisted by Mr. Grout and Reeve Way-White.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

D.O. Payette honoured for 'untiring efforts' when he retired as Chapleau Fire Chief in 1946

When D.O. Payette retired as Chapleau Fire Chief in 1946, he received a letter which honoured him for his "untiring efforts" and years of service to the volunteer fire brigade.

As I write, most of British Columbia where I now live is in a "state of emergency" as a result of wildfires which have resulted in evacuation alerts, and evacuations of some communities. At various times in its history, Chapleau has faced a similar situation, as well as serious fires within the community.

Although the letter of thanks was directed to Mr. Payette, it struck me that its message applies to men and women like him, full-time and part-time who are first responders to this day. We owe all of them a debt of gratitude.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Amy Green 'a real heroine' in Chapleau who expressed herself in beautiful music ready to play for all occasions

When St John's Anglican Church celebrated its 90th anniversary in 1975, Rev William P. Ivey paid special tribute to Mrs Amy Green, who at the time had served as church organist for 13 years, having responded to a call to take the position on a "temporary" basis.

Mr Ivey referred to her as "a real heroine. She is an excellent organist and is unfailingly ready to play for every service, choir practice, wedding, funeral and special occasion that arises."

Although Mrs Green continued as organist for about 30 years, her contribution to the community overall as pianist and organist was summed up in article written after she died in 1995.   

"As long as she had the strength to sit on a piano bench and the eyesight to read the music she  expressed herself in beautiful music that will live on in the hearts of all all that knew her."

In 1984, when I was writing 'Sons of Thunder ... Apostles of Love' to mark the 100th anniversary of St John's I had a chat with Mrs Green who provided me with an anecdote involving my grandmother Lil (Mulligan) Morris.

Apparently my grandmother played a role in Mrs. Green becoming church organist. She revealed the following "... when I told my neighbor Mrs Morris, your grandmother, that Mr Doolan (Rev J.G.M. Doolan) wanted me to stay and play the organ that Sunday and I had wanted to go to Toronto to buy a long white dress for the Eastern Star where I would have the office of organist,  Mrs Morris said that if I would stay and play the organ that she would make me a dress for Eastern Star.

"So Mrs Morris and I went over to Simpsons order office and looked through the catalogue and ordered the material and your grandmother made my long white dress for all special meetings as officers. So I started playing the church organ in 1962."

My grandparents Lil (Mulligan) and Harry Morris lived right beside Amy (Pitts) and Len Green on Elgin Street --- at Teak Street with the Green house on the corner!

Born in England in 1900, she arrived in Chapleau in 1913,with her parents Louisa and Frank Pitts after her parents had read an article by Rev. Guy Rogers extolling the virtues of Northern Ontario  and Chapleau which he had visited.

Although Rev Rogers had good things to say about Chapleau and St. John's when he visited, he also commented "How the early settlers stood the monotony and hardship of life is known only to them and God. What it must be like to live at some pinpoint when the temperatures fall far below zero!"

Apparently, the family arrived in Chapleau during a March blizzard, and was ready to leave before life in the community really began, but the outpouring of friendship kept them there. The article about Mrs Green notes that Rev Percy Soanes, rector of St John's formed a welcoming committee, and her father got employment in the CPR office. Her mother, who was an excellent cook, was hired by Dr. J.J. Sheahan, who also provided accommodation for the family.

She had been unable to bring her piano from England but Mr and Mrs Bill Lyness made the piano in their home available to her.

She graduated from the continuation school in Chapleau and then attended Kingston Business College.

Her father enlisted in 1916, in the Canadian Army in World War I, but became ill and returned to Canada in 1918. He died in 1922.

Chapleau friendship continued as Mr. Lyness and friends came together and built the Elgin Street house for them. This was really quite common in the early days, as I recall my grandfather telling me about friends helping build their house --- and after World War II, our camp at Healy.

She married Len Green who had come to Chapleau for a short visit from England in 1924.

By this time the area where they lived in Chapleau was referred to as 'Little England' --- some of the families in the neighbourhood were Green, Wedge, Hands, Mitchell, and a bit later Card and Austin, and of course my grandparents.  To this day I am not sure if my grandparents really qualified as they were Irish.

