Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – January 23rd to 31st 1958

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Week of Jan. 28 – Feb. 5 has been proclaimed “Cross Canada Hockey Week” at the request of the CAHA, OHA, and OMHA. One of Midland’s OMHA teams, the juveniles, is seen above with Coach Frank Swales. They meet Hamilton here Tuesday night. The OHA intermediate Red Wings play host to Orillia Merchants Thursday night as part of the same hockey week. The motto chosen for the week is “Bring your boy to see a game”. 

Despite the advent of radar and other recent inventions, sending messages by the signal lamp is still an important part of the training of all sailors. Men above are studying for first or second mate’s tickets at Midland Marine School. Left to right are Al Desjardins, Port McNicoll; J. Jones and Al Hansford, Midland; Don Heidman, Parry Sound; G. Glover, Midland, assistant instructor; Fred Bingham, M. MacIntaggart and T. Courtemanche, Midland, operating both navigation and engineering divisions, the school is sponsored by the vocational guidance committee of the MPDHS board. 

Avoiding collisions at sea is uppermost in the minds of all mariners. Four budding great lake’s masters are seen discussing a typical problem with Capt. Malcolm Kennedy, left, chief instructor at the Midland Marine School. Others are, left to right, Ken Guthrie, Elmvale; Allan Hurlbut, Midland; Albert Purvis, Gore Bay; and Carl Yeo, Port McNicoll. Mr. Hurlbut is studying for his mate’s (home trade) ticket and others for master’s (inland waters) papers. 

Mrs. Eileen Peters, left, holding the Justice Carl Stewart Trophy for best director, and Ken MacEachern, with the best supporting actor award and last year’s festival trophy for the best play, will defend their laurels at the third inter-school drama festival in Barrie next weekend. An MPDHS entry won the best play award two years in succession. 


“Hurry up with that tape”, said Peter Steele, left, and Ralph Ironside, right, as Jim Wilcox gets his stick ready for the recent game. The boys are members of Midland’s juvenile Canadiens who meet a Hamilton team here Tuesday night as a feature of “Cross Canada Hockey Week”. There will also be bantam and juvenile games to round out the big evening. 

Goalie Bill Gray gets some help from Bob Hendrickson, left, and Ron Marchildon as he dons the heavy armor of his trade. The boys are members of Midland’s juvenile Canadiens who meet a Hamilton team here Tuesday night as a feature of “Cross Canada Hockey Week”. There will also be bantam and juvenile games to round out the big evening. 


The new chief of Midland’s People’s Store is Andre Norris, right, who succeeds Jean-Paul Fecteau. Married and with one son, Richard, aged five months, Mr. Norris worked for the company at Kitchener and St. Hyacinthe, Que., prior to coming to Midland. Mr. Fecteau, who has been in Midland for 3 1/2 of his five years with the firm, takes over as manager of a store in Grandmere, Que. He moves there with his wife and two children early in February. 

Outstanding progress in 4-H Homemaking Club work won the Women’s Institute County Scholarship for Barbara Strath of Saurin. Mrs. James Bell of RR #3 Coldwater, who made the presentation at Achievement Day in Elmvale Community Hall Saturday, is chairman of the W. I. scholarship committee. Clara Amos of Mount St. Louis won the scholarship last year. 


Unbeaten this season in five games, MPDHS’ senior basketball team is reviving hopes for at least a Georgian Bay group title this season. Talking things over with coach Bill Setterington are, left to right, front row, “Red” Nicholls, John Maher, Mr. Setterington, Bob Megaw, Martin Reynolds; back row — Ed Trudeau, Lloyd Farquhar (captain), Ron Blair, Ralph LaRue, Henry Gouett, Guenther Raibach and Jim Farmer, team manager. 

Trying to keep Ron Blair from potting baskets has been a big headache for other teams in the Georgian Bay COSSA group this season. Ron has potted 101 points in five games for a 20 point per game average. Guarding the MPDHS sniper in this practice session is team captain Lloyd Farqhuar. Looking on are Marty Reynolds, left and Ed Trudeau. 

