Preserved Stories Blog

A well-organized Sledgehammer Ceremony was staged on April 6, 2015 at the Small Arms building in Mississauga

Detail from photo display at Sledgehammer Ceremony, April 6, 2015. Jaan Pill photo

Detail from photo display at Sledgehammer Ceremony, April 6, 2015. Jaan Pill photo

I’ve been writing about the Small Arms building at 1352 Lakeshore Road East, located at the foot of Dixie Road, for some years.

Jaan Pill. Lee Tovey photo

Jaan Pill. Lee Tovey photo

Occasionally it’s called the Small Arms building and at other times it’s the Small Arms Building. I’m used to the first of the two spellings. Either spelling works fine. I like to be consistent, with regard to my own usage, in such cases.

If you click on the link in the first sentence at this post, you can read previous posts about the Small Arms building. As a result of efforts by the local community in Lakeview in southern Mississauga, the structure was designated as a historic building under the Ontario Heritage Act in 2009. Otherwise, it would have been destroyed. Many other historic buildings in the area are gone, but this one – with thanks to the leadership of Jim Tovey and the local community – remains.

On the morning of Monday, April 6, 2015, I attended a Sledgehammer Ceremony at the Small Arms building.

Small Arms building, April 6, 2015. Jaan Pill photo

Small Arms building, April 6, 2015, view looking south toward Lake Ontario. Jaan Pill photo

Small Arms building, view looking south toward Lake Ontario during Sept. 27, 2014 Small Arms Doors Open event. Jaan Pill photo

Small Arms building, view looking south toward Lake Ontario during Sept. 27, 2014 Small Arms Doors Open event. Jaan Pill photo

April 6, 2015 YouTube video

An April 6, 2015 YouTube video from WardOne Mississauga with highlights from the event can be accessed here.

The introduction to the YouTube video reads:

“On Monday April 6th 2015 the demolition/restoration of the historic Small Arms Building began. Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga has kindly offered to assist with the initial demolition phase of the main hall. The aim is to open up the hall of the building in order to create spaces that the community can utilize all year round.

“The Small Arms building has a rich historic background dating back to 1940 and in 2008 was under threat of being demolished. The City of Mississauga designated the structure as a historic building under the Ontario Heritage Act in 2009. Since 2008 the community, our Ward 1 office, the Small Arms Society and the TRCA have been putting into motion the restoration concept of the building so that it can once again be occupied and serve its community.

“The local community created a vision for the adaptive reuse of the building as a centre for arts, heritage, culture and science.”

[End of text]

April 6, 2015 Brampton Guardian article

An April 6, 2015 Brampton Guardian article, entitled “Teardown of interior at Small Arms Building underway,” can be accessed here.

The opening paragraphs of the article read:

“MISSISSAUGA – The first step towards turning the Small Arms Building in Lakeview into a hub of arts, culture, heritage and science was taken this morning (Monday, April 6) as the interior of the building was gutted.

“Dozens of people gathered at the old building – which was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 2009 by the City of Mississauga – to mark the occasion and check out some of the work being done by volunteers with Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga. Habitat’s team of trained volunteers were busy tearing down some interior, non-load bearing walls in the building in what is the initial phase of the project.”

[End of excerpt]

Hard hat and safety vest

When I arrived at the site, I switched from street shoes to steel-toed construction boots. I also picked up a hard hat and a safety vest so you could see me at a distance, or up close if there’s a lot of dust. As well, I donned a face mask.

You had a choice of construction boots, organized by shoe size. Jaan Pill photo

You had a choice of construction boots, organized by shoe size. Jaan Pill photo

I noticed at once that we were dealing with an organized demolition process. Consider this. I had a large pile of pairs of boots to choose from, and the pairs of boots was identified by their size. As well, by a wall near the back entrance to the building, where the demolition work was underway, First Aid equipment was set up in a way that demonstrated a sense of order and close attention to detail. I saw tools and pieces of equipment that had been laid out, and was impressed by the fact the tools were neatly organized, as opposed to being strewn about at random.

