Question from Darryl Wade regarding Marlborough Golf Club in Cartierville
Darryl Wade writes:
I grew up in Ville St. Laurent on Somerset Road. Our house backed on to the Marlborough Golf Course. My father was a member until 1965 when the course closed to make way for a housing development. My brothers were junior members and club caddies.
I’m looking to find a scorecard for the course. Or a re-creation of the scorecard capturing the yardages etc.
If you can help with Darryl’s quest for a scorecard, please let us know.
Comments from Bob Carswell
I wrote to Bob Carswell, after receiving the above-noted message from Darryl Wade, and asked is Bob could explain what relationship the Marlborough gold course has to Ville St. Laurent. In reply, Bob wrote:
To answer your question, Somerset Road was partly in Cartierville and partly in St. Laurent. It still is to this day. Only thing is I am not sure where the dividing line is….I thought it was just above the old skating rink but I could be wrong. I would have to ask my cousin who lived on it.
Yes, it did back on to the Marlborough Golf and Country Club which went from a block north of Gouin right to the railroad tracks going to St. Eustache. I particularly remember the caddy tournament I played in some years before it closed (probably in the 1950s for me) and the 17th hole over a water hazard which was a par 3 and I got a hole-in-one on it. It will take a bit of work but I might have a route to some specific info if I get a moment to find it.
I just went back to the old site and noted the lengthy discussion we had on my 70th birthday that Jaan wrote about. I added some info [below] to it.
Because of where Somerset Road was located relative to Cartierville School. People who live up in St. Laurent but could not get to a St. Laurent school from there without driving down Somerset Road into Cartierville first, I guess an arrangement was made for them to attend Cartierville School as Klaus Vanderbaron, Barclay Allen, my cousins, and others did. When I was in Grade 4 in 1954 we attended class at the old Church of the Good Shepherd (built 1922) across the street and because of the babyboom, there were two classes taught side by side. I remember identical twins, Robbie and Wallace assigned one each to the two classes.
At a previous post, entitled Additional comments from Graeme Decarie – regarding Saraguay, Cartierville School, and Marlborough golf club, Bob Carswell has added a comment, which I’m reposting by way of bringing attention to it:
On May 22, 2019 Bob Carswell wrote:
I always note the coincidences. My 70th birthday was on November 18th when Jaan first wrote this. I took myself out for a steak expected to die by age 70 due to all of my disabilities. It is now mid-2019 and I am headed for 75. Who knew? Anyway, to answer a few points, I caddied for Elmer Lach at Marlborough. His face was full of scars as were many of those who played without defensive masks in those days. Also there were two caddy shacks, one as Eric Karbin described (an oipen air one right outside the pro shop and then the other at the end of Bruton Road’s walkthrough. They made a switch to the old shelter set up opposite the clubhouse on the east side of the 9th hole to clean up the image outside the pro shop. I worked out of both as a C then a B caddy. Marlborough was a source of income for most of us and no doubt was the first place I met a lot of you as caddying was in my blood with my great uncle building his house at the end of the 8th hole. It was located on Bruton Road, a place we regularly visited as his wife was the only living relative of my deceased grandmother (McKInleys of Ottawa) who survived beyond their 50s. She died at 56 and lost 3 siblings between 33 & 51. I have outlived all by their father so far. He lasted to 87.
On May 22, 2019 Jaan Pill wrote:
Good to read your comment, Bob. We are doing well.
Your comment prompted me to bring this post up to date, by way of reconfiguring it so that it functions as part of the newly designed website. This is a process that I’m working at gradually, with the aim of reconfiguring all of the posts, at this site.
Archival photo of Cartierville
I recently came across a Jan. 31, 2021 Facebook post from Peter Halliday that I want to share; Peter writes:
I posted this shot a few years ago, but because of the renewed interest in the Canadair shot below, I thought I’d re-post this one too. Some landmarks are visible already – the path of highway 15, the railroad tracks, Sacre Coeur hospital, the neighbourhood where MCHS would be built, in the lower center of the photo. I think the picture was from the 1950’s, but I am not sure when… If you want the full zoomable photo/file you can try this link:
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Wish you had corrected my typos…that’s what I get for being dyslexic. hahaha.
I also caddied at the course and just to add one of my school mates was a Gregory Guard his father was the head grounds keeper he lived on Summerset past the Wades house. I believe his house was at the border line of St laurent. and Cartierville. Gregory was killed in a tragic accident in St Laurent near Blue Bonnets race track off Decarie blvd.
Good to know of this detail Bob. I lived a ways east of the golf course but caddied a few times. I found it of interest to read that both Cartierville and St. Laurent had a geographical connection to the course.
I’m hoping that someone has an old scorecard, which Darryl Wade is seeking to locate.
