OK, OK I will stop counting the days, for now. Apparently the Pandemic is over, at least the Quebec Government thinks so. On May 14 mask wearing will become optional. We will see how well that goes as many health professionals are urging caution and a new variant is emerging.

May 1 My Eight year old grandson Jacob broke his arm during recess at St Lambert Elementary. He fell off an apparatus after bumping into another kid. Not a serious break and he will be in a removable cast for about three weeks. He has been told to remove the cast as often as possible to retain flexibility in the wrist. He seems to think the cast is pretty cool and will be able to discard it completely once he can do a push up without pain.

May 2 My first golf game was not so bad but it needs a lot of work.

May 8 Hot, sunny weather arrives with no rain in sight. I put in some tomato plants and planet green beans. A little early but according to the forecast there is no risk of frost for the next 10 days.

May 11 An official heat wave begins with temperatures over 30 C for at least 3 days -good old global warming.

May 14 The mask mandate is lifted in Quebec except in a few cases like public transp0rtation. However, many people continue wearing them for their own protection.

May 15 I received word that two former CCHS alumni and Dirty Dozen golf league members, Alan David and Bruce Dent had passed away. Bruce has not been able to golf for about five years or more because of his Alzheimer's condition.

Alan David’s death came as a complete shock. He had played as a spare with the Dirty Dozen on Friday morning and seemed like his old self. I had a chat with him before he teed off and he was looking forward to seeing his daughter and grand kids. His playing partners said that he had a very good game and really enjoyed himself. He stuck around after the game for lunch and a beer. I guess you never know when your time is up.

May 16 Two Minke whales visit Montreal. Two years ago it was a Humpback whale and that didn’t end well. The whale stayed around for ten days or so and eventually washed up on shore dead, probably hit by a ship. Being 500 miles from home with no food no doubt also contributed to its demise.

Minke’s are a smaller species and might be able to eat fresh water fish but they can’t stay here too long, they need salt water. They headed back down river after a few a few days hope they make it.

May 17 Our heat wave has come and gone. Rain overnight, high winds and the temperature dropped to 12 C. My garden seemed to be doing really well yesterday and luckily I was able to stake and tie the tomato plants before the winds hit.

May 21 I started a new batch of beer today. It had to be another blond ale as they still didn’t have any pilsner in stock. I probably won’t consider this a Pandemic batch but it is number 9 since this Covid mess started in 2020.

An Environment Canada thunder storm/tornado alert interrupted local television programing around 6:00 PM as I was watching the news (actually I was flipping back and forth between the PGA tournament and the news). It was lifted an hour later for the Montreal area as the bulk of the weather went north of us.

We received not a single drop of rain but many areas, including Ottawa, Gatineau, Laurentians and North Shore, were hit hard. More than 1.5 million people were without electricity as tree were uprooted and power lines downed. Ten people were killed and property damage was extensive. Ontario claimed the storm caused more devastation than the 1998 ice storm and Hydro Quebec says it could take several weeks to get everything back to normal. No tornadoes developed, it was just straight line wind and rain.

May 22 The PGA championship played in Tulsa Oklahoma drew to a conclusion. The last two days were played in very cool conditions. Around 60 F and very windy on Saturday, slightly milder and less wind Sunday. Justin Thomas won after starting the day 7 shots back as the front runners self-destructed. I was pulling for Zalitoris but he couldn’t close the deal. Good thing I don’t bet.

May 24 Another mass shooting in the US, the second one this month. All together more than 30 people have been killed in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde,Texas including 19 elementary school students in Texas. Canada is not immune to this type of carnage but we are nowhere near as bad as the US. In Texas a person could be a raving lunatic and still buy an assault rifle as long as they were 18 years old. Pure insanity.

Month-end and Putin’s war in Ukraine drags on, but maybe we see a chink in his armour. He and the war have been openly criticized by former senior military officials on national Russian television. Was this a ruse or is there a chance he will be replaced and a peace treaty negotiated. One can only hope; in the meantime keep up the good fight Ukraine.

Thanks to all who have contributed Peter Payan, Rod MacKinnon and Jim Baxter we can use a lot more where that came from. Take a few minutes, dig out your old photos, write a little story and share with the rest of the membership. And as always thanks to the jokesters who surf the net and dig up those gems. And readers please don’t be offended by the material, it could be a lot worse. I try the keep it reasonable and weed out all the good stuff.

Until next month stay safe.