Councillor Jim Tovey tours the Small Arms building with a City of Mississauga Commissioner [details to follow]. Jaan Pill photo

Prior to the Sledgehammer Ceremony, Ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey conducted a tour of the Small Arms building with Paul Mitcham, Commissioner of Community Services. Jaan Pill photo

The safety equipment meant that it would be safe for me to observe the demolition work that was underway that day, at the Small Arms building, without fear that something would hit me on the head or fall on my toes.

Given that I arrived early, I had the opportunity to visit the room, where the Sledgehammer Ceremony was about to be held, as the room was being set up. I also had the opportunity to meet Jim Tovey, Councillor for Ward 1 in Mississauga, and his wife Lee Tovey, who is a Board Member of the Small Arms Society.

Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga, Small Arms building, April 6, 2015. Jaan Pill photo

Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga, Small Arms building, April 6, 2015. Jaan Pill photo

The media event featured brief and enjoyable speeches by assembled dignitaries and a spokesperson from Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga. I was impressed with the tenor and organization of the event, and was very pleased I had the opportunity to attend.

Jim Tovey and the Small Arms building

Lee Tovey and staff from Ward 1 Councillor's Office prepare the room prior to Sledgehammer Ceremony, April 6, 2015. Jaan Pill photo

Lee Tovey and staff from Ward 1 Councillor’s Office prepared a meeting room prior to Sledgehammer Ceremony, April 6, 2015. Jaan Pill photo

The story of how Jim Tovey came to be the Councillor for Ward 1 in Mississauga, and how the Small Arms building came to be designated as a heritage property is a source of inspiration for many people. It’s a strong source of inspiration or me. Two brief articles that highlight the back story are:

Mississauga Life, April 2012: Councillor Jim Tovey: Ideas in Motion

Equipment at the Small Arms building was observed to be neatly organized. A sense of attention to detail and a focus on safety was evident throughout the work site. Jaan Pill photo

Equipment at the Small Arms building was observed to be neatly organized. A sense of order and a focus on safety was evident throughout the building. Jaan Pill photo

Brampton Guardian, March 11, 2010: The women who won the war

August 2013 interview with Jim Tovey

An August 2013 blog post at the Preserved Stories website based on an interview with Jim Tovey is entitled:

August 11, 2013 interview with Jim Tovey, Ward 1 Councillor in Mississauga, regarding Lakeview Waterfront Connection Project

Click on the photos to enlarge them. Click again to enlarge them further.


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Versions One and Two of Janet’s great post at our portal to the history of Cartierville School

At a previous post, we’ve shared some posts from Janet regarding Cartierville School. In order to bring attention to the post, and to have both versions of her post in one place, I’ve written the post that you are now reading. After Janet had sent her first post, she sent a second one because it appeared the first post had not arrived at its destination. Things worked our beautifully – we have two versions, and each paints such a great picture of a time and place that many of us fondly remember.

By way of an update related to MCHS 2015, I’m currently working on a report on the April 1, 2015 meeting, in Kitchener, of the organizing committee and am adding content to the new MCHS 2015 website prior to its official launch. We’ve developed the new website in response to comments, from potential attendees, that it will be useful to have all of the pertinent details about the reunion readily accessible at one convenient location.

Version One of Janet’s great post:

Comment: My first elementary school was Morison we moved from Toupin to Somerset in 1966 I was in grade 4. I struggled with the transition and the curriculum change and had to repeat grade 4 in Cartierville’s centennial year ,1967 was a fabulous year I’m sure we all remember it well !

I am so surprised that there is such a little evidence of the schools existence on the World Wide Web. The only other reference is a Montreal school board site it says Carterville school was opened in 1922. My grade 6 class was the final year of Cartierville being opened as a regular elementary school closing in June 1969. It reopened and served as the very first test school for French immersion in the province. We were devastated and relocated as Victor said to Parkdale elementary. What used to be the most pleasant and eventful walk to school had now become a bus ride.

