Thanks to our contributing members for making this issue a great read. Our sincere thanks to all of the members who renewed their membership in the association. It is only through member support that we are able to continue our website and newsletters. Lilian Puust's (Soomet)story (arriving in Montreal) was a little bit long but I used it all because it was so interesting to hear the problems that a little girl arriving in a strange land with a different language would incur. We encourage all of our readers to submit anything they think maybe of interest to us all.
My wife Joanne (Lemke) C'60 and I are off to Portugal on March 16th. for a two week stay in a villa in Espiche, in the Algarve region. This will be out 5th. vacation in Portugal. If you have never visited the region you should consider it for next winter. Prices are very reasonable and a lot safer that going to Florida.
Welcome New Alumni Association Members and renewed Members
New Life Member
Class of 1960
from Surrey, BC
Class of 1978
from Long Sault, ON
Class of 1967
from Ottawa, ON
Catherine Paquet (Ascah)
Class of 1969
from St. Lambert, QC
Robert "Bob" Phillips
Class of 1959
from Vancouver, BC
Class of 1971
from Oakville, ON
Brenda Kipps (King)
Class of 1972
from St. Laurent, QC
Class of 1966
from Arundel, Qsld, Australia
Memberships expiring in March
Charleson (Misiaszek) Stella 1958
Reid (Mac Millan) Lillian 1959
Hand William "Bill" 1961
Johnson (LeBlanc) Carol 1959
Hendricks David 1982
Brethour Stephen 1968
To renew your membership visit https://chamblycounty.com/become-a-member/ for membership options and payment plans.
My brother Steve Major (class of 1973) and myself, Cathie (Major) Croucher (class of 1976) would like to submit this article on behalf of our brother Ken Major (class of 1970)Catherine Croucher (Major) & Steve Major
Ken Major, CCHS graduate from 1970, was the 2018 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Mineral Processors. At the 50th annual CMP conference in Ottawa, he was recognized by his peers for his achievements and long standing support of mineral processing in Canada and Internationally.
He has authored or co authored 10 technical papers dealing with mineral processing, is a strong supporter of the CMP student program, and has returned to this Alma Mater, McGill, to share his expertise with current Metallurgical engineering students on many occasions.
Through his love of sport, he supported both hockey and golf tournaments which have helped to strengthen the work and social connection between people involved in the various aspects of the mining industry.Ken Major
Just read through the February Alumni Connection. Congrats. Lots of very interesting contributions.
I think u “hit one out of the park “with the February edition. Well done my friend. Time for me and others to get off our butts and share the wealth of memories that we all have.
I have just read the February 2018 edition of the Newsletter and loved it. You sure haven't had the Winter Blues this year!
Bravo for another excellent issue crammed with news from other members and yourself.
Our days are filled with travel as we enjoy the Arts in Kingston, Ottawa, and Toronto travelling by train to each destination.
In March, we will be meeting our great grandson and his mum in Toronto when they arrive on the GO Train from Oshawa to see the Paw Patrol play at the Sony Centre.
We have refined our rail travels to just one day, taking the first train in the morning to a matinee performance then returning home on the last train of the day and not staying overnight thus saving us an average of about $200.00 each time.Peter Payan
What’s Going On With The Alumni Memorial Garden
I received an email from Angus asking me what was going on with the Alumni Memorial Garden. There had been a FaceBook post stating that the school had plans to renovate the garden, although details were very sketchy.
You probably all recall that almost ten years ago the Alumni Association solicited funds from its members and wound up donating $10,000 towards the constructions of the garden and we installed a plaque containing the names of donors just above the door in the old gym leading out to the garden. Unfortunately very few people now on staff remember the connection between our Association and the green space. As a result we were not informed and perhaps a bit upset about not being consulted. (And I sit on the school’s governing board.)
I called the school, asked a few question and ended up being invited to a planning meeting at the school two weeks ago. I’m happy to report that what the teachers and students have in mind fits in exactly with how we envisioned the space being used. They are just expanding and upgrading the area with a view to having more students and teachers use it.
The project leader is teacher Jana Jensen Class of 94) assisted by students and other teachers. Plans are not finalized but some of the additions and improvements under consideration include large planters with attached benches, vegetable gardens, fruit trees and an outdoor class room that can be used when weather permits. They have support from the school board and some funds from various sources (although they will probably need more). The project is ambitious and will take two or three years to complete and a lot of continuous maintenance.
