MCHS 2015: Smaller room, more intimate space

Jim Carswell, Lesley Carswell, and Bob Carswell, about 1953. Source: Bob Carswell

Jim Carswell, Lesley Carswell, and Bob Carswell, about 1953. Source: Bob Carswell. The photo is discussed in a comment from Bob Carswell at the end of the current post.

The woods around Old Mill Toronto are reminiscent of "The Bush" that used to be in place in Cartierville in the 1950s and 1960s, as discussed in earlier posts about Cartierville at this website. Jaan Pill photo

The woods around Old Mill Toronto are reminiscent of “The Bush” that used to be in place in Cartierville in the 1950s and 1960s, as discussed at earlier posts about Cartierville at this website. Jaan Pill photo

Dianne Campbell (Humphreys), Class of ’69, has kindly shared a comment at a recent post entitled:

Update: The Oct. 17, 2015 MCHS Reunion will take place at the Humber Room at Old Mill Toronto 

By way of bringing attention to Dianne’s valuable comments and to my response, which I’m hoping will also be of some value, I have devoted the current post to the discussion. For subsequent posts, the focus will be on describing what will be happening during the actual reunion event at Old Mill Toronto, from 6:00 pm on Oct. 17 until 1:00 am on Oct. 18.

Also of relevance, in relation to the current conversation, is an earlier post entitled:

Deadlines and events related to Oct. 17 MCHS ’60s Reunion & Celebration of the ’60s

In particular, a point of interest that warrants close attention is the following information:

View of courtyard at Old Mill Toronto. If the weather remains good at that time of year, you can find quiet places to sit and chat in the courtyard area, as well as in nooks and crannies of Old Mill Toronto, during the reunion. Jaan Pill photo

View of courtyard at Old Mill Toronto. If the weather remains good at that time of year, you can find quiet places to sit and chat in the courtyard area, as well as in nooks and crannies of Old Mill Toronto, during the reunion. Jaan Pill photo

How do I register?

The registration is $150 for single tickets and $250 per couple of tickets, where one person is an MCHS graduate, or a former student, or a teacher.

Cheque payments should be in Canadian currency, payable to MCHS 2015.

Please mail your Registration cheque (before Oct. 1) to:

MCHS 2015 Registration
c/o Diana Redden
4487 – 222A Street
Langley, B.C.
V2Z 1B2

If you plan to pay cash at the door, you need to let is know by Oct. 12 or you will not be able to attend. The hotel needs the final attendance figure three business days before the event.

The Old Mill subway station is located a short walk from Old Mill Toronto. The subway is located on the Bloor Subway line, which gives easy access to downtown Toronto. The station at the end of the line, at the west, is Kipling station. the Kipling subway is a short taxi ride from the Stay Inn, where many MCHS grads will be staying. Jaan Pill photo

The Old Mill subway station is located a short walk from Old Mill Toronto. The subway is located on the Bloor Subway line, which gives easy access to downtown Toronto. The station at the end of the line, at the west, is Kipling station. the Kipling subway is a short taxi ride from the Stay Inn, where many MCHS grads will be staying. Jaan Pill photo

Dianne writes:

Sorry to hear the room for the reunion has been downsized. I would guess the high registration cost has affected the response which in turn affects those who may be waiting to see if there will be attendees from their graduation year.

Is there a current list of attendees available?

Is there any way the cost could be reduced to say $100.00 which might encourage an increased response?

I live close to the Old Mill and would love to attend.

Dianne Campbell (Humphreys) Class of ’69

Old Mill Toronto is located right next to the Humber River, where we ill have a 30-minute Humber River walk at 10:30 am on Sunday, Oct. 18, the day after the reunion. The Brunch that day starts at 11:00 am but we need to know by Oct. 11 if you are planning to attend the Brunch. Jaan Pill photo

Old Mill Toronto is located right next to the Humber River, where we ill have a 30-minute Humber River walk at 10:30 am on Sunday, Oct. 18, the day after the reunion. The Brunch that day starts at 11:00 am but we need to know by Oct. 11 if you are planning to attend the Brunch. Jaan Pill photo

Jaan writes:

Good to read your message, Dianne.

