Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – May 24th to 31st, 1957

Click on Photos to EnlargeFor more than four decades William Steer’s bass voice has been a fixture in the choir of Midland’s Knox Presbyterian Church. His four daughters and son have also sung in the choir at various times, and granddaughter Patsy Steer at right is carrying on the tradition. Mrs. Arthur McElroy at the piano has also served as a junior choir leader for two years. Mr. Steer is the head millwright at Midland Simcoe Elevator where he has worked for 33 years. 

 Proud of the plaque they were awarded at South Georgian Bay District Scout camp over the weekend are members of Fox Patrol, 1st Midland Troop. Tom Gordanier, Murray Mostyn, Paul Downer, Doug Faint, Bill Howard, Ross Clute (patrol leader) and Ken Cleary. The plaque was presented during visitor’s day ceremonies at the Sturgeon River camp site. 

Group photo of the Scout Camp during visitor’s day.

 Winners of the Midland YMCA floor hockey league this year were the Mustangs, seen receiving the Unamotus Trophy from Ken Mackie president of the Unamotus Hi-Y Club. The trophy was awarded on a basis of teamwork and attendance, as well as on league standings. Left to right are, Bob Strickland, Gerald Karch, Dave Carpenter, Jerry Beteau, Ken Mackie, Neil Murday, Randy Knapp and Bob Weckman. The boys were also presented with crests, saw a movie and were stuffed with ice cream and cake.


 “Knots and bends” are still an important part of naval cadet training as Chief Petty Officer Doug Ladoucer and Ordinary Cadets Jim McKinnon and M. Light discovered when inspected by Lieutenant Commander J. R. H. Ley of Hamilton during a recent inspection of RCSCC Huron. 


North Simcoe Women’s Institutes re-elected their entire slate of officers at the annual meeting in North River United Church May 22. In the front row, left to right, are secretary-treasurer Mrs. M. C. Long of Waubaushene, third vice-president Mrs. Ernest Ayers of Jarratt, first vice-president Mrs. Beverley Walker of Eady; back row: second vice president Mrs. Ed Sallows of Warminster, area chairman Mrs. G. R. Lane of Coldwater and president Mrs. Lloyd Dunlop of Moonstone. 

Donors are needed for the “walking blood bank” at St. Andrew’s Hospital as even this modern refrigerating unit can only keep stored whole blood three weeks. Lab technician Bill Zinck reports that human donors reduce waste by making blood available only when needed. 