I lived on Somerset during the years of transition for the old Marlborough golf course. The grand old Clubhouse had been closed down and the course a vacant paradise for kids in the area.

A kind of a nature park before nature parks had been dreamed of.

Marlborough Golf Club

A beautiful green space with many species of trees, some huge in ancient all welcoming and accommodating for climbing, hiding in and foundation for many a fort. In summer and sang with frogs and crickets especially the magnificent water feature that was at its center plenty of pond life and swimming for those who dared.

Version 2 of Janet’s great post:

Comment: My first elementary school had been Morison until we moved from Toupin to Somerset in 1966. The catchment for Morrison extended from Bois Franc Road to the CN tracks, everything north of the tracks would be bussed to Cartierville.

Toupin and Somerset were the boundary roads for the old Marlborough Golf course.

Marlborough Golf Club

The only adjoining throughway was either Gouin Boulevard or a dirt path that ran along with the CNR tracks which later became Keller.

The years that I lived on Somerset the Marlborough golf course had been closed down and was a virtual paradise for all the kids in the bordering territory. We ran freely in this green space, a kids natural cornucopia of sorts, with trees to climb, meadows to romp in and even ponds to wade in . For time the stately old clubhouse even stood there abandoned bidding entry to those who dared.

By the time I entered Cartierville the school population was so small that we had combined classrooms and we probably knew every kid in the school. The baby boom era was coming to a close . Cartierville was a magical place with the interior and floors is being built of wood there were even creaking sounds as you walked the corridors. There was a smell to it, the rich kind of a homey feeling. We didn’t even mind that our gymnasium was in the basement had only a 10 foot ceiling.the gym teacher Mr Brown used to take us horseback riding on Bois Franc Rd. Mrs. Boothroyd was principal when I was there. Teachers I remember Mrs. Mitchell Miss McBain became Mrs. Wood , Mrs. Talbot and Mrs. Hoar.

In 1969 the school board transferred the last regular classes out of Cartierville to Parkdale elementary, very different from our old Cartierville ! Carterville was to become the first experimental grade 7 French immersion school.

So much of living in this area was magical. Things have changed dramatically since then. Children don’t roam freely the way we did, and don’t encounter nature on a face-to-face basis daily anymore. Thinking then again, I guess they don’t encounter the dangers that inherently went with those discovery behaviours we had . We played under the Hydro lines that run parallel to the CN tracks and in the lumberyard just beyond where no one ever chased us away ! We rode our bicycles through virtually deserted territory from Somerset to Noel park to swim on those dog days of summer for $.10 cents a day and we even had a locker included. We went to church across the street from school …. The Church of the Good Shepherd still stands but belongs to some other community organization now. We bought penny candy at the depaneur on Cousineau or the one across Gouin Boulevard.

It would be glorious to get inside that building once again !

[End of text from Janet]

Additional recent posts about Marlborough Golf Club and related topics

I’ve also recently posted another item related to Cartierville School and the Marlborough Golf club:

Elmer Lach died at 97

Some other recent posts, which I’ve picked at random, related to Cartierville School include:

Bob Carswell shares a back story regarding Saraguay, Quebec as a Nature Park

Ulrich Laska has added a comment to our forum about Cartierville School

Thank you!

We owe thanks to each person who has added to comments at the history portal/forum that we have worked together to create, with regard to the history of Cartierville School and the history of the surrounding communities.

1960s documentaries

By way of an additional update, I’ve posted a recent item about two evocative and memorable documentaries about the 1960s:

1960s-era documentary films by the Maysles brothers and The Meaning of Human Existence (2014)


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How to avoid death by lightning – April 3, 2015 New York Times article

It’s almost never a bolt out of the blue

An April 3, 2015 New York Times article is entitled: “How to Avoid Death by Lightning.”

