We have a question regarding archives, files, photos, etc. regarding MCHS grad Peter Parsons

The following message is concerned with an Malcolm Campbell High School (MCHS) 2015 page entitled:

Students and Staff Who Have Passed Away

We have the following question at the MCHS Grads Facebook page:

Louise Gaudette writes:

“I am sorry to hear about all classmates who have passed. I just went to the Preserved stories list and noticed Peter Parsons’ name. I am a ’71 grad, but knew Peter well for a time. Jaan,  if you have anyone in your files/archives I could contact about Peter, I would really appreciate it. Thanks/Merci.”


If you have any archives files, photos related to MCHS grad Peter Parsons, please contact me through this website or by email at jpill@preservedstories.com.

10 replies
  1. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    William Jacobson writes:

    I lost track of Peter after graduation in 1969. However, one think I remember very well was Peter practicing bagpipes in the basement of MCHS while we were trying to rehearse chamber music. I think the quartet was me, Teddy LeCouffe, Robert McMaster (also deceased) and perhaps Carol Hambly (Barton) or perhaps her brother Doug. Until that time, I never knew Peter played the pipes, and he spent some time explaining things to me, and letting me practice on his chanter.

  2. Doug Hambley
    Doug Hambley says:

    It wasn’t me as it was probably after I graduated in 1967. In addition, I didn’t know that Peter played the pipes! I lost track of him after his Mother died around 1967 and he and his older sister Pat moved. Before that, they lived on Lavigne St. (up the street from us) near de Salaberry. I did hear in the mid 1970s from John Moffatt’s younger brother that Peter had ridden across Africa on a motorcycle.

    We had quite the musical crowd! Teddy and John Moffatt ended up as noted musicians with major orchestras. I never played professionally but have played guitar publically on occasion and also play O’Carolan planxties and other celtic music on the penny whistle.

    Doug Hambley

    • Wendy Robson
      Wendy Robson says:

      Doug Hambley, (Wendy HOLDEN here; Hi C St Andrews and St L High School; I just found this.. There are a fair amount of 67 grads over at St L High School .(50 years since Expo year. Where are you now? (Belleville ret teacher; family everywhere else! ; . Mary Miles (Farrugia) , and some others have been wondering if anyone over at M C H S ever has information about JUDY TRENT (67-MCHS) who became Judy Symmons -sister Bonita (S L H S)
      When last heard ( M L S; McGill) of she was in Boston , then Ottawa with family . No one has heard of her since then.. (Believe Gerry Maffre still somewhere in Ottawa) Thanks for any info !

      • Doug Hambley
        Doug Hambley says:

        Hi, Wendy:

        I only just found this. I live in Lakewood, Colorado about 5 minutes from the Front Range of the Rockies. I am still in touch with Gerry Maffre who does indeed live in Ottawa. I have often wondered what happened to you and Judy Trent. I lost track of many friends when I set off for Queen’s in 1968 after Grade 12. I would love to hear from you!

        • Jaan Pill
          Jaan Pill says:

          [I am pleased to say that the discussion herein initiated has continued outside of this website. I am pleased that the site enables site visitors to continue to keep in touch these many years later.]

  3. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    I went to elementary school with Patricia Parsons when I was in Grade 7 (I think it was) at Morison School. I was wondering if Pat was related to Peter and I’m pleased I now know my assumption was correct.

  4. Daniel McPhail
    Daniel McPhail says:

    My family purchased and moved into the house on Lavigne St in the spring of 1967. Upon moving in we noticed written on the wall of the partially finished basement were the words “farewell old house”.

  5. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    That is a poignant message, from one set of owners to another. When we moved in to our house on Lavigne St. the building of it had just been completed. That was in the mid-1950s. In the spring of 1951, at the age of five, I had stood on the deck of a ship called the Gripsholm and had looked out at Halifax harbour as the ship headed into port. Immigrants such as myself generally arrived by ship in those days.

    I had said to myself, “Remember what you are seeing now. Remember this sight. This is where you will be spending the rest of your life.” Well, it turned out that we were stopping at Halifax only overnight. The next day we were on a train, with Toronto as our destination. When the train stopped in Montreal, my mother (who was in her early thirties at the time) had a quick look around and convinced my father (who by that time was in his late thirties) that Montreal was the ideal place for the family to settle down.

    They had left their home country, their former homes, behind. One day they had a home, in the country where they had grown up. Next day they were fleeing for their lives in the midst of the chaos and destruction of warfare. It was an experience that many people shared, of course. I’ve been reading about the history of the Second World War, and of the postwar era, for many, many years. Even now, new archives from those years are being opened up. I make a point of reading as much as I can, when historians publish accounts based on such archives.

