Biographies and Obituaries Page 3


Biographies & News Articles
Page 3

This page last updated on Tuesday, 11-Sep-2018 01:32:26 MDT













by Linda Kelly
John Benjamin Ferguson, who lived all of his life in Green Bay before moving to Little Current can’t believe that he has made it to the year 2000. He and his wife Flora will celebrate 70 years of marriage in September of this year. They met at a dance in the community hall on Highway 540 John said he “loved to dance.”
Some of the biggest changes seen by Mr. Ferguson were from horse and buggy to cars and tractors. The first car he can remember was one owned by his father Andrew, about 1917. He recalled that they would make shopping trips to Little Current about once a week and that he often was the driver. He noted that the roads are much better today, although he no longer drives.
The youngest of his family, John said he often skipped school to visit his aunt, Mrs. Lindsay Ferguson, who lived next door to the school in Green Bay. He went there to avoid going to school. He never really cared for farming, either, but said there was nothing else to do. His father owned a sawmill, and when he was older, he would fire up the boilers at the mill.
The toys they played with as children were homemade, Mr. Ferguson recalled horses that an older brother cut out of wood for them to play with.
When asked what was wrong with today’s world, Mr. Ferguson said he thought it was moving too fast, too many strangers had their own ideas on how things should be run. “Some work, some don’t,” he said philosophically.
Manitoulin Expositor, January 5, 2000


October 13, 1979, in Sudbury Memorial Hospital, Pearl Abbott passed away. Born in Sheguiandah, April 10, 1897, she was the only daughter of the late Francis and Jane Atkinson. She attended school in Sheguiandah, Little Current, Belleville and Gore Bay. Her duties as a teacher took her to Green Bay and Ten Mile Point. Several of her former pupils visited her in the hospital and attended her funeral.
In June of 1918 she married Alvin J. Abbott and settled in Sheguiandah. They had two daughters Vivian and Leila.
In 1926 she resumed teaching in the Anglican School on the Sheguiandah Indian reservation where she remained for ten years. Pearl Abbott was a very kind and dedicated Christian and her concern and help to both parents and children is still remembered by them.
In 1938 the family moved to Sudbury where she became very active in more church work and the Rebecca Lodge. Upon retirement in 1962 they returned to Sheguiandah.
The funeral was held October 15 at Eagleson Funeral Home. Rev. Thoms officiated and burial was in Elmview Cemetery.
The pallbearers were Vinn Baxter, Garfield Dunlop, Fraser Dunlop, Chris Dunlop, Lindsay Baxter and Kevin Dunlop, grandsons. Mark Dunlop, Leila Jean Atamaniuk and Leeanne Baxter-Sharpe, grandchildren escorted her brother, Roy Atkinson, Paul Atamaniuk attended the flowers
. Pearl Abbott was predeceased by her husband, Alvin, two infant children and two brothers, Carl and Lyle. She is survived by Mrs. Carl Baxter (Vivian), Mrs. Burt Dunlop (Leila) and a brother, Roy Atkinson.
No one will ever fill the void left by her passing in the lives of her daughters, their husbands, nine grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.
Manitoulin Expositor, October 31, 1979


by Linda Kelly
Born in Callander, Ontario, Irene was delivered by the famous Quints doctor, Dr. Dafoe. She moved to Little Current when she was nine years old. One of her first memories was as ‘the new kid’ in town, and that Georgina Putt befriended her and saved her from being picked on by other children. Vera Petch was her school teacher at the time.
Ed Perrault was born in Sudbury but came to the Island when he was three. Ed started working at the age of 15, building the dam at Long Lake. He lived in a bunkhouse while there and earned $2 per day.
Ed is best remembered however, as the milkman for Farquhar’s Dairy. In the 23 years that he worked for Farquhar’s he remembers driving five different horses, Molly, was a fixture in town for many years.
For fun, the Perraults played softball, curled, picked berries and fished. Ed remembered with fondness fishing at Rouse Island with Irene’s father, Wes Ryder.
When asked what he thought was wrong with today’s world. Mr. Perrault said that while Little Current has always been ok, that there were “too man Mike Harris’, to many want to be the rulers.”
Irene brought the problem closer to home saying that there was a time that two people ran our little town, now it takes two men and six girls to keep the community running.
“Why?” she asked.
Manitoulin Expositor, January 5, 2000


by Linda Kelly
As he looked out his storefront window, Barney Turner said one of the biggest changes in the downtown area was that there weren’t any big snow piles.
He recalled that in winters of the past, snow banks would line both sides of the main street since the snow was never carted away. Like Mrs. Morphet, he noted the absence of the train service and of freighters calling to the Little Current port.
Mr. Turner said that it was interesting to see the tour boats coming back in the summer. He said that in his youth many large ships sailed past Little Current but often didn’t stop. He remembered the day that he swung around a column in his store and placed his foot directly on that of Gene Autry’s. Mr. Autry’s yacht was in port and he had been doing some browsing at Turner’s. Although he never made it to Little Current, Mr. Turner said that the visit to the area by then President Roosevelt in 1943, was also a highlight for the area.
Mr. Turner also recalled the old men of his youth who would gather at the shoemaker’s shop, or at Herb Bryant’s gas station, to tell stories. Looking back, he wonders how these men lived, since they didn’t seem to work.
Mr. Turner said that when he attended school in Toronto in 1939 with about 500 other boys, he was dismayed to learn that only two of them knew where the Manitoulin Island was.
He returned to his hometown with the promise to put it on the map, and feels he has helped to do just that.
Manitoulin Expositor, January 5, 2000


by Linda Kelly
Keith Patterson has seen many changes in the Town of Little Current.
Sanitary services, water, and what he referred to as a “fairly reliable electrical system” were high on his list of positive changes.
He too recalled the days of Great Lakes freighters, log booms in the channel and the activity on Goat Island. He mentioned the improvements to transportation and highways and said his first car ride was with Gilbert May, son of Humphrey May.
Potts field and Brown’s field also played a part in Keith’s youth. He remembered skating there, first on spring skates, then on tube skates. Skating parties, complete with bonfires at night for warmth were a regular winter occurrence.
Mr. Patterson worked at the Manitoulin Expositor as a Printer’s Devil earning about $15 per week until he joined the RCAF in May of 1941.
From a generation with a strong work ethic, Mr. Patterson said he sees the “unearned right of the individual” as one of the problems facing today’s generation.
Manitoulin Expositor, January 5, 2000


BRUCE MINES--Long time Gore Bay resident and welder, Werner Dittmar, 68, died in a car accident on Highway 17 near Bruce Mines early Friday evening.
East Algoma OPP said Mr. Dittmar was alone in his vehicle, heading westbound on Highway 17, when he appeared to cross the center line near the crest of a hill, and collided with an east-bound tractor trailer. The fatal accident occurred just before 6 pm, about one kilometre east of the town of Bruce Mines.
Born Werner Richard Dittmar on February 8, 1932 in Niederrossia, Germany, the son of the late Franz and Bertha (Helm) Dittmar. Mr. (Werner) Dittmar had worked at INCO and Comstock, but was best known in Gore Bay as being a self-employed welder.
An avid hunter, fisherman, and boater, he led a very active life. He enjoyed playing cards and was often seen at the Drop-In Centre.
Predeceased by his wife, Heike, i 1966, he was father to Brian and Louise Dittmar of Gore Bay, a proud grandfather of Trevor, and brother of Hans and Christa Dittmar of Gore Bay. He is also survived by three brothers and two sisters, and their families in Germany.
A memorial service will be held in the Wm. G. Turner Chapel of the Culgin Funeral Home this Saturday, July 8 at 11 a.m.
The investigation into his accident is on-going. The East Algoma OPP said a technical traffic accident investigating is assisting uniform members in the investigation. Highway 17 was closed for more than an hour and traffic was rerouted around the accident scene during the on-site investigation.
The driver of the tractor trailer was unhurt.
OPP said no charges have been laid, and none are anticipated.
Manitoulin Expositor, July 5, 2000


