Harry Chan (MCHS ’65) shares with us some great MCHS Sixties memories

Update:

Photo from Margaret Chan obituary

Photo from Margaret Chan obituary

Photo from Margaret Chan obituary

Photo from Margaret Chan obituary

Photo from Margaret Chan obituary

Photo from Margaret Chan obituary

In a recent update, Harry Chan (MCHS ’65) has shared a link for the obituary for Margaret Chan. On the right are photos from the link.

[End of update]

 

I’m really keen to share information that I get through emails from people who’ve heard about the Malcolm Campbell High School Sixties Reunion.

I make it a point to check with people before I post material.

Here’s some great information that Harry Chan, as well as Roza Levine, have agreed it’s great to share.

Following text is from Harry Chan (Class of 65):

Roza Levine

“Roza Levine & I were debating partners for a time at Malcolm Campbell High School. Our coach was Mrs. Judith Blackwell – to this day, I can picture her perfectly – our outstanding Oxford-educated history teacher who wisely assembled teams whose members held differing views. Among other topics, we found ourselves defending the sale of wheat to Communist China; a controversial topic that was in Roza’s comfort zone but not mine at that time.

“We lost track of each other after graduating in ’65. In 2007, I attended an American Association of School Librarians conference in Reno, and was chatting with a Santa Cruz school librarian about a software program we had developed. Nancy noticed a Canadian “accent” and asked me about my home town. When she learned “Montreal,” Nancy offered that “Roza” her good friend, and librarian now in the L.A. area, was originally from Montreal. After a few Q&A’s (Yes, I stated it was Roza with a “zed”) Nancy found her friend, brought her to our booth and confirmed the relationship…. 42 years after that MCHS graduation. We have kept in touch since.

Harry Chan

“Roza Besser lives in the L.A. area with her husband Steve, has two grown children and a baby granddaughter. I still live in the Montreal area with my wife and our daughter who lives about 10 minutes drive from our home.”

[End of text from Harry Chan]

 

19 replies
  1. Marge Huk nee Fuller
    Marge Huk nee Fuller says:

    OMG what a neat story. I am now living in Calgary. I was substitute teaching, after I retired, for a teacher whose last name is Beaulieu. It turns out his father (Ralph) and I dated when I was in grade 9. Monte Slim started at Malcolm Campbell the year after I graduated. His wife is the principal of the school from which I retired. Monte is a retired principal. As well, I used to run into Brian (Tiny) Allen. I will definitely be at the reunion!! I was at the one in 2000.

    Reply
    • Harry Chan
      Harry Chan says:

      Greetings Marge
      Have not been back here for a while. We had quite an interesting class and teachers. I think that for Montreal folks, it’s one or two degrees of separation. My daughter had Mr Lewis’ son as a science teacher, and Robert Muir’s daughter had Mr. Decarie as a history teacher at Concordia. Calgary sure has grown. Lots of friends have moved there, most recently a niece (environmental toxicologist)!

      Good to know where you are these days.

      Harry

      Reply
  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Beautiful stories.

    The stories prompt me to reflect on all the things that fall into place, at so many stages of life.

    Please let Howard High know your contact details, Marge, if you have not already forwarded that information to him, for the MCHS Sixties Reunion database.

    Reply
  3. David A. Warr
    David A. Warr says:

    Hi Harry!
    We were friends way back at Morison School. I am not a paid up member of classmates.com any longer but you can still check out my profile. I remember Marge Fuller and Brian Allen.
    I am still living in Newfoundland but we are hoping to move to Alberta where our children are now living.
    David Warr

    Reply
    • Harry Chan
      Harry Chan says:

      Greetings David
      I remember you well. I think your parents were from England, and you lived on O’Brien ? I also recall that you were a fast sprinter on track and field days. Interesting that you went east; so many went west. Great to know a bit about where you are after all these years. Four of my five brothers and families live in Dollard des Ormeaux and Pierrefonds. One brother lives in Alberta and is married to an Albertan.
      Harry Chan

      Reply
  4. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Great to read your comment about Morison School, David. Please note that I’ve copy edited your comment, to ensure Morison is spelled with one “R,” the spelling that has been mentioned to me in previous messages.

