Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe May 8th to 15th, 1959

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An annual event at Port McNicoll public school is the tea put on by the grades 7 and 8 home economics pupils for their mothers and grandmothers. Held last Wednesday afternoon, the event drew a large attendance again this year. Some of the girls of Mrs. W. Moriarty’s class are seen above at the close of the reception.

Wife of the chairman of Port McNicoll public school board, Mrs. Ray Belanger is being served by two young ladies of Mrs. W. Moriarty’s home economics class at the annual tea held in the school Wednesday for the mothers and grandmothers of the girls in the class. Serving are Lorraine Bell left, and Faye Cameron.

Winners of the Atkinson Marine goalie awards received their trophies at the hockey banquet which climaxed Midland’s Little NHL season Monday night. Left to right are Lloyd Graham (Junior “B”), Greg Somers (AHL “A”), Jürgen Baumann (AHL “B”), Bill Silvey (NHL “A”), Ted Black (NHL “B”), and Laurie Thomas (Junior “A”).

Named “Most Valuable” players in their sections of Midland’s Little NHL, these lads received the Robin Hood trophies at the hockey banquet in Parkside Inn Monday night. Left to right are Ernie Boast (junior “A”), Mike Robitaille (AHL “B”), Jon Pettersen (AHL ”A”), Mike Borsa (NHL “B”), Ed Zablotny (NHL “A”), and Gord Paul (junior “B”).

Presentation of trophies was one of the highlights as Midland’s Little NHL wound up the season at a banquet Monday. Captains of the winners in the various sections are, left to right, Mike Robitaille (AHL “B”), Ed Zablotny (NHL “B”), Jon Pettersen (AHL “A”), Larry French (NHL “A”), Tommy Borsa (junior “A”), and Tommy Sweeting (junior “B’).

Donated by William Wilcox in memory of his son, the Kelvin Wilcox Trophy was presented to Windsor Bulldogs, winners of the Police-Legion sponsored senior OHA section of Midland’s Little NHL at the hockey banquet Monday night. Left to right are, Billy Reay, former Toronto Maple Leaf coach, Mr. Wilcox, Cpl. Ernie Bates, Larry Cripps (captain), John Hanley, Billy Girard, Dennis Marsell, Fred Burgie, Ronald Contois, Ricky Manson, and Const Ross Willett. Absent were Charles Ward and Randy Green. (The trophy was lost in the arena fire.)

Pomp and pageantry came to Midland Saturday night as the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, Hon. Keiller Mackay, officiated at a recognition ceremony for some 50 new Queen’s Scouts. Preceded by his aide de camps, His Honor is seen entering MPDHS auditorium with Mrs. Arthur Ferguson, wife of the regional, commissioner for Scouts. Behind them are Mrs. Mackay and Commissioner Ferguson, followed by Mayor Charles Stevenson and Mrs. Stevenson of Midland.

This was a solemn moment for these young girls as they took the “Guide’s Oath” administered by Mrs. J. E. Lawlor, district commissioner, in a ceremony at St. Mark’s parish house May 6. New members of 1st Midland Company Girl Guides (St. Mark’s) are, left to right, Sheryl Lattimore, Mary Louise Parker, Laurie Young, and Karen Greisbach.

Twenty new girl guides were enrolled in the 1st Midland Company (St. Mark’s) last Wednesday in a ceremony in the parish house. Above, District Commissioner Mrs. J. E. Lawlor pins Girl Guide badge on the tie of Joanne Ambrose.

Among the best catches of the day as the trout season opened May 1 were these two rainbows caught by Midland’s Bev Day. The big one topped five pounds and the smaller one was a pleasing 2 ½. A number of good catches were reported throughout the district.

