Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – November 23rd to 30th, 1961

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. 

The County Herald headline of November 24, 1961. 

Penetang electors last night accomplished-two ‘firsts”. They elected the first woman to council and gave acclamations to all members of the first council to hold  office for a two-year term. Mrs. Frances St. Amant, wife of Richard St. Amant, will serve with eight men as the first of the fair sex to grapple with problems of running the town of Penetang. Only other new face on council will be Douglas Bensley. Jerome Gignac was returned to office as mayor, as was Alf Cage as reeve and Bernard St. Amant as deputy-reeve. Lionel Dion, Maurice Legault, Hubert Patenaude and Ralph White, all members of last year’s council, were returned. With the exception of Ralph White, all nominees qualified before leaving the meeting. Mr. White had indicated on a consent form his intention to stand for office. Apparently the most popular civic duty at present is service on the public school board. Eight persons — four of the present board, one who has had previous experience and three new persons — were nominated for the six seats. Mrs. Joyce Hamelin, G. J. Robillard, Bernard LeClaire and Chas. O. Martin were the sit ting members nominated. Maurile Marchand, who has served previously for 14 years, also was nominated. The three tyros are Jos. E. Lemoine, Andy Clapperton and Henry Hamelin Jr. 

    One of the largest crowds in Midland history turned out last night to see a total of 40 nominations made for 12 vacancies on council, public schools board and public utilities commission. At the conclusion of nominations in the municipal building, it appeared there would be three two-way battles; for the mayoralty, reeve-ship and deputy-reeve- ship when electors go to the polls Dec. 4. 

    Maurice Latour, president of Local 4696, United Steelworkers of America, has thrown his hat into Midland’s political ring for the first time. An employee of Midland Foundry, Mr. Latour was nominated last night to seek the council vacancy in Ward 3. Residing in Midland for 14 years, he lives at 51 Bay Street, with his wife Anne and son, Bobbie. Mr. Latour strongly stresses the need for more industry in the area. He feels added industry would bring greater job potential and thus produce more purchasing power in the community.      

    Midland’s Clerk – treasurer Wm. A. Hack has uncovered a discrepancy in census figures which could mean nearly $1,000 to the town. Mr. Hack revealed this week the Dominion Bureau of Statistics report from Ottawa showed the 1961 Midland census figure as 8,464 while the assessment roll for the same year was 8,731 or a difference of 267. As the unconditional grant from the provincial government is based on the last revised census population and paid at S3.50 per capita, this could mean a difference of $934 in Midlands’s favor. In view of the different figures, Mr. Hack said he had “lodged a disagreement” with the provincial government. 

   Frank Powell, head of the physics department of Midland- Penetang District High School, has been honored in being asked by the Chief Director of Education for Ontario to sit on a special committee preparing the Grade 13 examination paper in biology. This information was revealed at a recent MPDHS board meeting when a letter from the chief director, Dr. R. S. River, was read requesting Mr. Powell’s attendance at the committee. “It is quite an honor for Mr. Powell and it is a real advantage to the school to have him on such a committee,” commented MPDHS Principal R. C. Gauthier. Perrie Rintoul, head of the history department and John Dalrymple, head of the mathematics department, also are serving in similar capacities.