As time passed Mrs Green's ability as an accompaniest became well known and she was called upon to play piano and/or organ at many events.

Her husband Len, who had served in the armed forces in World War I, was a charter member of Branch 5 of the Royal Canadian Legion, while she was a charter member of the Ladies Auxiliary, also serving as president. In 1985 she was awarded a 50-year membership pin.

Mrs Green was also recognized for her bookkeeping skills and for 17 years served as secretary treasurer of the public school board, as well as working for the CPR and Austin Lumber and other places where she was needed.

She was also librarian for  number of years where one of her favourite visitors was a young man by the name of Ted Young, who apparently loved mystery stories. She followed his career and he eventually became her doctor when he returned home as Dr G.E. 'Ted' Young. 

Gardening and reading were two of her passions and she continued both all her life. She read a book a day!

In 1937, Mrs. Green learned that an old trapper's cabin was available at Healy, and she bought it for $25. It became an important place for summer vacation, and after World War II, we joined them there when my grandfather, assisted by my mother Muriel E (Hunt) Morris built a camp there.

Len Green as well as other Healy residents also assisted in the construction, extending Chapleau friendship beyond its boundaries! The Green family also built a new camp.

 For me, bridging the great physical divide in Chapleau because of the CPR tracks, and living on the "other side" of town from my father's parents, but visiting them often, and camping at Healy, were so very important to me. I lived on Grey Street with my mother Muriel (Hunt) Morris and my other grandparents, Edythe and George Hunt. Most readers will know my father Flying Officer Jim Morris was killed on active service in the RCAF during World War II. My email is mj.morris@live.ca  

Thursday, July 27, 2017

World War II bomber pilot Oliver Korpela expanded family lumber operations in Chapleau area

Oliver Korpela, perhaps best known in Chapleau as a lumberman, actually wore many hats, including one as a bomber pilot in World War II, whose plane was shot down over Holland in 1944.

Born in Nemegos on the Canadian Pacific Railway line east of Chapleau on June 18, 1920, in his early years, Oliver spoke Finnish, French and Cree, according to Oiva W. Saarinen in his book "Between a Rock and a Hard Place".  There was nobody to teach him English.

His grandfather and father had arrived in Nemegos in the early 20th century and had become logging contractors, cutting and delivering logs to be sawed into mining timbers and railway ties.

As a youngster Oliver enjoyed hunting, fishing, trapping, canoeing, skiing and swimming.

However, by 1931 he had moved to Sudbury and attended school until the end of Grade 10. By 1939 and the outbreak of World War II, Oliver wanted to join the Royal Canadian Air Force but his first obstacle was that he had no birth certificate. Nobody had registered his birth. This was resolved.

This was sorted out but he could not train as a pilot without Grade 13, so he took a crash course, upgraded and was posted to pilot training.
courtesy Richard Korpela

Posted to England after graduation as a pilot officer, he later joined the Royal Air Force Bomber Command and conducted successful bombing missions over Germany flying Lancaster bombers.

In September 1944, his Lancaster was shot down, and he parachuted safely into Holland.

Oliver ended up aided by the Dutch underground. His experience is included in his memoir 'The Autobiography of a Bomber Pilot" a copy of which was kindly provided to me by his son Richard Korpela.
courtesy Richard Korpela

Disguised as a mute Dutch tailor he eluded capture by the Germans until Holland was liberated in 1945. A fascinating story in itself.

Upon arriving in Sudbury, Oliver went to the barber shop at the Coulson Hotel, and discovered that his parents were staying in the hotel -- apparently a great welcome home party was held.

After returning to Canada after the war, he worked for Kormak Lumber Company founded by his father and Oliver Maki.

As a part-time bush pilot  Oliver made Kormak one of the first lumber company's to do extensive timber cruising from the air. He continued flying into his late seventies.

After the major forest fire of 1948, the company opened mills at Flame Lake --- Oliver was in one of the first cars to travel over Highway 129 from Thessalon to Chapleau in 1949 when it opened.
Earle Sootheran, Tom Godfrey, Oliver

As an aside, Flame Lake was such a going concern that the Ontario Provincial Police stationed an officer there for a time.

