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

Click on photos to enlargeVeteran resident of the Vasey area, Charles Beatty marked his 85th birthday March 29 at his home in Vasey. Still hale and hearty, he’s seen above looking over a few of the many birthday cards he received during the week. Mr. Beatty served with the church, school and the Orange Lodge in Vasey for many years. Twice married, Mr. Beatty was born in Toronto but moved to a Medonte Township farm at an early age and remained there most of his life. 

The four happiest people in Midland last week were these members of Lawrence Wilcox’ rink after they had won the main event in Midland Curling Club’s big annual bonspiel. Grouped around Lawrence, holding the Orr Trophy, are Mrs. Don Argue (left), Bert Banting and Mrs. Cecil English. They bested 39 other rinks to win the trophy and individual wrist watches. 

The telephone is one piece of equipment that is not long idle in the home of a Salvation Army officer. Here Lieut. Wm. Johnston of the Midland Corps provides solace and advice in one of the many appeals for assistance which the local corps officer receives in a day. 

Another Elmvale team which had a lot of fun this winter was the AHL or pee-wee squad, winners in their district. Left to right are, front row — Nelson Wood, Allan Howard, Bob Lalonde, Dave Columbus, Murray Archer, Paul Morley, John Ritchie, Brian Stone; back row, Bob Ingleton, Charlie Jordan, Sandy McAuley, coach Norman Crane, George Conn. Allan Lambie, Bob Baker, Pete Marley, team captain, was not present when this picture was taken. 

The winners of the third event in the Midland Curling Club playoffs was Dr. A. H. Pinchin’s rink with the Graham Swales Trophy. Left to right are lead Wils Harrison, second Fred Waltz, skip Dr. Pinchin, vice Harold Cleaver. 

Reg Mulligan’s rink won the fourth event. Left to right are lead Bert Holt, skip Reg Mulligan, vice Graydon Broad, and second Jack Copeland. 

Officials of Midland’s Aqua-Divers Club are seen above following their recent elections. Left to right are, front row — Doug Stephenson, secretary-treasurer; Bob Argue, president; Syd Nicholls, vice-president; directors, in back row are Bill Mitchell (past president), Bill Gallagher, Don Gray, Gord Brand and Dick Wells. Another director, Felix Kirschner, was not present for the picture. 

Midland Curling Club held its playoffs for the men’s division March 25. Winners of the top event and the Cumming-Nicholson Trophy, was Gord Logan’s rink. Left to right, they are Walter Bauer, Cecil English, Skip Gord Logan and Woody McConnell. 

Midland Curling Club held its playoffs for the men’s division March 25. Winners of the second event and the O’Keefe Trophy were lead Wayne Broad, skip Jack Wilson, vice Haig Abbott (pinch-hitting for Bill Setterington) and second, Clive Park. 

Winner of the second event in Midland Curling Club’s mixed bonspiel this year was Bill Howard’s Midland entry. Left to right are; Charles Walton, Mrs. (Barb) Howard, Mrs. (June) Walton and Bill Howard. They defeated Vern Johnson’s Midland rink 8-6 in the final. 

This display of African curios by Mrs. Regina Smolan proved a big attraction at the “Fun Fair” held by Bayview Home and School Association at the Midland school March 25. Gathered during eight years in Tanganyika, the display included a python skin, monkey skin, an Indian Ocean sea shell (held by Mrs. Smolan) and many other items. Fair was held to raise funds for projects of the association during the year. 

Many district leaders and Guides attended a Guiders training school in the Sunday School auditorium of Knox Presbyterian Church, Midland, March 25. Some of the guides present included Lesley Hudson, Waubaushene, and Bonnie Dion, Penetang, seated and standing, left to right, Mary Ellen Mulhall, Waubaushene; Linda Labatt, Penetang; Louise Parker and Laurie Young, Midland. 

Jerry Berriault of St Theresa’s High School, Midland, exhibits the school letters he designed. They were awarded to outstanding students at the school last week. 

Large increase in the membership of St. Paul’s United Church, Midland, in recent years has made it necessary to add 11 new elders to the church Session. Seven of them are seen above with the pastor, Rev. Wilson Morden. Left to right are, front row, Ross Jones, Elwood Marcellus, Gunter Freund; back row, James Short, Chesley Scovill, Mr. Morden, A. J. Gardhouse, Sills Denholm. Not present when this picture was taken were Keith Smith, Norman Shill, Ira Rumney and Bryson McQuirter. 

Designer of the prize-winning crest for Bayview Public School, Midland, was David English, a Grade 8 student (right) seen with his principal, William Barnett. David’s winning design was on display during the open house held by the Bayview Home and School Association March 25. 


Free Press Herald headline of April 5, 1961.
A long-standing school problem in Tiny Township moved one step closer to a solution as a result of action taken by Tiny council at its April meeting in Perkinsfield yesterday. Council instructed township clerk Gabriel Marchand to have the necessary bylaw prepared, incorporating Evergreen, Wyebridge and S.S. 21, Tiny, Schools into a new school section. Council asked the clerk to have the bylaw ready for presentation at its next meeting. The new area school plans were announced after Ed Copeland, an Evergreen School ratepayer and long-time board member, asked council what its plans were with respect to the problem at Evergreen. Mr. Copeland told council he felt the rural children would obtain a higher quality education if an area school was established. The smaller school sections, each with its one-room school, could not afford to pay salaries which would attract high calibre teachers. Mr. Copeland said, whereas an area school could. The Evergreen School board resigned en masse last year over what it termed was an unjust decision of a special board, called to mediate an assessment dispute involving Tay Township taxpayers, contributing to the support of the then Evergreen Union School, whose children were attending public schools in Midland. Much of the revenue which the union school had been receiving from Tay taxpayers in that section was switched to Midland Public Schools Board as a result of the ruling of the special board. The situation was further complicated when some Tay pupils continued to attend Evergreen School after the award had been made.