Obituary – Native and resident of this area for his entire life, Edmond Robillard died unexpectedly Nov. 12, at Penetanguishene General Hospital following a short illness.  Born April 29, 1888 at Lafontaine, he lived there for the first 30 years of his life, before coming to Penetang. He had spent a short while in between at Byng Inlet before retiring three years ago. He had been an attendant at the Ontario Hospital for 18 years. In public life he had served as a member of Penetang Public School Board. He was also a member of the Ontario Civil Service Association. He was a Roman Catholic in faith, and a Liberal in politics. He was particularly fond of hockey, fishing, hunting and boating. The late Mr. Robillard married Hattie Quesnelle at Penetang in 1910, and she still survives, along with three sons, Armand, Midland, Raymond and Leonard, Penetang; and four daughters, Elsa, Toronto, Clara (Mrs. Stewart Holt) Midland, Doris Mrs. Godfrey Trilsbeck, Penetang, and Jeannette, (Mrs. Roy Beale) West Vancouver. There are 16 grand-children.  He also leaves his mother, Mrs. Andre Robillard, Penetang and five brothers, Ligourie, Albert, James, Norman and Walter, all of Penetang. Funeral service was held Nov 15 from Beausoleil’s Funeral Home to St. Ann’s Memorial Church. Requiem mass was said by Rev. G. Hamel assisted by Rev. J. Kelly and Rev. L. O’Malley. Temporary entombment was in St. Ann’s Mausoleum. Pallbearers were Alvin, Marcel, Gilbert, Maurice and Nelson Robillard and Alvin Leroux. 

During a lively nomination meeting at the Midland municipal building, last night, Walter Woods, standing left, Ward 4 candidate and Mervin Grigg, standing right, candidate for Deputy-reeve, chat with chief returning officer Wm. A. Hack, seated left, and K. R. Hawkes. Ratepayers crowded the auditorium when 40 candidates were nominated. 


Free Press Herald headline of November 29, 1961. 

Mayoralty candidate Herbert Beauchamp said last night, “If elected I will hold the line on taxes.” He was speaking to about 175 people in the Canadian Legion Hall, Midland. A total of 19 candidates vying for posts on council, public schools board and public utilities commission spoke at the candidates meeting. Mr. Beauchamp, implored citizens to plan wisely for the future of the community. The decisions made today by our elected officials, be said, were the foundations for the Midland of tomorrow. He strongly advocated the establishment of new industry. Within our borders, he said are choice industrial sites that require access roads in order to attract industry. In his address, he indicated the need for an effective streets program to cope with the growth and development of the town. Mr. Beauchamp deplored the fact the winter works project had been late in commencing. Other points in Mr. Beauchamp’s platform were; re-location of the dump, alternate truck routes and lights for the ball park. 

       In one of the first cases to be tried in the province, a 20 year old man from St. Catharine’s, was found guilty of dangerously operating a motor boat, by Magistrate K. A. Cameron in Midland police court Monday. He was fined $50, and $32.50 costs. The charge arose out of a fatal accident at Honey Harbour, Sept 17, when Robert Clarke, 19, St Catharine’s, died almost instantly when thrown from the deck of a boat into a dock. 

    WAUBAUSHENE — Undergoing training in the RCAF’s new 1200-mph CF-101B jet interceptor is Flying Officer Morley L. Taylor, 27, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. F. Taylor, Percy Street, Waubaushene. A pilot with 410 All-Weather Fighter Squadron, F/O Taylor is based at Namao (now CFB Edmonton), just north of Edmonton. In a six-week course he will learn to fly the CF-101B interceptor which is replacing the CF-I00 Canuck in the RCAF’s Air Defence Command. On successful completion of the concentrated flying course, he, with other air-crews of 410 Squadron, will return to RCAF Station Uplands, near Ottawa, about Christmas time. 

35 YEARS AGO – 1926
Celebrating their 51st anniversary, Calvary Baptist Church, Midland, had as special speaker Professor Dougald Brown of McMaster University, Hamilton. • • •  Midland’s Knox Presbyterian Church was dedicating its newly constructed memorial Sunday school building Rev. Dr. Kanawin of Toronto was the special speaker. • • •  The 37th annual meeting of the Ontario Hockey Association re-elected Midland’s George S. Dudley to its executive. • • •  J. T. Belanger, Port McNicoll grocer, purchased the Midland grocery business of Downer and Latanville.  Mr. Belanger’s son was in charge of the Midland store. • • Veterans by unanimous vote decided to form a Midland Branch of the Canadian Legion. A temporary executive was appointed and consisted of L. Lockhart, chairman, D. Swinson, C. L. Wiles, D Hewitt, G. Morris, Joseph Sweeting, George Wilson, B Hogg and G. Foster. • • Hon Wm. Finlayson of Midland, minister of lands and forests in the provincial government was re-elected to his seat in the provincial election which elected 76 Conservatives to office under Premier Howard Ferguson. • • • George Brighty shipped the first silver fox from Midland. It went to Adam Dawson of Oakwood, Ontario. • • New Midland Bell Telephone directories advised that five-minute conservations with Penetang, Port McNicoll, Victoria Harbour or Waubaushene would cost 10 cents. The charge for three-minute conversations to Coldwater or Elmvale was 15 cents and for the same length of time the charge was 20 cents to Collingwood and to Barrie, 25 cents. 

