Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – June 1st to 7th, 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. 

A condensed version this week, sorry, ran out of time! It’s the pictures most people enjoy and they are all here.

Click on photos to enlargeMidland Brownies and Guides step smartly along behind their leader Mrs. J. E. Lawlor, in the parade which preceded the monster rally of Guides and Brownies in Midland Saturday. Midland Citizens Band led the parade. 

Flanked by an honour guard of Sea Rangers, the colour party of Brownies and Girl Guides march into Town Park, Midland. The girls were representative of troops in Wendake, Orillia and Parry Sound districts who took part in a rally Saturday. 

Lined up for review, when this photo was taken, were hundreds of Guides and Brownies from North Simcoe and Parry Sound areas. The rally formed part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Guide and Brownie movement. 

A ‘Sixer’ of extra large numbers from Parry Sound, Wendake, and Orillia district circled their toadstool at the Saturday rally, just as they do in opening exercises of their own pack meetings. More than 800 girls and leaders were present for the event. 

Seated under their giant toadstool, Brownies from Wendake District packs solemnly depict a fairy, sprite, elf, gnome, pixie, and little people on the Arena Gardens floor, included in the fairy ring are Elizabeth Robitaille, Norma Clarke, Melanie Dyer, Mary Jane Cavanaugh, Bonnie Solmes and Vivian Lacroix. 

Near perfect weather blessed the big rally in Midland Saturday, marking the 50th year of the Girl Guide and Brownie movement in Canada. The Medonte Troop found a sunny spot in the outfield of the ball diamond at Town Park for their noon snack of pop and sandwiches. 

One group which attracted a lot of interest at the Guide and Brownie rally in Midland Saturday were these Indian lassies from Christian Island Reserve (now Beausoleil First Nation). Seen with their leader, Miss Lillian Hawkins (rear), the troop was formed six years ago. The Guides are known as the Blue Canary and Rose troop, while the  Brownies are the “little people, fairies and gnomes”.  (Identification thanks to Myrtle Jamieson – Top row; Winnie Hawke, Cynthia Jamieson, Donna, Edie, and Cheryl. Bottom Row, Bonnie, Joanne Flontek, Myrtle Jamieson, Betty, Mary Hawke (Norton), Joyce (Monague) Solomon, ? can’t recognize and Carol (Kal) Monague. (We would appreciate filling in the missing names?) 

Tops among athletes are these boys and girls, who have scored at least 32 points in inter-school competitions to win coveted bars to their school letters. Left to right are Bill Binkley, Ron Marchildon, Doug Setterington, Elizabeth Cook, Anne Maher and Beverley Scott. Awards were made at recent athletic banquet held at the school. 

Not content with winning their school letters by scoring 16 points in inter-school competition, these four MPDHS girls have won bars to their “MP’s” by doubling that count. Left to right are; Ellen Barber, Lynn McAllen, Linda Riley and Arlene Armstrong. 

Youngsters at Midland Public schools are hoping for a break from the weatherman today, when they hold their annual track and field meet at Town Park. These Regent School lads, Chester Graham, Cecil Merkley and Hans Matthias, left to right, are watching Dalton Moore get in a bit of practice at the shot putt. 

It will be “get set, on your marks, go,” in earnest for Midland public school athletes at the annual track and field meet to be held in Town Park this afternoon. Here the Parkview senior boys practice starts under watchful eye of Ken Cowan, Sixth Street principal. From front to back of picture boys are Jim Sharp, John Barbour, Garnet Rourke and Bill Argue. 

No need to call the police but these chaps are actually fishing for bass out of season. It was all in good cause though, as members of the Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers Association rounded up more than 60 errant fish, on each of two occasions, which, were able to stray from Little Lake into a nearby pond because of high waters. Lending a helping hand are, left to right, Joe Walkiewicz, Peter Clause, John Power, Jan Orchowski and RossWillett. 

This year’s annual prom at MPDHS had a sea-going theme for a “Cruise to Italy”. Ship’s bell and wheel make good props for, left to right, Suzanne D’Aoust, Joyce Gregoire and Molly Malone. 

