Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – February 16th to 23rd, 1959

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Good sportsmanship is a trademark of Midland’s Little NHL, here exemplified by Chester Graham, left, and Jon Pettersen. Jon scored three goals and assisted in another as his Rochester Americans beat Chester’s Hershey Bears 4-1 to win the AHL title at Arena Gardens Wednesday night. 

 This cottage at Port McNicoll acquired several “rooms with a view” early Thursday morning when the entire front wall caved under the weight of more than four feet of snow on the roof. Owned by Mrs. R. Loveridge, Toronto, the cottage was less than three years old and is located on the Tay Township side of the road to Paradise Point. Workmen hastily cleared roofs of other cottages at Paradise and Grandview Beaches following this mishap. 

These pupils submitted prize-winning posters in the contest sponsored by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in Midland schools. Left to right, front row, are Brian Dunn, Beverley Thompson, June Brownlee, and Donna Lovell; back row — Janette Setterington, Gitta Duwe, Charlotte Lamour, and Deanna Boyce. Awards were presented by Mrs. Charles McElroy and Mrs. J. E. Shaw, including a provincial award to Beverley Thompson. 

Reporters – Photographers Vern Farrow, left, Penetang, and Ken Somers, Midland, right, examine the trophy this newspaper won for best photo journalism in the Ontario Weekly Newspapers Association better newspaper competitions. General manager Robert Chittick, center, presented the trophy to the two men who take most of the pictures which appear in the Free Press Herald and County Herald. 

Pictured are the Tay Telephone System operators Mrs. Jack Todd, Mrs. Laura Belfry and Miss Eva Lidstone. Veteran personnel of the system includes Miss Eva Lidstone, chief operator, and William Grigg, linesman and general supervisor. Miss Lidstone has been employed steadily for the past 32 years. Other operators include Mrs. Jack Todd, Mrs. Laura Belfry, Miss Grace Kirkwood, and Cecil Profit, the night operator. Linesman Stan Robinson is Mr. Grigg’s chief assistant. Article on the same page discusses recent improvements to the system. 

Each year, the Roxy Theatre trophy is presented to the senior boy student at MPDHS who best combines scholarship, leadership, sportsmanship and other qualities. This year’s winner, Wayne Morrison, left, is seen receiving the trophy from Rev. J. L. Self. Wayne is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Karl Morrison, Elizabeth Street. 

“I know just how you feel,” said Judy Mclntyre, as she crowned Gizele Bezner “Queen of Hearts” of MPDHS for 1959 at the Roxy Theatre Thursday night. Judy was last year’s “Queen”. The other contestant visible at the rear is Annette Ducaire of Penetang.

Small but compact, this building is the new home of Tay Municipal Telephone System. Tay clerk-treasurer and secretary of the phone system, Ralph Dalton stands in front. At the rear is the old building which was the home of Tay’s phone system from 1910 until last week. New building and equipment is part of a $30,000 outlay authorized by Tay taxpayers to bring their phone system up to date. 

Moving the big grain carriers around in Midland harbor is a tricky job under the best of circumstances. When the harbor is jammed with ice, as above, the job becomes even more difficult. Here, the CSL’s Goderich, unloaded, is being moved away from the elevator to make room for the Lemoyne by the ice-breaker “Bayport.”

