After dinner, I frequently fell into a delicious slumber in the warm glow coming from the granite-faced fireplace. I did not realize then that most of the heat and plenty of unburned carbon soot were being carried directly up and out of the chimney. Without adequate insulation and flashing in the roof, an ice dam built up each winter in one spot near the front door, and melt water eventually forced its way under the shingles and into the plaster ceiling above the cellar stairs. We also had to call our plumber cousin, whom I named ‘Big Bob’, each winter to thaw a basement pipe with his blow torch, so we could operate the washing machine. And of course, all the windows were just double-paned, the outside ones mounted in heavy wooden frames, which posed a major challenge to remove each spring so that they could be replaced by screens. In the autumn, my brother and sisters and I were all recruited to wash the numerous panes with vinegar and newspaper.
In 1956 my mother, Norma Stanley, was asked to write a history of St. Lambert for the Centennial celebration the following year. My parents moved to St. Lambert in the early 1940’s shortly, after they were married. They lived there until they passed away. I recently came across a copy in the archives of my attic.
– Ross Stanley C’65
Items I particularly enjoy reading in the Alumni Connection deal with the careers and hobbies pursued by graduates of our high school. Sometimes these two activities are closely related, while others could not be more different; I have written about both types before in our newsletter (i.e., fossil hunting and woodcarving). Towards the end of my career, I discovered entomology…
By Donald Oakley, C’42. – The City of Saint Lambert in the 1930s was a town of some 6,000 people. Of interest to you might be the area from Tiffin Avenue down Green Street to Victoria Avenue. There were many wooded and open spaces, especially from Merton Avenue to Tiffin. The present Chambly County High was simply a deep hole in the field where we used to float rafts in the spring.
By Robert Wrigley, C’60 – In recent years it is common to hear of many students’ plight after graduating from college, burdened with five-figure debts, and taking many years of their working careers to repay. I think back to my nine university years at McGill and Illinois and realize just how fortunate I was to graduate and return to Canada debt free.
By John McNeish, C’65 – My first athletic memory left a lasting mark on my life. On beautiful sunny day in spring: dressed in a brown snowsuit, immobile head to toe like a broken leg in a blow-up ski splint, I am standing on two cheese cutters on the ice in a corner of the L’Esperance rink — – L’esperance meaning “hope”, God’s little joke — near the melting ruins of the annual ice castle.
By Robert Wrigley, C’60 – I don’t remember the first time I tried to catch a football, but it must have been in my front yard in the early 1950s with my Dad. I marvelled at the strange shape that caused it to bounce uncontrollably and to spiral beautifully in a long arc through the air, at the numerous little dimples that roughened the pigskin, the double white stripes, and the raised laces that guided the fingers of the passer. For the next dozen years I would pass, pull-in, punt and pursue this weirdly proportioned projectile like my very life depended on it.
By John McNeish, C’65 – I recently read about modern teenagers who have no chores around their home and therefore “grow up” without knowing how to take care of themselves. This was not the case in St Lambert in the 1950 & 60’s. We had a mother who pretended to be weak and helpless, but who cunningly led us through the McNeish Family Labour Exchange and Apprenticeship Programme, which traded food and lodging, clothing and school supplies for hard labour and intense training.
By Heather Humphrey, C’66 – After Graduation from CCHS in 1966, my first job was with Joseph Ribcoff, a local fashion house in Montreal. Then at SunLife Insurance Company where I worked for 9 years and absolutely loved my work. Our department, a female boss of 28 years of age and myself, became the first Forms Control and Design Department in any corporation in the whole of Canada.
By Jack Anderson, C’71 – I had to stop quite quickly and I was in the slow lane. A couple of seconds later the world exploded! I was flung violently against the dash and steering wheel at about a 45 degree angle as my seat had come off its rails, and I ducked as glass fell all around me.
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