Interestingly, at one point in the company's expansion they chartered aircraft to bring workers from Finland.

By the 1960s,  the lumber operations included Kormak, Island Lake and Wesmak, which were all amalgamated into Wesmak with Oliver as president. In 1966 he acquired Biglow Lumber Company with Fred Fielding. All merged in due course after taking over Chapleau Lumber in 1981 and became Chapleau Forest Products Limited.

Oliver wore many hats including bomber pilot, bush pilot, lumberman, horse rancher and philanthropist.

After the war he became active in the Royal Canadian Legion, and following his death on February 19, 2006, his son Richard made a presentation of $5,000 from his father's estate to Branch No 5 president Darryl Brunette for the branch.

Oliver will also be remembered for his generosity in donating 27 acres of land  for a Finnish Senior Citizens Complex in the Minnow Lake area at Sudbury, as well as a significant donation for a wetlands park which bears his name. 

I extend my most sincere thanks to Richard Korpela, Oliver's son, who provided me with a copy of 'The Autobiography of a Bomber Pilot' --- a fascinating read.  My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Aging better and enjoying the ride as the merry-go-round slows down with each week a new adventure of Chapleau Moments

Gosh, with all the really big stories floating around the twitterverse recently, I thought that I would pontificate on at least one of them.

But to mark the eighth anniversary of Chapleau Moments I will leave them alone, and share some thoughts based on a column written by Virginia Bell for Huffington Post on "aging better", particularly as it relates to doing the column all these years.

Bell claims it gets better as you get older "You get better. Life gets better. The merry-go-round slows down and you can finally enjoy the ride..."

I really am not the one to judge if the columns have improved at all over the years, but on a very personal basis, I have really been enjoying the ride --- I have learned so much about Chapleau, its life, its times and, most wonderfully, its people since 1885 or so. And folks, in eight years, I am the first to admit I have only scratched the surface.

As far as life goes, I agree with Bell wholeheartedly as  my merry-go-round slows down and I enjoy the ride. For example, each week is a new adventure as I research a column. and so often say to myself, "I never knew that..."

But before I continue with my metaphor mashing, I need to thank some of those people without whom I would never have been able keep the column going. And I know naming names is always risky, as my memory sometimes fades, but I will mention at least a few.

Mario Lafreniere, the publisher of the Chapleau Express has been totally supportive since Day One, and I appreciate the opportunity he gave me to do the column. And I would never have been able to co-author 'The Chapleau Boys Go To War" with my cousin Michael McMullen if I had not been writing it.

I also appreciate Michael's assistance with other columns, as well as filling in for me along with Ian Macdonald earlier this year with columns while I was away in Orlando --- and both Michael and Ian have been part of it all for the entire eight years. Both are Chapleau boys who continue to have a keen interest in the community.

Mike and Ian have produced some real insights into Chapleau's history, and I hope they will continue to do so.

Harry 'Butch' Pellow my lifelong friend died on December 13, 2016, and I often go back and read some of his contributions. Despite living in Toronto most of his life, Butch never forgot his roots, and shared his memories. I miss him greatly. Butch's brother Dr Bill Pellow has also been a great help.

Doug Greig, researcher extraordinaire, is also gone now, but all of us interested in Chapleau's history, owe him a deep debt of gratitude for his work in compiling  the community's history.

My cousin Anne (Zufelt) McGoldrick, has been so helpful too. There is little she does not know about Chapleau people, and if she doesn't, she finds it very quickly. Thanks Anne.

When I first started the column, I relied heavily on the collections of my mother, Muriel (Hunt) Morris, and my aunt, Marion (Morris) Kennedy.

The Richard Brownlee Papers have also been a great source of information, and I am so thankful to Margaret Rose (Payette) and Bobby Fortin for kindly loaning them to me.

Over the past eight years, I have heard from so many people, and I thank all of you so much.

 My two trips home for the 90th anniversary reunion of Chapleau High School in 2012 and to launch "The Chapleau Boys Go To War" in 2015 were awesome experiences as I wandered about town, and chatted with so many folks. I must mention my back lane tour in 2015 with my lifelong friend Ken Schroeder --- wonderful memories from our growing up years, and Ken has a great memory.