I had hoped to have a schematic with details of the new layout for you but it hasn’t been completed. I’ll include it next month along with photos of the project team and more information.
Arriving in Canada
By Lilian Puust (Soomet)
C ’57 Life Member
From Toronto, ON
I am half asleep after a long trip from Sweden on two huge ships, the Gripsholm and Empress of Canada, and train after train through three countries. Finally, we drive through the middle of the night to a red brick apartment building on Sherbrooke Street in NDG, a very English part of Montreal.
Uncle Bill opens the heavy front door with a gold latch. We go up three marble stairs and stand in front of a narrow door behind which I hear strange whirring sounds. There is a heavy thud as it stops. It must be a monster! Uncle Bill opens the door and pushes aside a metal accordioning door. Oh no, he is motioning for us all to get into a tall empty box. There is a wide gap and darkness in front of the box. I don’t look down and leap over the darkness. The box rises, shaking with a grinding noise. I am moving up in an elevator for the first time. I later have nightmares where elevators don’t stop but keep going up through the roof. Sometimes they become rocket ships above the earth; but I usually wake up before finding out where the escaping elevator may travel. To be safe, I always run up the stairs to the third floor and avoid the elevator, especially after I hear Aunt Ady talking about a woman who did not look first. She stepped into darkness and fell several stories injured on to the roof of the elevator below.
We are inside Aunt Ady’s apartment, and I instantly feel better. There is a large front hall, a living room with oil paintings of landscapes on the walls, a kitchen and one bedroom. Aunt Ady gives my parents and me the bedroom, which has a loom in one corner.
She weaves wondrous things there whenever someone in our family isn’t sleeping. Each evening Uncle Bill leaves to sleep at his businessmen’s club, the St. James Club, while Aunt Ady takes the living room sofa. On the kitchen wall is a calendar with one day which says “December 14.” It is ten days before Christmas, so I am surprised to see a Christmas tree full of decorations and coloured lights already in the living room.
In Sweden, the tree is brought in on Christmas Eve and only real candles are lit on it. But Christmas Eve is the same. I have to go into the bedroom and close the door and promise not to open it. I hear Santa knocking on the apartment door, his Ho Ho Ho’s and lots of activity and then, “You can open the door now.” Under the tree, Santa has left presents but I can open them only after I have sung something. So, I sing “Silent Night.” Some of the notes are much too high, but I hit them somehow, and they smile and clap their hands. Under the tree is a baby-sized doll, a pair of skis and a ball.
During January, I am supposed to be learning English by reading “Dick and Jane” to Uncle Bill, who was chosen because he is Canadian. This drives him crazy, so it is decided that I should start school in February, even though I don’t know much more than “Look at Spot run” and “See Baby Sally go.” Uncle Bill takes me to the children’s clothing store across the street to buy me a dress to wear to school. I don’t understand what he or the saleslady are saying. When they ask, “Which one do you like?” I understand that and point to a beautiful blue taffeta party dress. Each time they lead me to another rack and once again ask, “Which one do you like?” None appeal to me and I go back and point to the party dress. Uncle Bill gives in and buys me the blue dress, which I wear to any kind of party, even until age twelve. The saleslady chooses a school outfit for me.
In February, we meet the principal of the school. Since I don’t speak English, he thinks I should start in kindergarten.
“She should be with children her own age. She should be in Grade Two with other seven-year olds,” says Aunt Ady. Some teachers come in.
A serious Miss Bear agrees with the principal. “Of course, she should start in kindergarten.”
But Aunt Ady shows them my notebooks from Sweden, where I learned a lot in two months, even though I started later than the others in October, because there was no room for me until they moved a smart girl ahead into the next class. I had to catch up, but my two months in Grade One Estonian school look similar to Grade Two in Canada. They look at my arithmetic notebook and my writing notebook, which has printing and cursive writing. We were going to write in ink after Christmas. I was looking forward to that. We also had History, Scripture, Nature studies, Gym and homework. Aunt Ady keeps talking until they agree to put me into Grade Two.
