Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – March 16th to 22nd, 1959

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Silverware these women are holding will be presented to the winners of various sections in the Georgian Bay badminton tournament finals in Midland Armory Saturday. Left to right are Muriel Cameron, Camp Borden; Marie Abbotts, Owen Sound, last year’s women’s champion who lost out in the quarter-finals this year; Pamela Nixon, Barrie; and Joyce Rutherford, Midland. 

A portion of the new lounge at Midland’s Midtown Motel and a new guest room.  New addition of the lounge and ten other units to the second storey of the motel was opened recently. 

Midland Lions will sponsor these two budding orators in the Ontario-Quebec finals of a public speaking contest for high school students. President of the Midland club, Harold Humphries is seen with Marion Lavigne and Raymond Desrochers. Marion was best of the seven English speaking finalists. Raymond, a Penetang boy, will advance in the French-speaking division. 

Seen with President Doug Bensley are the two MPDHS orators the Penetang Lions Club will send to the Ontario-Quebec finals of the public; speaking contest for high school students. Contestants are Rudie Whaling of Midland, left, and Pauline Charlebois, Penetang, a French-speaking contestant. 

Penetang Little NHL – South Georgian Bay Champions – Don Deschambault is receiving the trophy. Top, Paul Solmes, Mike Dubeau, Bill Lepage, Martin Robillard, Ron Robillard. Middle, Donald Light, Paul Devillers, Ian Dick, Jimmy Martin, Peter Berry. Front, Donald Dupuis, Ted Mason, Gerald Gignac. Free Press caption; SOUTH GEORGIAN BAY champs in the Little League NHL section, Penetang entry beat Collingwood in a photo finish. Standing under pictures of former Penetang “greats,” Don Deschambault, team captain, holds the Rev. J. L. Len Self trophy. It was presented by Frank Spence of Canadian Name Plate, the donors. (Thanks to “Waxy” Gregoire for identifying the team members.) 

It was a jubilant Midland team in the AHL section of South Georgian Bay Minor Hockey League that accepted the Pillsbury trophy Saturday from C. L. Weckman. Dennis Abbott is surrounded by his teammates as he takes over the trophy at the end of the 4-2 win over Orillia. (This photo is from the Free Press negative collection, the only one we thought, yet in the photo below that was published in the newspaper Bobby Clayton has appeared, middle right.)

Even without the trophy, the big smiles would indicate Lloyd Wilcox’ Midland rink had emerged the winners of the CSL bonspiel last Wednesday. Left to right are Harold McAllen, Graydon Rogers, Lloyd Wilcox, R. C. H. Reed, assistant superintendent of CSL who presented the trophy, and Lawrence Wilcox. The annual event attracted 30 entries, each of whom played one game at Penetang and two at Midland. 

Winners of the Orr Trophy at the annual Midland-Penetang District High School bonspiel at Midland Curling Club Saturday were John Moss’ rink, seen receiving their trophy from Principal L. M. Johnston, Members of the rink are, left to right, Rodney Rankin, John Moss, Mr. Johnston, Gunther Haibach and John Quinlan.

R. Chittick, general manager of Midland Printers Limited, congratulates Jack Jorna, who received his Canadian citizenship in Barrie Wednesday, March 11. Mr. Jorna, a compositor at the Free Press, was one of fifty new Canadians who were presented with citizenship certificates. 

Midland’s new Liquor Control Board store, at Queen and Bay streets, is rated one of the most modern of its kind by manager Lorne Garrow, center in the upper photo. Flanked by clerks Darcy Fitzgerald, left, and Ossie Downer, Mr. Garrow comes to Midland from Oshawa, where he served for the past 13 years. (You penciled the product number of your choice on a piece of paper and the staff retrieved it from the stock, seems to me that Walker’s Special Old was 68B or was that Bacardi’s light amber rum.)