I have spent almost all my life doing and teaching communications, media and so on starting with a play when I was in Grade 4 at Chapleau Public School.

I recall that after retiring from College of the Rockies faculty  in 2000, the phone didn't ring as much; I was no longer the centre of attention as the sage on the the stage in front of the classroom, which I had, at least in my own mind, been for more than 30 years. It was downright depressing and I recall chatting over coffee with Dr Berry Calder, the college president about it.

Berry laughed and gave  me the solution. "Come up here and and get a cup of coffee from my pot which you have been doing for years, wander the halls and chat." I did and soon I drifted away from the college, gradually making the adjustment. I hardly ever visit now.

MJM a Michael Pelzer photo

Back to Virginia Bell who offers good advice on aging better: "The projects we pursue and the life we lead need to reflect ...and be aligned with who we are now and not who we once were. If we're able to make that transition then getting older can be a rich and fulfilling experience."

Writing Chapleau Moments reflects part of me "aging better"  as my merry go round  has slowed and each week I am able to share a bit of the life, times and people of Chapleau. Yes, Virginia, getting older is a rich and fulfilling experience!.

P.S. I have provided photos of some of the Chapleau gang at a party in 2014 at the home of Butch and Brigitte Pellow in Toronto.

My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Photo Info

Butch, Dr Bill, Ian, MJM

Mike McMullen and MJM in serious chat about book


All these guys played hockey in Chapleau.Back Jim Machan, Vince Crichton, Ian Macdonald, Geoffrey Hong, Mike McMullen. Front. MJM (briefly), Frank Broomhead, Bill Hong, Butch, Jim Hong, Bill Hong, Yen Hong, Aldee Martel, Ken Schroeder

All the girls were In CHS Cadet Corps. Neil Ritchie was commanding officer. Back Donna Lane, Betty Anne O'Brien, Doreen Cormier, Anne Keays, Naomi Mizuguchi, Gemma Ouellet, Shirley Cormier, Dorothy Honda. Front Neil. Diane Dowsley, Butch, Alison McMillan, Joy Evans, Jean Hong

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Flag raising ceremonies at Chapleau Centennial Museum described as 'heritage moment' in community's history

Totem pole a Terry Way-White, Jack Whitney project
When the Chapleau Centennial Museum was officially opened on July 1, 1967 as part of the community's celebration of Canada's 100th anniversary, the flag raising ceremony was an important part of the proceedings.

The centennial committee headed by Arthur Grout had contacted the premiers of all the provinces and the prime minister requesting that a flag be donated for the occasion. It happened!

The flag raising ceremony was conducted after a Colour Party composed of members of Branch Number 5 of the Royal Canadian Legion arrived.

They just didn't raise the flags  had found representatives from each province to participate and do it.

 As I was working on this column, seeing their names brought back so many memories of growing up in Chapleau.

Here are the participants taken from a Chapleau Sentinel story.

Reg Thrush, who was born In England raised the Canadian flag.

Mrs. Earle Campbell, born in British Columbia raised her home province's flag, while Mrs. Ruth Smith did the honors for Alberta where she was born. Mrs. Edith McKnight raised the flag of Manitoba her home province.

Lorrie Gerset, sister of Jim and Ted Demers travelled from Saskatchewan to raise its provincial flag.

Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Goldstein raised the flag of the Yukon. Their daughter Dawn was working as a nurse there. The Nothwest Territories did not have a flag.

Moving east, D. O. Payette raised the flag of Ontario while Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Martel did so for Quebec.

Nova Scotia born Layton Goodwin raised his province's flag while Mr. and Mrs. James Good from New Brunswick raised their flag and Emmet Brazel did so for Prince Edward Island his province of birth. Mr. and Mrs. Walter Steed raised the flag of Newfoundland.

Thirty years later in 1997, at a flag raising ceremony to replace the flags, Recreation Director Terry Piche described it as a "heritage moment", and his comments applied equally to that ceremony as it did to the 1967 one.