The opening paragraph reads:

“For most of the last 15 years, Michael Utley has been passing out refrigerator magnets that say ‘When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!’ If he could go back in time to heed his own advice, lightning would not have ripped through him on a Cape Cod golf course in May 2000. Most important, don’t ignore the warnings: telltale rumble, blackening sky, the weather report. ‘It is almost never a bolt out of the blue,’ says Utley, who gives lectures on lightning safety.”


A Sept. 19, 2014 New York Times article is entitled: “Let a Hundred McMansions Bloom.”

The opening sentence reads: “In the Dianshan Lake region, less than 40 miles west of central Shanghai, the appetite for speculative real estate has driven developers into China’s most fertile land, the Yangtze Delta.”

The keeping society

An April 4, 2015 New York Times article is entitled: “Turning Clutter Into Joy.”

An excerpt reads:

“Another of my most joy-producing activities is volunteering at the ‘keeping society’ in the Maine town where my family lives for part of the year. Keeping societies exist in places too small to warrant museums, and are often curated by the elder statesmen of the community, who themselves are a vital part of the exhibit. Their stories give value to the typical holdings of a keeping society: dented tobacco tins and rusted egg beaters and glass tonic bottles and ledgers full of sums.”


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Elmer Lach died at 97

Graeme Decarie shares the following story:

Elmer Lach died at 97. Elmer Lach, centre for perhaps the greatest line in NHL history with Toe Blake for left wing and the rocket for right wing. I remember the day I met him, and actually had a conversation.

I was twelve years old, and a caddy at Marlborough Golf and Country Club. just west of Belmont Park. I had been waiting outside the clubhouse for my owner to come out and pay me (as much a a dollar if he gave me a tip.) He was late because he couldn’t find me. At last, he did. And just as he paid me a man stopped, and said, “So you found your caddy?” I recognized immediately that this was Elmer Lach.

“Yep. Here he is.”

Lach grinned at me, and said in a strong voice, “Hi, kid.”

I was silent for a moment, looking for le mot juste. Then, at last,

“Hi”, I squeaked.

[End of text from Graeme Decarie]


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1960s-era documentary films by the Maysles brothers and The Meaning of Human Existence (2014)

This post is concerned with 1960s-era films by Albert and David Maysles.

The post also appears as an update to an earlier post entitled:

The Meaning of Human Existence (2014)

I’m posting the update as a separate item in order to bring attention to it. I’ve also edited the original update and added links. In the process, I’ve been reminded – in this case regarding my own recollections of the 1960s – of the malleability of memories.

Now-vintage, 1960s-era automobiles

Image from Maysles 1960s documentary about the Beatles on their first visit to America. I borrowed the DVD from the Toronto Public Library and viewed it on a laptop.

Image from the groundbreaking (because of its approach to cinematography) Maysles 1960s documentary about the first Beatles visit in 1964 to America and their appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. Several Maysles DVDs are available at the Toronto Public Library.

Among other topics, which include gentrification, displacement, genocide, evolutionary biology, and the world history of warfare, the above-noted post discusses The Long 1968: Revisions and New Perspectives (2013). With regard to the 1960s era, a groundbreaking documentary that came out in 1964 is Beatles: The First U.S. Visit by Albert and David Maysles. Another first-rate film by the Maysles brothers that captures aspects of the era is Salesman. The documentary focuses upon a team of door-to-door Bible salesmen travelling from town to town in their now-vintage, 1960s-era cars to sell their wares, while endlessly smoking cigarettes. Always smoking cigarettes. The film about the Beatles similarly has people smoking pretty well everywhere. In some ads of that era, doctors were portrayed as extolling the “mildness” or other admirable qualities of particular bands of cigarettes, as I recall.

Again, if I recall correctly, until somewhere around the 1980s, staff rooms at Canadian schools were typically filled with cigarette smoke until the day arrived that smoking was banned in schools, stores, and restaurants.

It occurs to me that the expression “Sugar is the new tobacco” is of interest as is the expression “Sitting is the new smoking – even for runners.”