Editorial: A little more than a year ago Midland’s St. Andrews Hospital was critically ill with what had been diagnosed as financial anemia. Its future, to say the least, was not rosy. The hospital board of directors had resigned. Hospital finances were in such dire straits, it was said the institution might have to close its doors. A special meeting of citizens was called to discuss the problems and to attempt to formulate some course of action which would ensure this vital community service would be continued.  The new municipal auditorium was filled to capacity. The crowd, one of the largest to attend a public meeting in Midland for some years, represented all walks of life. The air was electric with suspense as the cards were laid on the table by the various speakers. Ultimately, a new board of directors was named. Next Wednesday night the men and women who were appointed to the board that night will make their reports at the annual meeting of the Corporation of St. Andrews Hospital. The meeting will be held in the same auditorium but a different story will be told. This story will be equally as electrifying, for it will be, in a sense, the story of an uphill fight for the survival of a hospital. It will be the story of how the entire hospital staff, doctors, Midland service clubs, fraternal organizations, businessmen and citizens, the councils and citizens of the surrounding municipalities contributed funds, worked long hours and co-operated to restore this ‘patient’ to a healthier state. It will be the story of devotion to a cause, of administrative surgery and financial transfusions. It was not an easy struggle or an entirely pleasant one. The financial charts now show that as of December 31, 1958, current assets exceeded liabilities by some $14,000 and the net improvement in finances since December 31, 1957, as $56,685. The hospital is now passing through the convalescing stage. Let us hope it does not have a relapse. 

Board of Directors of St. Andrews Hospital paid tribute this week to the excellent co-operation received the past year from the local doctors and the entire hospital staff. At the beginning of its term of office, the Board appealed to the doctors and staff to make every effort to help the Board deal with the problems that had to be solved. Without exception, a board spokesman stated, the medical men and staff of the hospital expressed willingness to co-operate fully. By maintaining patient occupancy at a relatively constant level,  minimizing Saturday operations, timing activities with the availability of nurses and streamlining the system of medical records, which in some instances needed duplication, the medical staff assisted greatly with the economy and overall operation of the hospital, it was stated. Another feature of the excellent co-operation enjoyed between the medical staff and the board was the invitation to the board chairman and the management committee to attend and discuss administration matters at the regular monthly meetings of the medical staff. At times during the year when the hospital was actually temporarily understaffed because of an unexpected increase in the number of patients, the nurses of the hospital worked cheerfully for Ionger hours to ensure that no essential duties and services were neglected. The helpful spirit of the entire staff and their patience in coping with difficulties was especially appreciated during the whole year, the board spokesman stated. 

Responsible for the smooth operation and efficiency throughout the hospital are Nursing Superintendent Miss Jean Holt and Business Administrator Alex Craig. Miss Holt is in charge of the medical responsibilities of the staff while Mr. Craig supervises the administration of the hospital. 

Last year 372 new citizens spent their first few days in St. Andrews nursery. Registered nurses Patricia Hook and Lois Rey were on duty when this photo was taken. Midland Lions Club provides a $300 annual grant for nursery equipment maintenance and supplies. 

Jean Sutton, Reg. Nurse makes sure the oxygen tent, a $1,000 gift of the Hospital Women’s Auxiliary is working properly. The tent is one of a series of gifts donated to the hospital by the Auxiliary in recent years. Nurses Alumnae also have contributed generously to the hospital. 

Nursing stations are manned 24 hours a day. Two-way intercom system permits conversation between duty nurses and any patient on the floor. Registered nurses Judy Wright, and Mrs. L. Mac Arthur are at first-floor station. Files contain medical histories of patients. 

More than 60,000 meals were served at St. Andrews in 1958, which included special diets as well as regular fare. Shirley Henry, left, receives instructions from Lyla Ritchie, a qualified dietician who is in charge of meal planning at the hospital. 

Pipes which almost obscure chief engineer Allan Busch are part of the heating system that keeps the hospital warm and comfortable, the temperature is controlled by an outside weather eye. A 24-hour duty is maintained in the boiler room. Last year 380 tons of coal were needed to heat the hospital. 

In 1958 more than 3,399 x-rays were taken on equipment in St. Andrew’s Hospital. Here Anne Gunn, the hospital’s X-ray technician prepares to take a patient’s “picture”. The equipment is comparable to any in other hospitals in Ontario. 