County Herald headline of April 7, 1961.
Tiny Township council burned considerable midnight oil Wednesday before arriving at a budget for 1961. The rate will be slightly more than three mills higher than that of 1960 and includes expenses and items other than education. Since school levies vary throughout the township, it is not possible to include them in an overall rate. Clerk – treasurer G. Marchand said most of the school rates will be comparable to last year. There are, however, a few which are likely to be somewhat higher than previously. Major increases in estimated expenditures are for wages and salaries, fire protection, police equipment and a proposed building to house sanitary facilities and dressing rooms at Balm Beach. Most other items in the budget remain approximately the same as last year, with some being reduced. 

    With only two dissenting votes, directors of the Georgian Bay Development Association have condemned as an unjustified abridgement of local government autonomy the decision of the Ontario government to take away from local municipalities the right to grant fixed assessments. “This is just another case of the big cities who have the industries wanting to stop them moving to other centers,” was the opinion of many directors, “the haves versus the havenots.” “The last three industries which have come to Meaford have come under fixed assessments.” explained John Harabi of that town. It was the general conclusion of the GBDA meeting in  Orangeville that no municipality wanted to offer fixed assessment to anyone and everyone but that smaller communities, off the main lines had found in the past that they needed every sales weapon in their arsenal to attract industrial prospects. 

    Dr. P. B. Rynard, M.P. for Simcoe East, revealed this week that two North Simcoe firms have been awarded government contracts, one for dredging and the other for ship repairs. Dr. Rynard said the Waubaushene Navigation Co. Ltd. had been awarded a $23,625 contract for dredging work at Waubaushene. The other contract, for an unstipulated amount, was awarded to Atkinson Machine and Marine of Midland repairs and involves maintenance work on the government ship C. P. Edwards. 

     Cam Parker was elected president of Midland Progressive-Conservative Association, at the association’s annual meeting in the Georgian Hotel last week. He succeeds Frank Doherty who has held office for the past two years. Other officers are Gordon Henderson, 1st vice-president, Victor Smith, 2nd vice-president and Ray Newton who is serving his third year as secretary-treasurer. About 30 attended the meeting. Members were informed, that Dr. P. B. Rynard, M.P. for Simcoe East, will speak at a joint meeting of Men’s Clubs of several Midland churches, to be held in Knox Church April 19. 

   The federal cabinet has suspended for 90 days a freight rate increase, which was to have gone into effect Saturday, April 1st on export grain moved by rail from Georgian Bay elevators to East Coast ports. Prime Minister Diefenbaker said the suspension would give the government time to consider the report of the McPherson royal commission on transportation, due within a few weeks.  He said it would also “permit consideration of such additional representations as may be made”. The board of transport commissioners had authorized a rate of 33 cents per 100 pounds based on wheat shipments. The railways had sought an increase to 38 cents from the current rate of 25 cents, which includes some switching and elevator charges. 

    An uncle [we believe he is the step-brother] of James Playfair of Midland, Stuart Playfair, 84, has donated $1,000,000 [equivalent to 8.5 million in 2021] to the University of Toronto for research into nervous diseases. This was revealed recently by university president Claude Bissell who said the donor had insisted that his name be kept secret. “I wanted to keep it quiet stated Mr. Playfair, now in Florida, during a telephone interview with a Toronto newspaper. “I’ve been fortunate to have a bit of money.” added Mr. Playfair. “I figured it would be a good thing if a cure could be found for these dreadful diseases.” He stated be gave the money in memory of his wife, Helen, who died in 1959 after being afflicted with Parkinson’s disease for 16 years. That disease will be the first target of the research team using the money, it was stated. Stating that he was enjoying golfing every day, Mr. Playfair jokingly referred to his big donation again and added “I’ve scarcely got a buck-and-a-half left, just enough for three meals a day.” Mr. Playfair, who was born in Toronto in 1877, attended Jarvis Street Collegiate and Harbord Collegiate and started work at 16 with the Bank of Hamilton. He joined the army and served in the Boer War. In 1901, he formed the firm of Usher, Playfair and Co., stockbrokers and this firm became Playfair & Co. in 1928. The next year he formed the real estate firm of Playfair & Coke. Prominent on Bay Street in the years before World War II, Mr. Playfair was a director of many companies and a keen yachtsman. He married Helen McScott of Maryland in 1905. A keen golfer, Mr. Playfair has been a regular curler at the Granite Club, Toronto. 

 We had this 1956 photo of Mr. Playfair on file with the caption; Four prominent figures who have been involved with the progress of St. Andrews Hospital since its inception in 1918 are seen following ceremonies at the hospital Wednesday night. R. J. Pinchin, president of the board, Mrs. Emma Baker, superintendent for some 30 years and after whom a wing has been named; Stuart Playfair who unveiled a plaque honouring the contributions of his step-brother the late James Playfair, donor of the original building.

     Clare Armstrong, Midland dairyman, was the featured speaker at Midland Rotary Club’s meeting last week. Mr. Armstrong explained the various phases and operations of the dairy business. Guest at the meeting was Frank Gauthier. The sing-song was led by Jim Henry and piano accompanist was Ab Clark. 