To my knowledge, the most recent list of attendees (to which several names have subsequently been added) is available at Newsletter #18 – JUL13 at the Who’s Attending page at the MCHS 2015 website. I stand to be corrected if I am wrong, and if a more recent list is available.

For anybody reading this text, please note the deadlines: Deadlines and events related to Oct. 17 MCHS ’60s Reunion & Celebration of the ’60s

Smaller room, more intimate space

With a smaller room, we have a more intimate setting in which people can get together than would have been the case when we originally envisioned up to about 140 people and a meeting space that was suitable for that size of a group. If we had 60 or 80 people in such a setting, the match between the numbers and the room size would have been readily noticeable, and would have been less than intimate. The word “cavernous” (resembling a cavern in size) would have come to mind.

Registration cost

Like many locations in Ontario, the property around Old Mill Toronto was once a scenic beauty spot. Some of the greenery and scenery remains, enough to provide us a sense of what the past was like, here as in much of the world. Jaan Pill photo

Like many locations in Ontario, the property around Old Mill Toronto was once a scenic beauty spot. Some of the greenery and scenery remains, enough to provide us a sense of what the past was like, here as in much of the world. Jaan Pill photo

The role of what, for a number of people, is a high registration cost is an important one. Because we seek to maintain a balanced budget, we are not in a position to reduce the standard registration fee. We have no doubt, from comments we have heard during the organizing process, that some people will have declined to attend because of the cost. It’s also a fact that some people will stay away unless they know that someone else has already signed up to attend.

We have also noted that, if a person wants to attend but the registration fee is an overwhelming burden, they can contact me, in confidence, and I can – on a confidential basis – have case-specific anonymous donations cover part of the cost for a given attendee, based upon a case by case discussion. As a volunteer I have played a key role in the organizing of many events, including national conferences, over the past several decades and have always made this a policy.

Hector Decarie, in his youth, which was some years ago.

Hector Decarie, in his youth, which was some years ago. We have posted the photo as a reminder that the reunion does not have a dress code. You can wear, or not wear, as the case may be, whatever you want. According to a recent post, Graeme Decarie has declared that he adopted the pseudonym of Hector Decarie so that he could work his way through university as a professional wrestler. Of course, we always believe what our teachers tell us!

In such situations, a person would contact me, and I have a track record for maintaining confidentiality. I also know, from an early stage of my life, what financial hardship entails. How much money a person has, or does not have, is not something that matters to me. The fact we are all fellow human beings is what matters; the rest is irrelevant.

Please note:

The fee situations where we have reduced the fee, for the reunion, have involved a person connected with the reunion making an anonymous donation to match the fee. We do not have a situation where other attendees are subsidizing a given individual. We acknowledge that there are grads who find the $150 fee very high. Some people will not attend the event, for that reason.

Wine or sparkling water

In the meantime, I am delighted that we are at about 50 attendees, and that there is a good chance that some last-minute registrations will arrive in time for the deadlines for registrations to be met. With the additional registrations, by which I mean around 60, we will have enough money to ensure that each guest has a glass of wine (red or white) or a glass of sparkling water waiting for them. Attendees will also be able to buy additional drinks at the bar.

All are invited: Evening of Oct. 16 get-together

In the meantime, as well, we are planning a get-together on the evening of Friday, Oct. 16. That will take place either at a conference room at the Stay Inn, or (if the latter room is not available; we are awaiting word on the availability) at Timothy’s Pub on Brown’s Line south of Evans Ave. All MCHS grads are welcome to attend the get-together, even if you are not attending the reunion.

All are invited: 11:00 am Brunch on Oct. 18 (but deadline to let us know is Oct. 11)

We also have a Brunch that is taking place at 11:00 am at the Old Mill Restaurant. If any MCHS grad wishes to attend the Brunch, she or he must let me know by Sunday, Oct. 11 because the restaurant needs to know the total number of Brunch reservations at least a week beforehand. You don’t need to attend the reunion in order to attend the Brunch. But you do need to be on the reservations list!