By Edith Chisholm
Julian Chisholm was born March 2nd, 1905 at Sheguiandah. His father was Alonzo Chisholm and his mother was Lily Spry. To this marriage were born three children, Faye, Julian (Jule) and an infant who died when very young. Jule’s mother died when he was two and one=half years old and he and Faye came to live with his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. James Spry, and two uncles James and Alfred Spry. In 1912 Alfred Spry married Lily Snow. James Spry never married, but lived on the homestead with his parents. Grandmother Spry died in 1914 and Grandma Spry in 1921. Jule and Faye made their home with their Uncles and Aunts until they were married.
Jule went to the first Public School built in Rockville and after he finished school he worked for his uncles on the farm, Lot 22 and 23 Township of Bidwell.
Jule Chisholm and Edith Tustian of Billings Township were married at Little Current in 1932 with no frills or fuss and lived with the Sprys for the first two years; then building a house of their own – at least a frame completed and a kitchen and bedroom. As time went on they gradually finished rooms as our family grew our home grew too.
Alfred, Lily and Jim started a tourist camp in 1927 and as years went by Jule and I worked with them and finally took over the business, which had grown from two cottages when we were married, to nine cottages. Much time and hard work went into this business and although we thoroughly enjoyed the work and all the wonderful people we met all through the years, and made many life-long friends. In 1967 we felt that it was time to make a change, the demand was getting greater for better accommodations; the decision was made to sell – not as a camp but to private families, so contacted people who had been coming to Manitou Haven many years and now have nine wonderful families owning our cottages, and they, as well as we, are very happy with the change. The summer of 1968 was the last year to operate as a camp. We still have the Lodge of which part was the log house built by the Spry grandparents and we live in it during the summer and still continue to do baking on order, which is very nice work for summer work.
Our family numbered four, Richard Alfred, Julian Spry, Barbara Lily and James Grant. All our family had good health except our eldest son Richard who became a diabetic when he was twelve years old, but with diet and insulin and a few trips to the hospital grew up and lived a fairly normal life.
In 1951 he married Jean Bailey of Evansville and they had three children, Marilyn, Julianne and Alfred. Dick continued to doctor but finally his health failed and he passed away Jan. 6th, 1967 in his 34th year. Dick and family lived on a farm in Snowville.
Julian Jr. married Doris Howard in 1952 and have two children Brock and Ruth. Barbara married Orion Aelick in 1953 and moved to a farm, Honora Bay. In 1965 they moved to Burwash where Orion works at Ontario Industrial Farm as a guard. They had five children, Michael, Carol, Cheryl, Kevin and Nancy. Carol died in 1956 age 1 month. Cheryl was born deaf as a result of her mother having German Measles during early pregnancy. Cheryl attends the school for the deaf in Belleville and seems very happy there.
James married Helen Cosby in 1957 and just couldn’t list the number of places lived or types of work done. They have two daughters, Kimberley and Bonnie Sue. They have built a nice home in Espanola and James is on the Police Force there. This makes a total of eleven living grandchildren.
Jule was councilman of Howland Township for eighteen years and served as Reeve for two years.
When our children were small we would travel with horse and cutter over the bluff to West Bay and on to Billings to visit my parents Mr. and Mrs. Richard Tustian and I always drew a sigh of relief when we were up and down those hills. I remember once when Dick was small we drove with team and buggy to Long Bay to visit Bernard and Elaine Felix – Such a long trip – now we scarcely see a horse - just cars and snow machines.
We had many nice trips – three times to Western Canada to visit the Sterling relatives (Mrs. Sterling was a Spry) and have had some nice trips to the sunny south to escape some of the cold and snow of Manitoulin.
It’s nice to travel and see other parts of the country – the prairies, the Rockies are worth seeing, but it is always so nice to return home safely. Home is Best.
Through the Years, April 1984, pages 20-21


By Zella Spry
Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Cannard came to Rockville from Oshawa in the fall of 1878. Mr. Cannard had worked in a foundry in Oshawa and for a number of years after coming to the Island went back to work every winter, thus earning some money which he was unable to do on the Island at that time. One spring, he brought a horse up with him and it later took lock jaw and died.
They came from Manitowaning to Demmy’s Landing by boat. They had eight children. The twins, Maude and Walter were nine months old when they came. The other children were Harry, Lucy, Pheobe (who died quite young with the flu), William, May and Orilla. Elgin was born in 1881, three years after they moved here. Joseph in 1883 and John in 1884. Four of these children were deaf and dumb.
The family lived for a few months in a shanty with the Demmy’s and another family by the name of Rareden’s, but when Raredens quarrelled and threatened to shoot each other, Mrs. Cannard became so frightened they slept a few nights under some boards propped up until they could build a shanty. They built by the creek now called Cannard’s Creek, across the road from the school house. They lived there until they could clear some land; then built a better shanty where Harry Sheppard’s rhubarb patch is now.
As they cleared the land with oxen which Mr. Cannard broke in, after his horse died, they were able to plant potatoes which grew well as the land was new. Many a time Mr. Cannard walked to Mase Burnett at Sheguiandah to buy a bag of flour which he carried home on his back.
Joseph Cannard died of appendicitis when a young man.
Jack married Dolly Thompson who taught school in Rockville from Sept. 1, 1911 to June 29, 1913.
If they got mail they had to walk to Manitowaning, twenty-five miles for it. Later the post-office came to Honora.
There were no roads then only trails. The road between Cannards and Newbys was made in 1884. Mr. Wm. Skippen was the foreman of it.
When the trip to Manitowaning was made there were groceries to be brought home. Those were carried to Vanzant’s Landing, three miles from Manitowaning. Mr. Vanzant would bring them across the lake in a tug. Once when the tug broke down Mrs. Cannard had only one-half loaf of bread. This she saved for the little children. The older children and her self lived on raspberries for four days.
Mrs. Cannard would go picking cranberries about two miles north of their house, back of Parkinson’s. The bush was so thick she would take a ball of yarn, which she tied to a tree when she went into the bush. When she had finished picking she would start winding up the yarn, which she kept with her all the time following the yarn so in that way she was able to find her way home again. Game was very plentiful, especially rabbits and partridge. There were no deer at that time although bear were very numerous.
Mr. Cannard died in 1903, after which Jack Bailie of Billings, who had married Maud worked the farm for a number of years now.
Jack Cannard then took the farm over and sold it to Harry Sheppard in 1919.
Through the Years, April 1984, pages 17-18


By Mrs. Alfred Newby
Albert Major Newby was born at Shadwell, Norfolk, England in 1879. He was one of a family of fifteen children.
At the age of fourteen he took a course in cooking at Rennilsom Hall, Suffolk and later went to France to learn the art of French pastries.
For many years he was cook at Bell Hotel, Suffolk.
He joined the American Army and fought in the Spanish-American war – spending sixteen years in the Philippines.
After the war he farmed for three years in Harvey, Australia.
When World War I broke out he joined the 52nd Battalion and came to England in 1915 going from there to France. He spent four years there.
Later he came to Canada and in 1927 married Sadie Harper of Toronto. They operated a restaurant in Little Current from 1926-1932; then sold it and moved to Lot 5, 4th Concession of Billings where they had a very successful tourist business, until Mrs. Newby died in 1946.
Major passed away three years later in Feb. 6, 1949.
Through the Years, April 1984, page 21


By Mrs. Harvey Spry
Mr. and Mrs. Adam Demmy with the James Sprys were the first white settlers to come to Rockville. They came to Manitowaning by boat and landed at Demmy’s Landing where Harvey Sheppard waters his cattle now. Mr. Demmy chose to land to the right of the road and James Spry to the left.
Mr. and Mrs. Demmy had four children, Elizabeth (who was 18 when they arrived), Margaret, 16 and Joe and Bill.
They were very generous people and one was always welcome to what they had; but as no one had much; visitors were usually given a meal of grey peas. There were called for years “Demmy’s Peas.”
Mr. Demmy later sold his place to Albert Sheppard, Sr., and moved to Cheboygan, Michigan where he lost all his money. He then returned and lived in a shanty for years – where is now Harvey Sheppard’s pasture – across the concession from Jim Moores.
They were very poor and lived on what the neighbours gave them – mostly buttermilk. Mrs. Demmy used to wave her arms and yell at the sea-gulls carrying suckers so they would drop them. These she took home to cook.
Mrs. Demmy never wore shoes as she had only one pair. When she went to West Bay she would walk over the bluff – then only a trail, in her bare feet and put her shoes on when she was almost there – removing them again to come home. Louis Corbiere is a grandfather of the older Corbiere now living in West Bay.
In later years Mrs. Demmy became ill and went to live with her daughter Margaret (Mrs. William Phillips of Cheboygan.) When she died, her body was brought to Cold Springs, Honora for burial.
Mr. Demmy stayed at Albert Sheppard’s one winter; then Mr. Sheppard took up a collection from the community to take him to Cheboygan. Mr. Demmy was buried in Michigan.
Through the Years, April 1984, page 23


