Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – May 16th to 23rd, 1960

The photos found in this blog post are the property of Huronia Museum, Midland, Ontario. Any reproduction for commercial use without permission is prohibited.  Any other distribution must credit Huronia Museum.  Please contact the museum with any questions you may have.  

Click on photos to enlargeNational survival is an important topic all over the world these days, and it formed a part of the demonstrations put on by MPDHS cadets at their annual inspection Wednesday. Here a group of cadets lower a “casualty” from the roof of the cafeteria. P.S. They got him down safely.

The “carnage” at the fifth annual inspection of Midland-Penetang District High School Cadet Corps Wednesday afternoon was terrific. Fortunately no blood was  shed, and the casualties quickly revived under the nearest shade tree. It was a combination of hot sun and nerves that proved too much for some 40 boys and girls, who failed to survive the long wait before the actual inspection began. Some fell on the wet field, others were led away by comrades when they started to sway too violently.

 Safe to say we will never again see a Sherman tank or a squad with Bren guns at the ready in the high school parking lot. (Photo from the 1959 cadet inspection.)

One of the highlights of the annual inspection of MPDHS cadets is this closing ceremony, known as the “feu de Joie”, in which each member of the party fires in quick succession. It’s an old British regiment tradition, denoting loyalty to King and country.

Big event of the year for Midland-Penetang District High School Cadet Corps is the annual inspection, which takes place this Wednesday afternoon. Above are the corps’ corporals, who are, left to right, front row — Larry Thompson, Eric Jennett, Bob Swales, Clarence Woods; centre — John Sweet, John Sibbald, Dave Edwards; back row — Bill Snider, Steve Bell, Bryson McQuirter and Alton Light.

Roman Catholics in North Simcoe honoured the Virgin Mary at their annual rosary rally in Midland Sunday afternoon. A statute of the virgin was transported to the Town Park in this convertible, guarded by 11 Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus of Huronia Council. The statue was placed on the outdoor alter erected in the park for the afternoon service. 

Annual rosary rally in Midland Sunday afternoon attracted hundreds of parishioners from Roman Catholic parishes in North Simcoe. The parade formed up at St. Margaret’s Church and wended its way along Midland streets to Town Park. In this photo, altar boys and Brownies and Guides were caught by the cameraman as they walked along Bay Street towards King. 

These four girls are mighty proud of their YMCA awards, symbolic of gymnastic championships in the ‘Y’ physical training program. Kneeling in front are Glenda Stewart and Barbara Spence, Back row, left to right, are Joyce Collins and Wynne Gilmour. 

This quartet was rated top gymnastic champions in Midland YMCA physical training program. Tests were completed recently and were under the direction of Lloyd Stackhouse. Holding championship crests are, left to right, Bobby Clayton, Paul Quesnelle, Blair Shakell and Paul Howard. 

Several MPDHS students took part in the Orillia Music Festival last week and these three boys placed first in their classes. Left to right are Dan Richardson, French horn, Doug Setterington, tuba, and Tony Moffat winner of a $25 scholarship proficiency with the clarinet. 

One of the popular events at Midland-Penetanguishene District High School this spring was the “School Days” fashion show which attracted a good-sized audience last Thursday night. Above are Bernadette Beausoleil, left, and Sharon McElroy. 

Gathered around the wishing well are three of the girls who took part in Midland-Penetanguishene District High School’s fashion show last week. Depicting the different types of costume worn by the active teen-ager of today are; left to right, Nancy Jones, Heather Scott and Mary Banks. 

Winners of $25 scholarships at the Orillia Music Festival last week were Robin Benson, left, and Lois Cowan, members of the instrumental class at Midland-Penetanguishene District High School. Robin plays the viola and Lois the cello. 

Former cancer patients themselves, Mrs. Frank Rourke and James Shaw, right, can well appreciate the success of the recent campaign for funds staged by the Midland-Penetang unit of the Cancer Society. Here Lester Gumb presents Brian Kilpatrick, representative of the Ontario division of the society, with cheque for $6,252, more than three times the objective originally suggested by Mr. Kilpatrick. 

