Author Talk with Orland French On April 7th

Contact: Nahanni Born

Huronia Museum

Phone 705) 526-2884

549 Little Lake Park Rd

Midland ON L4R 4P4

Huronia Museum

Press Release

Midland ON, Monday, March 20, 2017:

Author Orland French, author of Letters to Vimy, to visit Huronia Musuem and North Simcoe on Vimy Ridge weekend  for mini book tour.

Huronia Museum invites the community for an evening with author, Orland French, discussing his work and the correspondence that inspired this book.  Inspired by real letters from his uncle who died at Vimy Ridge, author Orland French writes back to him 100 years later to explain how Canada and the world have evolved.  Letters to Vimy will be available at the museum on this evening for purchase and signing.

Other opportunities to meet the author on this weekend include: Saturday, April 8 1-3 pm   AUTHOR’S SIGNING at Georgian Bay Books, 247 King Street, Midland & Sunday, April 9 (Vimy Ridge Day) 11 am at the Waverley United Church

About the author:  Orland French was born in Midland and raised in Waverley, Ontario, a couple of kilometres from the farm where his Uncle Oscar was raised. He attended Midland-Penetanguishene District High School and graduated in 1962.

Orland graduated from the journalism program at Ryerson University (then Ryerson Polytechnical Institute) in 1965. He followed a journalism career, working in the newsrooms of The Kingston Whig-Standard and the Ottawa Citizen. He was a parliamentary correspondent for The Citizen and wrote a regular (some would say highly irregular) column on provincial and national politics in The Globe and Mail.  Later, he taught journalism at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario, and developed an interest in local history. He  served as president of the Hastings County Historical Society and trustee on the board of Old Hay Bay Church near Napanee, a National Heritage site.  This interest led to producing history and geology books on the counties of Prince Edward, Lennox & Addington, and Hastings.  For his work as a volunteer in history-related projects, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012 and the Governor-General’s Caring Canadian Award in 2013.

This event takes place at Huronia Museum, 549 Little Lake Park Road, Midland Ontario, on Friday, April 7th, 2017 at 7 pm.  Doors open at 6.30.  There is no charge for this event and light refreshments will be served.   For more information, please contact the museum at 705-526-2844

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – March 8th to 15th 1957

Click on photos to enlarge  Winners of the Midland Shrine Club trophy this year as the best team in the Midland Little Hockey league’s junior OHA section were the Barrie Flyers. Front row; Ronnie Cowdy, Richard Boast, Chester Graham (captain), Bill Mackie. Back row; Bill Lahey, Howard Henderson (coach), Paul Henderson, Alan Mostyn, John Sutton, Dave Brooks, John Pettersen, Rev. Len Self (league director).

  The potato section of the annual North Simcoe Seed Fair in Elmvale Friday attracted a lot of attention. Viewing a prize winning sample of seed potatoes are Prof. P. A. Wright, left, of the department of agricultural economics, OAC, and president of the North Simcoe Soil and Crop Improvement Association, Joseph Dyer.

  Captain of the Hershey Bears, Gary French on the left, congratulates Paul Devillers, after Paul’s Cleveland Barons had won the AHL section of the Midland LHL, at Arena Gardens. Barons are a Penetang team while the Bears are made up of Midland boys.

  Mrs. Eva Kanalosy and her son Attila are refugees from Hungary and are staying with Midland restaurant owner Stephen Szabo (The Globe) and his wife. They have no word of Mr. Kanalosy, a lawyer who was with the freedom fighters during the revolution.  In a few weeks, Mr. Szabo plans to take them to Toronto. There, he hopes, he can find them a home with a Hungarian family, and perhaps a job for Mrs. Kanalosy. “She’ll have a hard time to start,” says Mr. Szabo, who spent more than a year picking sugar-beets near Winnipeg when he arrived some years ago. “But she will see a kind of freedom here she didn’t know before.”

  A raw wind and billowing smoke gave firemen a tough time when fire early Monday morning nearly gutted the home of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Proulx at 19 Olive Street. Only two charred suitcases were saved from the fire, which caused nearly $2,000 damage. Fireman W. E. Allsopp, at right, is entering the back of the house, where the blaze started.

  Murray Waples holds trotter Heather C. Scott while brother Keith examines a healing foot. Heather, a five year old black mare, is owned by Archie Cumming of Atwood Ontario and is one of 24 horses in the Waples’ barn.

Murray and Keith Waples with a pair of trotters.