“Cheese”, said this happy group at the 4-H Homemaking Club Achievement day held Saturday in Elmvale Community Hall. Mrs. G. R. Lane right, area president of the Women’s Institute, presented county honour certificates for completing six homemaking club projects to, left to right, Janet Stewart of Vasey, Joyce Ingleton of Saurin and Anne Phillips of Allenwood. 

This public service announcement is from March 1937.

Can not resist adding a couple of oldies, again from 1937.

  • The County Herald headline January 24th, 1958; Say County CAS Revenue Could Hit $331,000.00 Mark   If its hoped-for revenue comes through, the Simcoe County Children’s Aid Society will receive $331,000 in 1958. After wiping out its 1957 deficit of $20,030.00 (which includes a deficit of $11,314 1 built up in the accounts payable to other societies) the CAS will have $311,000 to spend during the coming year.
  • The Free Press Herald headline January 29, 1958; Say P.M. to Announce House Dissolution Today A reliable source informed this newspaper yesterday that Prime Minister John Diefenbaker would call for the dissolution of Parliament sometime today. The prime minister has indicated in recent addresses, both inside and out of the House, that the date was not too far off when he would ask Governor-General Vincent Massey to dissolve Parliament and call for a general election. Present representation in the house is as follows: Progressive Conservatives, 113; Liberals, 104; CCF, 25; Social Credit, 17; others, 4. Returning Officer J. P. McNamara told this newspaper yesterday that lists of enumerators for the preparation of voters lists have been prepared, and those listed have consented to act.
  • County Herald Headline January 31st, 1958; Commission Backs Hikes in Hospital Ward Rates.    Increases in ward rates at St. Andrew’s Hospital, recommended by the board in November 1957, have been approved by the Ontario Hospital Commission, St. Andrews Hospital Board was informed at its meeting Monday night. The ward rate increases range from 50 cents daily for standard wards of more than four beds to $1 per day for two-bed semi-private wards. They become effective Feb. 1. The four-hour session was the second the newly-elected board has held since the crisis meeting of Jan. 20.
  • “It would take a new world war to open the Midland Shipyard again.” This is the conclusion of industrial committee chairman Harvey White, as stated in the annual report of the Midland Chamber of Commerce. “There appears to be no intention whatsoever on the part of the company to operate the yard here,” he said.  He said the chamber’s industrial committee had attended numerous meetings with respect to the deliberations and negotiations for re-opening the yards and made two trips to the company’s office at Collingwood on the matter.
  • These students will be the Year Book Staff for I958. Editor, Marie Gignac; assistant editor, Sheila Armstrong; French editor, Annette Ducaire; business manager, Red Nicholls; assistant business manager, Romeo Lalonde; photographer, Bob Scott, (Camera Club committee); special event, Joan and Nancy Somers; chronicles, Janice Edwards, Helen Parker; girls’ sports, Ann Maher; boys’ sports, Bob Popple. Feb. 15 is the last date for material.
  • Last Friday the Hironae Hi-Y held a club party chaperoned by Pat Perrin; club advisor, and Ernie Cowden. (I wonder who was supervising those two)
  • Midland council is making specific application to the Canadian National Railways for a lease of the property on the west side of Midland Bay where Midland yachtsmen have indicated they want to establish a yacht basin and mooring facilities.
  • Twenty Five Years Ago This Week, 1933— A. B. Thompson, M.P., officially opened Midland’s new government warehouse at the town’s waterfront. The new warehouse and a dock completed some months previously were part of a program to improve harbor facilities. * * * The town of Midland was offering a six percent discount on taxes paid prior to Feb. 15, 1933. The discount decreased by one-half percent, per month up to August 15. * * * A new member of Penetang’s 1933 council, in a one-man economy wave, suggested that the town’s police force be reduced to one constable. He estimated that by such a move the town would save $1300 annually. * * * One-time house painter and street sweeper Adolph Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany. Chancellor Paul von Hindenburg, then in his eighties, acceded to the pressure of the Nazi movement to end his nation’s political impasse. * * * District barbers announced they were reducing the price of haircuts from 35 to 25 cents. Other indicators of the price levels of the time were advertisements offering men’s two trouser suits at $15, men’s broadcloth shirts at 49 cents, women’s cotton housedresses, 79 cents. * * * Two Lafontaine residents, Walter Chevrette and his son, Alcime, left Cedar Point about 4 a.m. one morning and headed across the open water for Collingwood in a rowboat. Bucking a storm; the craft started to leak and finally sank in six feet of water. The two were able to make their way to shore by clinging to some boxes which were in the boat. They landed at Collingwood lighthouse where they were given shelter.