We also have a 30-minute walk, along the Humber River starting at Old Mill Toronto, at 10:30 am on Oct. 18.

Scott Munro (MCHS '63) has been practising his bagpipes, as he will be a key source of live music entertainment at the MCHS '63 reunion. As some would say: "You have been warned!" Jaan Pill

Scott Munro (MCHS ’63) has been practising his bagpipes, as he will be a key source of live music entertainment at the MCHS ’63 reunion. As some would say: “You have been warned!” Jaan Pill

Late 1960s grads

For grads from the late 1960s, who are keen to know who may be attending, I would strongly recommend that people do some prior networking, to see who may be interested in attending the reunion. A number of people from the late 1960s are on the Database.

If you can find a name or two, and need to get contact information, if you send Diana Redden an email, she can contact the person, that you wish to contact, and can see if it’s okay with, the person contacted, to have the contact details shared. We take care to respect privacy of information, in all aspects of the organizing process.

The reunion is taking place at Old Mill Toronto. Deadline to get special reunion rates for rooms at Old Mill Toronto, and also at the less expensive Stay inn, is Sept. 17. Jaan Pill photo

The reunion is taking place at Old Mill Toronto. Deadline to get special reunion rates for rooms at Old Mill Toronto, and also at the less expensive Stay inn, is Sept. 17. Deadline to register for the reunion by cheque is Oct. 1. Deadline to inform us, if you plan to pay at the door, is Oct. 12. Deadline to let us know you plan to attend the Brunch is Oc. 11. Jaan Pill photo

By way of closing, we are looking forward to a great reunion, to which all MCHS grads are welcome, and at which each person is the honoured guest, and the star of the show.

Quiet places to chat and reminisce

This is an opportunity to mix and mingle, and if the noise level in the downsized room gets too high, the entire expanse of Old Mill Toronto is available for guests to wander through, to find a quiet corner to chat. The only request is that you please do not crash any other parties, as that could lead to complications that are (possibly) beyond the capacity of the MCHS 2015 organizing team to address.

 

3 replies
  1. Bob Carswell
    Bob Carswell says:

    This gathering of the clan, so to speak, will be a nice event for those who want to catch up with the past. There is no mystery, MCHS no longer exists except in the minds and thoughts of those who are interested. We all met at a very young age and we now have a chance to revisit with each other again and relive a lifetime.

    It stands as a form of closure for many of us and an experience we will not have again in our lifetime. Some of us have had successful careers while others have not achieved their dreams or did not fulfill them until late in life.

    I come from a family that has had wealth in the past, high ideals and successful people yet I can only claim those things in a lesser way. I had many successes in my life but only through the application of my skills and talents in a variety of fields. When I leave this world, all that I am will be left behind in the stories and memories of now distant family.

    I can only hope that all the good things I have been part of will be remembered. My earliest ancestors, the Kerrs, arrived in Montreal in 1822. My Irish McKinleys arrived in the 1840s then went off to make a name for themselves in Ottawa in the 1870s, like my Irvines and others who arrived in that city early on.

    My namesake grandfather arrived in Canada by ship in 1908 or 1909 while his sister who lived in southern England when she wasn’t travelling the world as a companion to rich old ladies was stranded in Australia for 6 years of WWII. I met her as a young teen when her travels brought her to Canada. It was the only time I got to enjoy the Beaver Club at the Queen Elizabeth hotel.

    Somewhere I carry all their genes and I have passed them along to later generations. But who they were in real life, what they believed in and how they acted towards others will never be known unless their story has been written down. As a family historian since 1974 I have put together the stories, found the photos, created plausible histories and turned names and dates into a series of real people who once live, loved and had to do many different things to survive in an earlier time.

    I remember when ice was cut from the Back river, packed in sawdust to save it through the summer. I also remember the ice man who used to deliver blocks of ice for the old ice box in our apartment. His horse knew the route and pulled the wagon to the next stop. I also remember the milk wagon pulled by a horse in Cartierville and I can still see the writing on the side of the cart….JJJoubert.