Members of Branch 80, Midland, proved their superiority at cribbage as District “E” of the Canadian Legion held its tournament Saturday. The Midlanders won both the ten-man team and doubles titles. Above, Herb Wiles receives the trophy from Ossie Truman of Weston, district sports officer, on behalf of the Midland victors.


  • Free Press headline of March 18, 1959; Road Crew Breaks Main Creates Crisis in Village. Highway construction workers, using a drag line on the new Coldwater bypass right-of-way, Monday afternoon broke the main water line running from the village reservoirs into Coldwater. Since the accident, which occurred about 3.30 p.m. Monday, irate councillors have dispatched telegrams and telephone calls to Highways Minister Fred Cass and Lloyd Letherby, MPP. Emergency arrangements for fire protection have been made with Simcoe County Mutual Aid Fire Association. The villagers reportedly have been without water in their taps since 9 p.m. Monday night.
  • County Herald headline of March 20, 1959; County Holds Tax Line, Road and General Levy 10.5 This year’s levy is made up of 7 mills general rate and 3.5 for roads. Last year it was 7.2 for general and 3.3 for roads. This year’s general rate of 7 mills is expected to raise $695,025 and the 3.5 mills for roads should bring in $347,512. Last year’s figures were $837,055 and $366,928, respectively. Midland’s share of the tax levy this year will be $60,175 for general and $30,087 for roads, a total of $90,262 as compared with $86,854 last year. For Penetang the figures are $17,558 for general and $8,779 for roads for a total of $26,337 as compared with $25,835 last year.
  • As Good Friday, a statutory holiday falls on the publication day for the County Herald, only one paper will be published next week. It will be the Free Press Herald, to be published and distributed to book stores and by carrier Wednesday. Rural correspondents and advertisers are requested to have their copy into this office early.
  • A teenage gang of shop-lifters was broken up on the weekend with the apprehension of six youths, Midland Police Chief Robert Cameron told this newspaper Monday. The chief said two youths had been charged and charges were pending against the others. Chief Cameron said the shoplifting crew, all Midland lads, would enter a clothing store and, while a couple of them kept the clerk occupied, another would steal an article of clothing. In other instances, they would try on an item of clothing and then leave with the new item without paying for it.
  • Thirty-one teachers at Midland-Penetang District High School will receive a $500 across-the-board wage increase, effective Sept. 1, as a result of a decision by the district board at its meeting last week. For some, experienced teachers, specialists, and heads of departments, the new salary schedule adopted by the board will mean substantial increases over the present salaries.
  • A total of 401 persons heard Victor White, a travelling missionary for the Watch Tower Society, deliver a Bible lecture on the subject, “A Paradise Earth Through God’s Kingdom.” The setting for this lecture was Parkside Pavilion, Midland, Sunday. The talk climaxed a three-day circuit assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses from an area bounded by Burks Falls on the north to Cookstown on the south and Orillia on the east. During the three days, delegates received Bible instruction and counsel in their ministerial activities. A baptism service was held Saturday afternoon.
  • Two district women were among the many motorists reported to have been caught up in the heavy gales which swept across Ontario Sunday afternoon and night. According to word reaching this paper, Miss Margaret Boden, Midland, and Miss Lena Woolley, Penetang, were en route to Toronto early Sunday evening. They were near Cookstown when the gale-force winds reportedly drove their small car across the road, turning it over several times. Damage to the vehicle was reported at around $300 but no person was seriously injured.
  • A new commercial establishment will occupy the premises now housing Bev’s Marine Ltd., Midland, May 1. Brake Specialty and Parts Company of Toronto has recently completed an agreement with B. H. Keefe, president of Bev’s Marine Ltd., for a long-term lease of the showroom and shops located at 263 Midland Ave. Russ Brazier, general manager of Brake Specialty, indicates the company would start with four employees but hoped to add to this once the business is established. The main business of the new company is the distribution of wholesale automotive parts. They now have a number of locations operating throughout Ontario.