Bob Carswell in a May 23, 2019 message has added to the discussion; I’ve included extracts from his message below. I will start with the comments from his cousin, namely:
Bill’s comments from old memories of living on Somerset Road in St. Laurent:
“We lived in the Ville St. Laurent section. Montreal (Cartierville) began after the next 3 houses to the north towards the river. The park on the east side of Somerset was just north of the cross street in the Cartierville section. The old CNR spur line and freight sidings to the Cartierville station were taken out some years ago. The Marlborough Golf Course was sold for development in the early 1960s.”
Bob Carswell comments, in response:
My cousin verifies my thoughts
My cousin got back to me. He confirmed that the road on the south side of the park (Rue Laurin) where we skated in winter in a rink set up there was actually just inside the borders of Cartierville. I then thought to look it all up on Google Maps and found my answers.
I think that would put Claudia Kurland’s house as the first one inside of Cartierville’s border as it was just south of that street or as Bill puts it, the border was 3 houses north of his house however, today with expansion, I can still find Cousin Bill’s old house and the Kurland’s house but there are now a few more than 3 houses between there and Rue Laurin.
If you look at Google maps for Somerset Road which are current as 2019 photos of the street, you will find that the border between Cartierville and St. Laurent is identified by a sign just south of Rue Laurin (keeping in mind that the main central part of the City of Montreal was south of this area.)
The Kurlands and my parents were all former WWII military types who partied together. My parents got involved with the Somerset social group which my uncle belonged to and he met the family there. Bud Kurland became a good friend of my father along the way during that period. One of their social activities was going bowling in Laval as I recall…I also filled in occasionally for a missing player.
Note when you look at Google maps for Somerset Road and especially that the old park Bill refers to below the whole area is now being turned into something else as they have it all boarded up and there is a French sign talking about dynamite blasting. Perhaps it will be turned into another Cartierville high rise? Something more to add to your story.
I will continue to see if I can get more details on the actual Marlborough Golf Course links and distances. Attached are Bill’s comments, however Google Map photos of August 2018 indicate that the school is totally boarded up although the grounds are being nicely kept and remind me of the seven years when I went to school there. (It was our main playground pre-1957 when I graduated.) I then headed into the city for the old High School of Montreal for 3 years and its sidewalk campus before transferring to MCHS back in Cartierville in 1960 when it opened.
One thing you should note in your comments is that every house you see on the west side of Somerset from Bruton Road to the CNR tracks on the south side but west of the old Val Royal train station bordered the east side of the golf club. Bruton Road did the same on the north side of the old Marlborough golf course. As a result, when we went to visit either of them, I could find an occasional golf ball in both my cousin’s yard on Somerset and in my great Aunt’s yard off Bruton Road, if they had not been collected by the guys who hit them there.
Here is a little added coincidence that you might find interesting about Cartierville. The old CNR train station there that I used for years was recreated in a classic jigsaw puzzle after it was torn down. The company that made the puzzle also had about 7 other classic buildings or houses in the puzzle collection.
One of those other puzzles was of a house in Kingsmere, Quebec, 17 miles from Ottawa and opposite the old Mackenzie King Estate there. It also happened to be one of the McKinley family homes….(my grandmother from Westmount and great aunt from Bruton Road in Cartierville were Ottawa McKinley sisters who married in Ottawa and settled in Montreal where their husbands worked). So, out of 8 puzzle designs they sold, I can personally connect with two of the locations.
I hope I have answered all the questions and added a bit of interesting history.
Hi, my name is Jay Swarbrick, My father was the last full-time golf pro at Marlborough. He was the head pro there for a couple of decades. I have fond memories of the place and many of the people. As a pre-schooler, I caddied and worked in the back pro shop cleaning clubs when they came off of the course and maintained the golf carts. My brother Jim Jr. did the same. My mother, Betty, worked in the pro shop selling golf equipment and renting the gold carts. It was a family affair, for sure. Sadly, mom and dad are gone now.
Wonderful to read your message, Jay. From your description, I can picture the scene – with all of the family closely involved. I never knew your mom or dad, but my sense is they were good people who lived productive lives, in a beautiful setting.
Graeme Decarie wrote on Jan. 6, 2020:
I was many hours as a happy caddy at marlborough. Then there was always a great hot dog lunch at a place across the street from the park. And then a visit to the shooting gallery at the park.
caddied many years there and recognize some of the names in post. played in caddy tournament many times. mr rose was the caddy master!. still have clubs given to me by mr armstrong whom i caddied for regularly. remember elmer lach and bernie geffrion in a group with caddies.
Comment from Graeme Decarie:
I remember seeing Elmer Lach in my caddy days at Marlborough. A great thrill. I was sitting in the caddy shack at the time – a moment to remember.
I just found this post when I was looking for the closing date of the Marlborough Golf and Country Club. The best I have found so far is the early 60s when the land was sold for redevelopment.