    Zero hour arrives at 8 a.m. Thursday for some 42 teams who will be in Midland and Penetang to battle it out for provincial Little NHL honors this year. In Midland Arena, the host town will take on the champs from the rural Little NHL finals, held some weeks ago in Bradford. At Penetang, the Georgian Bay and Parry Sound winners will meet. Games in both towns will start the AHL match at 8 a.m., followed by the junior “A” at 9 a.m. and the NHL at 10 a.m. That’s only six of the 60 games that have to be played before the title holders in all three divisions are known. The 61st game which closes the three day hockey fest is a special. It is the junior “B” tyke game (under 9 years) under the sponsorship of the Society for Crippled Children. Famed wrestler “Whipper” Watson is expected to be on hand to give the trophy to the winner. 

Want ad, is this your home, what is it worth today?
PORT McNICOLL—Now priced for quick sale, house and property reduced $1,000.00. Originally priced at $7,500.00, now move in today at $6,500.00. This two-storey grey brick home is kept heated on well-drained property in quiet neighborhood. Three good-size bedrooms on second floor along with large three-piece bathroom with newly tiled floor, small study and hall. Newly tiled floors in main hall and kitchen with new built-in kitchen cupboards and new ceiling, large dining room and living room, full size basement well drained. Two storey back shed attached, large attic can be made into two good size rooms. Good garden, flower beds and lawns. Combination storm and screen front door with aluminum storms and screens on main windows. The roads are well ploughed during winter, taxes are $69. along with first class fire protection. Only ten minutes away from school, churches, stores and buses. The following items are yours free and left with the house: Automatic Duo-Therm space heater with automatic circulating fan, kitchen range with hot water front ‘plenty of hot water in tank’, all floor coverings, Venetian blinds, all light fixtures, TV antenna, $3,000 fire insurance policy paid to Aug. 1962 and 200 gallon oil storage tank gravity flow to space heater. This home and above items all in good condition. Come and see it for yourself. Contact Art Bell, Port McNicoll.
From the same page – Pure maple syrup, $5 per gallon, limited quantity. Bring your own container Phone LA. 6-6647 or LA 6-6637. 

Midland relief recipients received their cheques at the relief office and accepted them with the 17 per cent cut imposed. * * * Medonte Township council decided that all relief payments would be stopped April 1. * * * C. L. Wiles was elected president of the Midland Branch of the Canadian Legion. * * * Penetang fire brigade elected  Jack McLaughlin assistant chief, to assist Chief Spearn who was appointed by town council. * * * Two Simcoe County swine clubs, one for members between 15 and 20 years-of-age, were formed with a membership selected from all parts of the county. * * * Some 600 persons attended St. Mark’s Anglican Church annual congregational supper held in the parish hall. Talking films were provided for those waiting their turn for supper. * * * Penetang Board of Trade decided to move the tourist information bureau to the town wharf, and re-elected its executive headed by president H. A. C. Osborne. * * * Douglas Tushingham was awarded a fellowship at the Divinity School of Graduate Studies at the University of Chicago. The fellowship is for three years at $600 per year. * * * Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers held a joint meeting  with the Kiwanis Club and recommended that the Sturgeon River be closed for at least two years and stocked with trout from 12 to 18 months old. 

Up The Shore – Juanita Rourke
[This is an excerpt from Juanita’s excellent column “Up The Shore”. In this April 5th column Juanita comments on the changes to the annual spring ritual of returning to the light stations.]

Out by Midland Point the ship turned its nose toward Port McNicoll. The helicopter took off for Parry Sound. The ice was heavy, the ship jiggled and bounced against it. Progress was slow. Mother Nature was putting up a staunch fight against-man’s modern means of destroying “Why don’t you let me take care of the spring break-up,” I imagined it was screaming. “Impatient men. Modern men. Always in a hurry. If you would wait. Give me a chance. You would get to the outer bay. You always have before.” It was quite a day indeed, when I ventured forth on this my first voyage at the opening of navigation. I was aboard a modern ice-breaker. I sat in a carpeted lounge watching television, while a helicopter flew overhead and a scoot circled us on the ice. I am not really convinced this is any better than the good old days.’ It seems a very short time since ‘old dobbin’ made the last trip down the bay just about this time. When the ice started to melt along the shores, we knew it was time to get in supplies for the break-up. Times have changed dramatically and quickly up the shore. We have gone modern in a big way.
And I sometimes wonder if we are better off because of it. 

This is the description of the book from Amazon; Up the Shore: The Lighthouse Years recounts the stories of a Great Lakes lightkeeper and his family. This engaging book lets us tag along with Frank and Juanita Rourke and their family as they live a life many will find intriguing, giving us a personal experience with an extinct part of Canada’s history. These true stories were originally written as a weekly column for the Free Press in Midland, Ontario by Juanita Rourke. Juanita’s daughter Bonnie Rourke has edited her mother’s stories into this unique account of the life that Juanita shared with her husband at various lighthouses in Georgian Bay and Lake Huron.

This book and many others are available online at the Huronia Museum gift shop.