In 1997, coinciding with the celebration of the 75th anniversary of Chapleau High School, the flag raising ceremony was re-enacted but unfortunately the newspaper reports did not name the flag raisers.

However, Terry told those attending of the significance of the flags as "a symbol of the unity of the community" and the importance of preserving its heritage. So true. Throughout its history, people have come from all parts of Canada, and indeed many other countries to live in Chapleau.

Let me conclude with an aside that I came across while doing this column. I found a very short newspaper story suggesting that First Nations people camped on the site where the museum is located before the Canadian Pacific Railway arrived in 1885 --- members of the Memegos family.. If not on the exact site, nearby when they met surveyors circa 1881. I will leave that one alone for another day.

My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Thursday, July 6, 2017

'Putting wheels in motion' resulted in World War I battleground tour for Dr Frank Broomhead

Putting the "wheels in motion" while JR Broomhead was on a trip to England earlier in 2017, resulted in a World War I battleground tour for his father  Dr. Frank Broomhead, who has been a history buff since he was a kid growing up in Chapleau.

JR was visiting John Broomhead, the son of Anna and Arthur Broomhead, who lives in England, and as plans progressed, John got in touch with me about the trip. The wonders of Facebook!

John explained that given Frank's interest in the Great War specifically, and 2017 being the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge - a defining moment in the history of Canada - the battleground tour was arranged with a tour guide. JR and his father made the trip in June.

John told me he was "amazed but not surprised" at Frank's knowledge of the Great War (1914-1918), as was the tour guide. I am not. Out of the mothballs of memory, I vividly recall walking down Chapleau's main street when we were both students at Chapleau High School, and then I was amazed at his interest in history.

On their tour they wanted to "track down" as many "Chapleau boys" as possible who died while on active service in our armed forces during World War I.  Obviously I am delighted, as is Michael McMullen, my cousin and co-author of 'The Chapleau Boys Go To War' that Frank took a copy of the book along and used it as a reference.

They located 12 Chapleau boys, and  provided some photos. See below for names and biographical sketches.

As an aside, 32 with a Chapleau connection died while on active service in World War I. We identified 283 volunteers, a remarkable number, given the size of Chapleau.  In World War II there were 418 enlistments and 29 died.

John shares the story of the trip that he, JR and Frank made: "On Day 1 we drove to Ypres, Belgium and covered the John McCrae Memorial (Advanced Dressing Station, Essex Farm),  Langemark Cemetery - one of only three German Cemeteries for the fallen german soldiers in WWI, Vancouver Corner (St. Julien Memorial for the Gas attacks and the Canadian defence of St. Julien in April, 1915) and the fight for Passchendaele in 1917. We ended the day at the very moving Menin Gate 'Last Post' ceremony which takes place every evening at 8pm."

"Day 2 took us to Vimy to see the trenches, tunnels and the impressive Canadian memorial there, and then a visit to the Somme battlefields in the afternoon where we saw the preserved Newfoundland Park battlefield at Beaumont-Hamel, the large (British) Thievpval Memorial to the Missing and the battlefields around the village of Courcelette (where the Canadians fought in September and October of 1916 including the Memorial to the Tank Corps -- the first usage of tanks in WWI, and the Regina TrenTrench."

"It was a lot to pack in two days - but was very moving and informative."

They were able to identify 12 with a Chapleau connection, and Michael McMullen kindly provided brief biographical notes on each of them. More details on each are in our book 'The Chapleau Boys Go To War'.

Tyne Cot Cemetery, Passchendaele, Belgium
E.D. Turner
Edgar Turner was a member of the Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment) 24th Battalion, when at 18 years of age, he died on November 6, 1917.

Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium

The following five Chapleau Boys died in Belgium during the First World War and were listed as missing and presumed dead.  Their names are commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial.  
J. Hewitt
James Hewitt enlisted in the Canadian Army at Niagara, Ontario on September 7, 1915.  He was with the Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment) when
he died on June 13, 1916 at age 26.
W.D Unwin
William Unwin enlisted in the Canadian Army at Val Cartier, Quebec in September 1914. He was a member  of the Canadian Infantry (Eastern Ontario Regiment), 2nd Battalion, who died on April 24, 1915 at the age of 21.
P. Chappise
Peter Chappise enlisted in the Canadian Army at the Niagara Camp, Ontario
on August 31, 1915 in the 37th Battalion. He was 22, when he died on June 13, 1916 in the service of the Canadian Infantry (Ontario Regiment), 3rd Battalion.