Your entry reminds me of a very strong visual memory I have when I was the caddy for Elmer Lach, the one and only time, early in my days as a caddy. I still remember the caddy tournament when I got a hole in one on the 17th green over the water hazard.Things come to me as pictures and they strong in my life to this very day, like seeing Jackie Robinson playing for the Montreal Royals in 1946 when I was 1-1/2 years old. I still remember seeing the first black man in my life, the glass entrance to Delormier Stadium (now gone) the blue “cheap seats” which I recently found in a photo, and eating my first hotdog. It was not only my first introduction to baseball but also that of my brother and British mother, the three of us arriving in Canada on the RMV Rangitata as part of the war brides program.
We were the family of a Canadian who had spent 4-1/2 years of his 6 years of military service in England, Scotland as a Canadian soldier, RAF pilot, and Navigations instructor, who saw action over Germany and Poland as a co-pilot of a Lancaster bomber. He returned to Canada as an RCAF pilot, was grounded due to his eyesight, and became the commanding officer (as station adjutant) of the No. 10 Early Flying Training School in Pendleton, Ontario, my first home in Canada.
We settled on Reed Street in Cartierville in a new 6-plex in 1945 and moved to a new house in Saraguay in 1951. I caddied at Marlborough until it closed. I was leaving the caddy shack on the course with my bicycle in the terrible rain when Hurricane Hazel came through Montreal in 1954. Fortunately, I found refuge in a classmate’s house just down the street on Golf Road where a birthday party for a sibling of his was going on I seem to remember.
The sudden storm scared everyone as we watched out the window, especially when two trees on the property were brought down by lightning in front of our eyes. Dried out a bit, after the storm had passed, I got on my bike for the mile and a half ride home to Saraguay. As I reached the Saraguay Estates, I could see the city crews at work cutting fallen trees at the entrance to Saraguay where the estates began. I counted 13 giant oak trees, probably 75 years old as I climbed over or worked my way around them to get home.
Like seeing Jackie Robinson when I was 1-1/2 years old, I remember this vividly. My caddying did not end when Marlborough shut down, I moved to the new Royal Montreal Golf Club on Ile Bizard where I caddied for a few years. Then Elmridge, the Jewish club, arrived there and I caddied there as well. I continued to play golf here and there at various events over the years, but never became much of anything. Like all sports I participated in other than downhill skiing, I was always one of the worst but I had fun. Skiing was my best. I often wonder why I am in the MMRHL Hall of Fame in Markham, other than because I was one of the founding members. Life is full of little stories. You just heard one of them. Enjoy.
Good to read your message, Bob. On March 2, 2021 we had a good Zoom conversation, where you shared the Hurricane Hazel experiences you’ve outlined above.
I remember Hurricane Hazel in 1954 from my vantage point standing outside on Lavigne Street in Cartierville. I was eight years old. The street was full of water. Was it six inches high, or a foot high? That I don’t remember. I remember I had never seen that much water on the street. So, in our case it was lots of rain. That’s my own memory of the day.
It was only many years later that I became aware of what was happening elsewhere, such as in Toronto along the Humber River and in Long Branch, on that day. It’s only now, as I write this, that I have taken a moment to picture Lavigne Street on that day, and all of the other streets in Montreal on that day, and to link those streets, to what was happening roughly within the same expanse of time in Ontario as the storm hit. It was many years later that I was to find myself living in Ontario, my years in Montreal now fading into the past.
Hi. My father Graham Hunter worked briefly at the club circa 1957. He remembers being recruited by a Mr Stutz. Perhaps of Swiss origin. Dad had travelled from Scotland and arrived with no job or accommodation. He was 20 at the time and he worked as a waiter. He thinks the membership fee was around 720 dollars “a huge sum of money” in his eyes
He was given the nickname scotty and loved serving the hockey stars. He remembers “Boom Boom” Jeffrion as a regular customer who lifted him off his feet at one point to move him fro the table he was working to the table Boom Boom needed drinks. Which would’ve taken some strength. Dad was a rugby front row forward. I guess Boom Boom just have been some guy. Dad mentions him often.
After a while he got a promotion. To the bar job he had coveted. There was a small bar in a cabin between the 6th and 16th. He says he made a mean Gin cocktail and needed a van to keep the ice stocks high enough to meet the demand for cocktails.
The club gave him a job and sorted his accommodation. There was an attic room he shared with another worker.
He enjoyed it throughly and speaks with gratitude of his time there and extends thanks and best wishes. to all connected to the club.
Greetings from Scotland. P
Good to read your message, Peter. The stories about the golf course brings back memories for me as well.
I’m a little late chiming in, but wanted to add that my dad was the general manager of Marlborough from 1954-ish to early 1957. I was only 3 months old in early 1957 when he went to Hamilton G and CC as the GM, so I don’t remember anything (my siblings possibly do). It’s nice to know that Mr. Stutz (who might have been my dad’s successor or perhaps the food manager) treated your dad so well. We didn’t live around the club … we were in Valois.
Wonderful to know of your connection to Marlborough, Rena. I find it of much interest to learn new things about the course through the great comments that arrive at the site, from those of us who still remember the days gone.