Tiny Talks
When I arose this morning ‘March 27’, the first thing to greet me was a pair of robins in the old crab apple tree singing to the rising sun. Later on when I went outside I saw killdeers and butterflies, so I think spring is really here. Now that April has arrived, we are all quite pleased to see her. We longed for her in February. Then suddenly the air blew softly and light fell on the greening fields. The great winds of March have swept the fields clear and now the season of miracles is here. We felt it in the air as we squelched through the slush and listened to the music of the little rivulets that rushed down through the fields. At no season of the year am I so aware of the visible fulfillment of the promise: “While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease.” Beautiful, unpredictable April! The days are as fresh and lovely as a child — days fulfilling the promise, “At evening it shall be light.” Spring is summer in the making and one wishes that it would last longer; that buds would take longer to burst into leaf. Even the sounds of April are gentle, The peepers in the swamp sing away on a cool night. A robin sings “cheeryup, cheery-up.” And then there is the low mooing of the cattle. I like to sit on the back steps and breathe in the good smell of growing things. “I lack the vanity to say God made that lilac cloud for me and the plum tree veiled in bloom; Because I am not vain. I say. God made these things and it is plain they are but facets of His grand design. But God made me as well with tastes, and eyes, and ears and sense of smell; With heart and brain whose potencies make the clouds and all creation mine.”
—Rhoda Downer. 

    Midland will have a new eight lane bowling alley in operation by early summer, it was announced yesterday. With Glenn Campbell as manager, Huronia Lanes Ltd. will be located on the second floor, over Campbell Bros, automotive parts, at Bay and Second Streets. Names of the heads of the new firm have not been released as yet. “It has nothing to do with the auto parts firm,” Glenn Campbell verified. Mr. Campbell said the new alleys would feature “the most modern equipment available”, including automatic pin-setters. Work on extending the second floor of the building to accommodate the new alley is to begin immediately. “Our plans are being drawn so that we can easily expand to 16 lanes if conditions warrant,” said Mr. Campbell. The plans also included a snack bar and a nursery where mothers can leave their children while they bowl. Mr. Campbell said Huronia Lanes would start booking teams for league play within the next two or three weeks.  Officials of a prominent bowling supply firm will supervise the setting up of the new alleys. They will also provide some topnotch bowlers on the occasion of the official opening, slated for some time between mid June and July 1. The bowling will be strictly five pin for the time being, at least, Mr. Campbell said.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – March 24th 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. 

Click on photos to enlargeThe new YW-YMCA at Hillsdale is providing an outlet for the energies and interest of some 35 boys and girls of that area. Doug Ronalds supervises a class in glass painting. From left to right, the girls are Linda Lockhart, Nancy Train, Mary Lea, Blanche Lesperance, Florence Jollie and Mrs. Ronald. 

There’s fun for everyone, from the eight-year-olds to adults, at the new extension of the YW-YMCA in Hillsdale.  Mrs. Tony Eccleshall leads (left to right) Elizabeth Ronald, Kathy Nixon, Shirley Pietrowski, Lorna Lockhart and Isobel Nixon in some PT exercises. 

“Doing the hokey-pokey’’ are Anne Eccleshall, Sharon Thompson, Mary Lee Mellon, Elizabeth Pietrowski, Sharon Douglas and Janice Hill. 

Lending a helping hand to kids hockey in Midland, Branch 80 of the Canadian Legion has donated a cheque for $100 to aid in the work of Midland Little NHL. Little NHL President Vern Sweeting, left, accepts the cheque from George McLaughlin, Legion president. 

Winning ticket in the third Polaroid camera contest was drawn by Meyer Mostyn, King Street businessman and a member of Midland Planning Board. Mr. Mostyn holds the ticket of Paul Crawford of Midland, the winner who made his purchase at Taylor’s Service Station. 

To the victors go the spoils, so they say. Free Press Herald Advertising Manager Harry Brown presents Albert Taylor with his new Polaroid camera. It was at the latter’s service station that the winner obtained his entry ticket. There still are six cameras to be won. 

To the victors go the spoils, so they say.  Paul Crawford of Midland inspects his camera prize, presented by editor Wils Harrison. There still are six cameras to be won. 

There was lots of fun for the youngsters, such as this penny toss game, at the open house and fun fair held by Bayview Home and School Association at Midland’s Bayview School Saturday. Mrs. Albert Spiker, above, watches one of her many customers during the long afternoon. 

Something new has been added to the Canadian Government ice-breaker Alexander Henry this year, in the form of the helicopter above making practice landings on a special after-deck. The ’copter took a number of lighthouse keepers and their families to their lonely stations Monday and re-joined the “Henry” later as it steamed out of the Bayports towards the Lakehead for the opening of another navigation season. 

These tots held a share of the spotlight as Midland Figure Skating Association held its “Ice Capers of 1961” at Arena Gardens recently. From left to right are Lonnie Leitch, Virginia Simpson, Jane Brasher, Suzanne Kluck, Nancy Biggar and Peggy Wallace. 

Not long ago, Terry Dubeau was wearing leg braces as a result of a fall from a bunk bed. Now the 9-year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Laval Dubeau is playing goal for Penetang’s junior “A” team, which will seek a provincial title during the Ontario finals in Midland and Penetang during Easter holidays. He’s seen above with Rev. Len Self, a director of both the Midland and Ontario Little NHL organizations. 

Doug McNabb of Victoria Harbour intends making good use of these travelling bags, presented to him Thursday by CPR employees at Port McNicoll. On hand to wish him well in retirement, as well as to present gifts, were left to right, L. L. Saundercook, CPR agent at Port McNicoll; Percy Pincombe, retired locomotive foreman; Mr. McNabb; F. J. Koehn, assistant superintendent, Trenton Division; James Stewart, assistant superintendent, and Stewart Miller, superintendent of the locomotive shop. 

Members of St. Margaret’s Parish, Midland, are currently conducting a combined fund canvass which seeks to raise $150,000 over the next three years for educational and religious purposes. Some of the workers include left to right, seated, Wm. Kennedy, Dr. E. A. Grise, general chairman. W. H. Shaver, John Gianetto; standing, Frank Keenan, Jerome Jessome, Robert Fountain, Ross Cioe. 