She arranges for Barbara, a classmate who lives on the next street, to walk to school with me. There are no adults with us, but she does have a little brother trailing behind. She keeps calling to him, “Come on. Hurry!” I think that his name is “Hurry!” We cross busy Sherbrooke Street, and walk six blocks until we get to a door marked “Girls.” Our teacher, Miss Bear, is not happy to have me in her class.
So, I am again the new girl, and again I have to catch up. I am also the only new immigrant child in the school. On the first day, I sometimes understand what others are saying, but often I do not. However, I do understand when Miss Bear asks, “Does anyone speak Estonian?” A boy named Erik, puts up his hand and says he will try. He says, “Terve!” to me. “Tere!” I answer hello joyfully, but then he asks something which I do not understand. He asks something else, and I have no idea what he said. He tells the teacher that he speaks Finnish, in which some words are the same as in Estonian, but others are different. When I cannot reply he does not speak to me again. I am disappointed. I cannot say anything in English yet either. After that Miss Bear ignores me most of the time. She doesn’t know what to do with a student who does not speak English.
At first, I make mistakes, but I soon find that I am understanding more and more English. Every day we have a spelling list to learn. On my first day my homework is to learn to spell words on a list which starts with “big, land, live, end, forgive, not, etc.”
They say that they don’t like the colour of her skin. I think Victoria is very nice and very pretty, and I don’t understand why I can no longer invite her home. Victoria lives two streets over and invites me to her home. We go up a flight of stairs to find some dark-skinned people sitting in a dimly lit room. They look at me with curiosity, as if they are surprised to see me there. Later Victoria says that I cannot visit her either. Can we be friends at all? Gloria is the first poor child who I have ever met. She comes to school dirty and unkempt. But one day she is so clean that she shines, and she is wearing a new pink dress. The teacher tells her that she looks pretty in it. “I am going to a party,” Gloria tells her. The next day she wears the pink dress again, and for days after that, until it too is dirty. I wish that wasn’t happening with her. One day she invites me to her home, which is dark, dirty and messy.
There are some semi-dressed adults in bed. Keeping everything clean and orderly is very important to my mother, also dressing well. Even in difficult times, I had never seen anyone looking poor before, or not keeping everything clean and tidy.
I miss playing in our forest in Sweden with Tõnu and Rein. On Sherbrooke Street there are few trees and no flowers. It is not easy to find friends here, so I often go for walks by myself and make up stories about a set of twins, while I walk to amuse myself. One day I walk right to the end of one of the streets, as far as the railway tracks. I see a flower taller than me. I have never seen one like that before. I learn that it is a sunflower. I enjoy looking at it. It feels like the sunflower is shining back at me.
I become friends with Lois who lives nearby. I like to play catch and hide and seek with her friends, and just sit and talk on her front porch.
In Sweden, boys and girls play together and adults do not say anything if your friend is a boy. In Canada, if your friend is a boy, a Canadian may say, “Is he your boyfriend?” even if you are only seven years old. At school, they even have a separate door for Girls. At the other end is the door for Boys and the playgrounds for each are divided by a fence. When I start to play with some of the other children nearby, the girls always want to play “wedding” or “house” whenever they find a willing boy. In Sweden that never happens.
English sticks to me. I am hearing, reading, and spelling it. At first, I have nothing to read at home except for Dick and Jane. But when Uncle Bill brings me “The Bobbsey Twins” I finally have stories which interest me. By June, with the help of The Bobbsey twins, Donald Duck, and Lois, I can speak and write English. We learn French, but I don’t think the teacher can speak French, because she always talks in English. She just tells us about grammar rules and gives us lists of words to memorize, like “pupitre” for desk and “plume” for pen. Eventually we can write, “My aunt’s pen is on my uncle’s desk.” By June, I am not speaking French. Neither is anyone else. At the end of June, we get report cards. Several ask me, “Did you pass?” I did. It says that I can go into Grade Three in September.
We often have visitors at the apartment. I enjoy that, and I love Aunt Ady. Since she is the President of the Montreal Estonian Society, whenever “displaced persons” arrive from Germany, or whenever an Estonian needs help, the department of immigration calls her. Some of the newcomers also end up at her apartment temporarily. Also, Ady’s friends drop in, or come for longer visits. Her friends are merry and brimming with funny stories. Or is it Aunt Ady who makes them merry? We can’t stay with Aunt Ady forever, and Uncle Bill is tired of sleeping at his club, so we have to find another place to live. Now, I don’t want to leave this apartment which has become a home to me.
