Graeme Decarie has found his copy of the 1962-63 MCHS Highlander and shares additional recollections

[I will add additional photos at the post later; for now, I’ll begin with just one photo, of Mr. Talbot.]

In the following text, I have used just the first initial for a couple of students, in order to respect privacy of information. In the event we get the okay to publish the names, from the students who were mentioned, we will publish them.

[The items on square brackets are notes added by Jaan Pill.]

Please note: In the event we have infringed upon anybody’s privacy by mentioning names, for people who don’t want to be mentioned, please let me know at once and I will remove the names

Please note as well: The MCHS 60s Reunion & Celebration of the 60s REGISTRATION information can be accessed here.

The event, which is open to any student or staff who was at MCHS at any point in the 1960s, will take place in Toronto on Oct. 17, 2015.

Please make an effort to register sooner rather than later, so that we will have a good indication of our attendance, which will determine how many meeting rooms will be required for the reunion.

Graeme Decarie has found his copy of the 1962-63 Highlander

The following text is from Mr. Decarie:

I have found my 1962-63 Highlander – so I can fill you in on a few more people. [An earlier set of recollections can be accessed here.]

First, I issue a very belated apology to [B]. (He must have graduated in 1964 or 65). In grade nine, I punished him for swearing at me. He was always a likeable kid, and the punishment was unnecessary. (funny how that can stick in one’s head for over sixty years.)

Then there was [B2] who I kicked out of a YMCA day camp. We were at Mount Royal, and he went home without telling me. I spent hours looking for him on that damn mountain. But I shouldn’t have kicked him out. I should have had him shot at dawn.

Alan Talbot

Alan Talbot. Source: 1962-63 MCHS yearbook

Alan Talbot went on to become head honcho at the school board and, by all reports, was first rate. My memory of him was the first parent’s night to welcome them to the new school, and to set up a Home and School Association. There were about a thousand students that first year, so we set up almost 2,0000 chairs in the gym. We also line the wall from the back entrance to the stage with box after box of flowers. All us teachers got our academic gowns on for a ceremonial procession. After a delay of some minutes to make sure everyone had arrived, we paraded in.

There were nine parents there.

After the ceremony was over and people had left, we teachers took off our gowns and, one by one, left. Then, as I passed the gym door, I heard someone singing in the gym. I looked in. There was a trail of flowers on the floor that ran halfway to the stage. At the end of the trail was a happy Alan Talbot, brandishing a pair of shears. And as he clipped, he was singing….

“Where have all the flowers gone…”

[You can access the words to the song here.]

Jack Leroy

Jack Leroy. Source: 1962-63 MCHS yearbook

Jack Leroy I first met when I was a student at Montreal High. Jack had begun teaching there in the glory days when it had students like Oscar Peterson and Christopher Plummer – so Graeme Decarie was quite a comedown.

After MCHS, he became principal at Barclay. I didn’t see him for many years. In that time, he had become a priest and then a bishop at a sort of breakaway Anglican church in Niagara Falls, though he still maintained a home in Saraguay. Then, one evening – it must have been close to 1980 when I was working at Concordia and living in Point Claire, there was a knock at my door. It was Jack.

He grinned the old grin. But I knew at first glance he was dying. He knew it, too. We talked for a bit then – I’m not sure – either I took him to the hospital or I took him home to his daughter so she could take him to the hospital. He died within days.

Mrs. Jelinek and Mrs. Rosenberg

I saw Mrs. Jelinek sometime about 1990. She looked exactly as she had in 1963. The same is true of Mrs. Rosenberg (Soryl Shulman.)

Bob Hill

Bob Hill went back to school, just as I had, to get either an MA or a PhD. I’m not sure which. Then he taught history at John Abbot CEGEP where he was the big force behind the teachers’ association. He also developed a sideline, performing Jewish music for Jewish weddings and other occasions. As always, he was a quick learner, and soon mastered singing in Yiddish. He’s a very versatile guy.

The last time I saw him was a good twenty years go – still looking youthful and cheerful, but pale and losing weight. He had been suffering bouts of cancer. When I moved to New Brunswick, he moved to some place in the townships. We corresponded for a time; but I haven’t heard from him for a good, five years.

Mr. Kelly

I’ve had no contact with Mr. Kelly. But a long, long time ago, I taught his daughter at Concordia. Like her father, she’s quite tall. Unlike him, she was stunningly beautiful.

Students: Peter McAllister and Linda Colluci

I saw Peter McAllister about 1980 in a supermarket in (I think) the West Island. He turned into a very, very big guy. I was so happy I had always been polite to him in school. Peter was one of more than a few students I taught at Parkdale, too. I noticed Linda Colluci on the first page of the yearbook.

Lynda Spence and Barclay Allen

I last saw Lynda Spence a long, long time ago when she was a nurse. happily preparing to shave Mr. Saul’s (you know) for an appendix removal. Later, in the 80s, I think, we were in touch by either letter or phone.