    It occurs to me that it may be an idea to think of mini-reunions – perhaps in Montreal – for graduates of Cartierville and Morison. Quite a few people who attended MCHS were graduates of the latter two elementary schools. Perhaps at the October 17, 2015 MCHS Sixties Reunion we could have some Special Interest Groups devoted to Cartierville and Morison.

    I’m been thinking of mini-reunions after we received a recent suggestion for a mini-reunion – an informal get together with just a small number of people – in Montreal mainly for Sixties MCHS graduates who live in Montreal, in mid-August 2014, as noted in a post for June 7, 2014.

    Reply
  5. David A. Warr
    David A. Warr says:

    Hi Harry!
    Nice of you to reply and you do have a wonderful memory. I also remember Roza. Do you remember the Shakespeare play we did in grade seven? There is a picture of us on my classmates profile, Gok Gee, David Wheeler, Peter Lindsay and Gary Moffet. Are you in touch with any one from MCHS?
    David

    Reply
    • Harry Chan
      Harry Chan says:

      Greetings David,
      The fifties and early sixties were an interesting era. Hard to believe that when some us started kindergarten, (c1952) that WWII ended only 7 years earlier.

      Roza became a grandmother last summer… lives in Tarzana, Ca (Edgar Rice Burroughs connections).

      I remember that play picture at Morison. It was Midsummer Night’s Dream. Miss. Flegg (?) was our drama teacher. At MCHS, I discovered how much I liked Shakespeare’s historical plays and loathed the “fantasies.” !

      About some of those “actors”

      Gok Gee Wing died in a tragic accident when he was in his early twenties. I knew the family well. They lived on St. Evariste. Could not find his obituary but did find one of his father that recounts the family’s interesting history. His younger brother Simon, became an endocrinologist. http://presbyterian.ca/provisionaries/stories-of-giving/stories-of-giving-dr-simon-wing/

      David Wheeler worked for Nordair, moved to Winnipeg at some point. then to British Columbia. Somewhere in between, Air Canada took over the airline(s) for which David worked. Last time I met David was at his father’s funeral in Montreal a few years ago. By that time, he had learned to speak Japanese, a language he used in connection with his position at the airline.

      I remember Peter Lindsay well. They lived south of us, on our St. Germain block, about half way down on the west side of the street. I also remember Gary Moffat, but have not “bumped” into them since ’65.

      I do keep in touch with a number of MCHS graduates, although I suspect not many left in Montreal. Robert Muir married classmate Sigrid Enden, and Dave Hall (who taught Chemistry at Vanier College) is married to my wife’s first cousin (our wives went to St. Laurent HS and Westhill).

      BTW We were chatting about the Morrison playground on the weekend. Remember “British Bulldog” and some of the other recess and lunch activities? We suspect these would be banned as unsafe these days. Montreal Gazette wrote a gentle satire about the overprotective society that we have become last Saturday.. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/the-slippery-slope-toward-anti-toboggan-bylaws

      Those were the days !

      Harry

      Reply
  6. Doug Hambley
    Doug Hambley says:

    Hi, Guys!

    I too remember the Midsummer Night’s Dream selection — the Pyramus and Thisbe skit — that was done at Morison as I served as a “Chorus” to introduce it. I also remember that Harry and I had the leads in the two troupes that did a musical about King Cole the previous year. I have been in Lakewood, Colorado for the last 5 years. Are there any others in the Denver area?

    Regards,

    Doug Hambley

    PS I also remember you, Jaan, from Morison.

    Reply
    • Harry Chan
      Harry Chan says:

      Greetings Jaan & David

      We crammed a lot of physical activity on that Morison soccer field in the morning, at recess and at noon. Only a few minor scrapes that the school nurse, Mrs. Lavoie tended to. I remember that she told us and our parents that watching too much television could cause blindness. Mrs. Lavoie is long retired, elderly and lives in a bungalow down the street from our West Island home. Have not reminded her of that dire warning.

