Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – September 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 enlargeBill Johnson of 12 Victoria Street, Midland, left, holds the 22-pound, 46-inch muskellunge he caught off Methodist Island Tuesday morning. His fishing companion, Bill Hebner of 115 Gloucester Street, holds an eight-pound, 30-inch pike he caught the same day. They were fishing with Guy Hebner. 

Members of Branch 80, Canadian Legion, Midland, honoured two veteran members Wednesday night when Len Wiles, left, and Herb Wiles were presented with life memberships in the Legion. Another veteran Legionnaire, Harry May, center, presented the memberships on behalf of the branch. 

Midland’s first class for retarded children got underway this week. Under the sponsorship of the Huronia Retarded Children’s Association, the classes are held in Regent School with eight pupils attending in the morning and seven in the afternoon. Teacher is Mrs. Helen Lapensee. 

There’s a big field day coming up for pupils of St. Theresa’s High School, Midland, September 30. Here four girls get instruction on proper form for starts from their new PT instructor, Alex Prokich, who once was a member of the Jugoslav Olympic team. Left to right, the girls are; Donna Contois, Anne Sauve, Marie McLaughlin and Elaine Dorion. 

Many parents, with only a few children to look after, shudder when they think or what school teachers have to put up with day after day – looking after 30 or 40 youngsters. It should hardly phase Alex Prokich, one of the new teachers at St. Theresa’s High School in Midland this year. Twice in his career Mr. Prokich faced firing squads and escaped with his life. He should thus be able to survive at St. Theresa’s, or any other school where he may be teaching in the future. Right now Mr. Prokich’s biggest worry is making himself understood by his young pupils. To the reporter of this paper who interviewed him, it appeared he was unduly concerned. Besides if English lets him down he can switch to any one of a dozen or more languages and let the pupils worry. 

The annual achievement day for members of the Vasey 4-H Calf Club is always a big event at Midland Fall Fair, and the standard this year was termed “well above average”. Top four competitors are, left to right, Madeline Stewart, reserve champion showman, Carolyn Edwards, grand champion, in the beef section. Pauline Robinson, reserve, and Grant Robinson, grand champion in the dairy class. Grant also was named over-all champion showman. 

Many of the schools entered in the parade held as part or children’s day at Midland fall fair this year also came provided with fine floats, as well as eager young marchers. “Old MacDonald’s Farm” provided a well-portrayed theme for one Tay Township school. 

The always popular Ferris wheel was again a favourite for children attending children’s day at the Midland Fall Fair. 

Although rain marred the final day of this year’s Midland fair Saturday, the sun shone brightly for the school children Friday. Here two groups of youngsters have a lot of fun performing square dances. At top are the Vasey “Squarettes”, with an older group from Waverley going through their paces in the lower picture. 

Torrential rains Saturday afternoon and evening did their best to make things tough for everybody concerned at Midland fair. Here a Midway worker directs one of the many streams of water into the only catch basin handy. 

These three chaps fiddled their way to top prize money in the old time fiddlers contest held as part of Tiny and Tay fair in Midland Saturday night. Left to right are Alcime Robitaille of Thunder Bay, who placed second; the winner, Vic Passivisty, 30, of Toronto; and Lloyd Preston, Wyebridge youngster who finished third. 

While the quality remained high, the number of animals which took part in the heavy horse show at Midland was somewhat below that of recent years, officials said. Three Percherons are being judged in the picture above, under adverse conditions which continued all afternoon. 

There was no need for the usual bucket of water as Linda Vancise, pretty Stayner farm girl, prettied up her beefy friend for the show ring at Midland on Saturday afternoon. Biggest problem for Linda and others attending was to keep reasonably dry in the heavy showers that began to fall shortly after noon and lasted until after midnight. 

A good season of golf at Midland’s Brooklea course was climaxed at the field day held Sunday. Winners were, left to right, Bill Howard and June Hansford, for low gross scores, and Mrs. Bill Howard and Howard Markham who placed first in the net division. 

Editorial page photo entitled “At Harvest Time”. 

Foundations have been laid for the new 20,000-square-foot addition to the Canadian Name Plate plant in Midland. When finished the $250,000 addition will increase the plant’s floor space by about one third and may eventually provide work for between 30 and 40 more employees. The building is being erected by Webster-Smallwood, Midland contractors. 

This cask, containing 25,000 square feet of fibreglass screening, “Permascreen”, made by Bay Mills Ltd. of Midland, will shortly start a long journey to Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, in Africa. The Beira on the case is the port in Portugueses East Africa where it will leave the ship. The shipment is the second of the export variety made by Bay Mills in recent months. 