When I arrived in Canada I had some difficulties making friends at first (language and other barriers with Victoria and Gloria), different ways of playing together, etc. It took a while, but then I found Lois and I enjoyed going to her house to play the usual Canadian games of hide and seek, catch, etc. I left NDG sometime during that first summer; she visited me once at my other aunt's home; but we soon lost track of each other, with moving, etc. She ended up in Calgary. To my surprise, she tracked me down years later via the internet in 2009, because she was going to be visiting Estonia. She came to Toronto in 2010, mostly to visit her sister and we all got together for lunch in 2010.
Instead of going forward, I am going back in the next issue as to what I remember from my childhood in Sweden and why we were in Sweden. It is called "Child of the Forest."
As travel has always been a major passion for us we decided to make this year memorable. In February David and I cruised from Miami to Brazil with stops in several Caribbean ports before sailing our small ship on the Amazon River. Informative pictorial lectures kept us apprised of each stop on the Amazon. We learned the importance of rubber, its collection and the development of rubber plantations and the affect the rubber barons and their families had on life in this area of Brazil. Wanting to bring cultural events to the English and Europeans living in Manaus, the famous Opera House was constructed. Enrico Caruso performed there in 1897. Our trip ended at the beginning of Mardi Gras in Rio de Janeiro.
Maintaining the spirit of travel, mid October we started a three week family trip to New Zealand. After much planning, booking flights, airbnb accommodations and excursions our little family of eight embarked on a journey of a lifetime. Arriving on the North Island in Aukland after nearly 24 hours of flight time and coming from different points of departure, we met at our first airbnb and started what we can only say was a most amazing adventure. Our daughters’ Andrea and husband Kyle, Class of 1991, their sons Zackery 11 and Ben 9 and Patricia Class of 1995 and partner Colin enjoyed the beauty and activities of New Zealand. The country’s population is only 4,500,000 whereas it has 50,000,000 sheep and 25,000,000 cows. The grazing sheep on the North Island hillsides reminded us of the Scottish highlands. In Rotorua we enjoyed a farm tour where we witnessed sheep shearing, and hand fed sheep and alpaca. Zack and Andrea even got to milk a cow while Patricia bottled fed a baby lamb. Our visit to “Middle Earth” and Hobbiton, the movie set created by Peter Jackson for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies was quite magical. While we didn’t see any little hobbits lurking about we could almost sense their presence.
The two main centres of interest on the The South Island were Christchurch and Queenstown. You may recall the 2011 Christchurch devastating earthquake which damaged 80% of its structures. We saw first hand 6 years later the ongoing rebuilding efforts. Security fences, road detours and construction equipment was part of this city’s landscape. Punting on the Avon river, walking through Christchurch’s botanical Gardens, hopping on and off the trolley and attending our first rugby game where New Zealand won 74 to 6 over Scotland all added to the enjoyment of this city. The last city, Queenstown, a mountainous mecca for trekkers, left us breathless with its panoramic views of the snow capped Southern Alps. Having booked an all day excursion to Milford Sound to see the fjords, our trip was aborted due to avalanches and downed trees on the road proving Mother Nature is still in charge! Our final major excursion was an evening trip to Akaroa to observe the Pohatu Penguins in their natural habitat. Wearing camouflage hooded ponchos, and sporting binoculars we quietly followed our guide to watch from blinds the Little Blue Penguins emerge from the water. Our evening was complete when we were treated to a rare siting of the much larger Yellow Eyed Penguin. Conservation efforts are in place and we saw the nesting boxes provided for breeding pairs of penguins and their offspring.
Coming to the end of this amazing family adventure was inevitable and so we said our good byes. To ease ourselves for the long flight home, David and I spent 5 days in beautiful Sydney, Australia. Staying in the Central Business District of The Rocks we were a few minutes walk to Circular Quay and the famous Sydney Opera House.
We look forward to quieter adventures in 2018.
1. Jack Kennedy – He taught and examined 4 boys scouts, myself, Bill Dunn and the Horrall brothers in chemistry. As a result the 4 of us became the 1st Boy Scouts of Canada to earn the chemists badge. Jack was also a great chemistry teacher who gave an ongoing interest in the subject. He did this on his own time in the evening for several weeks.