  • The headline, Midland Free Press, Wednesday, May 29th, 1957; Leitz Company Awards Contract for 11,500 Square Foot Addition. Coincident with the celebration of the fifth anniversary of the firm’s establishment in Canada, Guenther Leitz, president of Ernst Leitz (Canada) Limited today announced the construction of an 11,500 square foot addition to the company’s Midland plant. A contract for the new building, which will be 50 percent larger than the original plant built five years ago, has been awarded to Alfred Rei, a Midland contractor.
  • The headline, County Herald, Friday, May 31st, 1957; Cadi Levies Heavy Fines on Pair Nabbed at Liquor Party at Beach. “Police Search Two Cabins Find 22-Pint Beer Cache, Several Cases of Empties.” Magistrate K. A. Cameron again served ample notice in Penetang court Thursday that he intends “to carry out his threat, announced last week, of cracking down on illegal drinking at North Simcoe beaches again this year”. Two Toronto lads, both 18, were assessed a total of $99.50 each in fines and costs after being found guilty on charges of obtaining liquor while under the legal age of 21 years.
  • A member of a group of men and women largely associated with the early growth of Midland, and an ardent supporter of municipal progress, Martha Grant Pratt died here Sunday in her 79th year. She was the widow of the late David S. Pratt of 286 Fifth Street. A private funeral service conducted by Rev. J. L. Self of Knox Presbyterian Church was held Tuesday afternoon at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home. Pallbearers were W. A. McGill, G. C. Bennett, Wm. A. Robinson, Dr. Churchill Swan, Dr. A. H. Pinchin and John Pinchin. Interment was at Lakeview Cemetery.
  • Construction work, which started recently on an extension to the main floor of Penetang Legion building, will double the size of the present hall, according to Orval Ambeau, chairman in charge of the work. The addition, 57 by 50 feet, is being added to the rear of the present building, which was the residence of Dr. Nettleton before the Legion purchased it. Plans call for a new kitchen with modern equipment, new washroom, cloakroom, and other facilities for a large hall. The present hall will be completely redecorated to match the interior of the new portion, and a new hardwood floor will extend throughout.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week – Members of Georgian Bay Flying Club marked the first runway for their field, midway between Penetang and Midland. *** Finance Minister Abbott had set a limit of $10 in American currency to be held by Canadians. Previously it was permissible to hold $100. *** Monthly production of creamery butter and cheddar cheese in Ontario showed an increase in butter production and a decrease in cheese stocks. *** Rev. A. C. Stewart, D.D., of Knox Presbyterian Church, Midland, was among guest speakers at the diamond jubilee of Barrie Presbyterial of the Women’s Missionary Society celebrated in Orillia Presbyterian Church. *** Rev. George W. Dorey, D.D., of Toronto preached at St. Paul’s United Church for the Midland High School cadets annual church parade. *** Plans were made for expanding two Orillia schools. The move was forced by increased population and crowded classrooms. * * * The S.S. “Athabasca” was sold to the Steel Company of Canada. It was towed to Hamilton and broken up for scrap metal.
  • On May 31 the University of Montreal will confer an honorary degree of “doctor of laws” on Wilfrid W. Jury. The event is of no small consequence not only to the University of Western Ontario which he serves as curator of its Museum of Indian Archaeology and Pioneer Life, to Huronia whose historical resources he has both explored and developed, but to the people of this entire land.
  • All persons 12 years and over in Midland will be given the opportunity of having free chest X-rays during a community survey by the National Sanitarium Association, June 11, 12, and 13. The unit will be located in Loblaws parking area and will be in operation from 2 to 9 p.m.
  • Penetang Chamber of Commerce, Tuesday night, named George Kerr president for the ensuing year. The vice-president is Ed Webster, and secretary-treasurer will be Ken Macdonald. Chairmen named to head the committees were: finance, Les Gumb; industry, Chas. Sweet; tourist and publicity, M. F. Bellehumeur; merchants, Geo. Mead; history, J. M. H. McGuire and W. H. Morrison; agriculture, Ted Annand; membership, Bill Belrose.
  • Leases for a selected group of lots on Christian Island for summer cottage purposes are being taken up at a satisfactory rate, according to J. Sheane, the Indian Agent at the Island Reservation (now Beausoleil First Nation). The announcement of the band’s decision to lease lots for this purpose was first made in this newspaper last summer. Since that time some 37 agreements have been signed, according to the agent. He said this rate is satisfactory, as the amount of work involved in opening up the section will not allow the whole area to be leased in a short time.
  • On June 12, the telephone system in Honey Harbour and District will be cut over to dial operations, H. A. Kilroy, Bell Telephone manager for this region, announced this week. The change will be made at 7.30 a.m. when calling has reached a low ebb and will be carried out in less than two minutes. The changeover will be made according to a closely co-ordinated procedure which requires split-second timing. With the changeover, all Honey Harbour and district telephone numbers will be changed. New ones will consist of the exchange name and numeral, PLaza 6, -and four other figures. A typical Honey Harbour number would be PLaza 6-1234, or 756-1234.
  • Charles Godfrey, who was born and raised on the outskirts of Coldwater, fell 65 feet to his death May 28 from a Lands and Forests lookout tower west of Nipigon. A report from Beardmore stated Mr. Godfrey, 66, suffered a heart seizure as he climbed to the top of the MacDiarmid tower. His wife, Margaret, climbing a few feet below him, looked up when he did not answer her conversation and saw him slumped between the rungs. Unable to help him on the open ladder, she hurried down with intentions of running over a mile for help. As she stepped away from the ladder, her husband fell.
  • Hand Lawn-Mowers Sharpened, 304 PRINCESS STREET, Midland, Lorne Corbett.
  • A Committee of Midland Ladies Cordially invites you and your friends of the Georgian Bay Area to meet and have tea with Honourable L. B. “Mike” Pearson Secretary of State for External Affairs and William “Bill” Robinson Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons Midland YMCA on Friday, May 31, 2 – 4 p.m. Everyone is Most Welcome to Attend!
  • An invitation is extended to you to meet Dr. P. B. Rynard Progressive Conservative Candidate for Simcoe East and Mrs. Rynard at a Tea to be held Thursday, May 30, from 3 – 6 p.m. in the YMCA Parlor, Midland. Given by the Midland District Women’s Progressive Conservative Association.

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