In Canada, we’ve been a little slower dealing with asbestos than with tobacco. I recall around the late 1950s, when little was apparently known about the health risks associated with the product, that we used asbestos as modelling paste in a craft project at Morison School. Each person in the class made a little wishing well from a large tin can. The asbestos paste was used to construct an outer surface for the well. A little roof was constructed out of wood. The well that I had constructed, in that class, spent some years at our house on Lavigne Street, I think in the basement, before I threw it out.

The Maysles documentaries adopt a “direct” approach to cinematography which stands in contrast to a strategy adopted by the National Film Board.

Grey Gardens

The first Maysles brothers film that I recently saw was Grey Gardens, which for understandable reasons has become a cult classic.

Image from "Salesman," 1960s Maysles brothers documentary. If you look closely, you'll see the typical 1960s hair-do worn by the Bible salesman in this image. The salesmen are shown driving to visit their prospective customers in 1960s cars. The cars are vintage now but at the time, of course, they were the latest models. I watched about one-third of the film. Sometime I may borrow it again and watch the entire production.

Image from “Salesman,” 1960s Maysles brothers documentary. The salesmen are shown driving to visit their prospective clients in 1960s-model cars. As in the 1960s Beatles film, people are observed smoking cigarettes everywhere, indoors and outdoors and in cars. They’re smoking all the time even when sitting in suburban kitchens or living rooms selling Bibles.

In the late 1970s and in the years that followed I sometimes thought about the fact that NFB films always embodied the same look and feel.

When I recently began to view documentaries by the Maysles brothers, I quickly came to understand why, indeed, all NFB productions are similar in their effect upon the viewer.

The early history of the Film Board accounts for the enduring structure of its films. During the Second World War, the Board played a necessary and important role in wartime propaganda. Every NFB film embodies a carefully crafted, intended message; such an approach accounts for its strengths and limitations. The question that arises is: “So, what if I don’t want to be subjected to a message? What alternatives are available for me as a viewer of documentaries?”

Two-page magazine spread for 1965 Ford Mercury. The ad is discussed at another previous post. If you click on the image, then click again, you’ll note that several smartly dressed individuals are depicted holding a cigarette.


Each approach to life has its uses and followers.

The role of film producers is of particular interest.

An April 9, 2015 New York Times article is entitled: “‘Disorder’ and ‘Stray Dogs’ Capture the Look of Cities Falling Apart.”

An excerpt reads:

  • For 58 minutes, “Disorder” bombards the viewer with interwoven bulletins, presented without comment. Many are grotesque human-interest stories: Shops peddle illegal bear paws; escaped pigs roam the highway; a cockroach emerges from a bowl of noodles. One man brandishes what looks like a live crocodile, another washes himself in a polluted tributary of the Pearl River. Other sequences are more violent recordings of arguments and breakdowns. Civilians brawl with the police, and the movie ends with a remarkable sequence of cops beating a man nearly to death.

[End of excerpt]

Click on each image to enlarge it. Click again to enlarge it further.


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Driven from New Orleans (2012), Drug Wars (2013), On the Run (2014)

A previous post refers to Driven from New Orleans: How Nonprofits Betray Public Housing and Promote Privatization (2012).

A passage (p. 98) from the latter study brings to mind the following additional previous posts:

The Drug Wars in America, 1940-1973 (Kathleen J. Frydl, 2013)

Framing Regent Park: The National Film Board and the construction of “outcast spaces” in the inner city – 1953 & 1994

Alice Goffman’s ‘On the Run’ Studies Policing in a Poor Urban Neighborhood – New York Times, April 29, 2014

In the following excerpt (p. 98) from Driven from New Orleans (2012), I’ve omitted the bibliographical notes. I’ve also broken the longer, single paragraph into shorter ones for ease in online reading.


“Complementing the stepped-up and expanded enforcement of one­-strike evictions was a federally financed expansion of local police forces and drug war efforts. The major targets of this initiative were poor and black urban communities. The ‘criminalization of the poor,’ as political scientist Ed Goetz notes, became the de facto U.S. urban policy in the 1990s as spending on domestic social programs faced cutbacks. Indica­tive of these developments, in 1994, as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, President Clinton created the office of Com­munity Oriented Policing (COPS).

