chamblycounty.com celebrates 15th. anniversary
Back in October of 2003 I stumbled upon a blog hosted by Nick Brenner, a CCHS grad from the Class of 1964, who resides in Innsbruck, Austria. Nick was attempting to drum up interest in holding a reunion. I joined his group and together with another member, Pamela Storr, Class of 1984, we agreed to see what could be done. We realized that with absolutely no financial resources we would have to use the internet extensively to make any progress. At that point Anthony "Tony" McGarr, Class of 1977 stepped up to the plate and offered to sponsor a new website. Through his company, Planet Velocity we reserved the site name and set out to build a website to promote a reunion. chamblycounty.com was born on December 2nd. 2003. From this very humble beginning we have evolved into a growing association with over 500 members, which has hosted 3 All Year Reunions in 2005, 2010, and 2015.
While working on the Life Members project, reviewing attendance at our recent reunion, and also newsletter readership, some facts became very obvious. It takes 30 years following graduation before any degree of nostalgia sets in about our high school years and the whereabouts of our classmates. Also alumni who have left the St. Lambert area are more interested than those who stayed in the community. I do not completely understand the apathy of the locals, perhaps it is just that they see and associate with their old classmates on a more regular basis.
The October Crisis in 1970 caused a mass exodus of anglophones out of the province of Quebec. Over the years the population of St. Lambert has flip flopped from 75% anglophone to 25%. This explains partly why we have only 4 association members from 1988 onwards, and why locals don't turn up in greater numbers for reunion events.
Membership in the association continues to be just above 500 mark despite the passing of alumni from the 40's, 50's, and 60's.Angus Cross
Welcome New Alumni Association Members and renewed Members
Class of 1967
from Spruce Grove, AB
Carol Gribben (Brown)
Class of 1953
from Weston, ON
Memberships expiring this month
Collins Susan 1964
Davies Jon 1973
Phillips Rodger 1961
Memberships expiring in January
Crook Alice 1971
Ferguson Neil 1973
Michalek (Smith) Joy 1964
Bashaw Peter 1964
Handrahan (Shotton) Barbara 1964
Le Kim Veronique 1980
Bardin (Greene) Arlene 1957
I owe you an apology. I never investigated the “Flashbacks” section before. Most of the entries are from Graduating Classes 18 to 20 years before mine. Does that mean that they were more literate or just that they never lost the ability to write something memorable on a moment’s notice? I was not a Mathematician and took every English Class or Literature Class available to me at CCHS. We were blessed with teachers who taught us more like University Professors would teach. Individual attention was paid to any student showing a genuine desire to learn. I had what some people described at the time as a talent for writing. I did well in High School but my credits were not in Math or Science. Ask me to learn another language or study History or Geography and I would excel. I almost graduated from Champlain Regional College where the quality of Instructor was over the moon excellent. Unfortunately that part of my life was spent surviving the early 1970’s and my Blue Collar Parents urged me to find gainful employment instead of studying for an eventual degree that could not see as being profitable in the future. I never lost my love of writing and eventually that passion was wrapped up along with photography and video production. These were hobbies that caused me to take courses and to evolve a very solitary penchant for being alone on snowshoes or cross country skis or in a kayak or a canoe. The most rewarding hours of my life happened unintentionally while searching for nothing and yet finding everything that comprises my favourite moments of this particular life. I really enjoyed reading the “Flashback” stories and identify with so many of the missives that Alumni took the time to share with you. The Chambly County Alumni Association never ceases to amaze me and every time that I discover a new aspect of the site I discover a new aspect of the shared experiences that we all had at CCHS. It is like participating in an archaeological dig. Layers of treasures lie hidden under the debris of time until someone brushes the debris away and dusts off a memory that adds value to all of our collective lives. Thank you for all of the tireless work that you put into these posts and thank you for allowing the true value of our collective experience to be preserved, hopefully, for ever. I am in constant touch with two Alumni (Larry Llewellyn and Jack Anderson) and they each have volumes of memories and a collection of life experiences that reminds me of how fortunate we all were to have attended CCHS.Stephen Campbell
You have done it again, composing and arranging another excellent Newsletter (November).
I was very sad to learn of my classmate Brian Hayman's recent passing. He was a very nice, kind and genuine guy, and an accomplished jazz pianist.