Some of the workers include, left to right, Martin Bestor, William Murray, Don McVey, Jacques Giroux and Paul Quilty.

“CUTE CHICKS” would seem to be a good caption for this picture, whether you’re looking at the girls or the baby chicks. Girls are, left to right, Maureen McGuire, Perkinsfield, Penelope Self, Midland, and Claire Bellehumeur, Penetang, all students of Grade 11, MPDHS. The chicks are day-old hybrids, part of a hatch of 120 used in the studies of agriculture and agricultural science students at the school. 


County Herald headline of March 24, 1961.
Although Dominion Bureau of Statistics figures, issued this week, indicate a high incidence of unemployment in some parts of Canada, Midland is not one of them. Jobless figures compiled by the local National Employment Service office and released this week show that the North Simcoe area is prospering. And where unemployment totals have been climbing in some districts, here there has been a decline – 7.4 percent since January. Harold Humphries, manager of the NES office in Midland, said a comparison of 1960 and 1961 jobless totals for this district during January, February and up to mid-March, reveal there has been a steady decline in unemployment since January this year. The total for unplaced males and females for January, was 1,807, comprised of 1,533 males and 274 females. 


Free Press Herald headline of March 29, 1961.
Penetang council Monday night pushed the button turning on a green for $229,000 sewage treatment project for the town. The figure includes a small amount for a short trunk line to connect all present outlets to the plant. On recommendation of Engineer V. G. Bardawill, council agreed to request Ontario Water Resources Commission to proceed with details of the job, and carry on later with construction. The engineer estimated 30 men would be employed for an eight month period, with 20 of that number coming from the local labour pool. 

    Lloyd Letherby, MPP for Simcoe East, seconded a motion by Albert Wren (L.-Lab. Kenora) calling on the Ontario government to permit the sale of beer and  liquor as room service in hotels and the purchase of take-out beer in beverage rooms. The motion was made at a recent meeting of the legislature’s committee on travel and publicity and was carried unanimously by the seven members present. 

    Paul Tremblay of St. Theresa’s High School, Midland, came second in the Knights of Columbus district 19 oratorical contest held at Owaissa Lodge, Orillia, March 19. Paul’s prepared speech was entitled “Utilizing the Sacraments”, and his impromptu speech was on “Modern Music”. 

    Checking on reports that farmers were worried wells in this area running dry, this newspaper learned yesterday that although there have been a few wells run dry or containing very little water, the situation is not widespread. At the Farmer’s Co-Op at Lafontaine it was said one or two have been hauling water in recent weeks, but nothing serious has developed to date. 

    As Good Friday, March 31, is a statutory holiday, only one issue of this newspaper will be published this week. It will be the Free Press Herald and it will be published Friday, March 29. Advertisers and rural Correspondents are asked to have their ad and news copy in early. 

    Tiny Township’s maple syrup industry got a fair share of publicity this week when it was featured in a metro daily newspaper and on TV. The Toronto daily carried a layout of more than half a page of pictures, taken on two farms near Lafontaine. CBC national TV news Wednesday night also had film coverage on the same subject, with the movies taken in the same locations. 

    The list of 44 teams which will play a total of 61 games in Midland and Penetang during the Ontario Little NHL finals, Easter week has been released by Rev. Len Self, Ontario director. The 44 teams are the survivors from 102 All-Star Leagues, representing 1,500 teams from the East-Central parts of the province. Local officials must lay plans for looking after not only the 850 young team members who will be on hand, but an estimated 2,500 adults who will accompany them. 

    Dear Editor: The single-screw steam tug “Harry A” official No. 134268, was built in 1914 by the Georgian Bay Shipbuilding and Wrecking Co. at Midland and registered there by Joseph M. Syer of Midland. She was a wooden tug, length 31 feet five inches, width 11 feet three inches and depth 3 feet eight inches, gross registered (illegible) tons. She had a single-cylinder high pressure engine built by the Doty Marine Engine and Boiler Co. of Goderich. She was reported burned at West Mary Island in the vicinity of Little Current Ont., and her registry was officially closed in 1931.
W. R. Williams 

    Midland council in a special session Monday night asked for and received the resignation of Public Works Superintendent W. “Bud” Turnbull. The portion of the meeting dealing with Mr. Turnbull’s resignation was closed to press and radio representatives. Clerk-treasurer Wm. A. Hack advised yesterday that he had been authorized by council to announce Mr. Turnbull’s resignation. Mr. Hack said Mr. Turnbull had written out his resignation at the meeting and handed it to council, who accepted it and noted that it would take effect immediately. 

   Penetang council stepped in Monday night to give police an assist in clearing up a major loitering problem, prevalent each Sunday in the vicinity of three restaurants. Chief Jack Arbour recommended erection of signs which will prohibit parking from 12 noon to midnight Sundays the Main Street, between Robert and Poyntz Streets. The chief told council the loitering problem is increasing, with many of the offending teen-agers coming from out-of-town. “We have them from as far away as Collingwood. And then, too, there are a lot from Lafontaine,” he said. Chief Arbour said the offenders are quite cagey, and apparently have a pretty fair knowledge of just how far they can go without actually running afoul of the law. “I have spent several Sundays watching the situation. While you are looking everything is fine. They stay within the law. But the minute you turn your back, they’re into trouble.” 