“The new initiative provided grants to local police departments and other agencies, including public housing authorities, to hire more police. By 2000, COPS reached its goal of plac­ing 100,000 federally financed police on U.S. streets. Oftentimes, as in New Orleans, these officers were used to beef up police presence at pub­lic housing developments and other poverty areas of cities.

“In addition, the federal government’s weed and seed program, begun under Bush and continued by Clinton, funded more local police and promoted greater collaboration between local and federal law enforcement agencies, com­munity organizations, businesses, and social service agencies in so-called high-crime neighborhoods.

“Like COPS, weed and seed prioritizes and promotes closer civilian-police relations, including developing police in­formants in the community as a prerequisite to accessing the seed aspect of the program – the delivery of social services. Adding to its punitive nature, the program authorized the creation of special law enforcement zones where ‘offenders [could] be prosecuted under more stringent fed­eral laws.’ ”


An April 2, 2015 Atlantic article is entitled: “The Lost Children of Katrina: A decade after the hurricane, New Orleans’ community grapples with the effects of missed schooling and mass displacement.”

An April 11, 2015 Toronto Star article is entitled: “Three paths to more mixed-income neighbourhoods: Revitalized public housing, inclusionary policies and closing rent control loopholes could help Toronto keep and build economically diverse neighbourhoods.”

The article is written in a typical newspaper style. It’s meant for a quick read and covers what can be covered in a short space. That being said, it provides a great overview to some questions that came to mind when I read a history, by a community activist turned academic, about the history of public housing in New Orleans.

The wider context for such an article comes to mind, when I read it. The context includes the wider economic picture as highlighted in an April 13, 2015 CBC article entitled: “Why Stephen Poloz can’t fix a weak economy: Don Pittis: Bank of Canada governor to present his Economic Policy Report later this week.”

The wider context is also addressed in one of the most interesting books about economic theory that I have encountered, namely:

The Changing Face of Economics: Conversations with Cutting Edge Economists (2004)

Narrative and metaphor

A project that is of interest focuses upon the turning of neoliberalism into an analytically useful concept.

A related project involves determination of a means whereby “social innovation” can be turned into a concept that serves an analytically useful purpose.

It is helpful as well to define the word “democracy,” or to have an understanding of how the word is used in a particular context, as the term means different things to different people, in differing circumstances.

A related theme concerns the power of narrative and metaphor, for good or for ill, a topic discussed at this post among others:

The Meaning of Human Existence (2014)

The Changing Face of Economics (2004)

The challenge is to find ways and means, to the extent that it may be feasible, to enable people, who have an interest in the topics at hand, to arrive at a shared analytical language. Such a pursuit is of value. Language – as in the use of metaphors to advance arguments, and to build narratives – plays a key role in how we as a species make sense of reality. Our sense-making project in turn determines how we deal with each other, and how we deal with the built and natural environments that we encounter.

As I’ve noted elsewhere, documentary making using an approach adopted by the Maysles brothers has the potential to help, in a small way, in development of a shared analytical language. Just observing what’s out there, with the eye and ear of a poet, which is the Maysles model, stands in some contrast to taking what’s out there, and editing it into a (however valuable) NFB-style documentary, or into a (however valuable) academic research study in order to shape a message about what is observed.

A useful resource regarding these topics is The Changing Face of Economics: Conversations with Cutting Edge Economists (2004).


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Researchers have debunked central tenets of AA doctrine and found dozens of other treatments more effective – April 2015 Atlantic Monthly article

An April 2015 Atlantic Monthly article is entitled:

“The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous: Its faith-based 12-step program dominates treatment in the United States. But researchers have debunked central tenets of AA doctrine and found dozens of other treatments more effective.”