The rain which eventually drove hundreds of participants in the family rosary parade and rally in Midland Sunday scurrying for shelter hadn’t hit as yet when the two pictures above were taken as the parade formed near St. Margaret’s Church. Top: On the float, all from St. Ann’s Parish, Penetang, are left to right Shirley King, Marcel Moreau, Iber Cadeau, and Michael Murphy.  Lower: Perkinsfield and Penetang children make up the personnel on this float. Included are Lorraine Lacroix, Exilda Moreau, Gerry Parent, Lucille Lesperance, Irene Robitaille, Gilbert Moreau, Robert Brunelle, Lorraine Ducaire and Gerald Jones. 

These are “spit and polish days” at Midland – Penetang District High School as the cadet corps prepares for its annual inspection Thursday. Members of the colour party are giving the colours an airing under the watchful eyes of the quarter-masters staff. Left to right are S/Sgt. R. Blair, Sgt. P. Smith, S/Sgt. J. Vincent and W.O. 2 J. Rankin of the QM staff; and color party members Sgt. J. Quinlan, Lieut. G. Crowe, Sgt. S. Campbell, Lieut. R. Attridge, and Sgt. J. Brodeur.

Much of the success of any army group depends on the efficiency of its NCO’s, and high school cadet corps are no exception. Above, Major W. C. Setterington, chief instructor of the MPDHS corps, makes sure this group of corporals knows its assignments for Thursday’s annual inspection. Corporals are, left to right, front row, L. Anderson, P. King, P. Bellehumeur, W. Puddicombe, G. Ronald; back row, R. Irvine, H. Charlebois, J. Quesnelle, N. Zoschke, B. Small.

Officers of the battalion headquarters staff of Midland – Penetang District High School cadet corps are seen above during a lull in training for Thursday’s annual inspection. Left to right are Cadet Major Hartmut Bezner, Cadet Major Paul McDonald, Cadet Major J. Parker, 2 I/C; Cadet Lieut.-Col. K. MacEachern, commanding officer; Cadet Major Wayne Morrison, adjutant; Cadet Major R. Scott, and Cadet Major M. Reynolds.