She had married Barclay Allen, and had been in touch a student whose name I can’t remember I should because she became quite famous. (She had a very successful singing career with a group called The Bells. Received the Order of Canada for work done to help women with breast cancer,) And, Lynda told me she had recently married a childhood sweetheart, and was now living in BC. [It’s Jacki Ralph. Please see the Comments section below]

Diane Fagg

Diane Fagg was a student in some night course I was teaching. I recognized her immediately. She hadn’t changed a bit. This must have been in the 1980s, and she was, I think, living in Pointe Claire.

Marilynne Sinclair

Marilynne Sinclair became, I think, a teacher at MCHS. Not sure about that. [Correct: She did become a teacher. A younger friend of mine was in her class at MCHS.]


[End of text from Graeme Decarie]


13 replies
  1. Marge Huk (Fuller)
    Marge Huk (Fuller) says:

    Mr. Talbot was the superintendent in my first year of teaching. He came in to evaluate me as a 19 year old, grade 2 teacher in Dollard Des Ormeaux. He leaned on the counter and put his foot up on one of my student’s desks. I never felt intimidated – he was so relaxed. And, of course, being a MCHS graduate, he gave me a great evaluation!

  2. Marge Huk (Fuller)
    Marge Huk (Fuller) says:

    One more thing: Irene Jelinek, Mrs. Jelinek’s only child, was my best friend in high school and I have not been able to find out anything about her. Does anyone know her whereabouts?

    • roma baran
      roma baran says:

      Irene Jelinek was my best friend from when I was 6 to when I was 11. I have not been able to find out anything about her either. Would appreciate a note if you have any clues.
      Thank you.
      Roma Baran

  3. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    That’s a beautiful story about Mr. Talbot. I’m really pleased that he did so well in his career. Let’s hope that we have someone among us who knows of Irene Jelinek’s whereabouts.

  4. Graeme Decarie
    Graeme Decarie says:

    Of course. Jackie Ralph. She seems to have had a remarkable life.
    The last I heard, Irene Jelinek was living in Toronto. (But she may not be Jelinek any more).

  5. Klaas Vander Baaren
    Klaas Vander Baaren says:


    Thank you for triggering all the memories. As one of the first class of 4 year MCHS grads in ’64, and an Acadia grad ’71 (I only went to university in ’67) there is a lot of overlap of experiences. I’m planning a more detailed series of memories including Cartierville School and Morrison School, I just wanted to respond to your request for information about The Bells. Jackie Ralph is the name you are trying to remember. Here is a link to more info:

    Thank you for sharing and I can’t wait for the redacted names in your story :).


  6. Bob Carswell
    Bob Carswell says:

    Hi Jaan,
    I don’t think it was me that Graeme Decarie was talking about. I don’t remember ever being kicked out of day camp but then again I have these fleeting moments of clarity about events surrounding some things in the past which come and go from time to time so I cannot be certain of it all. my brother and I were only two of busloads of kids at the Northmount YMCA and summer day camp. For a small fee it gave my mother with two other young kids, a bit of a break during the day. I wonder if it might have been my brother Jim he is thinking about? Heck, what does it matter now anyway? 🙂

  7. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Hi Bob,

    It’s great to read your comment. It reminds me – and it’s great to have the reminder – that what happened years ago is long gone and the evidence is anecdotal and is drifting away in the haze.

  8. R. David Close
    R. David Close says:

    Went to Mount Royal College 1962-63. Jimmy Stewart, George Mix, George Gordon, Bonnie Smith …. Just met an alumni, Jim Webster, who was a hockey coach for MC , who is scouting my 13 year old grandson in hockey! We reminenced of our years at MC. He is now 67 & I am 72 years! Jimmy Stewart has passed on, George Gordon lives in my home town, don’t know what happened to George Mix or Bonnie & the rest of the gang buy I pray they had a good life! I know this may sound like a joke but I might have been Valedictorian of the class of ’62-63! I don’t think I was anywhere mature or elequent enough to do that but life has been very good to me & it would be great to see any of the old gang if they are still around! Please advise of the get together in 2015. I have lived in Toronto since 1977. Blessings! Closie ツ

  9. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Hello David,

    Getting around to reading the post more closely, I note that you went to
    MC as in Mount Royal College whereas the MC we have in mind is Malcolm
    Campbell High School. That being the case, we would like to continue the
    conversation nonetheless. Whatever information you can share, related to
    similar experiences of the 1960s era, will be of interest to all of us.

    Let’s keep in touch.



  10. Lynn Lavery
    Lynn Lavery says:

    Marilynne Sinclair did indeed become a teacher and taught at MCHS. I understand she is at present teaching at Ashbury College in Ottawa. Incredible teacher. She was an inspiration. How do I know…she taught me in grades 8 and 11 at MCHS

  11. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    This is wonderful to know Lynn! She was a fellow student in my class in Grade 10 in 1961-62 at MCHS. I remember her as a dedicated, highly competent student. It’s wonderful to know that you had her as a teacher in Grades 8 and 11 some years later.


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