Our County Correspondents
110 YEARS AGO Friday, Feb. 24, 1905
J.B. Sauve’s promising trotter horse “Honest Joe,” gave further evidence of his speed at the Valleyfield races last week when he won three straight firsts.
After an absence of several years in the West, Eugene Macdonald is in town the guest of his parents Mr. and Mrs. H.R. Macdonald. Another visitor is Hugh McLennan of Antwerp, North Dakota, who is visiting friends at Laggan and Kirk Hill.
Only one in 22 years have more logs been taken in at Schell’s where payments for logs, teams and wages in January reached $9,404.67. The mill frame and machinery for the new Williamstown mill are ready for transfer and setting up and is said a large addition will be made soon to the machine shop.
The casting vote of the returning officer on Monday decided the election of L. Joseph Labrosse of St. Eugene as member of the Ontario House for Prescott.
100 YEARS AGO Friday, Feb. 26, 1915
Hugh McLean of Maxville has received word of the arrival in England of his daughter, Miss Catherine McLean, nurse.
A.G. McBean, Lancaster, has purchased the Sandfield farm adjoining his Thornhill property.
Miss Annie McPhee, 38-3rd Lochiel, left Friday last for Thessalon, where she has secured a position with the Thessalon Lumber Co.
In the new Legislative Assembly for Ontario which opened at Toronto last week, Hugh Munro, MPP, Glengarry moves up from the back benches to the front row where he is fifth from the leader, Mr. Rowell. This is the first time in 32 years that a Glengarry MPP has occupied a front row seat.
90 YEARS AGO Friday, Feb. 27, 1925
The community was shocked by the tragic death by fire early Sunday morning of two of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Cyrille Lacombe, Pearl, aged 12 and Paul Emile, 10.
Mrs. J.A.B. McMillan, station, fell and fractured her left arm on Sunday.
Rod McLeod left Dunvegan Saturday for Drumheller, Alberta.
Chas. Blaney of Maxville, recently purchased 16 Ayrshire cattle at Vankleek Hill.
Stewart Grant, Dunvegan, has constructed a radio and friends who listened in Saturday caught programs from CNRO, Ottawa.
Duncan Condie, 4th Ave., Lancaster, recently installed a radio in his home.
Donald A. McKinnon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Angus McKinnon, “Hillmount,” has been transferred by the Department of Agriculture, from Peterborough to Toronto.
Ivan Gunn and Archie Curry of Curry Hill, left on Thursday for Hartford, Conn.
80 YEARS AGO Friday, Feb. 22, 1935
J.K. Munro, son of Dr. and Mrs. A.T. Munroe, Dalkeith, has joined the local staff of the Bank of Nova Scotia.
While tobagganing near her home at Apple Hill Saturday, Lurline Dancause, six-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Dancause, suffered a fractured leg. It was the second time the young girl had suffered such an accident.
Miss Margaret Quinn of Curry Hill, left on Saturday for Montreal where she has secured a position.
At a recent meeting of the Board of Trustees of Alexandria High School, Alex Kerr was named secretary-treasurer to fill the vacancy caused by the death of his late father.
Mrs. Edgar Irvine left this week to spend two months at Southern Pines, North Carolina.
70 YEARS AGO Friday, Feb. 23, 1945
Raymond Lafontaine, 49, postmaster at Moose Creek, died of a heart attack Wednesday during a friendly hockey match between the married and single men.
Sgt. John M. Fisher, 29 of Bainsville, was killed in the crash of an RCAF plane after take- off at Bagotville, Que., Tuesday.
A son of Mr. and Mrs. John Fisher, Bainsville, he was an instructor in meterology.
Pte. L.J. Seguin, brother of Albert Seguin, 28-2 Lochiel, has been wounded in action overseas, as has been Gnr. Alfred Thomas Shorey of RR2 Martintown.
Mrs. Colin Campbell, Apple Hill, has received word that her son, Flying officer Hugh Campbell of the RCAF is wounded and a prisoner of war in Germany. He was reported in January.
The radio shop of Daniel Sabourin on St. Paul Street was destroyed by fire early Saturday morning.
60 YEARS AGO Friday, Feb. 24, 1955
Alexandrians are out to raise $80,000 or a substantial part of it, with which to build a plant for a new industry the S. Augstein Co. of New York will bring here. The company will repay 10 per cent of total cost each year and at the end of 10 years will purchase the plant for half the cost.
Ed Hunter, of Maxville, has received France’s Croix de Guerre with silver star awarded him for service with the RAF in World War II.
William Mullin, 63, Vankleek Hill area farmer, was killed Friday as he attempted to pull his car out of a snowdrift with a team of horses.
Joseph Vachon, a Dalkeith farmer, lost his left hand above the wrist Friday in a snowblower on his farm.
Lyall Leonard of Vankleek Hill, lost his car to flames Friday, when it caught fire just north of Alexandria.
50 YEARS AGO Thursday, Feb. 25, 1965
The roof of the big grandstand at Maxville was blown off at noon today by gusting winds.
The home of Rolland Massie, McCormick Road, was destroyed by fire yesterday afternoon. Robert Poirier, Green Valley, lost his barn Saturday.
