Additional comments from Graeme Decarie – regarding Saraguay, Cartierville School, and Marlborough Golf Club
Below are edited excerpts from recent email discussions with Graeme Decarie.
Jaan Pill: Do you have any interesting archival photos from Cartierville, from your own childhood and school days, including any photos of the creek, that you could scan in high resolution?
Graeme Decarie: Oh, my childhood wasn’t in Cartierville or anything as grand as St. Laurent. I grew up between St. Denis and St. Hubert, just north of Jarry on a street called St. Gerard. Cartierville was a hike in the country. I don’t recall ever seeing buildings until somewhere near the old, Belmont Park.
And beyond that was the suburb Mr. Leroy lived in (I’ve forgotten the name of of it, but lots of our students came from there.) Except there was no suburb there when I was a kid. It was a forest – which had a creek through it. My father used to take his scouts camping there. And I would go with them as young as six.
My father showed me a big field there that had been a polo field for rich Montrealers. And I used to caddy near there at a golf course called Marlborough. The big, family thrill for the summer way out in the country was a rented place in St. Rose.
By the way, St. Hubert has its name – NOT after a saint. The farmer who sold the land to the city about 1900 or so sold it on condition the city name one of the streets after him. His name was Hubert.
Jaan Pill: I also remember a child in my class in Grade 4 at Cartierville School who lived in a very nice house by the Back River, a huge house with a big lot. I learned quite recently that his grandfather was the local physician, and learned a bit about what he did in the course of the subsequent years.
Bob Carswell provided a great update for me:
“Jaan, You mentioned a school friend. You are talking about Allan MacDougall, cousin to Jamie Duncan, and part of the old Saraguay family there. It was his grandfather Dr. Duncan that delivered my own father into this world. Allan moved out to Vancouver, set up a book distribution firm and ended up the North American distributor for the Harry Potter books. He is also a on the Board of Directors of the Vancouver Library System along with a good friend of my youngest brother, also in Vancouver.”
Graeme Decarie: Great to hear from Bob Carswell. I remember him and his brother very well. I even remember Cartierville school. It was a larger version of the first school I attended, a four-roomer called Crystal Springs. (At the turn of the century, there was something called Crystal Springs at the North end of Jarry Park. I guess the school was named after it, as was the mission church just up the street that we attended – Crystal Springs United.)
The district I was trying to think of that was a thick forest and had a polo field was what is now called Saraguay.
Marlborough Golf Club
Jaan Pill: These are stories that are part of Montreal history. I used to caddy at the Marlborough golf club as well. I think it was $1.25 for a day’s work, including the tip.
Graeme Decarie: I got close to that. I think mine was 75 cents for a “caddy in training”, and a buck for an experienced one.
Jaan Pill: Possibly a kid made a little more money if they carried a bag instead of just pulling it along on wheels.
I don’t know if this is my imagination, or if it’s something that happened in reality. I picture that sometimes a caddy would carry two bags and get double the money. Or maybe would carry one bag and pull another on wheels.
I spent a lot of time in the caddy shack, waiting. There was a man who was in charge of sending out caddies. There didn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason to his selection method.
Graeme Decarie: You got double the money for carrying two bags. I did it only once.
Elmer Lach was a member of that golf club.
[End of excerpts]
For additional posts regarding Graeme Decarie and MCHS please do a Google search for “Graeme Decarie Preserved Stories.”
If anybody can locate archival photos – aerial photos or other photos – to share regarding the locations discussed above, please let us know.
A Feb. 3, 2015 Golf Digest article is entitled: “Caddies file class-action lawsuit against PGA Tour over sponsored bibs.”
An Aug. 4, 2015 mesquartiers.wordpress.com article is entitled: “TOP 15 DES PLUS BEAUX PARCS RIVERAINS À MONTRÉAL!”
A Sept. 18, 2016 CBC article is entitled: “Golf reaching out to younger generation — but is it trying too hard? Bikinis, beats and beers: Stodgy sport tries to reinvent itself in face of changing consumer demand.”
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