 Holding certificates for Grade 1 boys solo at the Midland Music Festival Wednesday are; David Smith, second place; Tom Sweeting, first place; John Abbott and Brian Thompson who tied for third. The boys all sang “When I Am Big”.


  • Air conditioners recently installed in the major and minor operating rooms of Penetang General Hospital have resulted in a marked improvement, medical advisor Dr. Roland Lauzon told members of the board at their meeting Wednesday night. Cost of the equipment, $1,250, was met with donations by the Hospital Auxiliary, Penetang Legion, Elmvale Lions Club and the parish of St. Patrick’s. In the photo above Mrs. W. Binkley of the Penetang Hospital Auxiliary is seen presenting a cheque worth $650.00 to hospital board chairman Jerome Gignac.
  • March 15th, four different people in Midland have reported seeing a robin. [I wonder if it was the same robin]
  • [The life stories of our ancestors always fascinate me, so we include this one in its entirety from the March 15th 1957 County Herald] — For half a century one of Canada’s leading herbalists, E. G. Jefferis marked his 90th birthday in Stewart’s nursing home, Penetang.  Mr. Jefferis is best known in the Waubaushene area, where he resided for many years and  where one of his sons, Edwin, still lives. Edwin George Jefferis was born at Farnham, Eng., March 7, 1867. He was the oldest of eight children of the late Mr. and Mrs. James Jefferis. He was only a lad of around seven when his parents came to Canada, settling first in Stratford. A short time later they moved to North Orillia Township, where young Edwin grew up. Later, Mr. Jefferis became engaged in the lumber business, first at Gravenhurst and later at Rosseau Falls. It was while he was serving as foreman for a lumber company at Rosseau that fate directed his footsteps into the herbalist business. “I developed stomach trouble so bad that I just couldn’t keep any food in my stomach,” Mr. Jefferis recalled. “One day an edger at the mill gave me a prescription from an old Indian herbalist in Seattle. It cured me completely.” There were other people in Rosseau afflicted with the same troubles and Mr. Jefferis passed along his new knowledge. The results were so good he eventually decided to go into the business of producing herbal medicines. In the 50 years that followed he became one of Canada’s leading authorities on the subject, and his medicines were in large demand from coast to coast and in other lands. Mr. Jefferis came to Waubaushene in 1895. Earlier, in 1891, he had married the former Sarah Ann McPeake of Dalrymple, a hamlet near Brechin. They had six children, of whom five are still living. Besides Edwin in Waubaushene, there are Mrs. Jack McKerrow (Pearl) of Orillia; Mrs. E. P. Day (Stella), Mrs. William Finlayson (Mildred) and Keith, all of Toronto. The Jefferis’ had a general  store on Pine Street in  Waubaushene, which Mrs. Jefferis ran while her husband looked after his rapidly expanding herbal medicine business. The store burned in 1916, after which the Jefferis’ moved to Toronto. Mr. Jefferis continued to operate his business in Toronto for the ensuing 28 years. It was there, too, that the couple marked their golden wedding, Jan. 14, 1941. Three years later they retired from business and returned to Waubaushene, where Mrs. Jefferis died in 1945. Mr. Jefferis still has two brothers living, one in Edmonton and the other in Vancouver, and also a sister in the latter city. In addition to his fame as a herbalist, Mr. Jefferis was also well known throughout Muskoka and North Simcoe as the owner of some of the best driving teams of his day. They won many honors at fairs throughout the area. “I used to have some great road races with the late Dr. Jim Harvie of Coldwater,” Mr. Jefferis recalled. In his busier days, Mr. Jefferis used to produce some 40 different types of medicine, for both animals and humans. Under the name of E. G. Jefferis, herbalist, he produced tonics, children’s medicine (with emphasis on chronic bronchitis and allied ailments), liniments and a variety of horse conditioning powder. After 90 years, Mr. Jefferis still looks hale and hearty. His only drawback is a touch of arthritis in his hip that makes it difficult for him to walk as well as he would wish. Mr. Jefferis is also one of the original members of the Gospel Hall established in Waubaushene  some thirty years ago.
  • Midland council passes new taxi cab bylaw. The police chief was given supervision over all taxi services in town, both owners and drivers must purchase a licence, they will not be given to anyone with a criminal record or alcohol related offense and they will be revoked if offenses occur, cabs must display an illuminated sign. Women are not allowed to drive between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • Canadian Name Plate pays out $3,500.00 in profit sharing to its employees bringing the total amount to $40,000.00 since the plan began 18 months ago, the equivalent of seven extra weeks pay.
  • At recent meetings of the Midland Public Schools Board, principals have complained of dogs running at large in the school yards. Regent School principal M. O. Lewis told trustees Friday night he had noticed twenty-two dogs in the schoolyard at one time and telephoned the police.
  • 25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK, 1932 — One horse of a team of valuable horses drowned when the ice collapsed during ice-cutting operations in Port McNicoll Bay. With the help of rope and chains and other horses, the other horse was saved. The team was owned by Cecil Parker of Tay Township. * * * A third robbery, the second within two months, occurred at the Brewers’ warehouse in Penetang. * * * Midland, always noted as a sports town, 25 years ago had, besides its hockey and ball teams, several prominent amateur  boxers and a lacrosse team. *** Following cancellation of several hockey games because of warm weather, 600 ratepayers of Midland signed a petition to install artificial ice in the curling rink and new Midland arena. * * * A leading fashion stylist predicted shades of blue, brown and red “powerful” for spring, 1932. The broad shouldered military look was favored in dresses and coats, and waistlines were high. * * * Penetang council decided not to force Penetang milk  dealers to pasteurize milk, but a stringent milk bylaw was passed to ensure a standard purity of milk. * * * Following several days of mild spring-like weather North Simcoe was hit by the first blizzard of the winter. It came one year to the day after the severe blizzard of the winter of 1931. The department of highways snowplow made its first run of the winter on the district highway.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – March 1st to 7th 1957