I find the article of value, especially given my interest in the concept of evidence-based practice. A recent post related to the topic of evidence is entitled:

Elvis remarked: “The image is one thing and the human being is another.”

Success rate somewhere between 5 and 8 percent

The Atlantic Monthly article warrants a close read. A typical paragraph from the article notes:

“In his recent book, The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry [2014], Lance Dodes, a retired psychiatry professor from Harvard Medical School, looked at Alcoholics Anonymous’s retention rates along with studies on sobriety and rates of active involvement (attending meetings regularly and working the program) among AA members. Based on these data, he put AA’s actual success rate somewhere between 5 and 8 percent. That is just a rough estimate, but it’s the most precise one I’ve been able to find.”

[End of excerpt]


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The MCHS 69er Reunion was held in Montreal on July 31,1999

MCHS 69er Reunion Photo

MCHS 69er Reunion Photo

1) I’m pleased to share the following text, regarding the MCHS 69er Reunion that was held in Montreal on July 31,1999, from Bruce Goodman (MCHS ’69):

Attached is the group photo from the MCHS ’69er 30th anniversary Reunion from Saturday, July 31, 1999 which was held at the old Malcolm Campbell High School building, which was at that time an Armenian school.

Walking into the school was like walking into a time capsule…not much had changed inside in 30 years! After the gathering at the school, we were able to explore the school hallways and classrooms. At the sound of the school bell… we had an “Assembly” (mandatory attendance) in the Auditorium. After a few speeches…we sang “The Scarlet & The Silver” school song; then we moved across Dudemaine Street to the Armenian Church banquet hall, and enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner, and an evening of catching up on 30 years!

I will email separately a copy of our official program for the event

Also attached is the full list of classmates (and spouses / friends) who registered; and a chart identifying everyone in the picture (based on the registration # assigned).

Our reunion actually began with an unofficial social gathering on Friday night, July 30th at the Holiday Inn in Pointe Claire, where everyone was invited to attend. As name tags were issued only at the actual event on Saturday, many showed up with their 1969 Highlander Yearbooks – to try to ID ‘faces’. A great time was had by all!

[End of text]

2) In a subsequent email, Bruce Goodman adds:

Attached is a copy of our Program for the event. The weekend was quite a “high”!

As you and your committee are no doubt realizing…the organizing workload was huge – – especially at a time without Facebook, Twitter etc etc. I began in October of 1998 by simply phoning 4-5 known classmates. Everyone seemed to know the whereabouts of a few others. Clearly… the girls were the hardest to search for because of name changes. Hundreds of hours on the phone…after doing 411 searches.

While we had great intentions to ‘do it’ every ten years…that hasn’t happened, but there have been smaller gatherings of 69er classmates periodically in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver; and I am aware that many re-connections from our 1969 event have continued. Even a couple a marriages!

[End of text]

3) Here’s an additional message, which I read with much interest:

Just going through my box of Reunion papers this afternoon has rekindled so many memories of the work and fun experienced in planning, negotiating arrangements, and connecting with former classmates – – most of whom I had had no contact with since June 1969.

It was very time consuming and ‘Project One’ for upwards of 9 months – as my wife, family and friends will attest! To connect – usually by phone ‘out of the blue’ with a former classmates – resulted in some unbelievable reactions. First reactions such as “really?” or “you found me!!” Or! “You’re kidding, right?” It was pretty exciting! Some were not interested. But most were very interested.

Our committee was great! Everyone contributed in special ways. As I live in Belleville, the committee members in Montreal were vital. We decided early on that our reunion HAD to be in Montreal…preferable at the old MCHS, as everyone knew where that was. The Armenian school and church group were so supportive…and excited that we wanted to do this! And they provided excellent banquet arrangements…we were so lucky!

I still get goose-bumps when I think about stepping up to the microphone at the Assembly at the reunion…and looking over the crowd of smiling faces, before I began my ‘welcome’. And singing the school song…what a time. It was a party…a great party! Hard to believe that it was almost 16 years ago!