      I do recall that most of the British kids were much better soccer players than we were (Peter Naylor, Paul Cheeseman, Kenneth Nesbitt). There were a few other quirky games including marbles, hockey cards and the annual visit of the Cheerio Yo Yo representative. Then there was the annual bicycle safety event (Elmer the Safety Elephant?).

      Harry

      Reply
    • Harry Chan
      Harry Chan says:

      Greetings Doug

      I remember you well and the King Cole and Midsummer Night’s Dream production. Amazing how geographically disbursed we MCHS grads are. Although I still live in Montreal, most of our technology services clients are in the US followed by the Middle East and Europe, so in some respects, am also away from Montreal the equivalent of several months a year.

      Harry

      Reply
  7. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Doug, it’s a delight to know that you remember me from Morison. Do you know what the address was, or the rough location, so I can find it on Google Maps? Once I know the location, other memories will come back for me, from that school.

    Was Morison the school where there was a playing field, for sports like soccer, with the northern perimeter of the field consisting of a wall of low-rise apartment buildings? Was Morison the school that was south of de Salaberry west of O’Brien?

    Reply
  8. David Warr
    David Warr says:

    Hello again Harry!

    I have been in contact with a few people from MCHS through classmates.com. Just recently I have been in touch with Ross Mann whom I hadn’t seen since 1966. We met in Calgary last fall when we were visiting our children. I am a bit of a sentimentalist. Lately I have been looking up stuff on old Montreal. Somehow I came across a story on music groups from Montreal and learned that Gary Moffet was a member of the rock group April Wine. He is a guitarist. Who knew? On my profile I think there are a couple of pictures of the Old King Cole show we did. For sure you remember Nick America. I was close with the girl that played Bo-Peep but I cannot remember her name any more.

    You certainly have a great memory but let me test you. One day I was at your house playing with all the kids from Morison. You had made something that I took a real fancy to and I asked you if I could have it. You gave it to me without hesitation. It was a great gesture on your part. I wish I still had the item because it was really neat. Do you remember what it was?

    Are you going to the reunion in Toronto? I can’t go.

    David

    Reply
    • Harry Chan
      Harry Chan says:

      Greetings David
      Sorry it has taken so long for me to respond. Our 87 year old mother’s health began a steep decline end of February, and she died on March 9th. She lived longer than anyone in her family, although her 85 year old brother is in great shape and should make his 90th. Not to be too maudlin, but here is a link to the obituary and a photo album of Boul St-Germain memories that you might find interesting. (The background in one photo shows a road barrier erected when de Salaberry was being paved for the first time.)

      Margaret (Taylor) CHAN – Obituary

      I remember Gary Moffet and did not know about his April Wine connections. I also remember the King Cole operetta. The Gazette published a picture of it that my mother kept and showed around at family gatherings. Still remember the song I had to sing… it’s about King Cole wanting a wife! I cannot however remember the item that you remember I made and gave to you. I do remember Nick America. His sister, Carmen was a classmate at Morison and we knew their family which lived on St. Evariste. Morison grade 5 teacher, Winnie Wakefield (married Clayton House, a Canadair employee back then) was visiting her husband in a hospital a couple of years ago in Ottawa, where she learned that Clayton’s fellow patient was a Mr. America… who is Nick and Carmen’s father. Winnie got to meet Carmen when she visited her father. I understand that Carmen is an architect.

      I am hoping to get to the reunion in October. October is a busy month for us. There are quite a few library conferences in the fall in Canada, the US and one in Europe where we exhibit our software. If the date is free though, I will likely go.

      Cheers

      Harry

      Reply
  9. David Warr
    David Warr says:

    Hi Jaan!
    Morison was bordered by Michel Sarrazin and Grenet Streets just off of Louisbourg. The original school is still there but it looks like a big addition was made on the soccer field and seems to be called Ecole Louisbourg. Just put in any of those streets on Google maps and it should show up. I can still see my house on O’Brien just as if I still lived there. But we sold the house almost 20 years ago.
    David

    Reply
  10. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Hi David!

