The Cee Bee Times
I wonder how many readers of this column remember the “Cee Bee Times.” I was a mere suckling when it premiered in 1960. This monthly news magazine was produced on a mimeograph machine from the office of Ron Pumphrey Enterprises at 209 Empire Avenue in St. John’s. It discontinued publication in 1963.
In a nostalgic moment, I dipped into the February 1961 issue to see what was on the mind of people in this region at that time.
A father and son from Carbonear were taken before court in Harbour Grace and charged with and convicted of committing breaches of the alcoholic liquors act. On the same day, another Carbonear man was charged with and convicted of similar offences. Before that, yet another Carbonear man was charged and convicted. In raids on the three houses, the Mounties found dozens of bottles of gin, rum, beer, wine and whiskey, all of which were claimed.
Doctors felt there was at least one germcarrier of tuberculosis in Harbour Grace. A survey was scheduled to determine his/her identity. “There could be two or more others,” the editor noted. “They may not even know they have T.B. and are spreading it.” An “unusually high” number of residents – 17 – had been sent to the sanatorium in 1960. “A big full-population X-ray and patch test survey was undertaken.”
Readers were asked: if you had your life to live over, what would you do? A woman in Carbonear joked, “I wouldn’t want to live my life over again, thank you! All the good-looking young men that I know here would be gone.”
A Carbonear businessman responded: “I am only 27. I still — I hope — have a long way ahead of me, a long life left. It would be foolish of me to go back, if I could, and start life all over again. As far as I am concerned, at my age, the best is yet to come. I can still plan and plot my life.”
Captain Peter Troke, sealing master of the “Kyle,” replied: “Well, if I had my life to live over I wouldn’t be a sea captain, although the sea has treated me well and I’ve been happy on it. I’d be a pilot. I’d take to the air. I love flying.” Meanwhile, he added, “There’s a lot of future for a young man.”
An enthusiastic group of cheerleaders submitted a tribute to the CeeBees: C is for CeeBees, the best hockey team; H is for Hockey, they are on the beam; A is for Alex, the favourite we lost; M is for Money, who cares what the cost? P is for Popular, they are with the crowd; I is for Ice, when they’re on we’re proud. O is for Open we are with the cheers, N is for Never will we leave the old dears; S is for Season that we long to see, Our Conception Bay team is the best one to me!
An addedum stated: “We — the CeeBee Cheerleaders, go along with George Faulkner’s statements...‘The CeeBees, to our minds, are as good as ever they were, and I’m sure the fans in Conception Bay think so, too.’”
In Shearstown, a couple were “the proud owners of no less than 50 little pigs — piglets’ as some people prefer to call them. First when they were born, the Dwyers put the little pigs under heating bulbs to keep them warm and to ensure their survival. The piggies averaged 25 to 40 pounds weight, and were of the quality variety, that is, they were — to put it plainly — ‘more meat than fat,’ or, more specifically, ‘bacon pigs.’”
Two Bay Roberts businesses were set to expand. One, Edward Mercer and his wife, who ran the former A.E. Mercer Store on Water Street, planned to tear down the entire front and rebuild a modern-styled one. “Meanwhile, they have modernized the interior by installing a grocery ‘island’ and by making it easier for people to walk around, handle the goods, and shop.” Second, Duncan L. Snow “has gone out on his own in sheet metal work, furnace and stove installations, etc., and he plans to develop the business and spread it throughout the area.”
Interesting times in Conception Bay!
— Burton K. Janes lives in Bay Roberts. His column appears in The Compass every week. He can be reached at email@example.com