I was a member of his jazz and dance band from 1954 to '57 and we played some gigs around the south shore (for free). I played rythm guitar and a little base. An other member was Joe Sealy mostly on vibes as Brian did the piano work. Those in the know will recognize our classmate Joe Sealy who developed into one of Canada's premier jazz pianists. We also had a trumpet player, hot lips something or other (not from CCHS and can't remember his name).
Brian's wife Sue (Sheppard) was also a close friend of mine and Brian tracked me down in Nova Scotia in 1982 to tell me of her terribly sad premature passing. So two of my very close high school friends are now gone.
My sympathies to Brian's family and to his sister in law Angela (Sheppard).Dennis Reilley
MY BEST JOB
My best (and only) job (calling) is as an Anglican priest. I was ordained in 1967 and made Archdeacon in 2003. Although allegedly retired, I am still doing services at St. John’s Church, Huntingdon, QC. Throughout my ministry at various times I have been a parish priest, hospital chaplain, school chaplain and port chaplain (Montreal & Halifax). In my 51 years of ministry there have been both happy and sad times, but I wouldn’t change anything of those years.Brian Evans
St. Lambert and CCHS (High School)
By Lilian Puust (Soomet)
C’57 Life Member
From Toronto, ON
St. Lambert, the town where I went to school, is one of the “Top 10 Best places to Live in Canada.” MoneySense, August 2018 ranks it 9th, ahead of almost 500 others. I agree when they rank it high as “a liveable city, prosperous, yet affordable, safe, yet easy to get around,” with access to health care and culture.
Across from Montreal, St. Lambert is a bedroom community on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. Before the seventies, only fathers go across Victoria Bridge to jobs in Montreal by train or car, or by bus over Jacques Cartier bridge. Mothers stay at home to raise families and look after the home.
St. Lambert has always been a wonderful place to live or go to school. In the fifties and sixties, it was similar to MoneySense’s current view of it. During my schooldays, I think of St. Lambert being the same as in my readers, an idyllic “Dick and Jane” kind of town, with tree-lined streets, nice houses, spacious mowed lawns with well trimmed hedges and flowers, where it would be safe even for Spot the dog and Baby Sally. Everyone looks just like the people in my reader.
They are the same colour, a kind of peach shade. There are only three students, who I can recall with darker skin in shades of chocolate. Everyone has English names like Bill or John; there are even some Dicks, Janes and Sallys. Last names are normal like Green, Brown, Cook or Fisher. Aside from a handful of Estonians, no one comes to the school who has to learn English. The few who have non-English names speak English like everyone else. Helene came to the school in Grade 4 not knowing any English, but she surprised the teachers when in Grade 5 she won the English Prize and then continued to always place first or second in her class.
“Dick and Jane’s” peachy world is made up of happy families who live in tidy single-family homes, except for grandparents who live on farms. Father works at an unknown job, but when he comes home, he is always cheerful with his well-behaved children, who are good students and never get into serious trouble. Father wears a white shirt and tie at the dinner table and Mother works at home vacuuming, preparing well-presented meals, which she does while wearing a house dress, apron and high-heeled shoes.
That is so similar to what I see in the real world at some of my St. Lambert friends’ homes, along with the roast beef dinners served. However, while my father does go to an office job, at first in Montreal, my mother works. She has an easy job at North-Rite, testing pens. From the time I am nine, I look after myself after school and during the summer holidays. I am also supposed to remember to do some dusting. When my mother comes home, she immediately changes into her gardening clothes as she likes to garden while the sun is still up. Formal dinners are reserved for when we have guests. So, I don’t fit perfectly into that peachy world, but we are close enough.
I rarely hear of anyone getting into any trouble. Miss Powell, our gym teacher may berate someone for not following her directions, “line up in fours, not twos!” or “Did you see that Johnny was caught chewing gum in the hallway and was sent to the principal’s office.” That was it.
I think that everyone who speaks English is Protestant since St. Lambert’s schools belong to the Greater Montreal Protestant School Board. I never meet English Catholics, though one time I saw some English girls in dark uniforms coming out of a convent school with some nuns. Who are they? No one knows. Quebec may have two solitudes with the English and French, but communities have more than two solitudes.
French Canadians are a mystery. They have their own schools and live mostly in surrounding towns, like Ville LeMoyne, Longueil, Ville Jacques Cartier. Madam Perras, my piano teacher, is the only French Canadian I know who lives in St. Lambert. It is like there are invisible borders.
Grade 8 is the beginning of high school when we have to decide whether we want to be in the Latin class or the Science class. I am in the Latin class with many of the same St. Lambert faces I have known since Grade 4. We hear that Latin is a kind of shortcut to romance languages, French, Spanish, Italian.
