On May 31, 2023 we met once again for a Malcolm Campbell High School picnic at a perfect backyard venue in London, Ontario

We had 12 people attending our MCHS picnic at Lynn and Mike Legge’s beautiful backyard in London, Ontario on May 31, 2023. We also met at the same location on June 15, 2022. Jaan Pill photo

As a follow-up to the Malcolm Campbell High School (MCHS) Sixties Reunion which took place in Toronto in October 2015, some of the Ontario-based grads from MCHS (a high school we attended in Montreal) have been organizing regular lunches in Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario.

At the link in the previous paragraph you may note that a number of people who lived in Montreal in the 1960s have left messages over the years – most recently early in May of the current year: Stephen Leighton writes (May 2, 2023):

I went to BHS [Beaconsfield High School] from 1964 to 1969. Influenced by Gordon Gilmore I went on to be a Physical Educator at Lakshore/Lester B Pearson school. Thirty three wonderful years at Beaconsfield High School. I also remember Ms Rosenthal. High School was six of the best years of my life. It would be great to get in contact with any students and staff from the 60s.

Good to know about Beaconsfield High School. I worked for over 30 years as an educator in Ontario, something that I would never have imagined, as a child, that I would someday end up doing.

Left to right: Nancy Hosier (MCHS 1964) and Marion Cole viewing 1963-1964 MCHS yearbook. Jaan Pill photo

Getting back to Malcolm Campbell High School, we met for some years for lunch at Mandarin restaurants. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we stopped meeting and later we started meeting again but outdoors. We’ve now been meeting for over a year at picnic events. Each person brings their own picnic lunch. Often (but there’s no expectation about this) some people also bring cupcakes or muffins or other treats to share.

The picnics are open to MCHS grads and teachers and friends and family of grads and teachers. We are an informal, welcoming group. People connected with MCHS living outside of Ontario are also welcome to attend. It doesn’t matter whether your connection is from the 1960s or from later decades. If you’re travelling from your home wherever in the world (after your years at MCHS) that may be, you are welcome to join us for a picnic. We have an email list to help with organizing. If you would like to be on the email list please contact me at jpill@preservedstories.com. Or you can just keep in touch with Lynn Legge or Gina Cayer. They are always up to date on the scheduling.

May 31, 2023 MCHS picnic in London

We met on a hot day (but cool in the shade) in Lynn and Mike Legge’s beautiful backyard in London. Aside from Lynn Legge (MCHS 1964) and Mike Legge, attendees included Mike Hosier (MCHS 1964) and Nancy Hosier (MCHS 1964); Marion Cole and Wayne Cole (MCHS 1964); Marianne Kerr (MCHS 1964); Gina Cayer (MCHS 1966); May Jolliffe and Jaan Pill (MCHS 1963): Janet Hardcastle (MCHS 1964); and Peter Reich (MCHS 1964).

Among the things that stayed in mind for me was a discussion about the fact that people’s personalities and ways of behaving as teenagers on occasion are vastly different from the personalities and ways of behaving when they are older. I have thought recently that some things that were characteristic of my own self way back then remain characteristic even now whereas in other ways I have a different point of view about a variety of matters.

People spoke about where they are living now in Southwestern Ontario and about different places they have lived in and travelled to over the years. Among those who have been visiting Montreal over the years, it was noted that St. Catherine St. has undergone many changes. As well, the neighbourhood along the Lachine Canal has changed dramatically. My own understanding of the changes in the latter neighbourhood has been mainly through reading about it. However, I also had the opportunity a year ago to drive along the Lachine Canal. I remember it was a pleasant view from my car. I would never had taken that route were it not for Google Maps.

In May 2022, I travelled to Montreal for a conference. That was the first time I had been back to Montreal for many years. I used Google Maps to guide my way. I drove along the 401 from Stratford, Ontario to somewhere around Cornwall – after which I travelled along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River and then along the Lachine Canal to my destination, which was the Royal Victoria College university student residence by the McGill University campus. I found the student residence a good place to stay. The conference I attended was not far away. I noted that ‘bicycle culture’ is quite well developed in Montreal. It was good to visit Montreal once again these many years later.

We are aiming to meet again in Southwestern Ontario in July and tentatively also in September or October. There has been talk of a picnic in June in Toronto but we are just at the discussion stage as I write this.

There is tremendous value in such events. I feel most fortunate to be in touch through our picnics with fellow MCHS students and their friends and families.

In remembrance

We extend our sincere condolences to our fellow MCHS grad Zen Levitzky whose son in law Ronald J. “Ron” Spearman passed away on May 17, 2023.

Ronald SPEARMAN | Obituary | St. Thomas Times Journal

We hold in remembrance as well our esteemed friend Graeme Decarie.

Graeme Decarie, 1933-2022

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