By Mrs. W. Parkinson
Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Parkinson came to Manitoulin in 1878 from Jarvis, Ont. They came to Sheguiandah on the “Northern Belle” and stayed with a family named Nevills for the winter. In the spring they moved to Rockville, in Bidwell township, Lot 25, 6th Concession.
They built a barn and lived in part of it. The building had no windows and candles were used for lighting. There was no land cleared on their property and Mrs. Parkinson worked with her husband to clear it. He brought a team of horses and considered himself lucky as many were using oxen.
Joshua Parkinson was originally from Kirby, Lonsdale, in the county Lancashire, England. His wife, Mary Jane was born in Scotland. They were married at Jarvis, Ont. On Nov. 14, 1868.
They had three children when they came to Manitoulin – Elizabeth (Mrs. Wesley O’Brien of Green Bay) born Sept. 15, 1869. Robert born Feb. 12, 1872 and William born on July 28, 1877. One daughter Rebecca Ann – born Apr. 5, 1874 died May 21, 1875. Richard and Wellington were born at Rockville – Richard Aug. 27, 1885 and Wells on Apr. 3, 1888.
Mary Jane Parkinson died Dec. 25, 1927.
Joshua Parkinson died in March 1915
Through the Years, April 1984, page 25


By Mrs. A. Newby
William Stevens was born in Canterbury, England in 1842. He married Caroline Brenchley from Boroughton, England. They came to Ontario and settled at Scarborough Junction with four children in 1884. The children were Mary Ann (Mrs. Alfred Newby, Rockville), Emma, William and Jim. One son Harry died in England. Alice (Mrs. Wm. Granger of Gore Bay) and Thomas were born at Lesterville, Ontario.
The family moved to Manitoulin in 1895 with a democrat to the Steven’s Place on Lake Manitou.
In 1919 Mr. and Mrs. Stevens moved to Gordon Township and lived with their son Jim until Mr. Stevens passed away in Feb. of 1920. Mrs. Stevens then moved to Collingwood and lived with Emma till her death in 1924.
Mr. and Mrs. Stevens are buried in Gordon Township.
Through the Years, April 1984, page 26


By Edith Chisolm
Mr. and Mrs. James Spry brought with them their family of three boys and four girls. Another boy and girl were born here.
The family worked together and cleared land. The older children got work whenever they could to help provide for the rest of the family.
In a matter of eight or ten years a school was built. In 1900 His Majesty’s Mail Service was extended into Rockville. Mr. James Spry was Postmaster. This office he held until his death in 1921. Previous to this the settlers had to go Manitowaning for their mail and later on to Green Bay. The former trip was made by boat to Vanzant’s Landing and then on foot the rest of the way.
Lewis married Rose King of Massey and lived in Rockville where Bernard Felix now lives, then moved to Mindemoya in 1918.
Jim never married and lived on the homestead until his death in 1946. Lily Spry married Alonzo Chisolm and lived in Sheguiandah until her death in 1908.
Belle married Harry Sheppard and lived in Rockville until her heath in 1906. Hattie married Albert (Doc) Sheppard and lives on the Sheppard homestead. When Lilly Spry Chisolm died she left two small children, Faye age 5 and Julian age 2 ½. They came to live with their grandparents Mr. and Mrs. James Spry. Emma Spry’s daughter married Gordon Bickell.
Alfred became Postmaster when his father died and held this office until Sept. 1952, when Rural Mail came daily from Mindemoya, carried by Charlie Cadieux. As tourists came to Manitoulin Spry’s became a popular resort and they adopted the name “Manitou Haven.”
Through the Years, April 1984, page 28


Mrs. Hartley Celebrates 90th
Martha Jane Hartley (nee Neely) was born at home way back in 1894. Back in those days, she remembers, there was only one doctor for miles around, Dr. Davis, and the Red Cross which operated out of Mindemoya. There were no vaccinations of the kind we have today, so understandably illnesses such as mumps, measles, chicken pox, and scarlet fever ran rampant over the Island. Mrs. Hartley was born in Gordon township but lived for a while in Perivale where her father worked a grain farm. When asked about bears on her farm she said, “Oh, yes, and my grandmother used to say wild-cats too. I don’t know what they were but they were bad.”
Later Martha’s family moved to Burpee, a town that was known then as a rough area and appropriately nicknamed “Hell.”. Mrs. Hartley remembers one Christmas social that turned into a slug fest because of a slight disagreement. Martha’s father didn’t care too much for the wild environment of Burpee so he moved the family back to Gordon township. But Martha didn’t mind. “Gordon Township was always my home,” she said.
Martha attended a log school in Gordon with only one room until grade eight. The she moved up to high school in Gore Bay until the first World War broke out. At that time, teachers were in great demand. Anyone with a single year of high school education was legally permitted to teach public school. Mrs. Hartley taught for two years at Big Lake. She earned $375 for her first year less $11 room and board each month, a far cry from what teacher’s today earn, but we must remember that costs of goods in that day were also extremely low as compared to todays prices.
Women’s fashions of the day consisted mainly of long, dark coloured skirts and blouses, but absolutely no slacks or shorts. Later on, Martha remembers, Bermuda-style shorts were accepted providing they were long enough. But she refused to wear them. “I guess I’m old fashioned…I know I am. I’ve NEVER worn slacks in my life.”
When the topic turned to religion, it was very obvious how important the subject was to Mrs. Hartley. Religion was part of almost everyone’s life then – a very essential part. “It was a lot more important than it is today. We went to Sunday School every week. We never thought of not going.” She attended the Methodist church that used to stand on the corner of the Ted Strain farm.
For entertainment, the ladies often organized box socials. These were get-togethers where the ladies prepared a lunch and packed it in a box they decorated themselves. These would then be auctioned off to the highest bidder. The lady who prepared the lunch would then eat with the man who bought the box she had made. It was a good way to meet a nice young man. But, of course, this could backfire. Mrs. Hartley told the story of once having her box bought by a “mean looking character with no teeth.” “But,” she said, despite his looks, “the man was very nice.” He just had trouble eating his food. Besides socials, the ladies planned square dancing and waltzes. They also held quilting bees. “But you had to be good with a needle or they wouldn’t want you on their quilt.” Martha said with a smile. She also said that sometimes she would crochet or just do general sewing to amuse herself.
A major issue of the time, Mrs. Hartley recalls concerned prohibition. Although this was only put into effect across the border, temperance meetings were held regularly on the island around the years 1904-05.
Martha Hartley also remembers traveling by Democrat, that is, being pulled on a two-seater buggy by two trail horses down the narrow, bumpy dirt roads that covered the Island during the early 1900s. In the winter those same two horses would be hitched to a cutter which they’d pull across the deep snow. No road was needed then and the cutter made a much smoother ride than the Democrats.
The first car that Mrs. Hartley ever remembers seeing was owned by a Mr. McGregor of Gore Bay in 1903. She couldn’t quite remember what make it was, but “it was nice enough in its day.” She also recollects the mail boat that came into Gore Bay harbour. The EDNA IVAN named after the Purvis children, a very prominent family in the region. She said that there weren’t many ships for personal enjoyment then like nowadays. There were used mostly for industry like log booming in West Bay. The only other method of transportation during that time period was by foot.
Mrs. Hartley has just celebrated her 90th birthday, on June 21, 1984. We wish her many happy returns and thank her for her time.
Through the Years, July 1984, pages 19-20


By Michael Erskine
LITTLE CURRENT—Age has its rewards and pitfalls noted Hannah Rush, as she celebrated her 90th birthday with family and friends at a party in the United Church hall.
Born in Saskatchewan, Mrs. Rush moved to the area in 1934 with her husband, the late Everitt James Leach.
Mrs. Rush and her husband settled in the “big town of Willisville” to raise their eight children.
There are now 20 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren who can trace their lineage to Mrs. Rush, with one more great-grandchild “on the way.” Over 80 people turned out to help Mrs. Rush celebrate her 90th, and they were greeted with fancy sandwiches, tea and coffee and three large birthday cakes. “They had to make three,” laughed Joan Leach-Streich, the daughter who lives with Mrs. Rush during the winter. “You wouldn’t have been able to feed that many people with just one cake.”
Mrs. Rush has seen a lot of changes in the area, since she arrived as a young bride. “We had to cross over on a scow, a kind of ferry they had here,” she said. “The swing bridge was only for the train at that time. Now they have all the railroad tracks torn up and gone.”
The loss of her children were the most memorable thoughts Mrs. Rush had about her long life. “You shouldn’t outlive your children,” she said sadly.
Still, the support and joy of being surrounded by her family and friends made for a delightful day.
Manitoulin Expositor, March 27, 2002