    Two roads in the Midland Penetang area were mentioned during a report of the roads committee to Simcoe County Council in Barrie last week. The report said that considerable work had been carried, out on the 1 1/2 miles of County Road 2, linking Midland with Highway 27. (Vindin Street to the roundabout) The road is now ready for paving but this will not be carried out until spring. Cost of the work was given as $20,895. Also slated for next spring is the straightening of a dangerous curve on County Road 6, just north of Perkinsfield.   

A Vasey girl, 16-year-old Caroline Edwards, won the title of “Lassie Queen” for Simcoe County at the second annual competition held recently at OAC, Guelph. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Edwards, R.R. 1, Vasey, Caroline has been a member of the Vasey 4-H Calf Club for several years. She was chosen on the basis of club achievements, her work with shorthorn calves, and personality. 

These uniforms, typical of the type worn by school safety patrols, were on display in a Midland store on the weekend. Uniforms for members of Midland patrols, to be inaugurated shortly, are being donated by the Ontario Motor League, an OML official stated at a meeting in the Canadian Legion hall, Monday evening. 

Fire of unknown origin completely destroyed this service station and coffee shop at Waverley Friday night. Water had to be trucked to the scene for use by Midland firemen, who attended. Owners of the building were not home when the fire broke out, around 8 p.m. 

New and old aspirants for seats on Tay Township council are seen above at signing-in ceremonies at Victoria Harbour Monday night. Left to right seated, are Deputy-Reeve W. Knechtle, Reeve Fred Kinnear, acclaimed for his 12th term, and Clerk Ralph Dalton; standing: council candidates, Ken Polkinghorne, Murray Edwards, Stan Smith, Tom Robinson, and Ken Mundy. Mr. Mundy is contesting the deputy-reeveship. 

Saturday night was a big night for youngsters at Vasey 4-H Calf Club as they received their season’s awards at a dinner in Vasey United Church. At left, E. W. Brown, manager of the Midland branch, presents the Royal Bank trophy to Donna Rumney. She was highest girl in the club. 

Dennis Brown receives tray from W. A. Child, manager of the Midland branch of the Bank of Montreal, for topping the rest of the boys in the 25-member club. 

Scoring the highest number of points for showmanship in Vasey 4-H Calf Club competition this year, David Jones won the trophy presented by the Swift Canadian Co. Making the presentation is company representative F. N. Donnersley. 

Free Press staffer Catherine MacAllister holds an Indian peace-pipe, but was not inclined to smoke it. The pipe was brought to Midland by Dr. May Roberts, medical missionary in India who has many relatives in this district. 

Midland’s senior citizens are seen here at their new drop-in center at the YMCA. With the senior citizens are other Midlander’s who are assisting in formulating plans for the newly formed club. The town’s older citizens have not had a drop-in center since the legion building was burned two years ago. 

Shown above is part of the overflow crowd that jammed Midland council chamber last Thursday night, to see 40 nominations for 12 vacancies on council, public schools board and public utilities commission. 

There were plenty of goals, and even more near misses, as Midland Flyers downed Barrie Falcons 9-7 at Midland Arena Wednesday night. Above, Falcon goalie Don Rich, has just made a fine save on Flyer’s George Westfall, skating away to the left. 

We couldn’t resist adding this photo from the Midland Argus, 1932. An idea not well thought out!

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