  • Headline from the Free Press Herald, February 18, 1959; “MPDHS Team’s Conduct Results in Ban on Games”. Dissatisfied with student “deportment and conduct” at inter-school sports events. Midland – Penetang District High School officials have withdrawn all interschool sports privileges from the student body. This decision was announced to the students yesterday morning. The move on the part of the physical education teaching staff and principal was precipitated by the actions of the MPDHS junior boy’s basketball team in a recent COSSA game in Collingwood. Director of physical education at MPDHS, William Setterington told this newspaper yesterday that the majority of students (spectators and players) had exhibited very poor sportsmanship during games. He said referees and game officials were booed and criticized during sports events and some players had argued with officials. Mr. Setterington said all teams were guilty. He added that MPDHS teams had two or three times as many fouls called against them as other teams.
  • Headline from the County Herald newspaper, February 20, 1959; “Adopt Hold Line Policy on Police Salary Brief”. On most items, “no change from the present arrangement was the recommendation from Midland council’s police committee to the special meeting of the council called Wednesday afternoon to consider the brief submitted by the town’s police officers. The items which received the “no change” treatment were; salary increases, annual vacations, statutory holidays, hours of work, clothing, and equipment and sick leave. … Concerning the police force’s request for council’s payment of 50 percent of the cost of Ontario Hospital Insurance, the council decided to defer this matter until consideration was being given to the town’s budget.
  • Two men narrowly escaped death when a car and a one-ton truck collided on Highway 27, about a mile north of Wyebridge, early Sunday evening. In St. Andrews Hospital with chest injuries and numerous abrasions about the face and arms is Dr. James Small, well known Midland physician. Another Midland resident, Elmer Lacroix, luckily escaped without a scratch.
  • After nearly half a century in the old stand, Tay Municipal Telephone System moved into a brand new building at Victoria Harbour last week. True, it didn’t move far— just one door away, in fact. But for the TMTS it was a big step, one which could cost as much as $30,000 before it’s all finished. That’s the sum ratepayers of the township approved to bring the old system “up to date.” The new brick veneer building, measuring 18 by 30 feet, is only a portion of the program. Included are a new switchboard, new cables, new telephones and a general improvement of the lines. The new cable is the first step in making single party phones available to all who want them. They will too, enable the system to cut the heavy load on some of the lines, three of which have 20 or more subscribers.
  • Midland Junior Chamber of Commerce will mark the 10th anniversary of its inception at a banquet and dance Feb. 21 in Bourgeois dining room, Victoria Harbour. Driving force behind the organization of the Midland Jaycees was Lawren Johnson, who was also the club’s first president. Among its members during the past 10 years have been. Dr. Dalton Martin, Frank Swales, Bill Russell, Larry Dumais, John Corcoran, Ray Smith, Bruce Gilbert, Tim Nesbitt, Charlie Onley, John Burke, Bill Spiker, Ed Jeffery. Executive officers for 1959 are George McLaughlin, president; Bill Bennett, 1st vice-president; Peter Matts, 2nd vice-president; Cliff Ornsby, secretary; Ben Westlaken, treasurer.
  • A group of volunteers had difficulty Sunday pumping a reported six feet of water out of the converted Fairmile “Nadine,” tied up at Penetang dock. An investigation was launched when it was noticed the craft had developed a considerable list, and water was discovered in the hold. Several portable pumps were required to drain the vessel and bring her back to an even keel. The trouble apparently started when frost worked on the fitting plate of a seacock in the craft’s hull, and finally developed a leak.
  • Nine North Simcoe district music students achieved first class honors and four others honors in examinations in Midland conducted by the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto. An announcement from the conservatory reveals the following students were successful in the tests: GRADE III THEORY Harmony — honors, George Haskill; pass, Bill Bates, Danny Richardson. GRADE II THEORY First class honors, Tony Moffat; Elizabeth J. Watkinson; Karen Blair; Anne Webster; Lynn Johnston, Lloyd Preston, Ardath Zimmer; honors, Gail Webster; Louise Bellehumeur, Frank Rynex; pass, Robin Benson, Kathleen McElroy, Ian Brownlee; Jean Lethbridge, Heather Scott. GRADE I THEORY First class honors, Jane Campbell; Gail Richardson.
  • Obituary; LORAN WILLIAMS, A former Tay Township councillor and secretary-treasurer of S. S. No. 5 Tay, Loran Williams died of a heart attack at his home R.R. No. 1 Penetang, Jan. 18. He was in his 68th Funeral service was held at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home Jan. 21 with Rev. Charles H. Carter conducting the service. Pallbearers were Fred Ball, Hugh Curry, John Curry, Walter Edwards, Edward Stewart and Thomas Zoschke. A life-long resident of this district, Mr. Williams was instrumental in getting Hydro and telephone service to the Midland Point area. Besides farming, Mr. Williams worked as engineer on the Midland City for several summers and then as stationary engineer at the Midland Shipyards. Mr. Williams, who was married 39 years ago to the former Ruth Mustard, was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Besides his widow, Mr. Williams is survived by four sons, Archie, St. Catharines; Alvin, Midland Point; John, Midland, and Raymond, Burlington; one daughter, Mrs. Michael Chapman (Marion), Midland Point, and seven grandchildren. (Alvin Williams Road at Midland Point)