By Michael Erskine
THORNTON—They came by fax and they came frequently but, sadly they will come no more.
Outspoken and prolific letter-to-the-editor writer Peter Eric Sticklee died suddenly of complications from an abdominal infection at his home of 18 years in Thornton on Friday, July 26.
Mr. Sticklee was born on January 5, 1939 in Dartford, England. He became a Canadian citizen on July 17, 1958.
He leaves behind his wife Joanne and four children, Ronald, Laura, Jason and Tory.
Known for his staunch conservative views, Mr. Sticklee wrote hundreds of letters to over 30 newspapers across the nation, for over 20 years.
“Peter Sticklee has been writing letters here for about 25 years,” said Expositor Publisher Rick McCutcheon. “In some miraculous way he kept his finger on Manitoulin life from far off Thornton. The Expositor sometimes received a letter from him on a topic covered in Wednesday’s newspaper, a newspaper he could not possibly have received by Thursday, when the Expositor received his faxed commentary. I suspect he had his sources,” Mr. McCutcheon chuckled.
“He felt very strongly about freedom of expression and the importance of balanced reporting,” said his 23 year-old son Jason Sticklee. “When he read something which had what he felt was a biased slant, he went out of his way to reply to it.”
Mr. Sticklee was sometimes accused of being a ‘mouthpiece for the Progressive Conservative Party,’ but it is a charge which his son said he vehemently denied. “He was a man of conservative views, of course, he named his youngest son Tory after all,” said Mr. Sticklee. “But, he was not writing to support any particular party, rather he was expressing his small-c conservative views.”
“He wrote from a decidedly conservative view-point, he was consistent about that. By using letter space in the way he did, in the large number of newspapers in which his letters appeared, it is clear Mr. Sticklee is a democrat,” said Mr. McCutcheon. “He was a champion of debate, and debate must be fundamental to the democratic process. He also realized that letters to the editor, topically written, is an exceptionally useful way of reaching thousands of citizens.” Mr. Sticklee was well-known across the North as a sales rep for Big John Lures, and he was fondly remembered by friend Blaine Williamson of Hill-top Sports in Mindemoya.
“It is quite a shock,” he said. “He was a good man.”
Peter Sticklee, the man, was also an avid outdoorsman and for many years the outdoor sports columnist for the Toronto Sun.
After his retirement as a writer and salesman, he turned down numerous jobs as a columnist for a number of newspapers.
His love of fishing defined a great deal of his character, according to those who knew him best, and he was the co-founder of the popular Annual Great Salmon Hunt.
He was active in local politics, the Barrie Masonic Lodge and the Shriners, showing a character which cared deeply about society and the well-being of the world around him.
In the 1970’s, Mr. Sticklee became a bona fide hero, with a citation from the Niagara Regional Police for pulling a group of boaters out of the water. While Mr. Sticklee’s views often ran counter to the editorial views of the Manitoulin Expositor, his staunch and articulate expression of his point of view provided a valuable counterpoint and second opinion on the issues of the day. There was no hypocrisy or into of ‘political correctness’ to be found in his writing, Peter Sticklee was definitely not concerned with political correctness, and he was known to have a stern suggestion for the Tory government, his last letter to the Expositor (Writer calls on government to keep medical graduates in North, July 24) called on the government to implement a method of ensuring graduates of medical schools stay in Northern communities for at least three to five years. “If we are going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to build medical schools in the North,” he wrote, “there must be a way to guarantee the grads stay for a given period.”
People who stand up and speak their mind on issues they believe in, no matter how contentious those views may be, are one of the key bastions of our rights and freedoms.
He will be missed.
Manitoulin Expositor, August 7, 2002


Verna and Stewart Middaugh celebrated their 70th Wedding Anniversary Saturday afternoon at the Manitoulin Centennial Manor with family and friends, including their son Freeman. The Middaughs were married in Little Current on April 27, 1932 at the United Church. Mrs. Middaugh was born in Tehkummah township, while Mr. Middaugh was born in Big Lake, where he still resides. “I live only 200 yards from where I was born,” said Mr. Middaugh. He added that his marriage longevity was due to the fact, “I listened to and did what she said,” he laughed.
Manitoulin Expositor, May 1, 2002.


by Michael Erskine
LITTLE CURRENT--Fifty years ago, Lloyd and Mary Mann walked up the aisle of St. Andrews United Church in Sudbury.
The young couple, he was 19 and she a year younger, made a commitment to each other, in sickness and in health, for as long as they both should live. A commitment which never wavered, even when Mary was diagnosed with Multiple Systems Atrophy 32 years later.
“We were childhood sweethearts, as they say,” said Mr. Mann. “We grew up together, we went to school together and we have been together all of our lives.” Mr. and Mrs. Mann celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary at Manitoulin Centennial Manor this past October 17. Mrs. Mann moved to the Manor two years ago, when the debilitating effects of her condition forced her departure from the specially-built home in Mindemoya Mr. Mann built upon retiring from Falconbridge 17 years ago.
“I just couldn’t take care of her well enough anymore,” said Mr. Mann. The cumulative effects of sleepless nights and rarely being away from home longer than 20 minutes at a time finally took its toll and Mr. Mann had to turn over some of the care of his beloved to the professional nursing staff.
Mr. Mann is not beaten by any means. “I try to make it out at least every second day,” he said. “We are very close.”
Mr. Mann said he was very pleased with the level of care his wife receives from the Manor staff, and he was very touched by the efforts they made to make the 50th anniversary celebration special.
“The staff at the Manor went all out to make a good due,” he said. “We really appreciate all the effort they went through for us.”
The couple moved to Mindemoya after Mary’s condition became evident. “We moved to be closer to our only daughter, Deborah Burdenuk and her husband Gordon. Mr. Burdenuk is a dentist in Mindemoya. Their daughter was at the party at the Manor, helping to celebrate her parent’s extraordinary lifetime of devotion to each other.
“Mary is the last one in her family,” said Mr. Mann. “Her sister died giving birth and both of her brothers had aneurysms around the heart in their 50s.” The affliction which struck Mrs. Mann can be terribly isolating. The condition interrupts the flow of information from the nervous system to the muscles, making movement and speech impossible.
“Her muscles are hardened right up, but she can’t move them,” explained Mr. Mann. “She is a bright vivacious lady, this has really been hard on her.”
Mrs. Mann’s condition was not as bad at the beginning. “We used to go to Florida every year,” said Mr. Mann. “We had to stop going a couple of years ago.”
The slow decline in Mrs. Mann’s condition has been made even more frustrating as medical science has been stymied for a number of years by politics and the controversy surrounding invitro stem cell research, the most likely cure for her disease.
Invitro Stem Cell research utilizes cells from human eggs not used in artificial insemination treatment. The promise which Stem Cell research holds for sufferers from a wide number of nerve disorders and the hope it presents to accident victims is currently pitted against moral and religious debate over the ethics of the procedure. Mr. Mann, after watching his wife slip into immobility for the past 18 years, leaves no doubt where he stands on the issue.
“US President Ronald Regan wouldn’t sign the bill authorizing funds for research and neither would the senior Bush who followed him,” said Mr. Mann. “It was one of the first bills signed by President Bill Clinton, but as soon as the junior Bush got in, he cancelled it.”
Mr. Mann described the key to success in 50 years of married life as: “lots of hard work, with give and take on both sides. Young people give up and quit too easily,” he said, moving to stand beside his wife.
Their story continues to be one of love, devotion, and a life-long commitment to each other, in sickness or in health.
Manitoulin Expositor, October 31, 2001


