Malcolm Campbell High School (Montreal) Sixties Reunion Committee met recently at Centre Street Deli in Thornhill, Ontario

Peter Mearns. Note the 'Canadiens' belt buckle. Click to enlarge the image. Click again to enlarge it further. Use the "back" button on your browser to return to the page you are now reading.

Peter Mearns, Scott Munro, and Jaan Pill met on Friday, April 25, 2014 at the Centre Street Deli to discuss the next steps leading to the Malcolm Campbell High School Sixties Reunion.

Peter reported that he’d checked out the Gardiner Museum in Toronto as a possible venue. He said the maximum they can handle is about 140 people. Peter calculates that a reunion might involve beween 150 and 200 attendees. Next, he’ll have a look at Old Mill Toronto.

Centre Street Deli

Peter reports that he spent a long time looking for a good Montreal smoked meat restaurant in the GTA and finally found one in Thornhill north of Toronto.

Scott Munro (left), Jaan Pill

The Centre Street Deli is a fun place. “Service with a smile and so many items to chose from,” as the deli’s website notes. “Everyone will leave happy. Even our lineups are fun.”

Peter enjoyed the fatty smoked meat; Scott enjoyed the lean smoked meat; and Jaan, who’s been a vegetarian for 40 years, enjoyed a big salad. The waiter praised the latter as a “good boy who eats his vegetables.”

We met at the Centre Street Deli in Thornhill, Ontario.

We shared our usual round of war stories – including an anecdote from Peter Mearns about the time that a husky and very tall student got mad at the French teacher, who taught the class that Peter Mearns was in. The student walked up to the teacher with the intention of having a fight with him. The teacher, experienced in such matters, hit the student first, spending him tumbling to the floor. When the student got home, if I recall the story correctly, the father staunchly sided with the teacher as was the standard practice, way back then, regarding such matters.

This is your genuine Montreal smoked meat sandwich.


24 replies
  1. Howard A Hight
    Howard A Hight says:

    Is that a Mr. Lafon story?
    I would attend a reunion in Toronto.
    In the mean time let me know what I can do from Boston.

  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Affirmative: It was a Mr. Lafon story.

    I’ll send you and email about a possible way you could help out from Boston.

    The Mr. Lafon story reminds me of a time we were going to have a French test, during a particular class. I happened to not want to have a test that day, and I knew there was a topic related to French history that he felt very strongly about. So at the start of the class, I asked him a question about that aspect of French history. He spent the rest of the period explaining, with much enthusiasm, what the answer was to my question. The class sat attentively, hanging on to every word, while the minutes ticked away. By the time he was finished, the class was over. That was a particular use the available time that everybody, including the teacher and the students, enjoyed.

  3. Ron Goldenberg
    Ron Goldenberg says:

    I am from the class of 68 and glad that a reunion is planned. Keep up the good work… Ron (Stouffville, Ontario)

  4. Lynn Lergge (Hennebury, Hosier)
    Lynn Lergge (Hennebury, Hosier) says:

    Do keep me in the loop – have talked to Mike Hosier (my kids Dad) and Marianne Schidner(Kerr) and she thought it would be a great idea, she is passing along information as it comes to her sister Linda now living near Barrie. Mentioned it to Elaine (my sister) and Ralph Beaulieu and again they asked to be kept in the loop. Sounds like you had a great lunch – take care – Lynn

  5. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Very pleased to read your messages, Ron, and Lynn. We will make every effort to keep you in the loop.

    We had a great lunch. Peter Mearns reports:

    “It took me 20 years to find this place but it’s the real thing. Cheryl runs the place and she is the daughter of the owners of Snowdon Deli on Queen Mary Road near Decarie. Her parents and brother still run the Montreal place. It’s so authentic they even cut the meat by hand. Only a Montrealer could make that judgment. Torontonians have defective taste buds and can’t tell the difference.”

    Tim Hewlings, who lives in Montreal, has commented, in response: “We go to the Snowdon Del frequently. But it’s on Decarie near Queen Mary, not the other way around. Got a St. Viateur Bagel Bakery around the corner, too.”

    I would add. for anyone visiting this website, that if you have photos from the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s related to MCHS or your life outside of school, it would be great if you can scan them and send jpeg files to me, at this website. I would be able to post selections at the site.