W.S Haskins  
Walter Haskins enlisted in the Canadian Army at Lindsay, Ontario on March 27, 1916 in the 109th Battalion. He was 19 years of age and serving with the Canadian Pioneers, 124th Pioneer Battalion when he died on November 14, 1917.

A.A. Therriault  
Alfred Therriault enlisted in the Canadian Army, 52nd Battalion at Port Arthur, Ontario (now part of Thunder Bay) on June 16, 1915. He was 24 and with the Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment), 52nd Battalion when he died on June 9, 1916.

Vimy Memorial, Vimy, France
The following five Chapleau Boys died in France during the First World War and were listed as missing and presumed dead.  Their names are commemorated on the Vimy Memorial.  
 A. Mortson
Alexander Mortson enlisted at Niagara on September 7, 1915 in the Canadian Army, 37th Battalion. He was with the Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment), 13th Battalion, when he died on September 4, 1916.  He was 30.

J. Moir
John Moir enlisted in the Canadian Army on March 8, 1915 in Toronto, Ontario. He was serving with the Canadian Cavalry Machine Gun Squadron when he died on December 1, 1917 at age 26.
A. Evans
Ambrose Evans  joined the 106th Light Infantry in Winnipeg, Manitoba in August 1914 and then enlisted in the Canadian Army at Valcartier, Quebec on September 25, 1914.  He was with the Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), Royal Canadian Armoured Corps (R.C.A.C.), when he died on May 25, 1915 at age 31.

A.E. Jefferies
Albert Jeffries enlisted in the Canadian Army at Oshawa, Ontario on November 30, 1915 in the 116th Overseas Battalion.  He was serving with the Canadian Army (Eastern Ontario Regiment) when he died on May 3, 1917 at age 26.
P. Hall
Percy Hall enlisted at Chapleau in the Canadian Army, 227th (Men of the North) Battalion on April 30, 1916. He was serving with the Canadian Machine Gun Corps, 1st Battalion, when he died on August 29, 1918 at the age of 22.

Regina Trench Cemetery, Courcelette, France
J.F.P Collings
John Collings enlisted in the Canadian Army at Halifax on November 25, 1914. He died on October 1, 1916 at age 24 as a member of the Canadian Infantry (Nova Scotia Regiment), 25th Battalion.  

 Thanks so much John, JR and Dr. Frank. Also thanks to Michael K. for his assistance. 'The Chapleau Boys Go To War' is available at Chapleau Village Shops or on  www.amazon.ca. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Chapleau Junior 'B' Huskies win league and NOHA championships in Canada's Centennial Year of 1967

names below
I took a course in twentieth century European history from Dr Jacques Goutor, back in the 1960s and the first thing I learned from him was that hockey kept Canada together. Well, he didn't actually come out and say that exactly, but on the first day of class he told us about his arrival in Canada from France.

Dr Goutor told us that upon arriving in Toronto, he went out and bought the newspapers and the headlines were LEAFS WIN STANLEY CUP! It was 1967, our Centennial year as a nation, and the Toronto Maple Leafs had defeated their arch rivals the Montreal Canadiens in six games. It was to be the last time the Leafs would win Lord Stanley's mug.

Dr Goutor, who at the time had little knowledge of hockey and its importance to Canadians, said he decided to stay here because it had to be a safe place if the headlines were about a sporting event. He was raised in France and lived through the horrors of World  War II and its aftermath. Dr Goutor became a Professor of History at the University of Western Ontario. He retired in 1996, and died a couple of years ago. 

Meanwhile, in 1967, as Canada was marking 100 years as a nation, in Chapleau, the headlines could have been CHAPLEAU JUNIOR 'B' HUSKIES WIN LEAGUE AND NOHA CHAMPIONSHIPS, although I don't have a copy of the Chapleau Sentinel to confirm it.