Finish of the fourth annual students cross pilgrimage from Toronto to Martyrs’ Shrine was completed last week by five of the 15 persons who started the 94-mile jaunt. Four more who joined in for the last 32 miles from Barrie are seen in the group above, being greeted at the Shrine by Rev. Dennis A. Hegarty. Included in the group was a young student from the University of Paris. 

Local Construction Firm Lands $37,800 Tiny Job
County Herald headline of September 16, 1960. 

A Midland firm, Thos. G. Wilcox and Sons were the successful bidders on a contract for construction of the first three-quarters of a mile of the controversial Champlain Road improvement job. The Wilcox firm will receive $37,806.75 for the work. Biggest portion of this section will be entirely new roadbed to be constructed immediately east of the present road. Finished surface on the present contract is gravel. Lloyd Wilcox told Tiny Township council this afternoon that his firm is ready to commence work immediately. A performance bond will have to be deposited with the municipality before work can commence, and Mr. Wilcox said it is likely they will start brushing and clearing early in the week.

Board & Club Reach Accord on Village Site Rental
Free Press Herald headline of September 21, 1960 

At a special meeting with representatives of Midland Y’s Men’s Club Thursday night, Midland Parks Commission arrived at a mutual agreement with the club on a rental for the site of the Indian village on commission property in Little Lake Park. By five votes to one, the commission passed a motion, amending a previous one, which calls for a rental of $400 per year, expiring in September, 1964. Only dissenting vote was that of Mayor Charles Parker, Mayor Parker said he was concerned about “what effect it will have generally if this group of men backs up a previous agreement”. The previous  agreement between the commission and the club had set a rental of not less than five per cent and not more than 20 per cent of the gross receipts at the village. 

Set $80,000,000 Value on Area Tourist Industry
County Herald headline of September 23, 1960 

The tourist industry is worth $80,000,000 to the area served by the Georgian Bay Development Association, according to figures presented yesterday by Hon. Bryan L. Cathcart, minister of Travel and Publicity for Ontario. Mr. Cathcart was one of two leading government officials who addressed the economic development conference being held at Delawana Inn by Georgian Bay Development Association. Surveys to measure the impact of tourist spending have been conducted at Lakefield, Bracebridge, Leamington, Kenora and Eganville, the minister revealed. “In Lakefield”, he said, “we found that 57 percent of the spending recorded in the survey was non-residents. The impact of this on the economy of the town would be equivalent to the payroll of an industry employing between 60 and 70 people year round. In other surveys the ratio was even higher. 

    If the number of cars calling at chamber of commerce tourist information booths is any criterion, Midland fared much better than the neighboring town of Orillia this summer. A comparison of the number of cars which stopped at tourist information centres in the two towns, and the number of persons in the vehicles, reveals more than six times as many cars called at the Midland  booths as at the one in Orillia. 

    Superintendent of Canadian Pacific Great Lakes Steamships at Port McNicoll , S. R. Malin died in Toronto General Hospital about 11.30 p.m. last night, this newspaper was informed today. Mr. Malin was rushed to the Toronto hospital about a week ago when he became critically ill. 

    Dear Editor:  The 265 ton, single screw wooden tug Reginald, official No. 100654, was built at Garden Island by Calvin for the Imperial Oil Co., Ltd.; and was registered at Sarnia. Her length was 120.6 feet, width 20 feet and depth 9.7 feet. She had a compound engine of 400 b.p., and her engine room had a length or 37 feet. On March 4, 1902, she was sold to Alex A. Wright, lumberman of Toronto, who sold her on Jan. 31, 1905, to the Victoria Harbour Lumber Co. Ltd., who sold her on April 4, 1927, to the Randolph Macdonald Co. Ltd., of Toronto.  On Sept. 6, 1938, she was sold to Consolidated Dredging Co. of Ottawa, and on Oct. 16, 1940, she was sold to Lakehead Transportation Co. Ltd ., of Fort William. Her registry was closed Sept. 19, 1941 on advice that the vessel had burned and sunk at Port Arthur, Ont.

    Saturday’s downpour or rain made a drastic cut in the attendance at the Tiny and Tay Agricultural Society’s fair at Midland. Society President Ellsworth Collins said yesterday that an estimated 65 per cent drop in attendance from last year was caused by the rain. Friday’s attendance was up an estimated 45 per cent from 1959 said Mr. Collins and added, ” If it hadn’t been for the rain we would have been well over last year’s attendance figure. 