  • A shortage of pocket money on a harvest excursion to Western Canada in 1898 was the starting point of an adventure which blossomed into a romance, culminating in a 50th wedding anniversary celebration in Penetang earlier this month. The golden wedding celebration was that of Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Fitzgerald who were married Jan. 8, 1908, in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. When Mr. Fitzgerald admitted he was a native of Guelph, Ontario, and that his wife had been born in Portage la Prairie, he was asked how the couple happened to get together. It was then he told the tale of having embarked on a harvest excursion to western Canada in 1898. Price for the trip to Moose Jaw and return was $10, and young A. L. Fitzgerald started out with hopes high, and very little money in his pocket. By the time the train reached the Manitoba town he had run out of money and decided he would have to stop and get a job. Looking around Portage la Prairie, he obtained work in a hardware store at the munificent wage of S35 per month. But “Fitz,” as he is affectionately known now in Penetang, was destined for higher things, and it wasn’t long until the opposition hardware across the road offered him $75 a month. During his stay in Portage, he met the girl who, five years later, was to become his wife. However, in the meantime, Fitz was not too satisfied with his lot in the hardware store, and he struck out with a partner to Grandview, about 150 miles north, where the pair went into the hardware business on their own in 1903. Grandview, at that time, was at the end of steel. During five years in business there, things did not go too well for the partners. Wheat grew tall and beautiful on the prairies, but in every one of those years, frost ruined the crop before it could be harvested. In the meantime, Fitz decided to get married and the young couple found it impossible to carry on with the $65 monthly he was drawing from the store. When the arrival of a youngster became imminent, Fitz decided he would have to do something to increase his financial position, and he sold his hardware interest after securing a position with a Winnipeg wholesale firm at $100 monthly. He was travelling for this firm, maintaining headquarters in Portage la Prairie, when four years later he was made sales manager. Later he became a director of the company as well as a stockholder. The firm was eventually purchased by Marshal Wells, an American company, in the early twenties. Then Marshal Wells bought out the stove foundry in Penetang in 1922, they persuaded Fitz to go there as manager on a five-year trial basis. “And I’ve been here ever since” he concluded his   Asked how she, a western girl, has liked Ontario, Mrs. Fitzgerald said, “I have never regretted coming to Ontario. I love it here.”
  • Value of building permits issued in Midland in 1957 was the second highest since 1950, according to figures released by F. W. Turnbull, the building inspector. The total value of permits last year, $748,650.00 was exceeded only by 1954, when the figure reached $1,334,725.00. The new St. Andrews Hospital accounted for much of the latter figure.
  • At year’s end, 82 business firms were listed under the group insurance plan of the Midland Chamber of Commerce, states committee chairman W. H. Pinchin in the chamber’s annual report. He said that for handling about $20,000 in annual premiums, claims, correspondence, and payment of benefits, the chamber office receives a commission from the Great-West Life Assurance Company which, in 1957, amounted to more than $1,800.
  • International and national problems may hold the spotlight for most people, but there is a segment of the population with their own particular crisis, old-timers who find they cannot buy chewing tobacco which has been their standby for generations. Popular brands of plug tobacco have been almost non-existent in this area since last fall. There are some scores of men in this area who have made a habit of chewing tobacco instead of smoking, dating back to the era of the lumber mills when smoking was banned on the premises.

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