When my mother and I disagree about something, my father likes to say “De gustibus non est disputandum” - There is no point in disputing about matters of taste. He also likes to say “Carpe diem” - Seize the day.
My mother’s favourite is “Amor vincit omnia.” Love conquers all. Maybe I will start to spout Latin phrases too!
From October to May, girls wear high school uniforms: a gray skirt, white blouse and navy blazer. I don’t mind it, except for having to wash and iron those white blouses. Some girls add a perky little scarf, but not all teachers allow that. In June we wear normal skirts or dresses, but long pants are not allowed.
My teacher, Miss Cockerline – reminds me of a little hopping bird, she flits about, tweets things we should learn, but I sometimes just peek at the boys instead. I wonder what it would be like to have all boys and all girls in separate classes. It may be easier to get some nineties then. A friend’s father likes to call her Miss Cocker-limpy-lumpy-lorum-line when we talk about her, and this sticks into my mind. She is a small but mighty teacher, and very strict. Some of the boys get into arguments with her. She sends the class clowns and debaters to the principal for further discussions.
At the new modern high school at 675 Green Street we have new labs, gym, art and music rooms, home economics, and industrial arts rooms. A lawn and trees surround the school, and include space for track and field and sports. The new school is not only for students in St. Lambert, but also for English-speaking students in Chambly County who come by school bus
from nearby towns, like Mount Bruno, St. Hubert, Longueil, Ville-Cartier, MacKayville, Brossard, Greenfield Park, and Preville. It has a new name, Chambly County High.
We don’t get into trouble. Alcohol is not allowed at school dances which are chaperoned by teachers. No one has even heard of pot or drugs. We live in an innocent world. We bike, walk or take the bus. No one has a driver’s licence. We cannot get one until we are seventeen and kids don’t have money to buy cars or much of anything else. Teachers become concerned about the boys who go to the pool hall on Victoria Street.
Mothers tell their daughters to stay away from some black leather jacket guys on motorcycles who lean against the school wall and smoke.
In the final grades there are some unplanned pregnancies in a culture where girls are continuously told to be virgins until they marry. One of the realities: there is no birth control available for girls. Boys who dare, ask the pharmacist to sell them condoms.
My mother’s big worry is if I am eating enough. No one worries about their weight because we are all very slim. I and my friends eat breakfast and dinner at home and lunch at the school cafeteria, where the ladies make our food; meat and potatoes, fish on Fridays, and my least favourite - pork and beans. Desserts are canned cherries, puddings, jello, sometimes a piece of cake. Those who live nearby go home for lunch. We never snack between meals; we don’t carry beverages around with us. Instead, we run to the water fountain whenever we are thirsty. I usually drink milk with my meals. Others start to drink tea or coffee. We don’t hang out in restaurants and very rarely buy Smarties or 7UP. We visit each other’s homes and talk as we walk. When we get home, we talk on the phone for hours with our friends, even though we have just seen them. With Helene or Sherrill, we talk about our day, analyze everyone and everything. Helene likes to raise philosophical questions like “What if this were to happen? What if the seaway came through our field?
Everyone reads. Since I have no brothers or sisters, I always have a book with me to read whenever I can. In Mr. Rosevear’s biology class I make the mistake of having an open book on my knees. I glance down at it now and then. It is so interesting that I just have to find out what is happening next. During the lesson Mr. Rosevear stops and asks, “Lilian, what are you reading?” “The Good Earth,” I say. I am embarrassed, even though the book title does sound appropriate for a study of plants. I never read in class again.
Lilian is an international name, so I am lucky that I don’t have an unpronounceable name like two Estonian boys I know: Peep, and Tiit, who in English become “Peep” and “Teet.” Their friend is Rein Oder, in English pronounced “rain odour”. When they all drive across the American border and were asked their names, the border security said, “C’mon stop the kidding! What are you real names!”.
Even though my name is pronounceable, and I don’t look different than others at my school, except for having light blond hair, I still feel a little different. My mother makes most of my clothes. She is a good seamstress. Other mothers also sew their clothes. I make some skirts, blouses also. There were no clothing stores, in St. Lambert, except for Taylor’s. The other option was to go to downtown Montreal.
In the 1970s St. Lambert started to change. There are more cafes, and shops, new houses, however it is still a charming town with a similar atmosphere from decades ago. There is a growth of the French population, so that now there are more French Canadians than English Canadians. The town also has some immigrants.