    In a secret ballot Friday, workers at Midland’s new Greening Wire plant by a vote of 21 to 15 decided not to bargain collectively through the United Steel Workers of America. The vote was conducted by an Officer of the Ontario Labor Relations Board. The 36 hourly paid employees were asked to mark on the ballots whether or not they wanted the USW as their bargaining agent. The Steel Workers Union had applied for certification as bargaining agent for the Greening workers in July. The move represents the first attempt by the USW to organize the Midland plant.   

    Andy Morrison, general manager of Grew Boats Ltd., Penetang, this week blamed stock market conditions and a tightening up on spending for what he termed “just a medium season in the boat  business”. Mr. Morrison that the interest in boats is greater now than it has ever been, but lack of finances seems to be holding sales down. He also indicated there had been a considerable influx of American-built craft selling at a lower price. Mr. Morrison said, “The small boat owner was buying this year, but the bottom fell right out of the luxury boat market.” 

    ” I’m Not The Kind ,” a rock-a-billy tune by 26-year-old Cy Anders (Cy Tulk ) of Midland, is being given the “big push” by Toronto radio station CKEY. ” I have no other interest in the record other than personally thinking it’s, good,” said Duff Roman, CKEY western disc jockey. Cy Tulk, who has been in Midland a year, is radio announcer on station CKMP between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m. and 11.10 until 11.45 a.m. Mr. Tulk, who goes under the name or Cy Anders “because many other ‘deejays’ might mispronounce Tulk,” sang for 39 weeks on the now defunct “Jamboree” telecast on CHCH, Hamilton. He also sang over several Toronto radio stations during his 14-year residence in that city. 

        More than 800 North Simcoe district boys and girls are expected to take part in a parade and youth service at Protestant and Roman Catholic churches in Midland Sunday afternoon. The young people and their leaders will represent Sea Cadets, Cub and Scout packs and troops in South Georgian Bay District, Guides and Brownies in Wendake District, and Canadian Girls in Training. 

    Scroll Records, a new recording company, has just been formed by John Arpin, Port McNicoll native and Jim Joseph of Mimico. Their first record is on the market this week, Mr. Arpin revealed. The songs are “Never Saw The World Look Better” by Jim Doris and Gino Matteo and the flip side is “Two Hearts In Love” by Ray Gould. Featured soloist is Lee Carson of Toronto’s Oakwood Collegiate. The 23-year-old Arpin, who left Midland in 1956, also conducts his own five-piece orchestra at the King Edward Hotel, Toronto, and is organist at the city’s St. Thomas Aquinas Church. Describing the music on his recordings and orchestrations, Mr. Arpin said “They are ballads and lyrics with a beat. We have striven for something which is an all-Canadian effort.” Mr. Arpin was a member of the Midland-Penetang District High School Glee Club and while in Midland studied music under Alex Docherty, Mrs. H. Billing and Mrs. Catharine Richardson. Son of Mr. and Mrs. E. R. Arpin of Port McNicoll, Mr. Arpin was married Feb. 7, 1959, to the former Anne Ender of Campbellford. They have a 10-month-old son, Bobby. 

Despite announcements to the contrary a public meeting in Midland of citizens, businessmen and farmers decided that the Tiny and Tay Agricultural Society fair should be continued and would be held Oct. 3, 4, and 5. • • • Rev. H. S. StillwelI, secretary of the Canadian Baptist Foreign Missions Society was the special preacher at Midland’s Calvary Baptist Church. • • • The Randolph Macdonald Company, Toronto, brought dredging equipment to Midland to begin a S60,000 contract of dredging by the government dock and at Tiffin elevator. The work was expected to last until spring. • • • Midland’s new dock system, completed during the summer, was officially opened by Mayor S. W. McKinley. • • • The Bijou Theatre, Penetang, was leased from H. A. C. Osborne by the Letherby-Stransman amusements. A. E. Letherby of Midland, who installed the “talkie” equipment was the senior partner and manager with Mr. Stransman of Barrie his assistant. • • • Penetang schools had the highest record of any community in the district for deposits in the Penny Bank by its primary school pupils , with 22 per cent of the pupils making deposits. • • • Bill German, Midland, won the minnow class in swimming competition at the CNE. The mile swim was cut to a quarter mile because of the 52-degree water temperature. • • • The Canadian Dredge and Dock Co., Ltd., of Midland was awarded a $1,250,000 contract for work in the Montreal harbour. 

Wise & Otherwise (Editorial column)
Transport Minister George Hees’ announcement the other day that plans are now under way to establish a Coast Guard Service for the coastal and Great Lakes waters is heartening indeed. This paper, has for some years, advocated that such a service was a necessity for this country. 