by Michael Erskine
GORE BAY--A man may often be measured by the impact of his legacy upon those around him. If that is so, then the Island has witnessed the passing of a giant last week with the death of John Gordon Lane, farmer, insurance agent and for the past 50 years the dominant political figure on Manitoulin Island. He was 85 years old.
Mr. Gordon was born on Barrie Island on August 15, 1916, the son of the late George and Martha (Vancise) Lane. He finished his formal schooling there at the age of 14, after which he worked on a number of local farms and bush lots until he bought his own farm in 1939 and in 1946, Mr. Lane married Louise Smith of St. Catharines and began raising his family.
Mr. Lane began his political career as a council member on Barrie Island in 1941, serving in that capacity until 1960, at which time he moved to Gore Bay, where she served as a councillor for four years and then as mayor for five years.
He began working for the Co-Operator’s Insurance in 1955, attaining the position as district manager in 1969.
In 1971, Mr. Lane was elected as Member of Provincial Parliament for Manitoulin and served in that position until he retired in 1986. In his political career Mr. Lane won an impressive 34 elections and served 45 years as a dedicated politician at all levels.
“I was very sad to learn of John Lane’s passing,” said the Honorable William Davis, who was Ontario Premier and a Progressive Conservative colleague through most of Mr. Lane’s career; “Mr. Lane was a contributing member of caucus, to government, and was always a very active member in representing the interests of his constituents and an excellent member of the Legislature. Mr. Lane was a founding member of the Manitoulin Livestock Co-Operative and served on the first board of directors for the organization. His determination was credited with preserving the Co-Op through some of its darkest days. He also acted as chairman organizing the Farm Forums of the 1950s.
The roads of Manitoulin Island, often commented on as being remarkable for a rural area, were one of Mr. Lane’s longstanding projects. “John did so much for his constituency,” said Grant Oakes, a long time collaborator of Mr. Lane. “Roads were always John’s priority and he was a very, very, hard worker. I have nothing but praise for him and I am shocked and saddened by his passing.”
The successful upgrading of the ferry service to Manitoulin from Tobermory, with the purchase and inauguration of the Chi-Cheemaun was another project that owed much of its success to the hard work of Mr. Lane, according to Billings Reeve and contemporary Aus Hunt. “He was a dedicated member and his whole thoughts were on his constituents,” said Mr. Hunt. “He was honoured at the 25th anniversary of the Chi-Cheemaun in 1999 with a plaque bearing our names. He was a very civic-minded person.”
Federal contemporary, Dr. Maurice Foster, who served as MP for Algoma Manitoulin through much of Mr. Lane’s career, remembered working with him on a wide range of projects. Although he was from a different political party, their joint concern in furthering the best interests of their constituents often made them allies.
“It was really a pleasure to work with him over the 16 or 17 years that we were both in office,” said Dr. Foster. “He was one of the most knowledgeable men I have ever met, and he was certainly a very dedicated member of Parliament.” “I especially remember the success we had in weathering the 1982 recession. A lot of people were out of work in the area, and we were able to secure a lot of funding through Canada Works for projects in the area. It was reported in the Expositor that Canada Works was the largest employer in the area,” laughed Dr. Foster. “I am very saddened to learn of his passing, he was an exceptional man.” Mike Brown, current MPP for Algoma Manitoulin spoke of Mr. Lane in glowing terms as well. “I have known John for nearly 30 years; he always put his constituents first. If you gave John a call, he was always willing to help out, and he was much admired for that,” he said.
“He was a moderate and pragmatist, always trying to find solutions to problems, which I think is the highest tribute you can give a politician.”
Mr. Brown added the work Mr. Lane did in helping to build the Gore Bay Curling Rink, Golf Course and the modernization of area’s sewer and water system tot he vast list of his accomplishments.
Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands Mayor Ken Ferguson expressed shock at Mr. Lane’s passing, saying, “John was an inspiration to me, a source of great encouragement. He was a great statesman for our area. He always spoke his mind and did what he said he was going to do. He facilitated, helping us in many ways, whether agriculture or health and my sympathies go to his family.”
“He was a good man and a good friend,” said Leo Foucault, a long-time mayor of Espanola. Mr. Foucault confirmed that Mr. Lane was in large part the founder of the modern day Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. Mr. Lane put in countless hours of diplomacy and carried on negotiations across the North to promote the creation of a separate ministry to promote northern development. Never one to take no for an answer on a matter he considered of great importance to the North, Mr. Lane persisted in his efforts after initially being rebuffed, until he was finally rewarded with success.
His political life was just one aspect of Mr. Lane’s contribution to his community. He served as a Rotary Club member for 35 years and was a life-long member of the Lyons Memorial United Church, serving on a number of committees through the years.
Along with Renie Noble, he was instrumental in founding the Flower of Hope School, which he himself identified as his most rewarding effort.
An avid sportsman, he enjoyed fishing and hunting and was known as “The Commander” by his hunting camp companions.
Mr. Lane’s first wife passed away in 1969 after a battle with cancer, and Mr. Lane was later remarried to Leila McDougall, who survives him.
Mr. Lane is also survived by his daughter Sharon, his son Ron Lane, wife Greta of Gore Bay, stepchildren Linda and her husband Max Trick, Craig McDougall, wife Lillian and Bob McDougall. Mr. Lane was the proud grandfather of Drew, Nicholas, and Lindsey Lane and Neil, Laura and Sheri McDougall and Aaron and Brent Trick.
He was the dear brother of Lloyd and Evelyn Lane of Barrie Island, and Larry and Margaret Lane of Gore Bay. He was predeceased by grandchildren Amanda and D’Arcy and sisters Mary Wilson, Agnes Morgan and brother Harold.
Mr. Lane’s funeral service was held at 2 pm at Lyons Memorial Church on Sunday, August 12, with Geraldine Bould officiating. He is interred in Gordon Cemetery. Donations may be made to the Lyons Memorial United Church or to the Rotary Club.
Manitoulin Expositor, August 15, 2001


Still Active After All These Years
LITTLE CURRENT--Each morning George Willis gets up and heads out the door for a mile long walk, a habit he has held onto for nearly all of his 90 years. Mr. Willis who resides on Willis Road with his son Harold, will be celebrating his 90th birthday this week with a small family gathering at Abby’s Crosshill Road. Mr. Willis has been farming on and off for nigh onto 70 years, taking a short eight year break as an independent broker and then a longer stint as a stationary engineer at the Sudbury Board of Education.
Asked for the secret of his long life and good health Mr. Willis shrugged and said there was nothing special, but son Harold let slip one key element of his father’s longevity, “He has none of my bad habits,” laughed the younger Mr. Willis. Of course, the life-long habit of taking a mile long daily constitutional has undoubtedly played a part in his ongoing good health and humour.
“If I didn’t walk every day everything would lock up,” he smiled, his hand still firm on the cane he now uses to help him on his walks.
Mr. Willis has enjoyed an active life, although he had to give up hunting on the 800 acre family property in Green Bush four years ago, due to his eyesight not being quite what it used to be.
Mr. Willis used to enjoy weekly visits from the residents at Centennial Manor up until a few years ago. People would come from all over to see the blanket of tulips and daffodils in the garden begun by his late wife Marie. Although Marie passed on three years ago, Mr. Willis and his son Harold continued expanding and improving the garden.
Mr. Willis’ ‘kid sister’, Bertha Anderson (she is two years younger), has arranged a party fro Mr. Willis at Abby’s Crosshill Road this week, even though she lives in Sudbury these days.
“The party will be a small family affair, the nieces and nephews mostly,” said the junior Mr. Willis. The senior Mr. Willis is not one for big crowds.
Manitoulin Expositor, August 1, 2001


by Neil Zacharjewicz
SILVER WATER-- Dalton Blaine “Joe” Fogal was a man who would do anything to help someone in need.
“He would give you the shirt off his back,” stated Erwin Thompson of Silver Water. “He had a great sense of humor. He loved to tease and he loved to be teased.”
On Sunday, October 28, 2001, Joe Fogal, 58 years of age, was killed in a tragic accident at his home. At 11:34 am that morning, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) received a call from family members who had found him pinned under a vehicle he had been repairing. Mr. Fogal had parked the vehicle on portable ramps, and was doing mechanical work underneath the vehicle, when it shifted into neutral and rolled forward off of the ramps, falling on top of him. Police and ambulance were called to Mr. Fogal’s residence at 4 Noble Sideroad in Robinson Township, and he was taken to the Gore Bay Medical Clinic, where he was pronounced dead by coroner Dr. Shelagh McRae at approximately 12:30 p.m. Constable Jed Graham was the investigating officer.
Mr. Fogal was born in Gore Bay, the son of the late Sandy and Elizabeth (Graham) Fogal. He worked at the quarry for 10 years, was a member of the 12 Step Group, and actively helped in the Terry Fox Run. He was an active member of the Silver Water Coffee Club, and did a great deal of community service. He is survived by his wife, Sandra Sampson, and his children Deanna and Sandi-Jo. He was the grandfather of Sabastian, brother to Graham Fogal and his wife Sheila, of Mindemoya. He is also survived by his sisters, brothers-in-law, and several nieces and nephews.
“He is going to be greatly missed,” stated Mr. Thompson. “It was a real shock to everybody.”
Mr. Thompson noted Mr. Fogal was a very strong supporter of children.
Friends are invited to call at the Culgin Funeral Home on November 1, from 2 to 4 p.m., and from 7 to 9 pm. The funeral service will be conducted in the Wm. G. Turner Chapel on Friday, November 2, 2001 at 11 am. Erwin Thompson will be officiating. Donations to the Cancer Society or charity of your choice would be appreciated.
Manitoulin Expositor, October 31, 2001