That happy time of the year for young hockeyists —presentation of trophies, jackets and a big “feed” was enjoyed by members of Midland’s Little NHL teams Saturday night. In top photo 7160, in front of Mrs. A. Irish’s home where dinner was held, are the Robin Hood Trophy winners as most valuable players in four of the league’s seven divisions. Left to right are; Doug Atkinson, Tom Sweeting, Bobby Clayton and Keith Tippin. Lower photo 7180, manager Tom Scott admires some of the new jackets worn by four lads on the AHL team which lost out in the provincial final at Huntsville recently. 

Keeping the books is an important part of 4-H Club work, and here are a few of the many on display at the achievement day, held in Wyebridge Community Hall last Saturday. Holding the sign are Carol Graham, left, of Wyevale South club, and Rita Lalonde, North Wyevale. 

“Who cares about the rain!” say this happy trio, united again for the first time in 32 years. Ernest Barlow (left) and William Barlow are visiting their sister, Mrs. Wilhelmina McFarland, Lindsay Street, Midland. The brothers, who hail from Birmingham, England, are also visiting two other brothers in Detroit whom they have not seen in many years.


Free Press Herald headline of May 18, 1960.
Gross expenditures in the 1960 budget are estimated at $227,758 an increase of some $10,300 over 1959. The main item of increase was in teachers’ salaries comprising some $8,000, it was pointed out. Increased revenues reduced the total net expenditure by $5,000. The total estimated revenues are $94,400 as against $89,400 in 1959. The increase is due primarily from additional tax levy from the Township of Tay after the board took over part of Union School Section No. 3, Tiny and Tay, and Union School Section No. 2, Tay, and through increased assessments from this area. Board Secretary W. A. Hack advised that provincial government grants are estimated to be $2,500 higher than last year but this is offset by a decrease in sundry revenue of some $2,000. 

County Herald headline of May 20, 1960.
C. Gauthier, Midland – Penetang District High School principal, told Penetang Chamber of Commerce Tuesday night that the school’s $454,000 budget “is one of the most important expenditures of your community.” Mr. Gauthier explained that only about 14% of this is collected from area taxes, the remainder coming in government grants. Mr. Gauthier foresees a total of 900 pupils registered next year with a staff, of 37 teachers. Recalling his days as principal of the old Penetang High School, the speaker said, “It has been quite an experience to take part in the operation of this school. Of course my period as vice-principal was of great help, but still the jump from a five-room school to what will be 45 rooms next year, is some leap.” Speaking of increased enrolment he said the last five years have produced some interesting figures. Populations of the towns has increased by four per cent and of the rural area by eight or nine per cent during that time. But population of the school has risen by 33% in that time.  “This means we are keeping students for a longer period than previously, and this has brought a large number of problems.” One of, the big problems is the fact that mass education can produce quantity. “But this does not always mean quality.” He named two factors which are keeping students in school longer; cessation of payment of family allowance when a child leaves school; and the lack of jobs for non-educated which tends to keep pupils in longer. 

    OVERCROWDING at Regent Public School will necessitate the shifting of some 40 pupils from that school, in September, to Parkview and Sixth Street schools. This was decided at the Midland Public Schools Board meeting Friday night. The board also decided that a few pupils from the Sunnyside area, now attending Sixth Street School, would have to be moved to Parkview School. Pupils would be from Grades 7 and 8, the board ruled. Noting that it was impossible at present to determine the areas from which pupils will be transferred to other schools, Board Chairman Frank Bray said, “There will be a hue and cry no matter who is chosen but it is the only thing we can do.” An additional classroom will be set up in both Parkview and Sixth Street Schools in September, the board ruled, and two additional teachers are being employed for the fall term. This will give a total of 36 classrooms in the three schools; 17 at Regent, seven at Sixth Street and 12 at Parkview.  The principals’ reports showed the following total attendance by schools with the daily average and percentages for the month of April shown in brackets: Parkview, 412 (367.33 – 95.50%) Regent, 639 ( 579.20 – 96.92%) and Sixth Street, 157 (149.13 – 94.99%).