Three pretty “sailors” trying their hand with the Aldis lamp are, left to right, Marion Lavigne, Pat Playford and Linda Stewart. Girls were helping to set up the MPDHS gym for the annual prom, themed this year on a “Cruise to Italy”. 

This was a happy week for Reg Vosper of Russell Street, Midland, when Mrs. Mona Duignan, of London, England, came to visit. It was the first time brother and sister had seen each other since 1927. Although due to return home shortly, Mrs. Duignan told this paper she hopes to visit Midland again for a longer time later this year. 

A ship which aroused unusual interest in Port yesterday was the Gaspedoc of the Paterson Sons Ltd. line. Now a stodgy freighter, it once had a much more-glamorous career as an LST (landing ship, tank) in the U.S. Navy. The ship, 316′ 5″ long, with 50 foot beam and 24.6 depth, was built at Galveston, Texas, during World War II. Big doors in the bow, where perhaps men and tanks poured out on to some distant war-time beach, are still visible, although welded closed. The Gaspedoc still has a square stem, too, for loading at the end, and twin screws. 

More than $1,300 damage was caused when fire broke out in this Simmonds Transport trailer at Midland Industries Monday afternoon. The trailer was loaded with cartons of cake mixes from Pillsbury Canada Limited and cartons of plastic hose made at MIL, Fire Chief Arnold Tippin said. 

Another bumper season seems to be in prospect for Midland’s Little Lake tourist camp. Park Superintendent Harold McAllen, examines some of the registrations that already nearly fill the racks for cottages, cabins and tent or trailer spaces. 

Among the improvements being carried out at Midland’s Little Lake Park this spring is new curbing along the north edge of the main road leading into the park from King Street. Job is being done under the joint municipal-provincial-federal winter works’ program. 

Midland Parks Commission has added three new cottages to its guest accommodation this year. Two of the nearly-completed units are pictured here. They differ in exterior appearance from those built in recent years. 

Fifty years of marriage was celebrated Saturday afternoon and evening by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Curry of Midland. Mr. and Mrs. Curry are pictured at the tea table, centered with a candelabra and their golden wedding cake. The couple has been a long-time resident of the Midland district.

(We enjoy the life stories that often accompany anniversary announcements, a look at life as it was, mixed with some local history and genealogy.)

    Strong family ties have always marked the married life Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Curry, 316 Queen Street Midland, who observed their golden wedding anniversary May 31. Getting a slight jump on the event, the Curry’s held “open house” for their many friends at the IOOF Temple Saturday afternoon and evening. Born at Rockland near Meaford, 76 years ago, Thomas John Curry is the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Curry. There were five sons in this well-known district family, all of whom grew up on the homestead back of the Ontario Hospital at Penetang. Tom’s four brothers, all still living, are Bob, who lives in Alberta, David and Nelson of Midland, and Hugh who still lives on the old homestead. They all got together a few years back for the first time in more than 30 years. Tom had gone out west, too, early in his career, and when he came home he met a young girl named Rita Florence Kennedy at the skating rink one night. They started going together and May 31, 1910, were married at North Battleford Sask. The new Mrs. Curry had reached the “ripe old age” of 16 years at the time. Although she was only 16, Mrs. Curry had already been out working for four years and was no novice at housework. Born at Byng Inlet, she was one of four children born to the late Mr. and Mrs. J. N. Kennedy. One sister, Mrs. Alma Bradley of Philadelphia, still survives. Foreman in one of the French River lumber camps, her father was drowned when she was only five years old. The young girl was raised by her grandmother, Mrs. Hannah Kennedy, on a farm at Midland Point, and at the age of 12 years was out working in the home of one of the doctors at the Ontario Hospital. After a year of this, she spent three years in Toronto, where she helped look after a family of young children. The first 10 years of the Curry’s’ married life was spent on a farm in Saskatchewan. Returning to North Simcoe, they operated a farm at Wyebridge for another quarter-century, retiring to Midland 15 years ago. Mr. Curry now helps his son Manson, who operates a  service station on King Street. There are four other children besides Manson, who has one brother, James of Toronto. His three sisters are Mrs. Sandy McQuaig (Eleanor) or Orillia, Mrs. Garfield Synott (Ethel), Port McNicoll, and Mrs. Len Murday (Alma), Hillsdale. They have provided their parents with four grandchildren. In their younger days, both husband and wife were members of LOL lodges at Waverley and Penetang. Mrs. Curry is still a member of the Rebekah Lodge in Midland. Her flowers and her garden still form a big part of Mrs. Curry’s everyday life. The canning season is the busiest time for her. “I must still think I’m on the farm, for I always do down hundreds of jars of fruit and jams,” she smiled. Most of it she gives away to friends, or to St. Andrews Hospital. Nevertheless the preserves do come in handy, for rarely a weekend goes by that Mrs. Curry doesn’t have a dozen or so visitors to feed. Seems that the family likes gathering together at home, and the feeling is mutual. “We have been very fortunate. None of our children ever caused us a moment’s worry,” said Mrs. Curry, who left no doubt that she would be happy to start wedded life all over again — with the same hubby. Both husband and wife still enjoy reasonably good health. 