  • Bandmaster of the Midland Salvation Army band for 25 years and a life member of Caledonian Lodge, No. 249 AF and AM, Midland, Richard Harry Gregory died at Greater Niagara Falls Hospital March 14 at the age of 80. Mr. Gregory was the husband of the late Emily L. Edwards. He is survived by a son, Raymond, and a daughter, Mrs. Elsie Mills, both of Toronto, and two brothers, George, and Gregory of Navisink, N.J. Mr. Gregory, a bricklayer and a contractor was for 10 years property building inspector for the Salvation Army in Toronto. At one time he ran a fish and chip store near the present site of Orr’s Jewellers.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week – Presentation of the charter of incorporation was made to Penetang Chamber of Commerce by Mayor W. D. Hunter. The charter was presented to J. M. H. McGuire, president of the chamber. * * * Penetang Hospital Board and women’s organizations in the town were making plans for a house-to-house canvass to raise funds for furnishing and equipping a new X-ray room in the proposed new hospital. Campaign objective was set at $10,000. * * * The Ontario legislature voted down a private bill calling for municipal elections at Wasaga Beach to be held during the summer rather than at the year-end. Also sought was authority for summer residents to hold municipal office. The legislature committee felt the bill left the preponderance of voting power with citizens “who would not be on the job except for a short time during the summer”. * * * Simcoe East member Wm. A. Robinson announced that letter carrier service would commence in Midland May 2. He said five to seven local men would be employed in the delivery service. * * * Audited financial statement for the town of Midland showed the town had incurred a $6,104 deficit on its 1948 operations. The mill rate in 1948 had been set at 46 mills. * * * Entries in the Midland Music Festival hit a new high in 1949. A tabulation showed 490 entries had been submitted in the various classes. It was estimated that approximately twelve to fifteen hundred contestants would be taking part. * * * Following a study made by county council’s agricultural committee and a member, of the Ontario Department of Agriculture, it was recommended that Stewart L. Page, county agricultural representative, be provided with an assistant. The assistant was to report June 1.
  • Annual spring fashion supplement, sponsored by Midland and Penetang businessmen, will appear with this issue of the County Herald. The 12-page supplement contains news and advertising messages describing the latest style trends.
  • “The people have been very good this year. It has been quite steady for the past couple of weeks,” stated Alex Macintosh, Midland’s issuer of motor vehicle licences. Indicating that he estimated about 80 percent of the licences had been sold, Mr. Macintosh said there had been no heavy, rush. “It is certainly better than last year.” Business at the Penetang licence issuing office was steady throughout Thursday, the day following the deadline, according to Mrs. Boyd Hollister. “There has been no rush, just a steady business all day long,” she said. Mrs. Hollister said she believed the majority of car owners in this area had their plates before the deadline. “We will still sell quite a few, however, to those people who have been unable to get their cars out because of the heavy snow conditions,” she said.
  • Letter to the editor; Dear Editor: I read in Wednesday’s Free Press Herald where Bev’s Marine has leased its building to a new firm, and I presume Mr. Keefe and his associates contemplate construction of a marina on property adjacent to the Midland coal docks. Neville Keefe, manager of the Georgian Bay Development Association has been asked by the town council to try to finalize purchase property which is supposedly partly owned by the railway. That’s all very good but I think the mayor and or members of council ought to do anything possible in order that this much-needed marina may become a reality. Last fall I walked over the proposed site of the marina, and it appeared to me that a tremendous work will be involved before the place can be put to use. Not only will it take a great deal of labor, but I imagine the cost will be very heavy. As there is no apparent immediate move by the government to supply funds for a marina, I believe that anyone who has enough courage and foresight to undertake the task ought to receive whatever possible support council can give. There is a steadily growing need for a marina here in Midland, not only for local boat owners but as a means of encouraging tourists to our town. Signed, an old Salt. (It is hard to imagine Midland without a marina.)

We are working at the moment on the 1943 Midland Free Press microfilms and wanted to add a page from that era.

Pages from Free Press Herald_1943-10-20 OCR



2 thoughts on “Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – March 16th to 22nd, 1959

  1. Just a note to tell you how much Inenjoy these postings. I grew up in Midland and Penetang in the 49s and 50s and it is so nice to see so many familiar faces and read so many familiar names. I enjoyed today’s front page from 1943. Thank you for these postings.

    Sylvia (Sylvie) Sutherland

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