We’ve had some previous posts at this website concerned with the Marlborough Golf Club.
We’ve also had some posts in the past about Cartierville School.
I’ve recently been working on a post about the 1970-71 school year, when I took a year off from university to work at logging and sawmill jobs in the interior and west coast of British Columbia. I think it was the 1970-71 school year, anyway. In researching some previous texts that I’ve put together, regarding days gone by, I came across the following text which mentions Marlborough Golf Club. Here’s the text, for whatever value it may have, for site visitors.
When I was in elementary school, my chores at home included washing dishes, peeling potatoes, and mowing the lawn. In exchange, I received an allowance of 25-cents a week. I also earned a little extra money by occasionally working as a caddy during the summers when I was about 10 or 11, at the Marlborough Golf Club not far from Cartierville School in Montreal, which I had attended during the primary grades.
The golf course had a caddy shack, where kids waited for the opportunity to go out to caddy. There was a waiting list, which was determined, at least partly, by when a particular caddy arrived at the caddy shack on a given day. An adult, in charge of the caddy shack, determined which caddies went to work for which golfers. We were paid about $1.25 per day plus a tip which was typically about 25-cents. In the late 1950s, that was a fair amount of money for a child. Comic books cost about 10 or 15 cents each, a magazine might be 35-cents, a newspaper was 5-cents, and my mother could buy a week’s worth of groceries for a family of four for $20.
I was too small to walk around with a bag of golf clubs over my shoulder. Possibly caddies who carried a golf bag earned a little more than those who pulled a cart. The work was straightforward. I would hand the golfer whichever club she or he suggested, pick up divots – divots being the clumps of grass and soil that would sometimes be dislodged after a golfer hit the ball – and replace them, and I would stand perfectly still whenever a golfer was preparing to hit the ball, or to putt on the greens. Typically we would cover the 18 holes as part of a foursome.
It was an impressive golf course – the greens were well looked after, and there were wooded areas adjacent to the course. I would bring along a hat for such occasions, as the sun often got extremely hot. I don’t remember much about the people I caddied for, except for one golfer in his early twenties, who commented that caddying must be an apt way for a child like me to earn a little extra money. One reason I didn’t go caddying very often was because, even if I turned up early in the morning at the caddy shack, there was no guarantee I would get a job that day.
I spent my money quickly. I don’t think I went caddying more than about 20 times in all. At one point I calculated that if I had saved my money instead of spending it at once, I would have saved over 20 dollars.
I had several friends who had newspaper routes when I was in elementary school. Occasionally I would help a friend on his route. Whether I got paid for helping him I do not recall. In the summers when I was in high school, I did not do much work. I wasn’t clear about how to go about applying for summer jobs. On one occasion, after I had graduated from high school, I answered a newspaper ad for a job picking worms, which were sold as bait for anglers. It was a job where I stayed up all night, and wandered around a golf course with a tin can attached to each leg just above the ankle.
I carried a flashlight, and pulled worms out of the ground. I was told that some people could make good money picking worms. Maybe they had awesome hand-eye coordination and showed the requisite enthusiasm and drive to excel at this task. In my case, my first night of worm picking was my last. The part I liked the most about the job was walking through the city – what part of Montreal we were in, I don’t recall; it might have been the east end – and seeing the streets very early in the morning, before anybody was awake.
Royal Victoria Hospital
When I was studying at McGill University, after high school, I worked at a part time job at the Royal Victoria Hospital, washing radioactive test tubes at a research lab. I wore a lead-lined apron to protect myself from radioactivity. The research involved rats. I didn’t stay with that job very long.
When I was still at McGill, I applied for a job at the Banff Springs Hotel. The availability of such work had been advertised on the McGill campus. I arranged for an interview and afterwards kept on phoning back to see if I had a job. I think it was my persistence in phoning back that landed me the position. Once I was in Banff, I learned that many of the students working there, from universities across Canada, had landed their jobs because of family connections. I was in a separate category. I was hired because my persistence somehow convinced the maitre d’ of the hotel, who had been conducting the interviews in Montreal, that I would be a good employee.
Banff Springs Hotel
I worked in Banff for three summers starting in the mid-1960s. I began as a busboy and in subsequent years worked as a room service waiter and doorman. In the next two summers, by which time I had transferred from McGill to the newly opened Simon Fraser University in B.C., I worked as a captain waiter at Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper, Alberta.
Those were wonderful summers – my first year in Banff was my first time away from home. During those summers I traveled extensively, on my days off, through the Canadian Rockies and as far as Montana. I also had a letter to the editor published in the Calgary Albertan, in which I spoke approvingly of the economic policies espoused by John Maynard Keynes, a British economist whose ideas, called Keynesian economics, had a major impact on modern economic and political theory as well as on the fiscal policies of many governments.
Jasper Park Lodge
In the late 1960s when I was working as a captain waiter at Jasper Park Lodge, a Canadian Rockies resort with a clientele similar to that of the Banff Springs Hotel, I had the good fortune to meet Pierre Elliot Trudeau, who at that time had recently been elected as Canada’s Prime Minister. When he walked into the dining room at the resort, people gave him a standing ovation. He wandered into the kitchen area later, shaking hands with people, and also kissing the young women – waitresses and other staff who like most of the front line staff were university students from across Canada – who were hanging out in that area. He got permission from the young women before he kissed them. I remember one waitress declined a kiss from Trudeau. I had the opportunity to shake hands with him at that time. He came across as a very energetic, good-natured, and courteous person on that occasion.
My summer jobs in university were a great way to earn extra money and meet new people, especially after the lack of jobs while I was in high school. I also enjoyed the transcontinental train rides on the Canadian Pacific Railway from Montreal to Banff in May, and the return ride to Montreal late in August or early September. Seeing the changing landscapes as we traveled across the Canadian countryside has always been a delightful experience for me.
Toronto, March 2008