    For a few years we lived in an apartment in or near the Snowdon district in Montreal, on a street on a very steep hill time that I think may have been named Ridgevale (it was subsequently renamed). I began primary school at Van Horne School not far from where we lived. It was at the bottom of the hill. Then we moved to our new house on Lavigne St. That’s how it happened that I ended up some years later at Malcolm Campbell High School.

    It was the Number 17 streetcar that connected Snowdon with Cartierville. I took many, many trips on that streetcar, in those years. When I lived in Cartierville, I continued over the years to attend community events at a location near the southern end of the Number 17 streetcar line.

    Sometimes I think about the fact, that whatever place a person lives at, it’s a stopping point along the way. Wherever we may live, we are visitors, passing through on our journey through life.

  6. Bob Carswell
    Bob Carswell says:

    Photo captions (note from Jaan Pill)

    When photos are posted within comments, we are not able (for technical reasons related to formatting) to attach captions directly to them. For that reason, here we list the captions separately, referring to the photos by number from top to bottom.

    Photo No. 1: The Ops Building, September 1940 RAF Biggin Hill direct bomb hit.

    Photo No. 2: Flying Officer John McKinley Carswell, pilot RAF, engaged to WAAF Assist. Section Officer and station cypher officer, Patricia Leonard. They were married in August 1942. The RCAF photo, taken at RAF Wigtown in Scotland in early 1942 was shot for later release with the couple’s wedding announcement in the Westmount and Montreal newspapers in Canada. They were married for 63 years before her death in 2005.

    Photo No. 3: Garland Station in Montreal

    Photo No. 4: No. 17 streetcar to Cartierville P.Q.

    The following comment is also featured as a separate post, in order to bring additional attention to it. The post is entitled: Bob Carswell has shared a comment and photos (about Garland Station, and Second World War) at a previous post seeking details about MCHS grad Peter Parsons

    Bob Carswell writes (March 25, 2020):

    I came across this at 4 a.m and thought I would add a bit to it. I probably rode on the Number 17 Streetcar for the first time around 1946 at the age of 1-1/2 years old when we went downtown to Delormier Stadium to watch a baseball game.

    It probably happened earlier but I don’t remember back that far. We sat on the wood laid into the cement seats painted blue and I saw Jackie Robinson come out and play baseball even though at my age then I did not know the rules of the game. It had a bat and a ball and men chased the ball that a man hit. Then a bunch of them ran in different directions.

    That is all I remember except for the one black face in a line up of whites faces, all in white suits and my first hot dog. I was able to identify my first memory because it was the summer of 1946 and by 1947 Jackie Robinson was playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. It took me many decades to realize that I am totally a visual learner as other ways of learning do not work well for me with my learning disabilities.

    As difficult as it was I loved to learn and kept going back to school until 1996, completing 4 university degrees in the process from three universities in two cities in different provinces. Still, my learning disabilities bother me every day, one way or another, mostly through typing mistakes. Thank heavens for Grammarly in recent years.

    If I can find them and hopefully they were saved to my Yahoo photos from attachments. I will forward some related photos for Jaan Pill to add to this post. [Note from Jaan: I’ve added four photos that Bob sent as attached files; I will add the captions in a while.]

    Reed Street in Cartierville and a new six-plex was my third home in Canada as my first was in Harrogate where I was born, my second was in the village of Pendleton where my father finished his 6 years of war service as the Station Adjutant and senior officer of the No. 10 EFTS (Early Flying Training School).

    Both my parents survived the war, my father among other jobs, served as a co-pilot of Lancaster bomber over Poland and Germany and my mother as an early plotter who survived a direct bomb hit on the Ops Building at RAF Biggin Hill that was virtually destroyed during the first year of the war when fighter stations were the first target of the Luftwaffe. That was 80 years ago now. RAF Biggin Hill was never put out of action even after something like 25 to 50 bombings.

    Fortunately, my mother suffered through PTSD early in the war whereas it only hit my father in 1947. My parents were married in 1942 and by November my mother was too pregnant to get into her uniform for much longer so resigned her commission to join her husband who had been sent to Harrogate into a new job. By then she had been senior WAAF officer at RAF Wigtown where she met my father in 1941 the day of her arrival after a year of the worst bombing just 8 miles from Croydon, which is south of London.

    Both RAF Wigtown and Harrogate where I was born were safe towns during WWII and not targets suitable for the early Luftwaffe bombers so after a year in the war zones people were moved to these locations and others like them in the northern UK where they could recover and do their work peacefully before being recycled for another year in the battle zones.

    Each station had a total contingent of 250 WAAF which my mother was commanding by age 22 as a Section Officer (equal in rank to a Lieutenant), having arrived there in 1941 as the station cypher officer. If you enter the name Pat Leonard in the Google search engine you will find lots of photos and details of her war service there which last two years and 7 months.


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