Harvey Carter

Life Member - C'60 - Editor, Alumni Connection

Welcome New and Renewing Alumni Association Members

New life Member
Stuart Prest
Class of 1967
From: Montreal, QC
Renewing Member
Jill Bench
Class of 1964
From: Kanata, ON
Renewing Member
Maureen Lyon (Knight)

Class of 1953

From: Oshawa, ON
Renewing Member
Peter Kerr
Class of 1966
From: Montreal West, QC

Expiring Memberships

Please renew now.

Memberships expiring in June
Lorna Moon

Memberships expiring in July
Rob Holmes

LETTERS AND MORE

Rod MacKinnon
Class of 1960
Dear Harvey,

Today, May 1st, was the last day of the Chilliwack Tulip Festival, so Mimi and I (and Tanner the dog) jumped into the Escape and drove “out the Valley” to have a look. Still thousands of flowers (the daffodils seemed to be stronger than the tulips) but all were obviously fading fast. Nevertheless it was a magnificent sight for old eyes. And good to see how well and quickly the Fraser Valley has recovered from the dreadful and huge floods of last autumn.

Mimi and Rod MacKinnon

An observation regarding our polyglot community on Canada’s West Coast was that, as we walked through the fields, pale complexions and the English language were both in very short supply, and often, almost non-existant.

Cheers,
Rod MacKinnon

Thanks so much for the note Rod. It has been 25 years since my last visit to Vancouver and your observations don’t surprise me. I used to love touring China town and eating in some of the restaurants. For those who don’t believe it, replacement theory is real and probably has already come to pass in Vancouver where the Asian population has, or shortly will, exceed European white residents. Projections are that in the US, Latin Americans (Latinos, Hispanics) will become the dominate group (almost true in California already) and then be surpassed by Asians.

This is not some nefarious plot by left wing democrats and Jews to protect their voting base, as suggested by the far right, but an inevitable phenomena. It is really just a numbers game coupled with a shift in migration patterns and birth rates. It may take several more decades before it is seen nation-wide but it is coming. I think the best strategy is to integrate the newcomers as quickly as possible and benefit from the talent and culture they bring.

When I think about immigrants from Mexico and Central American arriving in the southern US, this could be considered re-replacement. Many of these immigrants are Native Americans or at least have a high percentage of Native American DNA. Their replacement by white Europeans started 500 years ago. Now they are just reversing the flow.

- Harvey

Peter PayanPeter Payan Story Class of 1959

In early August 2014, we received a brochure about a Day Cruise between Lachine, a suburb of Montreal and Cornwall, Ontario. Having never travelled by ship on this part of the river, we were intrigued with the possibility and bought our tickets immediately.

St. Lawrence Cruise Lines

When our boarding passes and itinerary arrived, we discovered just how much we would be doing on the cruise other than watching the river’s banks go by.

Our first thought was how to get to the town dock in Lachine by public transit. Using the Montreal transit website, we found that, being a Saturday morning, the buses ran every thirty minutes. Not wanting to be late, we left our house just after 6 am to take two buses and the subway, to get to within two blocks of the dock.

Once at the dockside, we found the lake shrouded by fog and lots of dew on the grass and benches. Nearby, my wife found a dry bench beneath the hanging branches of a willow tree. Sitting there, we watched a city truck sweep and clean the parking lot and the morning collection of fishermen arrive for the day.

Finally it was 8.15 am and time to board the ship. The captain stood next the gang plank and welcomed each of us aboard, explaining that we should go up to the dining area and find a seat. While we were waiting there, we could help ourselves to a muffin and coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or milk. Others joined us at the table and introduced themselves. While most of the passengers came from the Montreal area, there also some American couples who were visiting Canada.

At 9 am, the hawsers were coiled on the ship’s deck and we left the dock, moving out into the Lake St Louis navigation channel. The captain introduced himself and his crew, most of whom were students from Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario; the ship’s home port. He gave us the history of the 
area saying that by 10 am, we would be served the traditional shipboard Beef Bouillon and by 10:45 am we should be entering the lower Beauharnois Lock on the lake’s south shore.

There are two locks, one at Beauharnois and the other about a mile upstream. Each lock is 80 feet wide, 766 feet long and the water will lift our ship 45 feet in each lock; large enough for the ocean going freighters which travel between Europe and the Lake head in Thunder Bay, Ontario

By the time we approached the canal, the skies had cleared giving us a beautiful summer day. Some of the passengers opted to sit on the sun deck above the dining room. With no shade available up there, sunscreen and a hat were necessities. Other shaded spots to sit outside were at the bow and on a veranda behind the dining room

On our left, we saw people erecting tents and getting their kites ready to fly. Some of them were in the air already doing acrobatic manoeuvres suggesting a festival.