2. Miss Ray – She gave me an ongoing appreciation of literature and history. To this day, my favourite readings are those with a historical background. Miss Ray was also one of my home room teachers.
3. Miss Montgomery – She allowed me to take all grade 8 thru 11 math courses at one time in the spring of 1960 which enabled me to advance from a high school leaving certificate to full graduate and attaining very high marks on the provincial math finals. She, too, was a home room teacher.
4. Mr. Orr – He claimed, as my industrial arts teacher, “your inabilities at woodworking are such that I’m converting you to drafting courses“! I couldn’t, and still can’t, drive a nail without bending it. I believe he redirected by learning to save me for injuring myself! Over the years it has been noted that asking me to hang a picture usually results in a hole in a wall while sawing a plank usually results in another board being purchased a sawn by one of the kids. While Mr. Orr has now passed on I do so remember him as I worked with his brother and see that brother about once a week. The Orr family are Nova Scotian’s from Diligent River.
Here is a picture Dave Erskine and I discovered that goes back to 1980 somewhere in Ontario. From my memory we had (back row left to right): Dave Erskine' Ross Hollingsworth (glasses on top of his head); Norm Lamarre (and his wife); Ian Mckeller; Jim Mayhew; Bob Lomon (blue shirt); Ron Scott; Ken Partridge; sitting at the table Lynn Smith; Gordie Marr; Meredith Howie; Ken Partridge's wife (I forget her name) and Bill Baxter. Perhaps Dave Erskine can add to my recollection of names.
In that picture I think Norm Lamarre is standing beside Joan Turner (not his wife). I believe Kan Partridge was married to Donna Geddes.
Traditionally, I make a snowman every year. Here in Ottawa, the snow conditions were perfect on Feb 4th. A special hello to members of Miss Burton's 1953 class.
TIPS & TUTORIALS
Warren Mackenzie C'57 Life Member from London, ON.
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Following graduation from CCHS in 1957 Michael continued his education at:
Bishop's University, Degree Name: Bachelor of Arts (BA), Dates attended 1957 – 1961
Awards: Lieutenant-Governor’s Bronze Medal for History, and Chancellor’s Prize for Academic Standing
McGill University, Degree Name: B.C.L. Field Of Study: Law,
Dates attended or expected graduation 1962 – 1964
Awards: University Scholarship (First Class Standing); The Elizabeth Torrance Gold Medal for Highest Standing (McGill); First Prize in Commercial Law; First Prize in Criminal Law; First Prize in Civil Procedures; Frank Knox Traveling Scholarship to Harvard
Harvard Law School, Degree Name: Master of Laws (LLM)
Field Of Study: Law, Dates attended or expected graduation: 1965 – 1965
One of Canada's most distinguished lawyers, Michael provides strategic counsel to select clients in the fields of International Trade, Competition and Aboriginal Law.
1947 - 2018
Joyce Parsons (nee Fletcher) passed away at the Southwood Hospice in Calgary on January 30, 2018, after a yearlong battle with cancer and her 70th birthday on December 22, 2017. My brother Robert Fletcher (Marta) of Greenfield Park, Quebec, and I, Graham Fletcher (Barbara) of Edmonton, will greatly miss and fondly remember our sister Joyce. She was predeceased by her husband Leslie Parsons, who she loved and missed so much, and our parents Doris and Lawerence Fletcher. Joyce is also sadly missed by her niece Alexandra and nephews Matthew, Christopher, and Michael. Also particularly grieved by her passing is her teenage boyfriend and recent constant companion of 5 years, Douglas MacFie of St. Lambert, Quebec, to whom we give our heartfelt thanks for loving, and ultimately providing such devoted care to Joyce. In keeping with Joyce's Will, a simple memorial service - a Celebration of Life – will be held at her house in Calgary this March and her ashes will placed beside her husband's in the Rockies. Joyce leaves behind many relatives in England and elsewhere, our venerable Aunt Jean in Montreal, and other friends in Calgary. To view and share photos, condolences and stories of Joyce please visit www.choicememorial.com.
If you notice an obituary of a classmate in your local paper
please forward details to Angus Cross at email@example.com.