by Loretta Peltier

Wikwemikong - Many communities boast of an elder in their midst who enjoyed longevity and speculation creates diverse reasons why some people have the good fortune of long enjoying good health, a good frame of mind, and they remain active in the community. Wikwemikong had such a elder, Dominic Odjig who passed away quietly in his sleep on September 25,1980, a month short of his eighty-fifth birthday.
He was a quiet yet, actively concerned member of the community. Until almost one year ago when he was confined to bed, Dominic turned out (complete with beret), at any event in the community, from 8 a.m. Mass to a hockey game in the arena, here or on other parts of the Island.
Dominic's stature in the community surfaced in many places, for he had apprenticed as a stone mason with a Jesuit priest in his childhood. The Jesuits, who have been an intrical part of Wikwemikong's past, trained many young men in the different trades they were adept at themselves. Much of the stonework around the church, around his home, in various cemeteries here and in other communities is the valid proof of Dominic's dedication and hard work.
This year's November 11 issue of the Expositor suggests tributes and thoughts of valor should be directed to Dominic's service to his country in World War I. As many other soldiers, he did not emerge from service totally unscathed, his medical record reveals some of the wounds inflicted, resulting in recuperations in two English hospitals. He preferred to reminisce of the humorous side effects of the war, as opposed to stories of battle, as dwelling on the serious side of it was defeating the purpose of victory. It is traditionally assumed one must forget its direct tragedies, while remaining in contact with the impact it had.
Dominic set another precedent for Wikwemikong by bringing home an English war bride, who adjusted well to new conditions and won many new friendships in her new surroundings. Their family consisted of Daphne, Stanley, Winnie and Don. Regrettably her life in Canada was to be rather short-lived as Mrs. Odjig suffered heart trouble which caused her death in 1937.
The next year Dominic married a local girl named Luct Assinewe and their family consists of Lena, Rosemarie, Marcella, Lorraine and Patsy, Frank, Wilfred, Ronnie, Gordie and Clayton. Each one of these family members is a responsible and well known member of the community they live in, attesting Dominic's gentle yet adept wisdom as a responsible parent. Around his home there was laughter and a cheerful atmosphere. It came to be the favourite gathering place of the younger generation and many a weird scheme and practical joke originated from 'a gathering at Odjig's'.
Dominic too, enjoyed mingling with people and story telling himself, and he usually managed to hold more than one birthday party himself, so that it came to be the perennial joke, "Which one of Dominic's parties did you attend this year?" Dominic's jovial and tolerant manner enabled him to live and to enjoy to a healthy old age. At one time he was Wikwemikong's sole source of law enforcement, when crimes were virtually unheard of and minimal, these really were the "good old days," and the job then was not the emotionally taxing strain experienced by law establishments today. With the exception of possibly two years, Dominic served as Reserve Policeman from approximately 1922 to 1961. The years he served a dual role as Reserve Policeman/band councillor confuses some young people, as they see a more vast and different system of band government today. Yet, all this change and the freedom to change, is what Dominic went to battle for early in his life. He was fortunate to live long enough to see the changes he may have not entirely agreed with, but accepted, because they were in the context of enjoying the freedom of rights for which he went to battle.
On Remembrance Day 1980 everyone, especially in Wiky; had the opportunity to give some thoughts of tribute to Dominic Odjig, for he was a first class soldier in life even if he had never seen a day's battle. To him, and men like him who have gone on ahead, "Lest we Forget," November 11, 1980...
Manitoulin Expositor, November 12, 1980


by Marie Kirk
Henry’s mother, Catherine, was born in Scotland, his father Archibald was born in Luther Township in Ireland. When Archibald came to Canada he first settled in the Grand Valley area.
Catherine and Archibald were married June 26, 1851. One daughter settled in British Columbia and two sons remained in the Grand Valley are. The other ten children came to Manitoulin with their parents about 1880 when Henry was seven years of age. They settled on the farm now owned by Carl and Mildren (sic s/b Mildred) Sauder. Henry was the youngest of the thirteen children.)
Catherine and Archibald Martin were both buried in Fairview Cemetery in Tehkummah. From information I’ve gathered it is believed that at least seven of their children are also buried there. Most of them lived to be quite elderly.
On April 4, 1894 Henry Martin married Joanna Turnbull. They raised a family of five girls (Joanna, Nellie, Grace, Florence and Lyna) and three boys (James, Hugh and Elgin). Their oldest daughter Joanna (Annie) Baxter was a teacher at Michael’s Bay and other Island communities prior to her marriage. (It’s interesting to note that in those days women weren’t allowed to teach once married…!). She passed away in 1988.
Joanna Martin passed away July 1, 1948 in her 81st year. Henry passed away September 29, 1959 in his 87th year. Both were buried in Hilly Grove Cemetery.
Henry and Joanna had twenty grandchildren. Prior to Henry’s death his first great great grandson Stephen Size, was born making five living generations.!
Through the Years, April 1989, pages 18-19


May 2, 1912
In spite of all medical skill, Donald McQuarrie Fraser, chief engineer of the Sydenham Glass Works, passed peacefully away on Friday afternoon at his home on Johnson Ave. He was conscious up to within a few moments of his death. The doctors had but little hope of his recovery, since the accident two days previous.
The funeral was conducted Sunday afternoon by Rev. M.C. Tait assisted by Revs. Oliver and Howson.
The members of the local court of the Canadian Order of Foresters, of which deceased was a member, and the glassworks and many of the employees followed the remains to their last resting place at the Wallaceburg cemetery, where the C.O.F. conducted the service. During the service at the house, Mrs. Dundas and Mrs. Carscallen sang the duet “That Beautiful Land.” The floral tributes were most beautiful, among which were two anchors from the employees of the Glass works and Canadian Order of Foresters. The former was the largest and one of the most beautiful ever seen in Wallaceburg. The pallbearers were Don. Gordon, Hy. Mitchell, L.P. Holston, Lynn Gordon and Hy. Auger.
The late Mr. Fraser came to Wallaceburg from Sarnia, to accept the position as chief engineer at the glass works, which position he had filled in a most faithful and efficient manner. His tragic death cast a gloom over the factory, where his quiet unassuming and genial nature made him well liked by all who knew him. As was stated last week, he was struck by a spark plug of the large gas engine, which he had just started. The spark plug accidentally blew out and dealt him a nasty blow in his breast, near his heart. He was also badly burned. When he came too Mr. Fraser seemed to realize that he had not long to live, asking that they send for his wife.
Mr. Fraser was 39 years of age. Besides his bereaved wife and little daughter, Beatrice, he leaves one brother and four sisters. One of his sisters is expected in Wallaceburg this week. Mr. Fraser resided for some time in Gore Bay, Midland and Sarnia, and during former years sail on the great lakes as a marine chief engineer.
Through the Years, May 1989 page 32


John W. Kinney, one of the real old timers of Gordon and Gore Bay, passed away early Tuesday, February 19th, at his residence at Gore Bay.
Some two years ago he suffered a slight stroke but recovered sufficiently to get about until some three weeks ago since then he has been confined to his bed.
He was the eldest son of James Kinney and Malina Kinney (nee Johnson) who came with the early settlers to Gore Bay in May 1876. At that time he was ten years old and his elder sister, Eliza Kinney, some two years older.
Shortly after arriving at Gore Bay his parents moved on the old Kinney farm, Lot 3, Concession 8, Gordon. Soon afterwards he bought the farm on the Government Road but remained at the old home where he resided while carrying on his farming operations. His Gore Bay residence was for many years the gathering place for the young and middle aged of the town and near by country for many years. He married Helen Scott of the Township of Mills. Two sons, Scott and James, and two daughters, Henrietta and Eliza, were born to the marriage. Scott had a fatal accident when he was a boy. James has recently returned home from the air force overseas and is now following his profession as a banker at the Bank of Montreal, Little Current. Henrietta has been for some years teaching at Windsor, Ontario and Eliza is engaged in the Bell Telephone Toronto Office. Henrietta and Eliza arrived home some two weeks ago and have been with their father during his last illness.
John Kinney, as he was generally and familiarly known, was of a rather quiet disposition who appeared to have a deep sense of humour which really startled his friends and gave them good laughs. His quiet smile was a real treat because of his quiet nature.
For many years he was Clerk and Reeve of Gordon Township and later Mayor and Clerk of the Town of Gore Bay. A man of sterling character and no time for anything not honest and above board.
He a/was a stauch Conservative and on one occasion ran as a Candidate in order to keep the Conservative Flag waving. On that occasion the Conservatives took to the bush or joined the farmers. However, John Kinney answered the call of the party and that suited the Toronto Bunch and particularly “Barney Turner.”
He was an enthusiastic curler. They say he never looked at the score board and never found fault with a player. He carried on with his “Tee High” draw game at which he was credited with being one of the best and turned many ends into a victory instead of a defeat.
It was almost impossible to get him to give even a little speech on any occasion. Others could do the talking.
He lived to a ripe age, eighty this coming April and left a host of friends to mourn his passing.
As a farmer, Mr. Kinney took a keen interest in the Gore Bay Agricultural Society and was a staunch supporter of the organization. He was Honourary President and for some twenty-five years was Secretary-Treasurer of the local organization.
Through the Years, May 1995, page 29