As our nation marks its 150th anniversary in 2017, I have been looking back at the community's history, and the amazing success of the Junior 'B' Huskies in their first year in the International Junior 'B' Hockey League in 1966-67, stood out as an outstanding moment in sports.

In 1965, artificial ice was installed in the Chapleau Memorial Community Arena, largely because of the efforts of Mrs. A.W. 'Hockey' Moore, after whom the present arena is named, raised most of the funds to accomplish it.
Mrs Moore

In the summer of 1966, according to an article by Keith 'Buddy' Swanson, a "chance meeting" on a golf course between Tom Welch, publisher of the Chapleau Sentinel, and a director of the Wawa Travellers, led to the founding of the Chapleau Junior 'B' team, and its entry into the International Junior 'B' Hockey League for the 1966-67 season.

Buddy, Tom and Lorne Riley founded the team. Buddy and Lorne had coached a pretty good Midget team the previous year, and Buddy coached the Intermediate 'B' Huskies to the Northern Ontario Hockey Association title, winning the Max Silverman Trophy.

Off Buddy and Lorne went to Wawa for a league meeting where they received tentative approval to become part of the league for the 1966-67 season. However, back in Chapleau, the response was not all that enthusiastic, as only J.M. 'Jack' Shoup,  showed up, other than the founders, at three different meetings. Tom Welch urged them to continue anyway, and they did.

They went out into the community and recruited an executive with Tom as the first president. The executive included Arthur Grout, Earle Freeborn, Albert Tremblay, Jack Shoup, Ken Stevenson, with Roger Mizuguchi responsible for advertising and public relations. Sonia Vaughan became treasurer.

Lorne became the coach with Buddy as manager, while Andre Rioux was trainer. Richard Morin was named the team captain.  

The roster included Merrick Goldstein, Reg Bouillon, Ted Swanson, George Swanson, J.C. Cyr, Corky Bucci, Greg Vaughan, Robert Morin, John Babin, Gerry Boucher, Bruce Pellow, Ray Larcher, John Laframboise, Jamie Broomhead, John Loyst and Mickey Jurynec. 

Unfortunately, Lorne became ill and was unable to complete the season as coach so Buddy took over bench duties, and Lorne attended all the games and they discussed strategy between periods.

They finished the season in third place with 14 wins, eight losses and two ties which meant they met Wawa Travellers the first place team in round one of the playoffs. They had not enjoyed much success against the Travellers in regular season play --- and it looked like the Huskies would be eliminated quickly.

The Travellers took a 3-0 game lead in the best of seven playoff round, and then ...

The Huskies bounced back to tie the series at 3-3. In the final game, the Travellers had completely collapsed losing 13-3 to the Huskies.

In the finals against the Sault Michigan Indians, the Huskies won it in seven games and were the winners of the Mac Nicholson Trophy as league champions.

But their season wasn't over. Two weeks later they played Kapuskasing for the Northern Ontario Hockey Association Junior 'B' title and the Colin Campbell Trophy in a two game total goals series. The Huskies won 13-5.

And now, as Canada marks its 150th anniversary as a nation I believe it is good to reflect on those moments  in our history that brought us together, rather than divided us. Fifty years ago, Buddy Swanson, Lorne Riley and Tom Welch, the players and the executive of the Chapleau Junior 'B' Huskies made it happen in Chapleau  Dr. Goutor was right about Canada.
Huskies at 40th anniversary reunion 2007

I based this column on excerpts from the two articles that Buddy wrote about the team in 2009. He wanted to tell the story of that remarkable year. HAPPY CANADA DAY!  My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Names TOP PHOTO  1966-67 Huskies Back from l: Andre Rioux, Lorne Riley, Merrick Goldstein, John Babin, Ray Larcher, Mickey Jurynec, Greg Vaughan, Robert Morin, Reg Bouillon, Gerry Boucher, Jamie Broomhead; Front: Corky Bucci, Jean- Claude Cyr, George Swanson, Richard Morin, John Loyst, John Laframboise, Ted Swanson, Bud Swanson and missing Bruce Pellow, Bruce Fortin. 

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