  • [The Free Press Herald front page of May 13th, 1959, is missing from the microfilm. We will examine the original copies in the museum archives to see if it was an oversight by the people who originally photographed our Midland-Penetang newspapers or whether it was ever in the collection. The museum is always attempting to add to the Free Press collection, many editions and many years are missing. Missing are most papers prior to 1939 except 1950 which is missing entirely. If you have an old Midland or Penetang newspaper from these years you wish to donate please contact the museum, 526-2844. ]
  • County Herald headline of May 8, 1959; Employment Scene Good, Future Prospects Bright. Ranks of unemployed have been depleted considerably and prospects for future work look bright, district National Employment Services officials believe. Employment in the construction industry is good and local industry is employing as many if not more than they did this time a year ago it was stated.
  • Midland Junior Chamber of Commerce last night commenced plans for its seventh annual fireworks display to be held in Little Lake Park, Midland, May 18. Jaycee President Bill Bennett said the “Jaycees will really light up the sky over the lake that night” Bennett explained that very few residents realize this is a non-profit venture, paid for by the donations collected at the entrance to the park each year. He said although, receipts have been good, approximately $50 was raised in this manner last year. This was about $200 short of the actual cost of the 1958 display. If it were not for the assistance from the town of Midland and Midland service clubs, who help underwrite the loss, the Midland Jaycees could not carry on each year, President Bennett He said the club itself does not have the funds to cover the additional expense.
  • Two young, members of RCSCC “Huron” Midland, spent an anxious few hours adrift on Georgian Bay yesterday afternoon before they were finally rescued by a provincial police boat. Michael Moreau and Ron Belanger, both about 16, set out around 8 a.m. for a sail in one of the sea cadet corps dinghies. They took their lunches with them, intending to spend the day afloat. By mid-afternoon, the wind freshened considerably and the seas got rougher. The two inexperienced sailors decided to let the sail down and drift with the wind about 2.30 p.m. Tom Scott an employee at the CSL Town House elevator, had seen the boys’ sailing around Midland harbor on several occasions during the day. When he again spied the dinghy with the sail down, he feared the craft might have capsized and contacted the police.
  • Long distance charges between Midland and Penetanguishene telephones will be eliminated early next year H. A. Kilroy local Bell Telephone manager announced today. He said the change is being made to keep pace with the steady growth in the community of interest between Midland and Penetanguishene. This growth is reflected in the long-distance calling between the two communities.
  • TEN YEARS AGO THIS WEEK – Midland council was considering asking the Canadian Home Underwriters Association for an inspection of the municipality with a view to lowering fire insurance rates. Council’s action stemmed from a recommendation made by Fire Chief Peter Grigg. * * * More than 400 North Simcoe’ citizens attended the official opening of Bausch and Lomb’s new lens manufacturing plant, in Midland. * * * C. L. Chittick of Barrie was elected president of Simcoe County Children’s Aid Society at the May 10 meeting of the society’s board of directors. He succeeded G. S. McConkey. * * * Elmer Wood, youthful deputy-reeve of Orillia Township won the Simcoe East Progressive – Conservative nomination at a riding convention in Coldwater. His opponent, A. “Affie” Thompson, was nosed out by only 10 votes. The nomination assured a three-way fight in the federal vote. * * * New addition to the Canada Steamship Lines fleet, the S.S. Coverdale was nearing her launching stage at Midland shipyard. The new bulk carrier was 640 feet long. * * * At a special meeting in Vasey May 13, plans were discussed for the construction of a community hall for the village. The dinner meeting was sponsored by the Vasey Women’s Institute. It was suggested that the proposed building be erected in a corner of the athletic field. * * * Midland had the youngest airman in Canada in possession of a commercial pilot’s licence. He was Bert Barbour of Toronto and he was flying out of Midland for Georgian Bay Airways. * * * Members of the Masonic Order from lodges in the Lindsay to Meaford area were present when Rt. Worshipful Brother J. J. Robins, district deputy grand master of Georgian District, paid his official visit to Caledonian Lodge, Midland. It was reported to have been one of the largest Masonic gatherings in Midland in some years.
  • A native of Midland and a member of one of the town’s oldest families, Howard Chew is now the sole proprietor of Royal Oak -Lodge on Yonge Street, West. In 1956 Mr. Chew and Elmer Portwood of Philadelphia purchased the tourist and guest home from W. Sterrett. Now Mr. Portwood has returned to Philadelphia and has sold his interest in the business to Mr. Chew.
  • Penetang has lost one of its most active new residents. Kenneth Macdonald, manager of the Bank of Nova Scotia, established here in June 1956, has been moved. Mr. Macdonald was notified on May 6 that he was being transferred to the managership of the bank’s branch in Haileybury. It is the only bank in the Northern Ontario town, which is the district town for the District of Temiskaming. Since his arrival in Penetang, Mr. Macdonald has taken a keen interest in community activities and has been closely connected with many civic groups.
  • When the royal yacht “Britannia” enters the St. Lawrence River this summer for the official opening of the Seaway, it will be the first time that the vessel has been in fresh water in the 100,000 miles she has logged in many of the world’s sea lanes since she was launched in 1953. After the opening at Montreal June 26, “Britannia”, escorted by Royal Canadian Navy warships and Royal Canadian Mounted Police patrol boats, it will carry the Queen through the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes on the first stage of the 44-day royal tour. Hundreds of pleasure craft will swarm about the ship in mass excursions organized by yacht clubs along the route. The United States is to send a force of 28 warships to the opening. They may also join the “Britannia” on the trip up the river. The “Britannia” visited Canada once before. She picked up Prince Philip in 1954 after he attended the British Empire Games at Vancouver.
  • Members of St. Margaret’s and St. Ann’s Teen Town Clubs last Sunday night danced to the music of Jack Beauchamp and his band. The orchestra consisted of Mrs. Beauchamp at the piano, Jack on saxophone, Guy Johnstone, drums, George Johnstone, trumpet and Moris Dusome, guitar. During the social Harvey Boyd and Marian Lavigne won prizes for the spot dance. The presidents of both clubs thanked each other for their hospitality.
  • William C. Lennox, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Lennox of Midland, received a $50 award for standing first among students in his year at Waterloo College. Bill was the top man of six students who received honors in promotional exams for the winter term in the co-operative engineering course at the University of Waterloo. All six gained honor marks in their first year.