  • Ten Years Ago This Week – Midland Public Schools Board has discussed plans with a Toronto architect for constructing an addition to Regent Public School. W. M. Thompson, a former mayor of Penetang, was appointed Crown Attorney in Simcoe County. His appointment filled the vacancy caused by the death of Frank Hammond. * * * The Georgian Bay Tourist Co.of Midland Ltd. decided to go out of business. The Midland City, the S.S. City of Dover and the Waterbus, which the company owned, were to be offered for sale immediately. (We are in that situation again with the “For Sale” sign hanging on the Miss Midland and the Georgian Queen retired from cruising.) * * * Potato growers in Lafontaine area were seeking auxiliary storage space with a capacity of 50,000 bushels to store surplus potato crop. * * * * Two hundred and fifty visitors from all parts of Canada were in Midland for the presentation of the charter of the Order of the Eastern Star. Fifty charter members and 25 candidates were given the obligations of the order during the ceremony. * * *  More than 40 persons were employed at the Penetang Block and Brick Co. which had received a quarter million dollar order for its cement products. * * * At a special meeting of Coldwater council, Lawrence Devine was named village assessor and Wm. J. Hawke as hydro superintendent. * * * It was estimated that 7,000 persons attended the 11th annual Honey Harbour winter carnival and dog derby.
  • Farmers in the Lafontaine area are looking forward to the time when several feet of snow covering the ground starts to thaw. None will be concerned about flood conditions so long as water is the result. Some farms have been faced with the task of hauling water for some time, while several others are watching their water supply dwindle day by day toward the point where they too will have to seek a new source. Rosaire Moreau said he is now hauling water to a half-dozen farms, and that he expects this number to increase in the near future. Mr. Moreau said he knows of a number of farmers who are transporting their own supply of water.
  • Midland council, meeting in special session Wednesday afternoon, approved its share of the proposed 14 room addition to Midland – Penetang District High School. The estimated cost of the addition will be $300,000 made up of $240,000 for 12 additional classrooms and $60,000 for two rooms likely to be used for commercial and shop practice. Pointing out that on present public school attendance the high school board estimates that by 1965 the expected enrolment will be 1,280.
  • George Wainman of the Midland Police department has been appointed meter maintenance man for 1959. On a motion approved by Midland council, Sgt. Wainman will be paid $40 per month to maintain and service the meters. His duties will commence March 1 and will terminate when the meters are removed from their standards for the season. Police Committee Chairman James Mackie told council that revenue from the parking meters had increased considerably. In 1955 it amounted to S4,000, in 1956, $4,200, in 1957, $7453 and in 1958, $9000, he said.
  • Editorial – DR. A. H. PINCHIN raised a good point in an address to Midland Home and School Association this week that might well be given serious consideration by educational authorities. Quoting Dr. Penfield, a noted Montreal neurologist who has been studying man’s ability to assimilate languages, Dr. Pinchin said the peak of man’s ability in this field is reached by the age of 13 or 14. After that time, his capacity to learn and retain languages steadily declines. “Yet we find most people trying to learn languages at the university level, long after they have reached the peak in this particular field,” the Midland physician stated. He noted that language is a faculty a child acquires. He is not born with it. A Canadian-born infant placed in a German, Russian or Egyptian home will speak that language as proficiently as he would speak English if he remained in Canada. The ability of children to assimilate new languages has been amply demonstrated in Midland schools, where European-born children frequently have learned to speak better English than native-born Canadians. Dietmar Wagner, who won provincial public speaking honors, is one example. Yet his father, certainly above average intelligence in other endeavors, has admitted he could not begin to match the progress of his son in this particular field. It would appear then Canadians should be given the opportunity to learn more than one language at an age when they are most receptive — in public school. Perhaps, as the doctor said, in about 25 years the authorities will get around to this approach. Let us hope, as he does, that it does not take that long. (Ontario legislation authorized French language in elementary and high schools in 1969, Le Caron opened in 1982.)
  • MPDHS Hysterics by David Maheu – Before talking about the “twirp” season, I would like to extend my personal congratulations to Gizele Bezner, this year’s “Queen of Hearts”. Also to be commended is Richard Wright, who won the best supporting actor trophy at the drama festival this year. Last, but not least, the Bantam Basketball Team merits praise for winning the league championship. * * *  Now for the “twirp” season. This year it has been a big success. And one of the reasons that it was is that the students helped put it over. The court last Friday morning heard quite an array of charges and meted out penalties. Along with his 12-man jury, Judge Blouin found Miss Bonnie Brewer guilty of failing to twirp. She was therefore put into the custody of Ron Marchildon (and don’t think any tears were shed over it) for the rest of the day. Court charges were read by Bernie Arbour. The second case was that of Jean Lethbridge charged with flirting with Mr. Blouin and failing to twirp. The unanimous decision of the jury was guilty! She was sentenced to push a jelly bean across the gym floor with her nose. This was to be done at the hard time dance Friday night. Lynn McAllen pleaded not guilty to a charge of refusing to wash Frank Okenka’s socks. The court found her guilty and sentenced her to wash his socks at the dance. Next victim was Linda Pyley, accused of leading a gang of juvenile delinquents who jumped Wayne Broad one dark night. The plaintiff Broad was called to the stand and, when asked to name the other members, could not do so. He said, “They all wore masks except the leader Linda Ryley.” Miss Ryley pleaded innocent but was found guilty. Her penalty was to shave Wayne Broad at the dance. Apparently, it was a good thing that the razor lacked a blade or there might have been some throats cut. Gizele Bezner, “Queen of Hearts”, was found guilty of bribing votes in the “Queen of Hearts” contest. Her penalty was to kiss the all-male jury and the judge. The next case was that of Gail Carr who invited Bill “Weasel” Moss to the show one night and somehow forgot her wallet. She was found guilty and as a penalty was made to blow into a bowl of flour until she reached the penny placed on the bottom. Betty Ann McCullough and Bev Scott were jointly accused of refusing to carry John Bell’s books and, on top of this, they hid them. They were sentenced to sing a song with John Bell.

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