I consider myself fortunate to have gone to school in St. Lambert. All the teachers were dedicated, and hard working who also tried to give us strong moral values and advised us on what to believe. Some were a little more inspiring, but they were all good people. Some of my belief system is still based on what I was taught.
I feel lucky that I went to St. Lambert schools.
Our sincere thanks to Lilian for telling us her story of coming to Canada from Estonia. We also thank Warren Mackenzie for his assistance with photos for Lilian's story.
(class of 1970) was recently inducted into the Canadian Field Hockey Hall of Fame (Builder Class). From 1983 to 1996, Lanning was one of two umpires from the Americas to consistently be on the prestigious World Cup / Olympic umpire list. A world-renowned umpire and administrator, Lanning represented North America as the only official in the 1983, 1986 and 1990 FIH World Cups and the 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games. She was assigned the gold medal match at the 1986 and 1990 FIH World Cups as well as the 1987 and 1995 Pan American Games. Within Canada, Lanning served as an active volunteer in the Canadian Field Hockey community and was an important role model and mentor for aspiring umpires.
Marg wishes to acknowledge Betty Grant the PH Teacher and coach who introduced the sport of field hockey to Marg and her teammates in their final year of high school. Betty remains a cherished friend and former colleague from CRHS 1975-1985.
On hand to support Marg’s induction of this prestigious award at The University of Toronto in November were CCHS alumni Steve Major (1973) and Cathie (Major) Croucher (1976).
ILIEFF, Stan - Former teacher at CCHS during the 1980's
On Friday, August 24, 2018. Devoted husband of Anita Itel. Loving father of Zach. Stan was a teacher, an athlete, a volunteer and a proud Canadian. He served with the Red Cross, St. John's Ambulance, Canadian Ski Patrol System, Canadian Standards Association, CUSO, Concordia Alumni Association, and, most recently, the Jewish General Hospital. The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at the Jewish General Hospital that was involved in his care. Funeral service was held on Monday, August 27
Hunter (Strom) - passed away last February, 2018 (exact date unknown). She attended CCHS for grade 8 then moved to Burlington. She passed away in London, Ontario
Dunfield (Hastings, Sarah "Honey" CCHS Class of 1963 - passed away November 27, 2018. She passed away in Toronto, Ontario
Barry Koshil CCHS Class of 1969 -
July 17, 1950 - November 29, 2018
Passed away peacefully at Lakeridge Health Oshawa on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at the age of 68.
Much loved son of Stan & Freda. Loving husband of Jo-Anne. Beloved nephew of Madeline and cousin of Mary-Anne, Sue and Jo-Anne. Dear brother-in-law of Joe & Marilyn and Bruce & Ruth. Cherished godfather of Niall McCann. Barry will be missed by his feline fur babies Zach & Vannie. A memorial visitation will be held on Thursday, December 6, 2018 from 11 am until 1 pm at THORNTON FUNERAL CENTRE, 1200 Thornton Road North, Oshawa, (South of Taunton Road and off of Dryden Blvd, 905-579-6787). A celebration of life and reception will follow at 1 pm. In memory of Barry, donations can be made to the Newfoundland Down Syndrome Society or to a children's charity of choice
If you notice an obituary of a classmate in your local paper
please forward details to Angus Cross at email@example.com.
Am I getting to that age?
I found this timely, because today I was in a store that sells sunglasses, and only sunglasses. A young lady walked over to me and asked, "What brings you in today? I looked at her and said, "I'm interested in buying a refrigerator." She didn't quite know how to respond.
I was thinking about old age and decided that old age is when you still have something on the ball, but you are just too tired to bounce it.
When people see a cat's litter box they always say, "Oh, have you got a cat?" Just once I want to say, "No, it's for company!"
Employment application blanks always ask who is to be called in case of an emergency. I think you should write, "An ambulance."
The older you get the tougher it is to lose weight because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.
The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.
Did you ever notice: The Roman Numerals for forty (40) are XL.
The sole purpose of a child's middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.
Did you ever notice that when you put the 2 words "The" and "IRS" together it spells "Theirs?"
Aging: Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.
Some people try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know why I look this way. I've traveled a long way and a lot of the roads were not paved.
You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.
Ah! Being young is beautiful but being old is comfortable.
Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.
May you always have:
Love to share,
Cash to spare,
And friends who care.
submitted by Jim Baxter - CCHS Class of 1967
from Calgary, AB