    A Burlington helicopter firm, operated by former Midlander Bob Gillies, has reached an agreement with Toronto Harbor Commission to use lakefront land for operation of a regular service between downtown Toronto and Malton airport. The landing pad will be on an open area between Yonge and Bay Streets, south of Harbor Street, Toronto. The first flight of the new service took place Friday when two men were brought in from Malton for a brief stay downtown and were whisked back. Eventually, the service will be on a regularly scheduled basis. Bob who has landed a helicopter in Midland several times, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. R. G. Gillies of Midland.

    It is a bit of a shock to realize, as Dr. B. Boyd of the Ontario Hospital, Penetang, recently pointed out to the Midland Kiwanis Club, that there are now more hospital beds occupied by the mentally ill than beds used by persons afflicted by all other illnesses put together. 

ELRICK — To Mr.  and Mrs. William Elrick, King Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, March 21, 1961, a daughter.
GRASIC — To Mr and Mrs. Vincene Grasic, 211 Queen Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital. Sunday, March 12, 1961, a son.
IRONSIDE – To Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Ironside, 70 Victoria, Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, March 12, 1961, a son.
KING — To Mr. and Mrs. Amos King, Christian Island, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, March 14, 1961, a son.
LeDUC — To Mr. and Mrs. Percy LeDuc, Port Severn, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, March 12, 1961, a daughter.
LEGAULT — To Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Legault, Howe’s Corner, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, March 12, 1961, a son.
MARTIN — To Mr. and Mrs. John Martin, 209 Third Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Monday, March 20, 1961, a son.
NICHOLSON -To Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Nicholson, Honey Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, March 16, 1961, a son.
PERRAULT — To Mr. and Mrs. Albert Perrault, 217 Russell Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital Wednesday, March 22, 1961, twins, a son and daughter.
TILSON — To Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Tilson, 95 Hanley Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, March 17, 1961, a daughter.
TOBEY — To Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Tobey, Honey Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, March 18, 1961, a daughter.
TOOLE — To Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Toole, Wyebridge, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, March 22, 1961, a daughter.
TROTTIER — To Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Trottier, 174 Ellen Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, March 10, 1961, a daughter.

We have gone back 80 years to 1941 and pulled some advertising from the March editions of the Free Press Herald.

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

Click on photos to enlargeTogged out in new spring finery are Billy Beaton, left, in brown check continental style trousers and green sport shirt; Brenda Hebner, centre, in a mauve check sanforized cotton dress; and Nancy Biggar in an orange ice gingham and plain white dress with gingham appliqués on the skirt, and a straw roller hat. The outfits were modelled at Edwards’ fashion show. 

Crib champs – Les Scott, left, and Charlie Stewart hold trophies they won while representing Branch 80, Midland, at the Canadian Legion Zone E-4 cribbage tournament in Orillia recently. Since then the Midland team also took part in the district tournament in Newmarket, but did not get enough “15 two’s” to win it. 

Dedicated to the memory of Cecil Hopkins, a new worship service center has been termed “a wonderful inspiration to the pupils” by Kenneth Cowan, superintendent of the Sunday School of St. Paul’s United Church. Hand-made by Gunter Freund, a member of the congregation, the new center is located on the stage in the church auditorium during Sunday School services. In a natural oak finish, it has storage space for books at the rear. Dedication services were held some weeks ago, at which time J. W. “Win” Smith recalled the contribution which Mr. Hopkins had made to the Sunday School and to youth generally in Midland. Mr. Smith said Mr. Hopkins had already established himself as a “worker with young people in the community” when he became a member of the congregation of St. Paul’s at the time of church union. He served for more than 30 years as superintendent of the Sunday School. “He dedicated his life to work with young people, especially boys, and many hundreds of them will remember him as one who was ready at all times to help them in every way possible,” said Mr. Smith. “Familiarly known as “Pop” or “Dad,” he was in many cases actually that to a boy, often closer to him than his own dad.” Mr. Smith said Mr. Hopkins was also the one person, more than anyone else, who made the establishment of the work of the YMCA in Midland possible, back in 1919-20. “He kept the minutes of the meetings, so his own part was not played up and this was like him all through his life. He did the work and let the others have the glory,” Mr. Smith declared.

We wanted to find a photo of Mr. Hopkins and this one from 1955 was in the archive with the caption; Ronald McQuaig will represent St. Paul’s United Church Midland at the 35th session of the Ontario Older Boys Parliament which convenes in the Ontario Legislative building in December. Ronald is the son of Mr. & Mrs. Elwood “Red” McQuaig of 234 Manly Street, with him is Cecil Hopkins director of boys work at St. Paul’s. 

Trophy winners in Midland Ladies’ Curling Club 14th annual bonspiel last week, were Mrs. Don Argue’s Midland rink won the Midland Trophy event. Players were Mrs. Bruce Spicer (Dorothy), Mrs. Bill Kennedy, Mrs. Don Argue and Mrs. Clive Park (Mary). 

Latest spring fashions were modelled by this trio at Edwards’ fashion show last week. On the left, Mrs. Tom Henderson wears a red morlaine dressmaker suit, matching red straw hat and black patent leather shoes. Her handbag is also black patent leather. Centre, Mrs. Ross Irwin models a gold basket weave suit, boxy style wild mink stole and green and gold petal hat. On the right, Miss Doris Wainman wears a wool and angora Dior blue coat with dyed fox collar to match, and a blue flowered hat. 

At Edwards Fashion Show, Mrs. Stanley Taralko, left, wore a black barathea cloth suit with a sapphire mink stole. Her accessories included a black straw hat and tapestry bag. Arlene Armstrong, right, chose a wool and angora little boy coat, black lacquered straw hat with flowered trim and a pouch bag. 

