We’ve had some very fine comments recently added to a previous post entitled:
In order to bring attention to some of them, I’m pleased to share the following recent comments, from the above-noted post. Please note that to read the full set of comments, you will need to access the above-noted post; I have only include some of them.
Arleen Chenoll (June 11, 2018) writes:
Hi Jaan, I came across your blog suddenly when looking at some other information about Montreal. I remember Graeme Decariie not only from MCHS but I believe he also taught earlier at Parkdale. I was surprised to see a copy of the photo I took way back when where a group of my classmates are working in the snow. I am downsizing and have been looking at old photos…..can you believe I was looking at that original photo just yesterday and it is on my desk as I write this. What happened to Graeme Decarie, is he still in Moncton?
Arleen (Smith) Chenoll
Cheryl Nicholls writes (June 11, 2018):
Cheryl Nicholls has written the following comment at the MCHS ’60s Reunion Facebook Page; I am pleased to post it below (she’s given me permission to post it; also, I’ve broken the text into shorter paragraphs for ease of online reading):
I was in Montreal in May. We drove by the old MCHS and so many memories came flooding back. I graduated in 1966. We also drove by where we used to live on Guertin Street and on O’Brien to see our old houses. Everything has been so updated. Monkland train station is not there anymore. The train goes from Val Royal to Cote Vertu without stopping. The O’Brien shopping centre where Steinberg’s used to be is completely changed out. Did not recognize any of the stores there.
I also have a photo similar to the old black-and-white one that you show above. It is a picture of my friends and I on the skating rink that used to be beside Filion street across from the Transfiguration Church.
I had an amazing childhood in Cartierville and St Laurent. I have wonderful memories of going to Parkdale and Elmdale elementary schools and MCHS. I feel so lucky to have lived in Montreal during those years. But I guess it’s like what￼ they say – you can never go back.
In a subsequent comment at the above-noted Facebook page, Cheryl Nicholls adds:
It means so much to me to have these memories. Also forgot to mention that I think I remember Graeme Decarie as being the teacher who forbid us from dancing the ‘twist’ at our high school dances LOL. I think it was because it was too controversial a dance at the time?
Duncan Campbell writes (June 13, 2018):
This is certainly a very small world and the following interwoven comment will reveal why. As a native Montrealer I was a classmate of Graeme Decarie, the cousin of previously mentioned Arleen Chenoll [nee Smith], and a resident of Long Branch following a move to Ontario in 1953.
Graeme I admired and never forgot because he was so much smarter than me while in high school. There was no doubt in my mind that Graeme was bound to be an educator while I focused on a career in fine art.
I grew up in an area known as La Petite Patrie, went to Peace Centennial school, later to William Dawson, then graduated The High School of Montreal. While the area around Jean Talon and St. Hubert was predominantly French, there was a good sized Syrian community complete with a Syrian bakery that made for tasty stops coming home from school.
The original St. Hubert BBQ was just above Saint Zotique and Steinbergs just above Belanger, with a Woolworth’s in between. Near Jean Talon and St. Laurent there was a large outdoors farmers market and just north west the enormous undeveloped Jarry Park where one learned hockey, baseball and skiing. I still have my rations book from WW2 when we lined up to buy sugar, butter, meat and other war restricted provisions.
Moving to the Toronto area I lived in all the Lakeshore communities including Mimico, New Toronto, Long Branch, and finally Alderwood. My first household items were purchased at Long Branch Furniture. I worked at a large factory on what was then 7th street, now Islington, and our neighbours on Birmingham were Anaconda, Continental Can and Campbell Soup. Just below was Goodyear on Lakeshore Blvd.
In the 1950s steam locomotives still worked the roundhouse on New Toronto Street and the neighbouring community put up with constant ash fallout. The lacrosse bowl was on Kipling and the Long branch Race Track just above. 1954 Hurricane Hazel took its toll on all the communities and was devastating to experience as almost all bridges were wiped out by the force of nature.
Many fond memories of all communities.
Jaan Pill writes (June 13, 2018):
This is most interesting and remarkable – the connection to Graeme Decarie, Arleen Chenoll [nee Smith], and Long Branch!
We are hoping that Graeme, once he moves to Ottawa from Moncton, will be able to travel to Toronto for one of our MCHS luncheon get togethers at the Mandarin restaurant on the Queensway just east of Kipling Ave. in Etobicoke.
It would be wonderful if you could join us on such an occasion, or any other time, as a special – and honoured – guest. I would be pleased to arrange for transportation, in the event such an arrangement is needed.
That is remarkable: A high school classmate of Graeme Decarie.
I am interested to learn about your career in fine art.
It’s wonderful to learn about your Montreal connections. I remember the reference to the Peace Centennial school, in the NFB film about English Montreal, in which Graeme Decarie was interviewed, and which I’ve highlighted at a previous post at this website.
I met Bill Rawson of Long Branch Furniture on Lake Shore Blvd. West just a few days ago. His store closed down just recently. I was walking home from a workout at the Humber Fitness Centre around Twenty Fifth St. and Lake Shore Blvd. West when I saw him walking along Lake Shore.
Bill was on his way to the race track with a buddy of his. I got his phone number (he lives in Oakville) and look forward to continuing my interviews with him. I’ve posted some stories, that he’s shared in interviews with me in recent years, and have many more stories and videos to post.
I look forward to learning more from you, about Montreal and the Lakeshore communities where you have lived – and about your encounters with Graeme Decarie. Graeme wasn’t one of my teachers, at Malcolm Campbell High School, but I had dealings with him when I was on the student council in the 1962-1963 school year.
What stayed in mind, from those encounters, was that here was a teacher who demonstrated a characteristic poise and directness; these were qualities that I recalled years later, when I was helping to organize a Sixties Reunion of Malcolm Campbell High School grads.
As the work on the MCHS Sixties Reunion proceeded, I had the opportunity to speak with Graeme once again. Initially I spoke with him via email and later I met him in person (for an extensive series of interviews) in Moncton, New Brunswick, where he has lived for many years.
Graeme Decarie writes (June 13, 2013)
Wow! Duncan Campbell. You made my day. And you brought back memories of Peace Centennial.
And of St Hubert St. where I used to shoplift at lunch hour.
Great to hear from you.
I can’t remember being smarter than you. But you were certainly better looking than I was.