    As well, if anybody has super 8 films from the same era, and would have the opportunity to digitize them in some standard format such as QuickTime or MPEG-4, it would be great to be able to share some of those as well, online. Digital files could be sent to me via Dropbox or as DVDs sent to me by Canada Post. Also, if you have audio recordings from those years, those would also be great to share, in digitized format such as WAV files or similar.

    A note to Tim Hewlings: If you can send us some jpeg photos of the Snowdon Del and the St. Viateur Bagel Bakery that you like to visit, it would be great to post some of those as well – even photos of the sandwiches and bagels!

    Before we moved to Lavigne Street in Cartierville, we lived in the Snowdon area for a while, in an apartment building on a street on a steep incline. The street was called Ridgevale Avenue at the time. It may have been renamed. There were rows of apartments on either side of the street. I went to a primary school near the bottom of the hill, called Van Horne School. I enjoyers Snowdon. It was a cool place in the early 1950s, for a kid just arrived in Canada. As I understand, it’s a cool place now as well.

  6. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Technical note regarding jpeg files:

    If you’re making scans of 1960s photographs related to the MCHS years – which would be great for us to be able to share – the ideal size of file would be about 1.5 MB to 3.0 MB.

    It’s best to have a file that’s high enough resolution so that if you click on the image, once it’s on the website, you get an enlarged version of the image. That enables a site visitor to see a lot of detail.

    On the other hand, it’s preferable to keep the file size to about 3.00 MB, and to not go too far beyond that file size.

  7. David Simmons
    David Simmons says:

    I found your site by doing a Google search for MCHS. I’m from the class of 1968 which had a wonderful and well attended 40th reunion in Montreal (and Hudson) in 2008. I know that there are many members of my class who live in the Toronto area who would eager to attend a reunion here. Let me know how I could get involved in helping you organize an event in Toronto.

    I believe that my brother, Sam Simmons, was in your class and I recall looking at some art that you did which was in the year book for your graduating year. My family lived on Guertin Street nearby to MCHS and also included my sisters Ann & Sara.

    Dave Simmons, Toronto

  8. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    I’m really pleased that you found the site through a Google search for MCHS. I heard that the 40th reunion in Montreal and Hudson went well.

    I’m really pleased you remember the artwork I did for the yearbook. I had a look at it just recently, when I looked at the collection of yearbooks that Peter Mearns has.

    I’ll contact you by email so we can discuss ways in which you can help in organizing an event in Toronto.

    I’m interested in finding out more about the history of Hudson. Here’s a link indicating what I’ve learned so far:

  9. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Here’s a link from the Montreal Gazette regarding Snowdon:

    Some interesting passages from the article:

    “The salt-of-the-earth bit might come from its farmland roots. Snowdon gets its name from James Snowdon, a farmer who purchased 60 acres in the early 19th century, occupying a large part of where the district now is.

    “From the get-go, it was always somewhat removed from Montreal’s city core, but never too far away.”


    “You might also find Griffin and Fernandez at the Snowdon Deli on Décarie. Or, as Griffin describes it, ‘where the tourists don’t go.’

    “They may not be tourists, but people come from all over the island to eat at the traditional 67-year-old delicatessen known for its salty pickles, its smoked meat sandwiches, and Sarah Musgrave-approved corned beef on rye.

    “‘Though we have a very localized business, it still draws from St-Laurent, Town of Mount-Royal, Westmount, Côte-St-Luc, Hampstead, N.D.G,’ says Snowdon Deli president and partner Ian Morantz. ‘We’re a bit of a destination.'”

  10. Peter Collum
    Peter Collum says:

    When I attended MCHS in the 60s I used the surname Cloutte.
    I would interested in information about a 60th reunion.
    I haven’t attended any MCHS reunions to date.

  11. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Wonderful to read your message, Peter.

    We will keep you informed. We will be posting updates at this website under the “Malcolm Campbell High School” category.

    Peter Mearns, who is working with us as a key player in the organizing process, has remarked that it’s remarkable how much interest there is in the reunion. We’re delighted to know of the interest and we so much appreciate hearing from graduates of MCHS!

  12. Cheryl Casino Houston
    Cheryl Casino Houston says:

    Please let me know about a potential Malcolm Campbell reunion as I will be sure to attend.
    Cheryl Casino Houston, class of 63.
    PS. I remember that Jaan Pill was an excellent artist and that he provided a painting for the 1963 annual.