Looking further back, 80 years ago, May 10, 1939, and the Midland town council report.

At the regular meeting Monday night, Midland Town Council received confirmation of the basis of the federal and provincial grants-in-aid for relief, 74.07 percent for the first quarter of the year, and 80 percent thereafter provided the total costs do not exceed $130,200.
Application for permission to operate a dry cleaning plant in the former Taylor  Auto showrooms, Dominion Ave. E., from James Mackay, was passed.
By-law 1181, Sec. 28 was amended to provide a taxi stand for Chas. Stewart on Dominion Ave. East.
A by-law was passed requiring vendors of cordwood or firewood within the Town to furnish written or printed receipts, stating the name and address of the vendor, the number of cords, and sale price. This does not apply, however, to kindling, mill waste or mill cuttings.
Council accepted an offer of $300, provided suitable payments could be arranged, from William Crawford for the property at 294 Dominion Ave. on the understanding that the premises would be completely overhauled and repaired.
Tender of T. Calhoun of $50.00 for the barn on 203 Third St. was accepted.
A considerable discussion arose on the sale of the property and house at 378 Hugel Ave. W., known as the Trilsbeck house to H. A. Humphries for $750 cash. It is a housing commission building, and over $2,300 is still owing to the Town on it. Capt. Ed. Burke pointed out that for an expenditure of $250 the house could be put in a first-class state, rent at $18 per month and eventually liquidate the whole amount outstanding against the property. “At the $1,000 valuation, you would be getting 10 percent on your money in addition to paying, full taxes,” he declared. Mayor Mackie objected, saying that the Town was not in the real estate business. Mr. Humphries’ offer was finally accepted, 3-2, with Aldermen Burke and Argue dissenting.
Permission was given the Horticultural Society to beautify the Rest Room lot. 
A determined drive will be made against persons dumping scrap or garbage on vacant properties around town. It was pointed out that one irresponsible individual had gone so far as to dump a load of scrap in the Town Park.
Tenders were considered for the steel in the old malleable iron building, the highest bid being $1,077, but it was decided to leave the matter with Capt. Ed Burke to attempt to make a better deal at a private sale.

New dry cleaning establishment, May 10, 1939.
In an advertisement carried elsewhere in this issue, James MacKay of Toronto, laundry and dry-cleaning machinery engineer, announces the lease for four years with an option to purchase of the former Taylor Garage showrooms on Dominion Ave. E., Midland. Workmen have been busy since Friday installing a modern cleaning and laundering plant which features machinery of the latest type. The building has been redecorated in a smart green and white motif, and plans call for a start of operation later this week. Blue and grey has been chosen for the firm’s truck. James McKay, born near Glasgow in Scotland, owns the firm, to be known as the French Dry
Cleaners and Launderers, which will be managed by his brothers. “This firm has absolutely no connection with the former Marvo Cleaners,” commented Mr. McKay. Many specialty cleaning jobs will be featured by the new concern, and agencies opened in neighbouring communities.

2 thoughts on “Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe May 8th to 15th, 1959

  1. I am looking for an old town that no longer exists called Royal Oak. Was it near Midland? My grandfather was a Dr. Barnardo boy and worked for a farmer, Robert James Lowry, at Royal Oak from 1907-1912. Where can I find information on Royal Oak and the nearest graveyard? Sorry to bother you with this. And if I am in the wrong county. Thanks

    • Douglas, I can find no reference to a “Royal Oak” settlement in our area. The one in Michigan keeps coming up, even in searches of our local newspapers. Sorry, we could not be of more help. Regards, Tom Barber, museum volunteer researcher.

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