There were many styles and fashions for little tots and teenagers as well at Edwards Fashion Show held in the store last week. This dusky pink locket dress of popular was modelled by Geraldine Koenig. Her accessories were a white hat and white gloves. 

A black and white tweed tailored coat with a black straw hat featuring a wide black bow trim would be Mrs. Leonard Parliament’s choice for spring. Mrs. Eric Paul, right, liked a grapefruit knitted Lensee suit with avocado green straw hat and accessories. This dress is completely washable and has a perma-pleat skirt. 

Barbara Spence (left) and Linda Stewart were two of the skaters in the senior group as Midland Figure Skating Association held it’s “Ice Capers of 1961” at Arena Gardens recently. Feature of the evening was two solo exhibitions by Joan Meloche, club professional for several years. 

These Elmvale teams won consolation titles in the Ontario Little NHL tournament for smaller communities held at Bradford recently. They also won the Georgian Bay District title in their divisions earlier. The NHL team includes, left to right — front row, Gary Turner, Carl Edwards, John Brown, Don Beardsall, Stewart McKenzie, Steve Crane; middle row, Jim Gilbert, Al Lambie, Ricky Myers, Bill Playfair, Ted McConnell, John Archer, Bruce Corbett; back row — Bob Ritchie, Bern O’Halloran, Brian Swan, Doug Lambie. 

Members of junior team are: front row, Mike Kelly, Del Frankcom, Gregg Patchell, Pat Grenier, Bruce Burnett, Paul Lambie, Don Columbus, John Crawford; back row — Bill Ritchie, Bob Crane, ‘Butch’ Ritchie, Ross Leonard, Ron Miller and Lyle McClung. 

Tonight’s the big night for young hockey players, both boys and girls, at Sacred Heart Public School, when they hold their ‘‘final night” at Midland Arena Gardens. Mike Robitaille drops the puck to set the gals in action. Three boys’ games, and one for the girls, are on the card for tonight. (Help us name the girls.) 

Joe Huston Jr. lines up some of the boys for their final practice session. Three boys’ games, and one for the girls, are on the card for tonight. 

In a few weeks now members of Midland’s Aqua-Divers Club hope to get out of the living room and into some real water, other than the pool at RCAF Edgar. Looking over some of their equipment are, left to right, Bill Mitchell, Doug Stephens and Don Gray. 

More members of Midland’s Aqua-Divers Club, left to right, Dick Wells, Bill Gallagher, Bob Argue and Gord Brand. 

These girls walked off with most of the silverware in women’s play as Midland Garrison Badminton Club held its championships March 11. Mary-Jo Hargadon, left, won the singles title, Fran Brodeur (center) and Bernice Bridges combined to take the ladies’ doubles crown. 

Mixed doubles was one of the popular events as Midland Garrison Badminton Club held its championships recently. Mr. and Mrs. John Bourgeois (left) won the consolation title but the club title went to Mary-Jo Hargadon (holding trophy) and Carson Brown. 


County Herald headline of March 17, 1961.
Hampered by freezing temperatures, biting winds and dense smoke, Penetang firemen fought a losing battle for several hours yesterday in an attempt to save the home of Mr. and Mrs. Herb Desjardins, Fox Street. The blaze which almost completely gutted the two-storey frame structure, left Mr. and Mrs. Desjardins and four children  homeless, and with only the clothes they were wearing at the time. Mr. Desjardins said he was outside shovelling snow shortly before three o’clock when he noticed something wrong with the curtains on a living room window. As he went toward the house, the plastic curtain fell, and he realized the house was on fire. When he opened the door, he said flames and smoke drove him back, and the whole interior seemed to be ablaze, particularly around an oil heater. He believed the fire started from the heater which he had cleaned earlier in the day. Mrs. Desjardins had gone to Midland only a short while before the fire broke out. It was some time before she could be contacted, and when she returned about 4.30 p.m., part of the roof had fallen in. All that Mr. Desjardins was able to save was the washing machine, clothes dryer, tubs and a few other items from the laundry room at the back of the house. He also managed to grab a few items of clothing from this same room. 


Free Press Herald headline of March 22, 1961.
Some of the transportation difficulties experienced by Indians of Christian Island in the water passage between their reserve and the mainland, during late fall and early spring, will be removed when a new steel-hulled boat goes into service later this year. News of the awarding of a contract for the 50-foot vessel was Friday. The craft will have a beam of 14 feet and a rounded bilge capable of taking the  pounding it will endure breaking through thin ice. Power will be supplied by a single-screw 150 horsepower diesel engine. The lowest tender for the project was submitted by Russel Brothers Ltd. of Owen Sound. Cost of the combined tug and ferry is set at $56,000. This is the  first federal contract the company has received since it was reactivated in January of this year. Running between Christian Island and Cedar Point, the boat will ferry passengers and carry some freight and supplies for the Island. For hauling heavier items such as the annual cut of lumber, the new craft will tow a steel scow. The small wooden vessel now in service will likely be retired when the new boat is delivered, it was stated. It is expected work on the vessel will get under way in about three weeks time. An official of the company said some design work still remains to be completed, and drawings will have to submitted for approval. 

    Dozens of Penetang mothers have been working feverishly for the past two weeks, fashioning costumes for their offspring who will be appearing in the annual figure skating carnival next weekend. Mrs. Lorne Perrault, Chairman of the committee in charge of costumes, said more than 80 outfits are required for this year’s show. Hundreds of yards of net and other materials, as well as countless sequins and decorations have gone into the costumes.  Left to right Pauline Perrault, Judy Ross, Linda Ross, Mrs. Perrault and Loretta Perrault. — Staff photo. 