An innate sense of humor that refuses to bow to advancing years is probably one good reason Thomas Lowes was able to mark his 90th birthday at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Howard James, Sixth Street, Midland, Monday.
    Nowadays, most employees would have to have a great deal more than a sense of humor to walk from Port McNicoll to Penetang, put in a day’s work, and walk home again. And all for 16 cents an hour! “I only did it for a couple of weeks,” Mr. Lowes admitted. One day he was asked to do a particularly dirty job in the tannery where he was employed in Penetang, without the benefit of rubber boots or other protective clothing. He told them what they could do with the job, he recalled. 

25 Years Ago This Week
On June 1, J. H. Cranston and his son, William H. Cranston, took over the operation of the Midland Free Press which they had purchased from Alfred Wilkes and other shareholders. * * * With the new provincial government amusement tax of two cents on children’s tickets and five cents on adult tickets. Midland’s Capitol theatre announced the following increase in admission prices — matinee: children ten cents to 12 cents; adults 20 cents to 25 cents and evenings: children 15 cents to 17 cents and adults 33 cents to 38 cents. * * * W. H. Keeler moved his place of business from Dominion Ave. East, to the premises known as I. K. Brown garage, Hugel Ave., West. (Midtown Motel or ShaNaNa’s) * * * The Barrie Presbyterial of the Presbyterian Church in Canada was held in Knox Presbyterian Church, Midland. * * * A dedication ceremony was held for the Firth’s Corners Gardens with Hon. Dr. L. J . Simpson, minister of education, and Dr. G. E. Tanner, MPP, as principal speakers. * * * Midland Public Utilities Commission ordered a strict check up of citizens who were watering their lawns without paying the $3.75 fee. * * * Midland citizens were law abiding for according to Police Chief Wm. MacDonald’s report for May, no charges of any nature had to be laid by local police during the month.  * * * Mrs. Ida Kavanagh, manager of the Penetang office of the Bell Telephone Co., was forced to retire following a prolonged period of ill-health. * * * Cottagers at Cook’s Lake and Tiny Beaches from the 12th Concession to Dault’s Bay were preparing for the arrival of Hydro to the area later in the month. 

    Toronto police said yesterday the body contained in a car hauled out of Toronto harbor was that of a Midland woman. The car had been in the water six years. Police identified the body as that of Mrs. Audrey Chew Pierce, a divorcee from the Midland district who vanished in 1954. She was then 45 and had threatened to commit suicide, they said. Mrs. Pierce is the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Manley Chew of Midland. Police said the car, found in 25 feet of water by a pier in Toronto harbour, is owned by Edward Chisnell of Ottawa, is on the stolen list and a warrant charging Mrs. Pierce with the theft is still outstanding. Police planned to have the harbor bottom searched yesterday in an attempt to find the woman’s skull.

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