The last two weeks of 1955 and the paper is full of Christmas stories of good deeds and good times. Santa has found time to visit many local venues. The pages are covered with ads displaying everything you might wish for, a new camera from Watson’s, a Bulova watch from Orr’s Jewellers or Bryant’s, fur coat from Cadesky-Edwards Quality Furs, Phillips Television from H. S. St. Amant & Sons, even the Free Press is offering subscription discounts for Christmas.
What was Santa up to:
Busiest man in the world these days somehow found time on December 24th to help the Y’s Men’s Club distribute gifts to youngsters at the Midland YMCA. With Santa are Juel Chouinard, left, and Peggy Bray.
Joan Hamelin smiles on the knee of Santa while they discuss her gift, a doll maybe. How many of us had our first meeting with the jolly old man in the basement of Edwards Specialty Shop in Midland. The newspaper cropped out the two “elves”, maybe for good reason, if you know their identity let us know.
Kathy Bowen smiles on the knee of Santa when he visits Edwards Specialty Shop on Saturday morning. Kids are lined up for their turn.
Al Perkins receives his gift from Santa at the Kiwanis Club annual Christmas dinner held at the Georgian Hotel, Harvey White in the middle. Cropped out of the newspaper picture are C. A. Walkinshaw to Al’s right and Mayor Charles Parker looking right at the cameraman. The Midland Citizens Band played at the event.
Santa makes a pre-Christmas visit to the Midland Armouries during the Legion Branch 80 Christmas party. Three hundred children of Legion members, under the age of twelve attended. The children of Mr. & Mrs. Duncan Douglas of George Street receive gifts, Marlene Douglas, Elgin Douglas, David Douglas and Barbara Douglas.
The wider view of the Legion Christmas party at the armory on Yonge Street.
- Ten years ago this week; unlike our Christmas this year, in 1945 thirty six inches of snow fell over the Christmas weekend.
- Elizabeth Covey and William John Edwards of Vasey celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary.
- Public Notice; Armstrong’s Dairy, Dubbin’s Dairy and Jone’s Farm Dairy, milk customers are reminded there is no delivery on Monday December 26th and January 2nd.
- The last papers in December were full of reminders from the local politicians who were running in municipal and township elections and compliments of the season. The elections at this time were always at the beginning of the year, in 1956, January 2nd was the day.
- As in past years Midland and Penetang merchants intend to shower the first babies of 1956 with a host of gifts for themselves and their parents. The Midland baby will have the added bonus of a brand new maternity ward. Sixty years later Penetang has lost its hospital and rumours abound of the closing of the maternity ward at GBGH.
- Dave Hudson, Bill Howard and Bev Scott win the Junior Chamber of Commerce Christmas lighting contest again this year.
- Fern Shoe Co., Midland Footwear and Midland Industries employees join as one group for their annual Christmas party at the Parkside Inn. The 335 employees of the three companies produced over one million pairs of shoes and received $750,000.00 in wages. Company plans to double output with plant enlargement now underway.
- Milly Watson, manager of the Pen Theater tells us that a new screen has been installed, at 13 by 25 feet it is two feet taller and eight feet wider than the old screen and will produce a brighter picture.
- Midland Coal & Wood Co. property in Sunnyside is extensively damaged by a fire Tuesday afternoon. Company president James Playfair indicated that service would continue as usual.
- Nearly eight million bushels of grain are stored afloat in 16 of the 22 ships wintering in Midland and Port McNicoll.
- Dr. A. Douglas Tushingham, leading Canadian archaeologist and former Midlander leaves on December 29th for Jericho to continue research into the history of the ancient city. Mr. Tushingham who will be in charge of the project is head of the Royal Ontario Museum’s Archaelogical and Art division.
- December 22, the temperature on the western outskirts of town sinks to -22 degrees Fahrenheit, -23 in Coldwater.
- Grew Boats ship two boats to Florida.
Food and toys for needy in the area are distributed by the Midland Lions Club, Operation Christmas, Jack Frame, Bob Stanway, Jim Moss, Bill Hack and Harold “Mac” McAllen.
Christmas dinners delivered by the Midland Lions Club, Dick Taylor, Ed Walker, John Hodges, Bill Jeffery, Adam Miller, Don Swinson, and District Deputy Governor Bill MacArthur.
Assembled around the Christmas table, Midland Kiwanians and guests gather to enjoy a meal. Included in the group are; Mayor Charles Parker, Harvey White, J. J. Robins, Dave Haig, Capt. Ray Smith, Gordon Moss, C.A. Walkinshaw, Roy King, Al Perkins, Walter Zapletal, Bill Shaver, Police Chief William Nicholson, John Gorgan, R.G. Gilles, Stan Brooks, Bill Bates, Hec Kilroy, Ted Mitchell, John Richardson, Charles Palmer and Al Hume.
Junior Officers of LOL 947 Midland, front, Albert Magloughlin, William Rankin, Ernie Hurl committee men, Jack Crooke committee chairman, Omery Coudle lecturer, back, Fred Norwood tyler, Cecil Chapman sentinel, Rilson Stainton lecturer, Albert Atkinson committeeman, Michael Kelly associate lecturer.
Senior Officers of LOL 947, at the Orange Hall, William Rankin IPM, Herbert Richardson WM, William Bowen DM, Lewis Todd chaplain, back row, Gordon Henderson Marshall, R. B. Davis treasurer, Albert Black financial secretary, George Richardson recording secretary, Mr. Black is starting his 53rd year as financial secretary.
Annual potato banquet, entertainment provided by this Lafontaine group at the Parkside Inn, Henry Beauchamp, Ovila Desroches, Anatole Charlesbois and Mrs. Charlesbois at the piano.
And there always seems to be tragedy at Christmas time.
Four people are killed in a head on collision at French’s Hill on Hwy 27, Thursday afternoon, December 29th. Three Penetang youth are among the dead, Raymond Cadeau, 18, of Park Street, Cleo Legault, 19, of Robert Street and Albert Ladoucer, 19, of Park Street. James Ralson, 34, of Stroud was the driver of the other car and also died in the accident.
Remi Asselin, 45, and father of seven children dies in Penetang hospital from injuries he received during a collision with a CNR freight train at the Robert St. W. crossing Wednesday evening.
Dave “Scotty” Noble, CNR car man, lost his left arm at the elbow during a switching accident at the Tiffin yard. Dave is single and boarding at Mrs. L. Bugg’s on Elizabeth Street. She estimates Dave is about 28 and has only been in Midland a few years. (Dave stayed in Midland and until recently owned and beautifully maintained the Dollar/Finlayson house on the SE corner of Hugel Ave. and Fifth St. I can remember watching him up the extension ladder painting and using the hook that replaced his missing arm.)