    There were very few motorists around Penetang and district who failed to meet the March 15 deadline for securing new licence plates, according to Boyd Hollister, Penetang issuer. The last week before the deadline was the busiest since the first of the year, with the final three days bringing out the largest number, be said. One or two vehicles, bearing 1960 markers, were visible around the town Thursday morning, but these quickly disappeared as the owners secured new plates. 

  “Everyone agrees that something is wrong with the divorce laws,” said Robert J. McCleave, to the members of Midland Canadian Club last week. “The reform will likely not be sponsored by any particular party, but by interested supporters which will cut across party lines,” he said. Mr. McCleave is the Progressive-Conservative member for Halifax and the chairman of the Commons private bills committee. A commission to study divorce reform was set up in Britain in 1920 and it was not until 1937 that a bill was passed, he said. Under the British North America Act, marriage and divorce became a federal responsibility, and in 1867 the grounds became that of the English law — adultery. Nova Scotia alone has cruelty, which is not set forth in the BNA, but was in effect in the province before 1867. In Sir John A. MacDonald’s time it was quite fashionable to have parliamentary divorce, and up to 1925 men could sue their wives for adultery, but a wife could only sue if the adultery grounds were coupled with bigamy, desertion for two years, incest or cruelty, the speaker said. In 1951-52 the Supreme Court made a very important decision which effected divorce — it was a rule of evidence. Up until then the evidence had to show beyond a reasonable doubt there had been adultery. The new decision found that when the balance of evidence was towards adultery having been committed, under circumstances that made it more probable, the grounds were established by inference. 

    Midland’s newest business, Georgian Bay Hardware, opened yesterday in the former Jeffery block at King Street and Dominion Avenue. Owners of the business are Ian Bowman, a lifetime resident of Midland, and Wm Crippin, a native and resident of Penetang. “This is our first venture in the complete hardware business,” stated Mr. Bowman. “We are carrying a full line of all hardware, electrical and plumbing supplies, housewear, paints and wallpaper.” Stating that they now had 3,000 square feet of floor space, Mr. Bowman said he and Mr. Crippin had purchased the entire Jeffery block for an undisclosed amount. He emphasized that their former painting and contracting business had “just moved across the street”. Eric Rankin will be in charge of the sporting goods, scaffolding and paints. Mr. Bowman said, noting that Ray Dilworth will be in charge of the painting and decorating contract department. Mr. Crippin will be managing the hardware departments and my job will be overall supervision, Mr. Bowman added. Mr. Bowman and Mr. Crippin have been in the painting and decorating contracting business for more than 14 years in this district. Mr. Bowman added that he expected two or three additional employees would be added to the new store staff in the not too distant future.

Five men employed by Bowman and Crippin on a tall scaffold painting the screen of the Midland drive-in theatre located on Angela Schmidt Foster Road west of Highway 93, Midland, May, 1954. 

    Made desirable by the rapidly expanding size of the congregation, 11 new elders were ordained at St. Paul’s United Church, Midland, Sunday, bringing their number to 45 in all. Rev W. L. Morden said the membership of the church now stands at close to 900, compared with less than 700 only a few years ago. New elders are Chesley Scovill, Ross Jones, Elwood Marcellus, James Short, Gunter Freund, Sills Denholm, Ira Rumney, A. J. Gardhouse, Keith Smith, Bryson McQuirter and Norman Shill. 

    A long-unused hotel in Hillsdale is again serving a useful purpose in that community. It’s now the home of a newly-formed branch of the YMCA-YWCA. Started largely through the enthusiasm of Tony  Eccleshall, a constable with the OPP detachment at Elmvale who makes his home in Hillsdale. It now serves some 35 young people of the village and surrounding area, along with some adults who are taking part in square dancing classes. 

    Fire Monday night caused an estimated $5,000 damage to the building and contents of a house at 188 Fourth Street. Midland, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert McLeod. When the fire broke out, around 10 p.m., the McLeod’s two sons, aged 7 and 4 and their eight-week-old daughter were sleeping. They were quickly removed to safety. At present the family is staying with Mrs. McLeod’s sister, Mrs. Donaldson and Capt. Norman Donaldson, Manley Street. Fire Chief Arnold Tippin said the fire is believed to have been caused by a rusted chimney stopper in an unused stove-pipe hole in the chimney between a workshop and the kitchen of the house. The fire ate its way through the ceiling and into the main portion of the house. 

The Midland Workers’ Association, representing the unemployed at Midland called a special meeting in protest against the cuts in relief announced by council. The action most likely to be taken by relief recipients was to refuse to send children to school, (illegible first name) Gauthier, association president stated. Midland prospector Archie Cameron flew 900 miles north to the Great Slave and Great Bear Lake country.  • • • The Grand Orange Lodge of Ontario West was in session in Midland, with approximately 1,800 visiting delegates. • • •Danny VanClief a former hockey star of Midland British Consols turned professional and signed to play with London in the International League. * * * One of Midland’s earliest citizens, Capt. R. Smith retired from command of the S. S. St. Heliers after 49 years sailing on the Great Lakes, 24 years of which he spent on Department of Marine ships. * * * A play entitled “Wild Ginger” was put on by a group of Elmvale young people under the auspices of the Young People’s Society of St. John’s United Church, Victoria Harbour. * * * W. H. Keller, was elected president of the Midland Curling Club. * * * Midland’s Ladies’ Madrigal Choir, under the direction of Douglas Major made its first public appearance before an audience at Knox Presbyterian Church.