Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – December 16th to 31st, 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. 

Free Press headline December 20, 1961. 

With some of the largest bulk carriers on the Great Lakes already berthed in Midland and Port McNicoll for the winter, the total cargo of winter storage grain aboard ships is an all-time record of 9,584,151 bushels. The huge cargo is aboard 14 ships, nine of them in Midland and five at the CPR elevator, Port McNicoll. Also expected to winter in Midland are the icebreaker Alexander Henry and the Canadian government lightship C. P. Edwards. Two new records were set at Port McNicoll by this year’s winter fleet. The Whitefish Bay, a CSL freighter, has the largest cargo ever to dock at the elevator, 768,097 bushels. The total aboard the five ships is also a record 3,455,181 bushels. Rounding out the Port McNicoll roster are the Sir James Dunn, also of the CSL line, 606,000, and three Misener Line ships, J. N. McWatters, 758,850, Scott Misener, 670,180, and the John O. McKellar, 652,054. Two CPR passenger ships, Keewatin and Assiniboia, are also laid up in Port McNicoll for the winter. Biggest total cargo in Midland is at the Tiffin Elevator, where three ships have a total of 2,047,018 bushels aboard included in the list is the John A. France with 782,755, only 35,000 bushels less than the record cargo it brought to Tiffin a few weeks ago. Other two ships are the Thunder Bay, 592,154 and T. R. McLagan, 672,111. At the adjacent Aberdeen Elevator, the Algosteel and the Algoway, have around 524,000 bushels each aboard. Midland-Simcoe Elevator has 1,941,952 bushels aboard four ships, including 477,052 aboard the New Quedoc, which was badly flooded on the weekend. Others are the Paterson, 401,767, Senator of Canada, 466,299, and the John E. F. Misener, 596,834. Rounding out the list are three CSL ships at Townhouse Elevator, with 1,615,000 bushels. Included are the Lemoyne, 514,000, Nipigon Bay, 546,000, and the Coverdale, 555,000. [Those were the days! Guaranteed work for the local longshoremen, elevator and railway workers.] 

 –  Owing to Christmas falling on a Monday this year, only one edition of the Free Press County Herald will be published next week. The regular Friday edition will be delivered to stores and by carrier to homes, Friday, Dec. 29. There will be no publication Wednesday, Dec. 27. The office and plant will be closed from Dec. 23 to Dec. 27, to allow the staff to enjoy the Christmas holidays with their families. Correspondents are requested to have their news copy in by Dec. 27 for the Friday issue. 

 –  A nine-year-old Penetang girl was taken to Penetang General Hospital at noon-hour yesterday after being struck by a car on the town’s Main Street. According to Police Chief Jack Arbour, Lynda Doyle, daughter of Mrs. Leo Doyle, ran from between parked cars on the east side of the street into the path of a northbound car driven by Emerson Maracle, Penetang. Eyewitnesses told police the driver had no chance of avoiding the accident which took place near the Rural Hydro Office, no charges were laid. 

 – Falling into 34-degree water in Toronto harbour Friday, Francis Lefaive, 20, Perkinsfield, died of exposure before fellow crew members could haul him to safety. Mr. Lefaive was a seaman aboard the freighter R. O. Petman of Canada Steamship Lines. A coal carrier, the Petman was formerly known as the Osler. On its last trip of the year, the ship was being moved to unload its cargo of coal. Mr. Lefaive who was holding one of the tie lines, fell into the water but was unable to hold on to the side of the ship until pulled to safety. Harbour police said he died of exposure. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Lefaive, Con. 13, Tiny Township. 

Firemen from Midland and Waubaushene were called out Sunday afternoon to pump out the aft end of the New Quedoc. Water completely covered the engines and valuable electric equipment by 2 p.m. when the stern sank to the bottom. Officials could not say yesterday whether or not there was much damage to the big Paterson Line freighter’s 477,000-bushel cargo. 

These five happy youngsters have just been awarded their diplomas by St Mary’s principal Rev. Sister Mary Bernadette at St. Theresa’s High School Auditorium Friday night. It was the annual music recital put on by the Grey Sisters for students taking piano. Left to right are Ronnie Lacroix, Lori Cosey, Susan Marchildon, Neil Robitaille. These four won honours. Standing back is Danny Gilbert who captured first class honours in the Royal Conservatory of Music examinations. 

 – Across Canada, the boom in motel building continues. Capital investment increased at a greater rate than revenues, however, and there is a definite trend toward providing more services, greater comfort and even luxuries for guests. Thus more motels have air conditioning, in six provinces more provide swimming pools, and almost a third offer television. Latest figures compiled by Canadian Hotel Review and Restaurant reveal 4,586 motels now operating in Canada’s ten provinces, 185 more than last year. Rental units incorporated in these motels totalled 63,677 up 4,810. 