  13. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    I’m delighted to know that my artistic efforts have stayed in mind these many years later – as of 2014, that’s 51 years later. A week or two ago, someone else mentioned that they’d remembered a drawing or painting that had appeared in one of the annuals. Next time I borrow the yearbooks, I’ll have a closer look at the artwork.

  14. Bob Chacra
    Bob Chacra says:

    I’d most likely make the trip from Montreal to take part in this MCHS reunion if I can recognize the names of enough people from those days.

  15. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Great if you can make it to Toronto. There’s also a mini-runion planned in Montreal – informal get together of a small number of people – for mid-August this year (2014):

    We’re working on ways to enable us to match names to people, Bob. The idea is to present a list of class photos along with a list of names. The task is to match them up. The names tend to come to mind more readily under those conditions.

  16. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    We’re very pleased to know there’s interest in the Oct. 17, 2015 Sixties reunion in Toronto.

    We make a point of sharing further details with every MCHS grad who contacts us.

  17. Charles Tsiang
    Charles Tsiang says:

    Hi Jaan, I already dropped off a note to Howard and left one on the MCHS website. I’m from the class of ’62. Now did MCHS graduate anyone in ’61 or did they not bring in 11th graders that first year? Hoping we can find some of the early sixties group. And yes, I recall Mr Lafon but have more vivid memories of Mr Christmas. Wish I had access to old pictures to share. I certainly took enough of them back in the day. Will keep watching to see if anyone that I remember drops by to say hello. Oh how I wish I could get a hot smoked meat sandwich! … Ben’s, Chinoy Boys, Dunn’s…. Regards from Summit New Jersey, “Chuck”

  18. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    It’s a delight to read your comment, Charles!

    It was a delight, as well, to read a copy of your email to Howard Hight.

    By way of keeping a record of things, here’s what I wrote in my email message this morning.

    We trust that this message (below) will serve as a reminder that the MCHS Sixties Reunion organizing committee is keen to get help from as many MCHS alumni as possible as the planning moves forward in the weeks and months ahead.

    Sept. 8, 2014 email message from Jaan to Charles:

    Good morning

    First of all I’m pleased to have the opportunity, Howard, to wish you a Happy Birthday!

    I’m very pleased, Charles, to know that you have learned about the planning that is under way for the MCHS Sixties Reunion, slated for Oct. 17, 2015 at Old Mill Toronto.

    You may, at this point, be aware of the Preserved Stories website, where we’ve set up two categories related to MCHS:

    Malcolm Campbell High School

    Malcolm Campbell High School – Biographies

    It’s a delight to know you are in touch with our esteemed MCHS database team — Diana Redden and Howard Hight.

    We would love to have you write a biography for us, Charles, for posting at the site. We have a number of biographies posted already.

    We’ve also begun to post items, under the “Biographies” category, about the locations across North America where MCHS alumni have settled down.

    Essays, photos, and any other means of sharing information related to MCHS are also welcome, for posting to the Preserved Stories site, which often re-posts items to three Facebook pages that deal with MCHS.

    A number of Facebook pages serve to help us spread the word:

    If you are Sixties MCHS alumna or alumnus, consider joining these three Facebook Groups

    We are also compiling MCHS Sixties class lists and yearbook photos. The yearbook photos will be helpful in enabling people to figure out who’s who; the photos will be included on the name tags of the reunion attendees:

    We are compiling MCHS Sixties class lists and yearbook photos

    In the event you would like to help us as a volunteer, or know of other keen people from MCHS 1962 or thereabouts who’d like to help, with any aspect of the planning and publicity process, please let us know.

    There’s plenty of work to go around, and input, ideas, and volunteer labour are welcomed from every source.

    Among the key areas, by way of example: We need help in creating jpeg files of yearbook photos. That is just one example of areas where people can help.

    Please let us know if you have any comments or questions. It’s a delight to know that you’ve learned about the Sixties Reunion project!



  19. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Hi Valerie

    Yes, we do have tickets left. We are very pleased you know about the reunion!

    I’ve sent an email to you and have copied it to Diana Redden and Howard Hight who look after the tickets and the registration process.

    The details for the registration process can be accessed here:

    The cost is $150 for single tickets and $250 per couple of tickets, where one person is an MCHS graduate.

    We look forward to meeting you at the reunion!




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