As we slowly entered the lock, we became aware of just how small our ship was in the vast space. Far above us, we saw men with ropes which they tossed down to us to keep our ship in place while the water rose within the lock.

Finally, with the water level matching that of the canal above us, the upper gates opened and, after tossing the ropes aside, we followed the canal towards the next lock. In the distance, we noticed a freighter coming toward us and wondered if there would be room to pass safely. Reassured by the captain that the canal was wide enough for two large vessels to pass each other, we said, “Whew!”

Our passage through the second lock duplicated the first Ahead of us, we could see the highway bridge for Autoroute 30 crossing the canal. Soon, we were passing the Valleyfield docks to our right. There, we noticed some large vessels loading or unloading their cargoes. Beyond them the canal passed under a raised railway bridge and we re-entered the Saint Lawrence River and Lake St Francis with its villages along the north shore.

Now we noticed the river traffic; small water craft, motorboats, and yachts with sailboats weaving around and through them. Between the villages, the shores were very pastoral with green banks and fields beyond them.

At 12.30 pm, we enjoyed a delicious buffet lunch in the dining room with lots of fresh vegetables, salads, and desserts, all  made in the ship’s galley.

As we looked ahead and to our left of the ship, we could see some freighters heading downstream. From time to time, we were alerted to the features and the history of the area.

After baking in the sun on the top deck, we decided to walk down one deck and to the stern of the ship. There, we found a shaded veranda overlooking the ship’s wake where, for most of the afternoon, it was our private place, sharing if occasionally with other passengers.

Around 4 pm, they announced afternoon tea.  Deciding that we still had room in our stomachs, we walked over to the table and discovered that the biscuits being served were macaroons which I loved. My wife, not liking coconut, tried just one.

Looking out the window, we discovered that the sights were changing. No longer were there farms and fields along the shore close to us. The houses were getting closer to each other and larger buildings were appearing. Soon, we could see signs of the city of Cornwall, our destination for the day and the end of the cruise The captain announced, “Gather your belongings. We are approaching the pier and your coach is waiting for you. Thank you so much for joining us on this cruise.”

Wanting to get seats at the front of the coach, I made sure I was almost first off the ship.

Soon, with everyone seated, we drove through Cornwall towards Route 401. The city has grown since we last saw it in the 1960’s. Our route took us along a new boulevard passing the expanding residential section with its large houses and their many cars in the driveways.

“Wow!” I said to my wife. “If we lived here, we would need to be well off to afford the prices of the housing and a car just to get to a grocery store and the office.”

“You’re right,” she replied, “and don’t forget all the other costs of moving; doctors, dentists, public transit, etc. We’re better off staying in Montreal.”

The ride to Montreal took us about 90 minutes. As we approached to city of Lachine, the driver took the wrong exit and then had to drive slowly through the city looking for the street heading to the Dock where most of the passengers had left their cars for the day.

Our tour manager said that the bus would continue into Montreal to the VIA Rail station to drop off those who needed to use the subway to get home.

“Thank you!” I said, “That will save us about an hour in getting back to our apartment.”

We and another couple who were staying at the Fairmont Queen 
Elizabeth hotel had a private coach for the last part of the journey.

As we left the coach outside the train station, we wished our new friends good luck with their visit to Montreal, then we headed for the subway beneath the street and home.

Another adventure completed!

Peter, thanks for the story and pictures. It seems Peter and his wife always find interesting excursions and manage to get some great photos to remember them by. The St. Lawrence Cruise Lines company is still operating and it has a wide variety trips available in 2022. They have a comprehensive website and if you are looking for something to do this summer or in the fall check them out. Might be a better alternative than a road trip, given the price of gas.

- Harvey


Jim Baxter
Class of 1967

REMEMBERING

"He would have liked to know that somebody wanted to keep him alive, that someone remembered him. He used to say that we exist as long as somebody remembers us." —  Carlos Ruiz Zafón, book The Shadow of the Wind

I am always saddened when I read in the alumni newsletter that someone has left us, even if I didn't know them well or know them at all. I remember some of my school acquaintances who didn't make it past graduation or died shortly after. Now that I've stepped into my eighth decade the list of those fellow students who have gone is getting longer. I feel truly blessed to have enjoyed good health and a happy life despite my numerous faults and mistakes made along the journey. More than once I have gone back to shake a finger at my younger self for my dumb transgressions. I hope that I have made up for things in the balance by some of my good deeds.