        Member of one of Penetang’s pioneer lumbering families, George Arthur Beck died Saturday morning in Toronto General Hospital. Born in Penetang 72 years ago, he was a son of the late Charles Beck. He moved to Toronto in 1928, and was secretary of the lumber firm of C. Beck Manufacturing Co. A past master, and life member of Georgian Lodge, A.F. and A.M. Penetang, he was the recipient of his 50-year jewel last summer on one of his visits to Penetang. Prior to that time he had been ill for a period during which it had been necessary to amputate one leg. Since then he had enjoyed good health until shortly before his death. He is survived by his wife, the former Grace Cane; a brother, William F., and a sister, Mrs. Y. E. Eager of Hamilton. Funeral service was held Monday at the Morley S. Bedford Chapel in Toronto, and burial was in the Beck family vault in the Presbyterian Cemetery, Penetang. 

    The Raymond Robillards of Penetang likely will remember Friday, May 13, for some time, following the excitement they experienced on that traditionally unlucky day. While Mrs. Robillard’s father, G. Tersigni, was visiting the household Friday, he noticed smoke emerging from the television set. Grabbing a rug, Mr. Tersigni attempted to smother the set. When this failed, he picked up the set, carried it outside, deposited it on the lawn, and just managed to get out of range when it exploded. Only lucky part of the entire episode is that two days remained on the warranty period, although the firm from which it was purchased is no longer in business in this area. Damage to the house itself was confined to smoked walls, drapes and furniture. 

    A church parade, dinner and dance will be the main activities when the Grey and Simcoe Foresters (Active) hold their sixth reunion in Midland June 4 and 5. The event marks the 20th anniversary of the unit’s mobilization, June 12, 1940 as an infantry regiment. At Debert, N.S. the unit became the 26th Army Tank Regiment and went overseas as a regiment of Grey and Simcoes, June 16, 1943. They became part of the 26th Armoured Brigade. In England, in July, 1943, the unit was split with members going to the Fort Garry Horse, the Sherbrooke Fusiliers, the 16th Hussars, the Governor-General’s Foot Guards, the Grenadier Guards, the Ontario Regiment, the Three Rivers regiment, the Calgary Regiment and the Governor-General’s Horse Guards. Members of the unit, which has a regimental mailing list of 700, are expected to come to Midland 250 strong, from such places as Haileybury, Timmins, Cobalt, Cochrane, New Liskeard, Sault Ste. Marie, Owen Sound, Orillia, Barrie, Penetang, Midland and the immediate vicinity.  

ARGUE — To Mr. and Mrs. Robert Argue, King Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Monday, May 16, 1960, a daughter. Mother and daughter both well.
BEARDSALL — To Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Beardsall, George Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, May 15, 1960, a son.
EDMINSTON — To Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Edminston, Waubaushene,
at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, May 12, 1960, a daughter.
JORDAN — To Mr. and Mrs. George Jordan, Elmvale, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, May 15, 1960, a daughter.
BELCHER — At Humber Memorial Hospital, Weston, May 10, to Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Belcher, a son.

    In conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous which will be celebrated in Miami, Florida, in June, and which will be attended by A.A. members from all over the world, the Midland Group of the fellowship is planning an open meeting tonight (Wednesday) in the Orange Hall, Second Street at 8.15 p.m. Purpose of the open meeting is to give people an opportunity to learn something about the problem of alcoholism and the methods used by A.A. to arrest the sickness. With this in mind the Midland Group has circularized many members of the professions, the clergy, businessmen and industrialists, heads of educational bodies and others who might show an interest. The mayor and members of council also have been invited. While the success of A.A. in this immediate district has been spectacular, members believe that much more might be accomplished if more people understood the problems of the alcoholic. The very word “alcoholic” is repulsive to some people. They picture an alcoholic as someone who has lost all material and personal possessions, one who has no home, is destitute, and who drinks anything from liquor to rubbing alcohol, it was stated. 