Charged with Man Slaughter

After Thomas Sagle had been held blameless for the death of Mrs. Lamb when his car backed off the Government Dock on June 2nd, by the Coroner’s jury, Magistrate Elliott has decided that both Sagle and his companion Menard should be tried on a charge of manslaughter, and they will come up for trial at the Fall Assizes. Their case was remanded by the Magistrate many times, until more evidence could be secured. It was finally decided that there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial on the manslaughter charge. Their bail has been placed at $10,000 each.
-Soo News
The Recorder, Gore Bay, Thursday, August 4, 1921
Transcribed by Marilyn Irish

Many Deaths at West Bay

The Spanish Influenza epidemic has been the cause of twenty deaths at the West Bay Indian reserve. The crisis seems to be well over by now there being no new cases reported since Friday last. The following are the victims: Two children of Mrs. Jos. Onaquet, Leana Corbiere daughter of William Corbiere who is now overseas, Mrs. Edward Lambert, Alex Pheasant, Mrs. John Green, Mrs. Alex. Shabina, Mrs. Jos. Megwans, Mrs. Eli Deboskey, Mrs. Harry Corbiere, Virginia Deboskey, two children of Harriett Panamic, Joseph Corbiere, Susia Shabina, child of Antoine Megwans, Peter Corbiere, Simon Wasigijig, Mrs. Louis Beboning and child of Mrs. Dave Megwans.
The Recorder, Gore Bay, Thursday, December 5, 1918
Transcribed by Marilyn Irish

Victor Hewson

Caption under picture
His Honor Judge Hewson received a cable on Tuesday stating that the King and Queen deeply regretted the death of his son Flight-Lieut. Victor Hewson, who was reported missing a few weeks ago. From this it would seem that the War Office had received some information which lead them to believe that Victor had been killed. The Judge and his family have the most sincere sympathy of the citizens of Manitoulin.
The Recorder, Gore Bay, Thursday, August 31, 1916
Transcribed by Marilyn Irish

Local News Items

Crown Attorney W.F. McRae and Dr. Baker, Coroner, went to Little Current on Friday to attend the inquest on the death of Charles Jeffries. A verdict of accidental death was returned by the jury. Jefferies was killed by a portion of the machinery hitting him in the head while working in the Red Mill.
The Recorder, Gore Bay, Thursday, May 21, 1914
Transcribed by Marilyn Irish

Mr. D. B. McRea Died Suddenly

A telegram received by C.C. Platt, secretary of the Masonic Lodge, stating that Mr D.B. McRea had died suddenly at Wilkie, Sask., on the 15th inst. And that he would be buried at Saskatoon, the home of his daughter, Mrs. J. G. Nicholson.
The deceased was for many years a respected resident of Gore Bay and had many friends here among the old residents. He was a Mason of many years standing, Collingwood being his mother lodge, he was the oldest Mason in the Gore Bay lodge. The brethren here wired condolence to Mrs. McRea and to have a wreath placed on his coffin at the expense of this lodge.
The bereaved family have the sincere sympathy of Gore Bay citizens in their sad bereavement.
The Recorder, Gore Bay, Thursday, August 21, 1913
Transcribed by Marilyn Irish


Burpee has lost two more residents by death. Mrs. Tom Harper, who died a couple of weeks ago, had a large funeral showing the high esteem in which she was held by her neighbors. The second was a ten year old son of Mr. Robt. Bailey, who was tramped to death by a team of horses. The bereaved families have the sincere sympathy of their neighbors.
The Recorder, Gore Bay, Thursday, June 20, 1912
Transcribed by Marilyn Irish

A Tragedy of the Early Days

Forty eight years ago today the writer of this article was one of a party of four who hauled on hand sleighs from Ray or Haywood Island the bodies of two unfortunate young men who had been found frozen to death on the ice in Manitowaning Bay.
The fall of 1863 was very cold and stormy, and winter set in very early. Before the end of December ice was completely formed between Wikwemikong and this place and around Manitowaning Bay and Little Current and the snow on the ice made in inconvenient to travel without snow shoes.
It was about ten o’clock a.m. on the 31st Dec. 1863, that Ferdinand Proulx, son of Mr. Philimon Proulx of this Village (then known as Shibavnaning.) and Albert Moss, of Windsor; left this place for Manitowaning by way of Rat Island. The wind was northwest with an approaching snowstorm. Mr. Sam Solomon and his family were living on Rat Island at that time, and through him it was learned that Proulx and Moss had reached his place early in the afternoon on the day they left this place.
The next morning, first of January 1864, the wind was blowing from the east with a heavy snow storm, Mr. Solomon advised the two young men not to continue their journey as they might get lost on the ice, but they replied that they had a good compass to guide them. After a hearty shake hands with Mr. Solomon and his family they left for Manitowaning. A short time after they left Mr. Solomon’s place the wind suddenly shifted to the west. A sixty mile an hour gale was blowing and it was bitterly cold, the gale lasted four days, the young men were on the ice and unable to face the storm, they managed however to reach the vicinity of Rabbit Island in search no doubt of a couple of narrow Indian trails-the only trails existing at that time-leading from Manitowaning Bay to Wikwemikong, but the fury of the gale piled up the snow in every direction and no trails could be found. The young men wandered around the shore till they got within four miles of Wikwemikong west of Whiskey Island where young Moss left his snow shoes. Young Proulx’s snow shoes were found where it is now called “the Indian dock” they were evidently wandering back to Rabbit Island.
The storm ceased on the 4th and on the early morning of the fifth Wm. Madweyosk who was married to one of Mr. Sam Solomon’s daughters left Wikwemikong to pay his usual New Year visit to his father-in-law and found young Moss frozen to death on the ice a short distance north of Rabbit Island, near Moss was Mr. Proulx’s faithful dog “Jones” also frozen stiff. About halfway between Rabbit and Rat Island he found young Proulx also frozen to death.
The weight of the snow on the ice had caused the water to rise and in slush these poor young men walked, ice forming on their feet as they walked until a ball of ice formed nearly as large as a bucket. On their hands and knees were also large balls of ice showing they could no longer raise their feet for the weight of the ice around them, they crawled on their hands and knees to try and save their lives.
Madweyosk, and Augustin Desmarais, who was wintering on Rat Island, went after the bodies and took them to Mr. Solomon’s and brought the sad news to this place. Mr. Charles de Lamorandiere, John Baptist of Grumbling Point and the writer with Madweysk and Desmarais left immediately for Rat Island where they arrived at eight o’clock in the evening.
Next morning 6th Jan. 1864 forty eight years ago to day, the bodies were taken to Wikwemikong on hand-sleighs. Mr. C. De Lamorandiere and Madweyosk had charge of the body of young Moss. The writer and John Baptist had charge of the body of young Proulx. Wikwemikong was reached at 11 a.m. just as the people were going home from high mass. Albert Moss belonged to a respectable family in Windsor and was a nephew of Phillip Donnell, land surveyor, who was living in this Village.
Fredinand Proulx, after having attended St. Michael’s College Toronto for three years had only been here with his parents a few months, he was well educated and wrote a most beautiful hand, He was a nephew of Rev. Father Proulx, the founder of the Wikwemikong Mission. He was born at Wikwemikong on the 3rd of August 1844 Both were buried at Wikwemikong, but the body of young Moss was taken to Windsor the following spring.
I am yours truly,
P.R. de Lamorandiere,
Killarney, 6th January, 1912
The Recorder, Gore Bay, Thursday, January 25, 1912
Transcribed by Marilyn Irish

Killed by Dynamite

Victoria Harbor, Nov. 21-Violating the fishing laws this afternoon, by dynamiting to catch fish, Phil Drolet was blown to pieces and Fred Doe was drowned. Both men were from Victoria Harbor and were fishing in the Georgian Bay. The dynamite exploded as Drolet was dropping it into the water. The boat in which they were was completely blown up.