I have been fortunate to have had the time to do so.

I have a nightly ritual which I follow as I lay my head on my pillow:

I say goodnight to a collection of people in my life both past and present. I start with my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles and siblings. I then bid goodnight to cousins and then all my childhood friends in my neighbourhood. This is followed by friends from school and some of my favourite teachers. Sometimes, in fact quite often, I don't get to the end of my list before I am asleep. If I awake in the middle of the night I try to remember how far I got and pick up from there. It is a pleasant way to fall asleep and I hope that through the process of remembering them, they continue to exist.

I hope that if you have taken the time to read this you may also take the time to remember some of your school friends and fellow students and favourite teachers - perhaps tonight as you settle into bed.

Jim Baxter

Jim, I think many of us feel the same way; we look back over our lives and think, what if I hadn’t done that or what if I had accepted a career change offer in a different city (I said no). As for transgressions, there are too many to recount but a few stand out and yes I sometimes wish they hadn’t happened. But unfortunately there are no do-overs in life and like you said perhaps in the end the good and the bad balance out.

Alumni Association

Getting ready for 2023 Reunion

Your Association’s board of directors will be planning a 2023 May reunion to take place 8 years after our last get together. We ae 99% certain that the pandemic will be completely over or at the very least just a nuisance, easily controlled by regular booster shots and effective anti-viral medication.

In the coming months we need to get the word out to as many Alumni as possible and we will need your help to get it done. One thing all members can do is visit the website and scrutinize your class page. Does it contain information that is out of date, do you know where someone on the missing list is now located, has somebody passed away and we haven’t recognized their demise. If you find something that needs to be fixed send us an email and we will update the info.

Lastly, lf you have let your membership lapse, now is the time to renew. You will not be penalized if you have let things slide for a while, you just have to pay the regular low fee to become a member again. If you plan to attend the 2023 reunion there may be a benefit if you are a member. More on this in the coming months as the committee hammers out the details

Obituaries

Alan DavidAlan David

Alan David - July 25, 1937 - May 13, 2022
CCHS French Teacher & St. Lambert Elementary Principal

On Friday May 13th, Alan David, beloved husband of Karin (deceased), father and grandfather, left this earth suddenly. He was a dedicated educator for over 40 years and a great contributor to his community. He will be greatly missed by daughter Keira and his two grandsons, Alexander and Marcus as well as family and friends.

A Memorial gathering was held May 18 at the Saint-Lambert Golf Club.

Robert StrangeRobert Strange
Class of 1948

Robert Hugh Strange - March 29, 1931 to April 29, 2022

Bob passed away peacefully at the Batisseurs Residence in Cowansville, Quebec on April 29th, one month after celebrating his 91st birthday. He was a graduate of Sir George Williams University, and a long time employee of Bell Canada. Bob retired at age 53, and enjoyed a long and active retirement in Ottawa, then later in the Eastern Townships.

Robert Strange kneeling and receiving Robert Strange kneeling and receiving "colours" from the Queen in 1959.

Bob was a member of the Canadian Grenadier Guards. He joined the military reserve as a young man and served proudly for many years. He was predeceased by his wife Beverley Anne Woodward (class of 1948), his oldest son Michael and his youngest daughter Lynda-Sue. He is survived by his daughter Sharon Pons (Abbotsford, B.C.), his son Jeffrey Strange (Mission, B.C.), six grand-children and two great-grandchildren. Beloved brother of Isabelle McGowan (CCHS 1950), Shirley Burnett (CCHS 1952), Jane Fisher (CCHS 1954) and Marilyn McGeorge (CCHS 1960).

Jane (Strange) Fisher
Class of 1954

Glenn Christensen
Class of 1964

Glenn Christensen

At 3:30 am. on Friday, March the 4th, 2022 the world lost a legend and we lost our Glenn. Having bravely fought off cancer and living in remission for 10 years, it returned. Despite his best efforts to fight the disease and the wonderful care he received, we weren't so lucky this time.

Dad, Husband, Brother, Grandpa, Handy Guy, whatever you called him, Glenn showed up for those he loved and he loved many. Always one with a hand to lend and a joke to tell he was generous in mind, body and soul. Survived by his wife Ellen, daughters Laurie, Linda (Mike), Carole (Rob), and Katie, sisters Debra (Les) and Valerie, granddaughters Amy, Ashley, Abbey, Isla and Paisley.

In lieu of flowers the family is asking for donations in Glenn's name to the Juravinski Cancer Centre at donations@hamiltonhealth.ca or by contacting 905-522-3863.