Click on photos to enlarge  Passenger train derails near Tiffin Elevator Wednesday March 6th, at 2 p.m. Train 603 was backing into Midland after turning on the wye at the Old Fort. Combination car #13747 was derailed and struck a nearby boxcar. There were no injuries to the crew or four passengers. This car was carrying bagged mail that can be seen being unloaded.

  Only a few of the nearly 500 reasons Midland’s Arena Gardens should be jammed to the roof for “Young Canada Night” this Thursday. Ice time and equipment costs are soaring this season for boys from the surrounding area in the league sponsored by the Midland Lions Club and the Penetang Recreation Council. Director of the league Len Self needs a good turnout if they are to come close to balancing the books this year.

  Two year old Charles Morden  of 280 Yonge Street seems to feel he has been the victim of a rather underhanded trick during the Polio vaccination clinic held at the Midland Armory. By the time Mrs. Morden and “Chuck” get to the door of the Armory he has almost forgotten about it.

 Mrs. Martin Robitaille, RR #2 Midland (their farm house stood where the current Midland Power Utilities office is located on Hwy 12 and Les Barber Blvd.), registers Linda and Gary for Polio shots at the clinic held in the Midland Armory. Simcoe County Health Unit nurses are Mrs. Dorothy Carpenter and Mrs. Bets Lemay.

  CSL’s Ashcroft appears to have a king sized smoke stack. The bulk freighter was undergoing a pre-season overhaul at the Midland Shipyard as the yard’s crane lowers a new stack lining into the main funnel.

  Shop work, both metal and wood, is a popular subject among the boys at MPDHS. “Dick” R. C. Moffatt, shop teacher, watches Neil French cut a thread on one of the machine lathes.

  Mr. & Mrs. Tom Gilbert, 143 Sixth Street seemed pleased with the workbook of their son Danny during the recent re-opening of St. Mary’s Separate School following a fire last November.

  Mrs. Frank Bray (Doreen), wife of the chairman of the Midland Public Schools Board, Frank Bray, receives flowers from Mary Yon and Raymond Cote. The presentation was an expression of thanks by St. Mary’s School for the accommodation extended by the public schools following a fire at St. Mary’s last November.

  Five year old Peggy Bray of Midland sits proudly on the bike she won with this six inch perch caught at the junior fishing derby of the Penetang Winter Carnival . Fish was the only one caught within the time limit. Peggy is the daughter of Frank and Doreen Bray.

  Two time winner of the Penetang Winter Carnival trap-shoot is Dr. Jim Fitzgerald, Burlington, son of Mr. & Mrs. A. L. Fitzgerald, Penetang. He is seen here receiving a new shotgun, first prize, from Lorraine Lacroix, carnival queen.

  These nimrods had a gay time banging away at clay pigeons in last year’s trap shooting contest at Penetang’s Winter Carnival. Saturday morning the winter wonderland trap shooting, contest will get under way at the 1957 carnival. Second from right in the  photo is A. L. Fitzgerald, veteran sportsman and one of the key figures behind the organization of the trap shoot. 