     Father or Midland’s newest barrister, Hugh Graham Gammell died in Toronto General Hospital Thursday. Mr. Gammell’s son, John M. Gammell, recently purchased the law practice or the late G. S. Dudley, QC, in Midland. Born and educated in Montreal, Mr. Gammell Sr. had a distinguished banking career. After serving in the investment field in Montreal, he joined the Bank or Canada in 1938 and served with the Foreign Exchange Board in Ottawa during the war. He was appointed deputy chief, and later chief, of the security department. Since 1953, Mr. Gammell had been special representative in Toronto for the head office securities department of the Bank of Canada. He leaves his wife, Mary, at home in Port Credit, three sons, Hugh Graham of Calgary, John M. of Midland and Robin A. of Stratford. 

     A remarkably spry Midland lady marked an outstanding milestone in her life Sunday.  Lots or Midland women are spry, and celebrate birthdays during the year. But very few of them like Mrs. J. M. Wallace, have celebrated their 90th birthdays. Even fewer fall into the spry category, after little more than half her years. Almost a naughty word with the present generation, walking is perhaps one of the main secrets or Mrs. Wallace’s spryness. “I love to walk. I hate to get in a car to go any place when I could just as easily walk there,'” Mrs. Wallace told this paper. She was regretting the fact that a sore ankle was cutting down her walking activities. Mrs. Wallace gets in quite a bit of walking just looking after her large home at Hugel Ave. and Second Streets, as she has done for many decades and continues to do even today. “I do everything around this house still.” she said proudly. Born at Dungannon, Ont., on the border between Huron and Bruce Counties, the former Annie McGrattan first saw Midland as a girl of 16. She came here on an excursion from Owen Sound to watch her uncle play ball on some big holiday. The ball ground at that time she recalled, was located on the site of the present Lakeview Cemetery. “There were only a few sidewalks here then, in a couple of blocks of the downtown area”, she recalled. Two years later she became a permanent resident of Midland and has lived her ever since. Her father the late John McGrattan, will be remembered by only a handful or real longtime residents as the operator of a hardware and tin smithy at  Dominion Ave. and King Street. In November of 1894 she married the late J. M. Wallace, then a young contractor. Mr. Wallace helped erect a number of buildings still standing in Midland, among them Knox Presbyterian Church, only a few doors away from her present home. For 67 years the Wallace envelope – No. 2 – has been going on the collection plate regularly at Knox. Although he was the contractor, Mr. Wallace was never happy about the roof design of Knox Church. “He told them would always have trouble with ice and snow, and they have. But it is a beautiful church,” Mrs. Wallace maintained. There have been a lot of physical changes even around the Wallace home. When it was built the young couple had to climb 20 steps to get to their front door. The area was so springy that they had to dig only three feet to get their own well of sparkling spring water. Mrs. Wallace can recall cows disappearing in boggy land not far from what is now busy King Street. 

     Water and hydro service to Midland Arena were ordered cut off Tuesday by Midland Public Utilities Commission at a meeting Monday night. This decision was made when the meeting heard from its Secretary-Manager Stewart Holt that water service had not been properly connected. When the water was turned on in the Indian Village the hot water is drained from the player’s room, and the hot water tank is not insulated. Two space beaters were installed without permission and the electrical service does not meet hydro specifications. The water and hydro service will remain cut off until the situation has been remedied and inspected by hydro and PUC officials, the commission ruled. 

     A petition is being circulated by businessmen on Highway 11 to have this highway widened to four lanes north to Gravenhurst, and to defer extension of Highway 400 from ,Coldwater to Gravenhurst until such time as Highway 11 can no longer adequately handle the traffic. If 400 from Gravenhurst to Coldwater is completed before 11 is expanded, the loss in business will be crippling and a serious hurt to the area,” the petition states. “Many families, towns and villages and the complete area will suffer.  

    This week I have interviewed Mr. Wm. Smiley who will assist us, the members of the Hi-Sterics staff, in writing our column. He was born in Ottawa and grew up in Perth, Ont., where he attended elementary and secondary schools. He went on to the University of Toronto, where he obtained honors in English. During the war he served with the RCAF as a fighter-bomber pilot flying Typhoons. He was shot down in Holland, October, 1944 , and was a prisoner-or-war until May, 1945. Mr. Smiley was discharged with the rank or flight-lieutenant. On discharge, he returned to university. He became editor of the Wiarton Echo, a weekly newspaper, in 1950, and remained in Wiarton for 10 years. Some years ago he began writing a humorous column which is now syndicated to more than 100 weekly papers. He is married with two children, Hugh, 13, and Kim, 9. It is indeed an honor to have a renowned man such as Mr. Smiley, associated with our school. Margo McArthur

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