Bruce Dent
Class of 1959

Bruce Dent - 1940-2022

Bruce DentIt is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mr. Bruce Dent, on May 8, 2022, at the age of 81.

Beloved husband for 15 years of Diane Aubut, father of Andrew (Anne-Lore) and Allison, step-father of Sébastien (Geneviève) and Frédéric (Julie), grandfather of Chloé, Leon. He will also be deeply missed by his sister Barbara (Ed), his sisters and brothers-il-law Chantal (Alain), Jean-Marc (Louise) and Serge (Diane), his nieces, nephews, and many relatives and friends.

The family will receive condolences on Saturday, May 28, 2022 from 1 pm to 5 pm at the LaSalle Complex: 7200, Boul. Newman, H8N 1X2. The family welcomes anyone who would like to give a eulogy from 4 pm. The family would like to extend their gratitude to the doctors and nurses at the CHSLD Saint-Lambert sur le Golf for their wonderful support and care In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Alzheimer's Society would be appreciated.

Dave CowieDave Cowie
Class of 1958

David Grant Cowie - August 29, 1941 - March 3, 2022

Born in Saint-Lambert, Quebec, passed away peacefully with family at his side. He will be deeply missed by sister Doris (Calgary), brother-in-law Stuart (Zel) MacDonald & sisters-in-law Jill (Don) MacInnes & June (Greg) Kear and many nieces and nephews. David was predeceased by father Melvin Grant Cowie, mother Janet Esther (nee Anderson), wife Marilyn Joy (nee MacDonald) and brothers Gordon and Douglas Cowie. A Celebration of Life was held on Thursday, March 24th, 2022 at Valley View Funeral Home and Cemetery 14644 - 72 Ave, Surrey, BC.

And Finally...

Next trip get the hot dogs

Photo of a young woman carrying 5  beers up steep steps at baseball game.

OOPS Missed

Photo of crashed car next to Target Store Sign.

Careful what you ask

Husband says why did you marry me. Wife says, because you are funny. Husband says i thought you married me because I was good in bed. Wife says, See, you are funny.

Cat lovers would know better

Picture of a man holding a cat raises gun to fire. So the game is a simple one. With the cat clutched in your arms, you fire the gun and see how long you can hold onto the cat. The world record is 1.3 seconds.

Reflections on Life - SMILE TIME

*My doctor asked if anyone in my family suffered from mental illness. I said, “No, we all seem to enjoy it."

*Just once, I want a username and password prompt to say, "Close enough."

*Retirement to do list: Wake up. Nailed it!

*People who wonder if the glass is half empty or half full miss the point. The glass is refillable.

*Sometimes it takes me all day to get nothing done.

*I don't trip, I do random gravity checks.

*One minute you're young and fun. The next, you're turning down the car stereo to see better.

*I'd grow my own food if only I could find bacon seeds.

*Some people are like clouds, once they disappear it's a beautiful day.

*If you can't think of a word say "I forgot the English word for it." That way people will think you're bilingual instead of an idiot.

*I may not be that funny or athletic or good looking or smart or talented. I forgot where I was going with this.

**When I was a kid I wanted to be older... this is not what I expected.

*Never sing in the shower! Singing leads to dancing, dancing leads to slipping, and slipping leads to paramedics seeing you naked. So remember... don't sing!

*I see people about my age mountain climbing. I feel good getting my leg through my underwear without losing my balance.

What the Preacher Meant

Judy married Ted and they had 13 children. Ted died.

She married again, and she and Bob had 7 more children. Bob was killed in a car accident 12 years later.

Judy remarried again, and this time, she and John had 5 more children. Judy finally dies, after having 25 children.

Standing before her coffin, the preacher prayed for her. He thanked the Lord for this very loving woman and said:

"Lord, they are finally together."

Ethel leaned over and quietly asked her best friend, "Margaret, do you think he means her first, second, or third husband?"

Margaret replied: "I think he means her legs, Ethel."

The Importance of Walking

Walking can add minutes to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $4,000 per month.   

My grandpa started walking five miles a day when he was 60. Now he's 97 years old and we have no idea where the hell he is.  

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me

The only reason I would take up walking is so that I could hear heavy breathing again. 

I have to walk early in the morning, before my brain figures out what I'm doing.

WORDS

A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day.30,000 to a man's 15,000.

The wife replied, 'The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to men.'

The husband then turned to his wife and asked, 'What?'

WORDS

A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day.30,000 to a man's 15,000.

The wife replied, 'The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to men.'

The husband then turned to his wife and asked, 'What?'

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