Your goal to reach out to all ’60s MCHSers is indeed a challenge, that I cannot imagine!

If you have any questions…let me know. I will try to snail mail you the picture etc tomorrow.

[End of text]

4) In an earlier message, Bruce Goodman (MCHS ’69) commented:

It was a very successful event. Of approximately 300 classmates from the 1969 class, we were able contact / reach 240; approximately 150 attended with an additional approximately 80 spouses. Interesting fact…four couples were actually MCHS 69er classmates!

[End of text]

MCHS 69er Reunion Program

You can access the program here:

MCHS 69er Reunion Program

Here’s a list of who’s who in the photo:

MCHS 69er Photo & Reg Lists

I want to express our thanks for Bruce Goodman sharing this great photo and great information with us!


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How to keep bad news from bringing you down – Aug. 22, 2014 (last year) CBC item

Recently while sorting through some documents I came across a printout of an August 22, 2014 (that is, last year) article entitled: “Infographic: This is your brain on bad news.” I enjoy infographics – what a great way to share data! Below is the infographic that the article refers to. The above-noted link also includes a link to a podcast about the topic at hand.




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Why not speak up for heritage? The future as seen by Muskoka’s visionaries and you. March 14, 2015 Bracebridge Examiner

muskoka-header-logoA March 14, 2015 article by Tom Millar in the Bracebridge Examiner is entitled: “Why not speak up for heritage? Big Ideas — The future as seen by Muskoka’s visionaries and you.”

I strongly support the work that Tom Millar is doing and for that reason I’m pleased to share with you the text of his article.

Tom Millar writes:

Yes, why not voice vexing heritage concerns to elected politicians, specially when the opportunity is there. That is what some did with MPP’s during Ontatio Heritage Week 2015.

The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) arranged the individual meetings with about two dozen Queen’s Park legislative members. Muskoka ACO members participated in the sessions that were scheduled for 15 minutes but ran somewhat longer.

The focus of this first every ACO venture with MPPs was to inform, tell the story of ACO and the accomplishments of the volunteer organization. At the same time, MPPs were open to hearing about ‘asks’. And then some individuals voiced vexing heritage concerns, very specific ones.

The issues raised in the four face-to-face sessions I participated in included:

  • the ongoing desire to designate the historically important Port Dalhousie Jail, built in 1845 and one of the smallest oldest structures of its kind in Canada;
  • the change in practice over the years to place onerous obligations on the defendants at Ontario Heritage Board (OMB) hearings about heritage appeals; and
  • the decade-long efforts to preserve the at risk by a proposed small hydro generation station of the heritage valued, First Nations, Bala Portage located on crown land in Muskoka.

These were not resolved at these sessions. But they got voice to legislative representatives that have the influence to exercise authority to act on them, for a positive heritage outcome.

There was feedback from the MPPs. “The government needs heritage watchdogs” and “Please continue with your heritage works.” Then these suggestions:

  • when communicating with Queen’s Park cast a wide net. There is a need to find those in government that heritage advocates can work with.
  • when communicating with a ministry, cc the MPPs legislative assembly assistant. Ministry MPPs interact on issues with both bureaucratic and office staff.
  • when the desired results are not being achieved, communicate with the premier. Over time, the trend is significant and important issues are managed by the premier and office staff.

Yes, why not put voice to local community vexing heritage concerns and communicate with the MPPs at Queen’s Park. Local community Heritage Committee members that advise councillors are on the front line, have the first hand experience of what is vexing. In addition, being a “heritage watchdog” is the in thing!

Tom Millar was born, raised and educated in the Ottawa Valley, and enjoyed playing in and around the Rideau River. First came through Muskoka on his way to see Bob Orr, as the Boston Bruin’s Captain, raise the Stanley Cup in Parry Sound. Also swam at iconic Bala Falls. Now cottages in Minett with the old timers still mentoring him about the history, ways and traditions of Muskoka. Chair/Member – Heritage Committee, TML through to 2014.

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