A student at Teachers’ College in Ottawa, Kathie Shepherd won a trip to Florida in the Golf Club draw. Sharon Mitchell of Lancaster will accompany her.
Dr. J.R. Lacroix plans to move in June to Ottawa where he will take up a practice.
Mrs. N.W. MacCrimmon of McCrimmon, will be 91 February 28th. Mrs. Norman B. McRae, Vankleek Hill will join the over 90 club the same day.
40 YEARS AGO Thursday, Feb. 27, 1975
The SD&G county board of education’s French language advisory committee will be recommending to the board that a feasibility study be made on the possibility of setting up a parallel French-language administration at Glengarry District High School.
A record profit on the year’s operations was reviewed at the annual meeting of the Glengarry Farmers’ Mutual Fire Insurance Co. held Saturday at the head office here.
Aeration of Alexandria’s sewage lagoons, in the planning stage for several years, will probably be proceeded with this year, town council was told at last week’s meeting.
The opening of the expanded hospital at Glengarry Memorial will be held on May 12, 1965, the tenth anniversary of the official opening of that building.
30 YEARS AGO Wednesday, Feb. 27, 1985
A team from Glengarry Memorial Hospital placed second this past weekend in an annual CPR competition held in Cornwall. The group, which took first place last year, were beaten by a team from Winchester District Memorial Hospital. Members of the team are Maurice Menard, Micheline Jeaurond, Patricia Den Otter and Melba Murray.
Fire losses totalling $1.6 million dealt an operation loss of $ 240,000 in 1984 for the Glengarry Farmers’ Mutual Fire Insurance Co., shareholders were told during their regular meeting on Saturday. The year tied 1982 for being the worst on record in the local company’s long history.
20 YEARS AGO Wednesday, March 1, 1995
Two new doctors may be moving to Alexandria by May 1995, pending insurance of their Ontario licences; Dr. Robert Adams, GP, from Nova Scotia and Dr. Natod Likavcan is also interested in moving to the Alexandria area.
Glengarry Memorial Hospital is soon hoping to expand its services to include ultrasound testing, diabetes counselling, occupational therapy and speech therapy.
10 YEARS AGO Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2005
More than 120 cattle were killed in a massive barn fire at Boaudewine Hoeve Farm in Williamstown early Saturday morning. Emergency crews were dispatched to the Heron Rd. residence at 4:30 a.m. after neighbours spotted the towering flames. The owners of the property, Frans and Kelly Cornelissen, were sleeping when the fire broke out.
Marc Seguin, a physical education teacher at Elda-Rouleau in Alexandria, is featured in the recently released March issue of
magazine. An RCMP Chief Superintendent with Glengarry ties was recently promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner. Pat McDonell is a 24-year veteran of Canada’s national police force. Mr. McDonell is the son of Francis and Kathleen (née Masterson) McDonell of Loch Garry.
Mr. McDonell has a brother who is also in the RCMP. Chief Superintendent Mike McDonell is responsible for the RCMP Integrated Border Enforcement Strategy.
Spotlight on community
Early last autumn, I reported that Donat Leduc and his wife Sandy — along with team mates Pierre Leduc, Marie- France Leduc, Jean-Pierre Dicaire and team captain, Fern Quesnel from Moose Creek — had bested teams from Crysler, Embrun, StAlbert, Limoges and Casselman to win a two-day, multi- event Inter- village Challenge at the 2014 St-Albert Curd Festival.
While this was great news, the story was enhanced by the fact their group, the Dunvegan Pirates, promised to split the $ 3,000 prize between the Glengarry Pioneer Museum, the Dunvegan Recreation Association and the local recreation group in Moose Creek.
DRA President, Ben Williams, e-mailed me a few days ago to report that Donat and Sandy Leduc have just received cheques from St-Albert’s Cheese for the Dunvegan Recreation Association and the Glengarry Pioneer Museum. The plan, at least in the case of the DRA, is to hold a small ceremony at which Donat and Sandy Leduc will present representatives of the Association with the donation.
I also wanted to acknowledge the group’s generosity in this column. This sort of community spirit is all too rare these days and I am thrilled to see the Leduc family and the other members of the Dunvegan Pirates setting such a fine example.
Phone digit erratum
In last week’s story about the Dunvegan Soccer program and the fact it is in jeopardy, I expressed hope that a community-minded person would step forward and volunteer to be Dunvegan’s soccer representative on the Glengarry Soccer League committee. The only problem is that I messed up one of the phone numbers. Ben Williams is reachable at 613-5254006… NOT “527”. On the plus side, I did get Vivian Franklin’s number right: 613-527-3242.
Payphones: end of the
While we’re on the topic of phones, did you know that there are fewer than 56,000 payphones still in service across Canada? And if you think finding a payphone is hard now, you haven’t seen anything yet. The Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) just gave the telecom companies the green light to start mothballing the payphone network.
According to a fact-finding study on the role of payphones in the Canadian communications system that the CRTC ordered in 2013, only 32 per cent of Canadians surveyed say they’ve used one in the past year. The study also found that 636 of Canada’s payphones aren’t used even once a year, and nearly 11,000 phone booths average less than one call a day.