  Lorraine Lacroix, chosen queen of the Penetang Winter Carnival last Friday is pictured with her two ladies in waiting. Peggy Couling on the left and Theresa Maurice. They made a triumphant tour of Penetang with a police escort following the crowning at the Pen Theatre.

  • Another of Midland’s pioneer residents, Mrs. Albert W. Ruby died Feb. 26 at her home on Midland Avenue. She had been ill for about a year. Funeral service was held March 1 at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home with internment in Lakeview Cemetery. Rev. W. R. Auld officiated. Pallbearers were Albert Ruby, John Walter, Frederick White, Edward Parker, Floyd Scovell and George S. Dudley, Q.C. Mrs. Ruby, the former Margaret Selina Jelly, was born Aug. 13, 1873, in Shelburne, Ontario, and lived there until 1898, when she moved to Midland, as milliner for the late Christina MacLeod. In September, 1900, she married A. W. Ruby in Shelburne. A member of St. Paul’s United Church, she was an active  worker in all the church societies and was one of the first members of the Women’s Auxiliary of the YMCA. She also took an interest in the Hospital  Auxiliary until ill health caused her to give it up. With the late Mrs. W. D. Ross, she was in charge of the linens of the hospital for many years. Predeceased by her husband  and one daughter Lois, Mrs. Ruby is survived by two sons, Sargent of Midland and Walling of Toronto; two daughters, Shirley of Midland and Ruth of Little Falls, N.Y.; two brothers, Andrew Jelly of Midland and James of Collingwood; and two sisters, Mrs. Harry White (Matilda) of Shelburne and Mrs. M. J. Muter (Edyth) of Toronto.
  • Funeral service for Adelard Beriault, Penetang, was held Tuesday Feb. 19, at St. Ann’s Memorial Church. The body had rested at his home on Robert Street. Conducting the service was Father J. Marchand, assisted by Father McGough and J. Kelly. Mass was sung by Msgr. J. M. Castex. Internment was made in St. Ann’s Cemetery, and the pallbearers were Edmond Desrochers, Clilfford Moreau, Marcel Quesnelle, Ovila Desroches, Marcel Bellehumeur and Romeo Asselin.   Born in Penetang in 1883, Mr. Beriault had lived in Penetang throughout his whole life. A lumber grader, he married Elizabeth Quesnelle in Holy Cross Church, Lafontaine, 56 years ago.  Surviving besides his wife, are one son, Herman of Penetang and five daughters, Mrs. Robert Hodges (Margaret) Barrie; Mrs. Reaford McDonald (Elsie) Barrie, Mrs. Maurice Gourdeault (Marie) Montreal, Miss Leona Beriault, Montreal, and Miss Ethel Beriault, Camp Borden. There is also one sister, Mrs. Ella Mae Bonnin, Penetang, and 12 grandchildren.
  • The eleventh annual Midland Music Festival has over 600 entries and 1,000 participants.
  • “Anastasia” is playing at the Roxy with Yul Brynner and Ingrid Bergman.
  • Monsignor J. M. Castex blessed the re-modeled St. Mary’s School in Midland, Friday evening.
  • March 14th is the deadline to purchase your new vehicle licence plates and to renew your driver’s licence.
  • Just a matter of minutes after the time of Saturday’s fishing derby at Penetang Winter Carnival had been extended, Don Bulmer, R.R. 5, Barrie; pulled a 26-inch pike through a nine-inch hole in the ice to win a boat and outboard motor. Second prize went to the only other catch of the day, a salamander. [John Power commented on the salamander in his “Outdoor Diary” column saying that many people had never seen a “mud puppy”, his response, “have you looked”.]
  • Eight Goals by Don Wilcox Sets Scoring Pace in Canadiens 12-2 Victory. As close to three hundred fans on deck will readily testify, it certainly has been a long time since a Midland hockey team has packed such a potent scoring punch as Midland Canadiens unleashed at Arena Gardens last Saturday night. John Bourgeois scored two goals and Gord Brand and Al Arbour got singles.
  • Lorne Watson, photographer, is offering demonstrations of the new Polaroid Land cameras, your picture taken and finished in 60 seconds.
  • YMCA Camp “Kitchi” has had to turn away 100 applicants,  already have 1300 campers registered and 453 counselors and staff for the coming season.