Friday night was a big event in the lives of these Midland youngsters from St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart Schools when they were awarded their diplomas in piano from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, by Rev. Sister Mary Bernadette at a music recital held in St. Theresa’s Auditorium. Seen above holding their awards are front row, left to right, Leslie Ann Beaton, Joan Therrien, Anne Grise, back row, Joanne Buttineau, left, and Elaine Arbour. They all won first class honours. 

More winners  –  Left to right, Lorinda Moreau; Mary Carol Lindale, Judy Hamelin, and Mary Grace Murphy. These four copped honours in the ’61 examinations. 

These three Flyers will have to be flying high if Midland is to beat the league-leading Barrie Falcons at Arena Gardens tonight in a Georgian Bay intermediate “A” group game. Left to right are, forwards Ernie Mills, Val Walker and ’’Buzz” Deschamp. 

35 YEARS AGOA medal was presented to life saving Scout Orvel Puddicombe of Midland for saving the life of a boy from drowning at the town dock the previous summer. • • •  Dr. J. R. Parrott was elected president of the Midland Kiwanis Club with Alex Donnelly as vice-president.  • • The new pipe organ in St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Midland, was heard for the first time. • • • Total attendance at Midland’s public schools — Regent, Central, Manley, Sixth and King — was 1,580 [Yes there was a King Street public school]. High School attendance was 242. • • • George Ingram was elected president of the Midland Y’s Men’s Club. • • • Provincial Game Warden Peter Stevenson reported that wolves were more plentiful in Matchedash Township than they had been for 25 years.  • • • The provincial secretary’s department revealed that at the end of 1925 Midland s outstanding debenture debt totalled $792, 094. • • • Victoria Harbour Public School Literary Society presented a concert and play entitled. “A Poor Married Man”.  • • H. J. Barklay had arrived from St. Catharines to take charge of the Midland branch of the Bell Telephone Co. • • • Calvary Baptist Church, Midland was presenting the Christmas cantata “The Nativity”. • • • The Gidley Boat Company, Penetang, had secured the contract for building a $130,000 yacht for an Indianapolis citizen.

Bit of Fun
Wife: Don’t you think, dear, that a man has more sense after he’s married?
Husband: Certainly, but it’s too late then. 

 – In Ontario’s 79 provincial parks, the number of campers jumped nearly 50 per cent this year and the number of canoe trippers was up 62 per cent. The back-to-nature movement seems to be gathering ground. 

 – Instead of “button, button, who’s got the button”. Penetang Department of Public Works is asking, “knob, knob, who’s got the knob?” Works chairman Bernard St. Amant told council last week that at least 25 knobs have been stolen from the tops of street signs throughout the town. The signs were erected by the department about six months ago. “I don’t know how they get the knobs off, but they’re doing it.” said Mr. St Amant. Mayor Jerome Gignac asked council to consider a bylaw providing a stiff penalty for anyone caught damaging street signs. I have personally noticed the effects of vandalism on these signs, and I feel something should be done about it,” the mayor said. 

– MPDHS Hi-Sterics – Mr. Longlade is a former native of Penetang. He attended public school and high school there, and then left to attend St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. He graduated two years ago with his B.A. During his years in university he decided to become a teacher, and to return to this district. After teaching his first year in Goderich, he was able to join the MPDHS staff. He teaches history, geography and French to Grades 9, 10 and 11. He enjoys working with young people. Mr. Longlade is married and has two children of pre-school age. He resides in Midland. – John Allen [Mr. Longlade on the right below, Mr. Keith McNally on the left.] 


These three tads from Sacred Heart School will take part in the Christmas concert at St. Margaret’s parish hall tonight. Making up an “ABC” Christmas book are, left to right, Paul Grigg, Nancy McLaughlin and Richard Milewski. 

Pupils of Midland’s Sacred Heart school have been hard at work preparing for their concert, to be held in St. Margaret’s parish hall tonight. Band quintet includes, left to right, Michael St. Amand, Neil Grant, Bill Knicely, Vincent Ellery and Tom Borsa. 

In an age-old nativity scene are Jim Legree, Norman Staruck and Jerry Robitaille. 

Little Robin Oakley, 2 1/2, seems more interested in the camera than he is the display of rare old coins in the Midland branch of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. His mother, Mrs. Glenn Oakley, a former employee of the bank, is more appreciative of the display. 

Hi mom! First baby to arrive at St. Andrew’s Hospital on Christmas Day (12:30 a.m.) was Brian Rogers. He’s a second son for Mr. and Mrs. Ruben Rogers, 282 Hugel Ave.