    I remember back to the day that I watched the first black ballplayer play for the Montreal Royals when I was not even at the age of 2. He became the famous Jackie Robinson, the first black ballplayer in the white league in the USA. I remember the wonderful trips to the Montreal Forum for the annual visit of the circus and being taught art as a youngster at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts by Arthur Lismer, one of Canada’s famous “Group of Seven” painters.

    I also remember the shrunken heads that the museum proudly displayed….how times have changed. My trip to Toronto where I have lived in and around for the past 43 years was not my first choice of a place to end up but as time passed, so did my life and I became disabled, largely not by choice but rather by genetics.

    Life is a journey for all of us and easier for some than others. I have survived to this day but I live on a single kidney now operating at 23%. That is genetics too. It made my grandmother lose one kidney and die in 1946 from the other after years of being bedridden with around the clock nurses.

    My cousin lost his only son at the age of 6 months, knowing that the child would die having been born with only a 10% kidney function. There are many of our classmates whose lives were cut short for whatever reason and then there are the rest of us who seem to have made it this far. For me, every day is a bonus as I expected to go at the age of 70.

    All of the statistics pointed that way. But I guess I am just too stubborn to let that happen just yet. For those of you who do not remember me, here is a family photo. Taken about 1953 for the Cartierville School annual winter carnival my youngest brother was not in school yet so did not participate in the photo.

    Once again, our mother’s artistic skills produced wonderful award winning costumes. Yes that is the devil and an angel. I am the guy with the bow and arrow and no, it is not Cupid. Robin Hood was a popular early TV show and I could not wait to see it every evening for as long as it was playing. Who says TV has not influenced a generation?

    I was born in England during WWII, came as a baby through Pier 21 in Halifax before the war had ended and found my first home in the small village of Pendleton Ontario where my father was the senior officer at the No.10 Early Flying Training School for the RCAF prior to its closure for good.

    We then moved to Montreal and settled in our first apartment in 1946 in Cartierville. Saraguay was our next move five years later, the third house on Martin Avenue. Today there are more than a dozen houses on the street and our old house was replaced by a more modern one in the late 80s or early 90s. While the buildings remain from the past, they are no longer what they were in our minds. Those are the stories we have to tell and the good and bad of it are now just memories.

    This reunion in Toronto offers everyone an opportunity to relive a lifetime with those interested in the past and hoping to find old friends once again in the future. Everyone’s memory is different from everyone’s else and sometimes chatting with old friends, regardless of where, just makes the day.

    If we want to make this gathering a success, it us up to those who choose to attend to encourage their friends to make the effort. It is another chance to say hello and maybe the last time to say goodbye but for all of us it will be something a bit different. Besides, where else can I go to show off my haircut….heck, I cut this one myself. Worth the trip alone!!!

    Reply
  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    A beautiful overview, Bob. Not only are you a family historian, but you are a person who has the ability to put so many aspects of the Cartierville and Saraguay stories, and the stories associated at so many levels with our high school, into a historical context.

    I will follow up on your suggestion, that you shared with me when we most recently met for coffee, earlier in August, at the Birds & Beans coffee shop in Mimico. That is, I will seek to have the stories about Saraguay and Cartierville, and all of the other stories related to local history, including in southern Etobicoke in Toronto, housed as printouts in archives, so that someone who is looking for a few details about local history 100 or 200 years from now will have the opportunity to read up and marvel about the times that have come and gone.

    And we are looking forward to a great reunion! What a wonderful opportunity it will be, to meet in person once again, these many years later, and to find a quiet spot where we can share some of our stories, and remember yesterday, and touch base with the here and now.

    Reply
  3. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    I have added an update to the post at this page; to bring attention to the update, I will also post it here:

    Please note:

    The fee situations where we have reduced the fee, for the reunion, have involved a person connected with the reunion making an anonymous donation to match the fee. We do not have a situation where other attendees are subsidizing a given individual. We acknowledge that there are grads who find the $150 fee very high. Some people will not attend the event, for that reason.

    Reply

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