D. Tushingham, Midland manager of the Bell Telephone Company, completed 25 years’ service with that company and was made a life member of the Telephone Pioneers of America. * * *  The North Simcoe Softball League was formed with clubs from Hillsdale, Elmvale, Waverley and Vasey. * * *  On account of the small amount of lake and rail freight passing through Port McNicoll, council of that village found it necessary to give relief work to 71 men. * * * A. B. Thompson of Penetang, member of the federal house, was appointed chief executive for Ontario under the Canadian Farm Loan Act. * * * W. J. Attridge, local superintendent for an insurance company, saw a red deer while driving with his wife near the Midland Golf and Country Club. * * * F. R. Hodgkins, King Street butcher sold his Midland business to E. H. Price of Penetang. * * * Broadcasts advertising Midland were made daily for several weeks from a Toronto radio station. * * * There was only one case to be heard in Midland police court and that concerned a Coldwater man charged with illegal possession of liquor. * * * Total monthly accounts for Midland schools were as follows; high school, $2,297.08 and public schools $3,007.33. 

 The Department of National Defence reports it has 15,000,000 yards of cloth, enough for 3,000,000 uniforms. On the basis of the approximately 120,000 strength of the armed forces today, the department has enough cloth to provide each man with a new uniform a year for the next 25 years. However, some of the cloth has been spoiled because it has been in storage for at least eight years. If nothing else, this material should provide Ottawa politicians with a subject for chewing the rag. 

    Pupils at Midland-Penetang District High School aren’t the only ones to get good reports. “We have received a very favorable report from two high school inspectors about our teaching staff, the new principal and assistant principal,” stated MPDÍHS Board Chairman T. M. McCullough at the meeting last Wednesday. “It was a most acceptable report and for you, Dr. Parrott (chairman of school property) they mentioned that the school’s housekeeping was very good.” added Mr. McCullough. Noting that 14 inspectors had Visited the school since September, Principal R. C. Gauthier said, “Maybe I can take some credit but a principal has to have a good staff like I have to carry out his wishes.”   

     A native of Penetanguishene, Dr. Peter Spohn of Vancouver died last weekend as a result of an accident at his summer home on Paisley Island, near the west coast city. Dr. Spohn, 43, was assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of British Columbia. An inquest held in Vancouver May 10 to investigate the circumstances surrounding Dr. Spohn’s death, was told that the doctor may have fallen from a log and struck his head while tying up his boat. 

   Neville Keefe, general manager of the Georgian Bay Development Association, last night proposed a vigorous campaign for development of the tourist industry in Midland. He spoke to the Midland Lions Club. He laid down 11 suggestions which he felt would correct this situation. They were: Promotion of special events, such as Barrie, Collingwood and Penetang do each year; Make Midland the convention centre of Georgian Bay (would require private capital); Consider shipyards and coal docks for bayside park area amusements, etc., to be installed; Consider other areas on Georgian Bay for recreation (at present lack of swimming facilities in Midland limits, tourists who want to swim in the Bay, although it is one of our chief advertising points); Sponsorship of a motor boat jamboree into the islands in co-operation with marine dealers in area; Eliminate half holiday during summer months, serve the tourists through the short season; Use of more garbage receptacles along the main streets to keep the town clean; Instruct and advise merchants and sales clerks in value of friendly smiles — use of gimmicks in the stores — give away folders for things to do and see, at all stores; Improve attitudes and advice on U.S. money exchange, discount it but do it nicely; Use courtesy parking tickets, warn the tourist by fake summons; Off street parking and canopies, try a two-day no-parking restriction on main street, advertise this trial and obtain public attitude through voting coupons in stores.

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