    With your help, I now have it clear in my mind where Morison School was. There was one soccer game that I remember, on that field. John Frost was on my team, as I recall. John Frost was also in my class at Laurentide. We were behind on goals but then we sensed this strong surge of emotion, that we communicated to each other, and in the end (and all this happened very quickly) the game was over and our team had won. What a great feeling that was – the sense of teamwork, of working together, to come from behind and win the game. It really convinced me of the power of teamwork and motivation.

    It was a great feeling, to have that sense that the kids on our team just decided to work together and inspire each other and win the game. It’s something that has always stayed with me. We didn’t play much in the way of organized sports in those days but informal team games, like that soccer game at recess that day, have nonetheless had a strong impact on me.

    I similarly remember some football games at Cartierville School, at recess – tackle football without pads – that were similarly memorable, where a kid scores a touchdown running across the field, even though it ends up that most of the buttons get torn off his shirt as opposing players try to get a hold of him. Or a kid throws a touchdown pass at a great distance, with just one guy in the clear – who jumps up and catches it in the end zone.

    Years later, when I taught grade 4 in Mississauga, my students would tell me how much they enjoyed playing sports with their friends at recess. The school where I taught for over a decade, in Mississauga at the end of my career, had a huge playing field, the kind that schools built around the 1960s or thereabouts, in municipalities that were only recently farmers’ fields, often had. Huge – I mean huge playing fields.

    Often, as in the case of Cartierville School, there would be changes in elevation in the fields. The fields would slope in different directions, instead of being all flat. Typically there would be big trees around the perimeter of the fields. These things also made a difference. The size of the field in Mississauga, at the school where I taught, made recess so enjoyable for the students – so much space to run around in.

    Jaan

    Reply
  11. David Warr
    David Warr says:

    Hi Jaan and Harry
    I was also a teacher and principal. The schools I taught in were all in rural areas so there was always a huge ball field attached. Morison and MCHS had great fields too because they were built in the very early years of the baby boom. When MCHS was built there were miles of empty space. The laurentian autoroute wasn’t built until after the school was open. I certainly remember the British Bulldog games. It seems like the whole school was in on it. We also had huge snow forts and snow ball fights. Kids don’t seem to play like that now and here as well there is talk of banning sliding in St. John’s. They have a long list of what is forbidden on the city’s hills. I may be wrong, perhaps I just didn’t notice but it seems that we weren’t supervised so strictly at either Morison or MCHS. Not much ever went wrong at MCHS. It was a pretty tame place in the sixties. MCHS never had a football team and intramural games were always flag football. I never got over not being picked for the schools soccer team. I believed I was a good soccer player. At least I was at Morison but MCHS was a much bigger school.
    David

    Reply
  12. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Good to read your message, David.

    As I look back, I’m pleased that kids survived those years of recess more or less intact.

    I can see the concern, from the perspective of potential liability from accidents, with regard to head and spinal injuries related to tobogganing in cities across Canada.

    One of the side effects of the opening of the Laurentian Autoroute was that a five-year-old child (or a child of about that age), Alan [not certain of spelling] Clendenning [again, not certain of spelling], was killed while crossing the newly built roadway. He was a family friend. A tragedy the memory of which has stayed with me. I still think of him, and his life, and his family. I remember he had accompanied us on some trip, maybe a school trip, to St. Helen’s Island.

    It’s enjoyable to look back on the sports activities at Morison School and elsewhere. At Morison we had a game in the snow where a larger student would act as a horse and would carry around a less heavy but agile student on his shoulders. That would set up battles between opposing teams, a version of knights on horses battling each other in the snow. A lot of teamwork and coordination was required to be successful at the game. The point of the exercise was to get the opposing team off balance and to send them flying into the snow. The last team standing, at the end of the competition, was the winner.

    In those days I also learned the knack of being prepared, when standing in the snow, that somebody might come up from behind to throw you me into the snow. I learned to be alert to the crunch of footsteps in the snow. At the last minute, I would duck down as the opponent pushed forward with arms held straight. The opponent would trip over me, as I crouched down, and would end up sprawled across the snow in front of me. I enjoyed working at getting the timing just right.

    In retrospect, the topic of how kids learn about strategic thinking comes to mind. I began to learn about strategic thinking when I was an elementary student in Montreal in the 1950s, especially when playing in the snow at recess time.

    Reply

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