No doubt this decline in the once ubiquitous payphone comes as a result of the meteoric rise in the use of cell phones. However, not everyone in Canada has a cell phone or even a landline phone, for that matter. This is confirmed by the fact research has shown the majority of payphone users are lowincome households and rural Canadians.
With the CRTC’s blessing, telecom companies can now take payphones out of service, providing they give 60 days’ public notice. And this is where I think the train comes off the track.
In addition to the “public notice” proviso ( which will probably be a tiny ad buried in the bowels of a newspaper), I believe the telecom companies should be required to erect a sign right beside the pay phone slated for closure informing people of how they can share their concerns about the loss of the phone with local authorities. I’m not convinced that the people most adversely affected by this new policy are regular consumers of print media. And point-of-use notices would have a much greater chance of reaching the actual payphone users.
“Make your will...”
In November of last year, I did a piece on a few of the wartime experiences of Allan V. MacIntosh of Skye Road north of Dunvegan. It was to have been the first in a series of stories honouring the contribution of Dunvegan natives in the defence of this nation’s freedom. I regret that it has taken this long to revisit this important topic, but better late than never.
As you may recall, Betty Bracken, daughter of Roberta “Bertie” MacKinnon, lovingly assembled the information for this series. Betty’s mother, now a resident of the Maxville Manor, grew up in Dunvegan in the early years of the 20th century. And it is one of Bertie MacKinnon’s sisters (and Betty’s namesake) who I wanted to feature next: Elizabeth ( Betty) MacKinnon.
Betty MacKinnon died in 2009, so I was unable to speak with her directly about her role in World War II. But her niece provided a number of written accounts of the period. She also loaned me a couple photos of Betty. A strikingly attractive woman, her radiant smile can be seen in photos from the war, as well as one taken 40 years later upon her retirement.
After graduating from Cornwall General Hospital’s nursing program in 1942, and working briefly in Kirkland Lake and Cochrane, Betty joined the Royal Canadian Army. She was sent overseas in 1943.
Asked if she was nervous about working in an operating room, she said, “No.” So she was told to make her will and say goodbye to her family. Shortly thereafter, Betty joined the Fifteenth Can adian General Hospital in Italy. It was there she earned the prestigious Oak Leaf for her numerous instances of hospital duty under fire. As the Italian campaign wound down, Betty returned to England to join the Fourth Canadian General Hospital.
There she was promoted to operating room supervisor and worked 12-hour days, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., in a “casualty clearance” or triage station. Her role was to prioritize who received what treatment and when. On average, her unit performed over 60 operations a day in four operating rooms.
One of Betty’s most vivid memories was of D-Day when her hospital admitted and discharged nearly 1,000 people in a single day. One story in particular stuck with Betty. A severely wounded patient related how, after being shot in the groin, he lay bleeding to death in a mud hole. As he grew increasingly weaker, he grabbed fistfuls of mud and packed his wound in an attempt to staunch the bleeding. To everyone’s amazement, including his own, the soldier survived.
In 1946, Betty returned to Canada and worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Ottawa and Montréal at various veterans’ hospitals. On the 50th anniversary of D- Day, Betty remembered how her time at these post-war institutions back home was probably the hardest of all. “There I saw shattered lives and disabled young men; some we had treated after D-Day,” Betty was quoted as saying. “It was enough to make you weep.”
Two years later, in 1948, she took a postgraduate course in O.R. techniques at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. However, it wasn’t long after this that Betty’s country roots began to emerge. She found that life in big city life was getting to her. So, in 1951, she joined Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and became O.R. supervisor of the Deep River Hospital where she stayed for 32 years.
It was in Deep River that she met her husband, Les Culpepper. Born in British India, Les joined the Royal Air Force and fought in the Pacific theatre. After the war, he returned to India, but immigrated to Canada shortly after India was granted independence and landed a position in electronics at ACEL.
There, the two found the peace they so richly deserved, far from the killing fields of their youth. Greetings, Dalkeith. Woke up this A.M. and it was warm and the sun was hot, and I am so happy to have survived Winter. I think the birds are feeling frisky; they are consuming a feeder full of seed a day, and chatting it up.
Put Sunday, March 15 on your calendar, for the next Dalkeith Brunch. A good place to gather and chat with your neighbours while enjoying the yummy homemade food. See you there, 9 a.m. until noon.
Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead this weekend. Another sign that things are warming up around here.
I am asking you to save me your stamps. You can let me know when you have saved some up and I will pick them up. Or you can drop them off at the library for me. This project is for digging wells to provide clean water in developing countries. Thank you in advance.
Is there anyone out there who likes to paint murals? I am heading up a mural project of a scene of horses to be painted this summer on the DHS grounds in Dalkeith. Call me if this interests you.
Friends of the Dalkeith Library invites everyone back again for an indoor yard sale Saturday, March 28 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Contact Helen at 874-2337 now to rent a table.
Come for the bargains, stay for the conversation!
So until next week, keep smiling and singing a happy song as we roll along into Spring. Cheers, Maggie.