Members of the school board of SS 2 Baxter, are seen above with W. F. Hammell, Muskoka public schools inspector, at the official opening of the new Honey Harbour school last week. Left to right are Ivan Schlegel, Tom Hewitt, chairman J. Ross Birch and Mr. Hammell. 

Despite blustery weather, there was a good turnout for the opening of SS 2 Baxter’s new public school at Honey Harbour last week. A portion of the gathering is seen in the picture. Mrs. Rudy Woll, Mrs. Bert Wheeler, Mrs. Dave Milner and Mrs. Ivan Schlegel helped serve coffee, sandwiches and cake to visitors. 

Some 20 of Midland’s senior citizens were treated to a Christmas luncheon and party at the Midland YMCA last week. Mrs. George Stephens is seen above serving one of the tables. The senior citizens’ service is sponsored by the YMCA. 

County Herald headline of December 22, 1961. 

A $10 boost in the per pupil grant for elementary schools is estimated will save Midland-Penetang tax-payers about $34,000 next year. This figure is based on $20,000 for Midland, and $14,000 for Penetang public and separate schools. The increase from $5 to $15 was announced by Ontario Premier John Robarts in the legislature this week. 

Carols spreading the Christmas message were sung by combined Brownies of 3rd and 4th Midland packs Wednesday and Thursday evening. Sweetly intent on their song service to Midland shoppers in Edwards Specialty Shop are Dianne Johnston, Cheryl Mann, Virginia Fuller, and Gwen Webster. 

Three proud boys are Danny Contois, Bobbie Cruise and Paul Butineau, all Grade 5 students at Sacred Heart School, shown here with a Nativity scene made of plastic pellets. The mosaic type work took them over two weeks to complete and is on display at Ellison’s Electric, 259 King Street, Midland.

Midland youngsters brought almost 600 cans of tinned goods to the Roxy Theatre last Saturday. The tins bought their admission to the cartoon show and will also provide food for needy families in the area at Christmas time. The tins will be distributed by the Salvation Army. Boys in picture above are Peter Miller, Norman Launder, Charlie Launder, Randy Scott, Doug Atkinson and Earl Scott. 

Under the direction of Sister St. Bonaventure, the 28 voices of St. Theresa’s High School senior choral group are seen above singing the age-old carol ‘Joy To The World’ to an appreciative audience in the school auditorium last Friday night. The group sang at a music recital put on by the Grey Sisters where diplomas were presented to students in Grades 1 and 2 piano taught by Sister St. Bonaventure. 

Pupils of Regent School had their turn to cheer this week when they won Elmer, the safety elephant, for the next three months. Sgt. Ernest Bates is presenting Elmer to Ian Dalrymple, while Principal M. O. Lewis stands by. Ian gives his classmates a closer look amidst deafening cheers. 

Free Press headline of December 29, 1961. 

A coroner’s jury in Midland Thursday found Mrs. Eileen Marshall, 40, of Toronto, acted in self defence when she shot and killed Earl Edward Nash, also about 40, in a Tay Township farm house Dec. 9. The jury reached its decision in 32 minutes after hearing evidence for nearly three hours. Attired in a green dress, the slightly-built blonde woman bore up well as she told in detail the events which Crown Attorney W. M. Thompson characterized as a “reign of terror” to which she was subjected for three days. 

Midland was one of the few areas in Southern Ontario over the holiday weekend with enough snow to provide good skiing and Midland Ski Hills did a bumper business with both local members and hundreds of visitors. Three Midland girls seen at ski rack above are, left to right, Bonnie Bray, Peggy Krochko and Jane Edwards. 

As they have for several years, members of Midland Lions Club spent Christmas Eve distributing large hampers of food to a number of needy homes in the town. In this photo, left to right are Walter Turnbull (Bud), Jack Truscott, Alex Craig and Charlie Kay, ready to take off with a load. Checking parcels in photo 7920 are Hugh Riesberry, Frank Spence, Lloyd Murday, Dan Nicholls and Jack Frame. 

How to get there and back safely is one of the things members of Midland Power Squadron learn in their advanced pilotage course. In the upper picture, left to right, are George Oliver, instructor, Mrs. Jim Playfair and E. B. Kendall, district training officer. Plotting an imaginary course on chart in the lower picture are Jack Pettigrew, Earl Cumming, squadron training officer, Rev. F. E. Sullivan, Dr. F. J. McCurry, Dr. Barry Boyd, Cecil Crealock and Mrs. Bill Mohan. 

“Make it snappy with the pictures, I’m hungry”, says little Mary McIntaggart, one of three babies to arrive at St. Andrew’s Hospital on Christmas Day. Daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Michael McIntaggart of Lindsay Street, she’ll have three brothers and a sister.

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