The Recorder, Gore Bay, Thursday, November 25 1909
Transcribed by Marilyn Irish

At 80, Doris Williamson still a busy Mindemoya retailer

By Ruth Farquhar
MINDEMOYA--When you walk into Williamson’s Hardware in Mindemoya, there is one thing that never seems to change and that is you will likely see Doris Williamson day in and day out. The fact that Mrs. Williamson recently turned 80 doesn’t matter; she loves to work and you will see her stocking shelves, tidying up or doing the payroll.
Mrs. Williamson was born February 7, 1920 in Sandfield. Her parents were Grace and Elias Hutchinson. Her three sisters, Betty, Jean, Mary Lou and one brother Doug grew up in Sandfield and sister Jean McLennan says, “Doris was always happy go lucky, she was always optimistic and a regular tease when she was little,” All of them remember swimming in Lake Manitou. “We were in the lake more than we were out,” and winters skating, “Dad was always great to make us a rink, we always had lots of fun.”
After attending public school and, as was common at the time, two years of high school Doris went to work at the age of 14 for Bert Watson, owner of Watson’s Store in Sandfield, and so began her career in retail. Mr. Watson’s son Andy and wife Dot, who also ran the General Store for many years, remember her as someone who was always optimistic and a hard worker.
Mrs. Williamson’s legendary good health has always amazed those who know her and Mr. Watson says, “I remember a doctor staying at the cottages who told Doris that she could cure her bronchitis if she stood in the snow in her bare feet. And she did.” To this day, few can remember her having more than a cold over the years. At the age of 16 she, along with many other Islanders, went to Toronto to work for the winter. Mrs. Williamson says, “During the war, lots of kids from here went to Toronto to work.” As a teenager, she also developed a love for dancing and according to Mrs. Watson, “You could always count on Doris greeting you at the door at the Sandfield dances.”
Following the war she married Bus Williamson who went into the family business with his Dad Dave. Dave Williamson had owned the hardware store from 1921, and along with his son they expanded to add a grocery section. Over the next few years, they had three sons, Brian, Blaine and Barry. Barry and Blaine would go on to follow in their Grandpa Dave’s and father’s footsteps. For those who know Doris, her optimism and her ability to keep going with a smile on her face, especially following a tragedy, has amazed and given strength to all who know her. As her sister Betty McGregor says, “We were brought up with lots of support and lots of faith. We always knew we weren’t alone.
Sons Blaine and Barry started learning the business in their teens and as time went on expanded by putting on an addition and specializing in sports equipment. Mrs. Williamson says, “Even though we are really different, the boys and I work well together. I went along with the expansion and it has proven to be all right in the end.”
Recently friends and family gathered at the Mindemoya Community Centre to celebrate her eightieth birthday and the hall was full with people who know and admire this feisty woman.
At the party, her brother-in-law Alec Louchead spoke of her spirit and sense of humour, drawing lots of laughs when he referred to her as the Manitou Mermaid. As a child, Doris swam everyday and at 80 she continues the tradition, often in the lake by May 24 and still swimming everyday on into the fall. Mr. Louchead also said, “Doris and the boys deserve a lot of credit for keeping that family business going. It is the oldest family business still going in Mindemoya and has provided lots of employment for people over the years.”
These days, if she is not in the store you can find her with her four granddaughters, Brittany, Jade, Jenna and Nikki or visiting her lifetime friend, Marguerite Louchead. Every Friday night they get together to watch a movie. Ms. Louchead says, “Last Friday it was Pride and Prejudice.” Ms. Louchead also remembers the boys getting after them for picking apples. “We were in the trees. That wasn’t too long ago; we were in our 70’s.” There is no sign of Mrs. Williamson slowing down. She still “keeps tabs on the dances” and you can be guaranteed if there is a dance she can get to she and Norma Williamson will be there. There is a story of Doris and her sister Jean coming up from Sandfield to a dance when her car broke down at Trail’s End.
Leaving the car, the two sisters walked back into Sandfield, got Jean’s car and went to the dance.
Rumour has it that the police saw the car at the side of the road and called it in to find out who owned it. Obviously there are some things that are more important than a car that has broken down.
We can all take a lesson from this woman who over the years has remained optimistic, healthy and always with a good sense of humour. Keep on dancing, Doris!
Manitoulin Expositor, March 1, 2000 pg. 17

Fire Takes Two Lives at Long Bay - May 1948

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Williton of Long Bay were burned to death on Sunday night, at about ten o'clock, when their combination grocery store and dwelling were swept by fire.
Cause of the blaze, which destroyed everything in the two-story building, in not as yet determined. The couple had visited their daughter Mrs. E. Flood in Gore Bay on Sunday and returned home after supper. About 9:30 p.m. Wm. Coulam, a neighbour saw the flames and hurried to the scene, but with no fire-fighting equipment at hand, there was nothing he could do. The heat by this time was so intense that it was impossible to rescue the inmates of the house.
The bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Williton were found in the morning in the charred ruins by Provincial Constables Needham and Morden. Mr. Williton was found just inside the entrance to the back door, which led police to believe he had made an effort to escape but was overcome by smoke before reaching the exit. Mrs. Williton was found near her bed.
The tragedy is being further investigated by Inspector Neil of the Criminal Investigation Bureau, Attorney General's Department, Toronto, and two pathologists from Sudbury, who arrived on Tuesday. An inquest will be held on Thursday, May 13th at seven o'clock in Gore Bay.
Well-known throughout the district, the couple had farmed in this area for about forty years. Six years ago they retired from the farm and opened a small general store and conducted the post office at Long Bay. A six hundred acre farm was retained by Mr. Williton after his retirement.
The couple are survived by five daughters; Mrs. E. Flood of Gore Bay; Mrs. W. D. Gerard, Mrs. S. F. Seymour and Mrs. E. G. Underhill of Toronto; and Mrs. G. N. Latta of Hamilton. Mr. Williton is also survived by two brothers; William of Ice Lake and Charles of Toronto; Two sisters, Mrs. A. Alexander of Spring Bay and Mrs. Fitzpatrick of Desboro.
The bodies were released for burial Tuesday and the funeral took place Wednesday afternoon with service at Long Bay church and interment at Long Bay cemetery.
Transcribed by Marilyn Irish

Mysterious Angles Probed as Couple Die in Manitoulin Blaze - 1948

Long Bay, May 12, 1948: A blood-stained shoe and a trail of blood leading to the back door of the combined post-office/general store/house in this tiny Manitoulin Island village prompted E. L. Clarridge, Crown Attorney to order an inquest into the deaths of Joseph Williton, 76, and his wife Edith Rebecca, 68. Their charred bodies were found in the gutted ruins of the frame building early Monday.
A report to police that a large sum of money was kept by the couple in the building in which they worked and lived, aided in causing officials to announce the inquest will be held tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Gore Bay.
Rumour that the couple had met with foul play circulated around the settlement and police are trying to separate the rumour from fact. Relatives in Toronto and Hamilton report the couple was "comfortable" but not wealthy. It is believed a large quantity of mail was in the building. Charred remains of envelopes in the ruins indicate some of it was burned.
The inquest will be conducted by Dr. R. N. Simpson of Manitowaning.
May 1948
Transcribed by Marilyn Irish

Might be Accident Says Crown

Mr. Claridge said today so far police investigation indicated the deaths could have been accidental. Final details of the investigation under inspector Len Neil of the criminal investigation branch of the Ontario provincial police, called from Toronto, Monday, will be revealed at the Inquest.
This afternoon the charred remains, which were taken to Gore Bay to an autopsy, will be buried. Dr. W. Davidson of Sudbury, provincial pathologist, conducted the autopsy but because of the condition of the bodies, little could be learned, it was reported.
The fire was so intense, police said, that even milk bottles melted.
May 1948
Transcribed by Marilyn Irish

Body in Shed Outside

The body of Mrs. Williton was found in her bed. Police are puzzled that she did not attempt to escape. Village rumour said there was a hole in her skull, but the autopsy report and the Crown Attorney did not confirm this.
Mr. Williton's body found in the shed attached to the rear of the business-dwelling. One of his shoes, blood stained, was found outside this shed, and a trail of blood led to an outbuilding 60 feet behind the store. Police suggest that if it were an accidental fire it might have occurred this way: Mr. Willeton went to the outbuilding, fell and hurt himself so severely that blood began to flow. As he entered the house for aid he might have overturned a coal oil lamp, setting fire to the house.
Paralyzed with fear from the intense blaze on nearly unconscious from the effects of the fall, he would be unable to summon aid, police theorize. Mrs. Willeton, asleep upstairs, would possibly be overcome by smoke before waking, they suggest.
Neighbours rushed to aid but were unable to enter.
Mrs. E. Jeffries, postmistress at Gore Bay, 12 miles from Long Bay said, "There certainly are lots of rumours around that there was foul play. I heard there was a lot of money in the store."
May 1948
Transcribed by Marilyn Irish


Rev. W.W. Anglin of Mindemoya who has spent the winters in recent years with his daughter, Kathleen (Mrs. J.E. Horton), in Kingston, near his native village of Battersea, Ontario, made the trip home to Mindemoya with his son Justin of Little Current, by automobile on Sunday, March 24th, and is now confined to bed at the residence of his son, Farquhar.
Advised by a doctor that , due to his advanced age, (Mr. Anglin is in his 90th year), and to a serious loss in weight, he might require hospitalization. Mr. Anglin determined that when such a course was necessary he would choose to be under the care of his doctor. J.B. McQuay and in the Mindemoya Red Cross Hospital from which vantage point he might look out upon his beloved home.
Since first coming to Manitoulin to reside in 1904, Mr. Anglin has taken a prominent part in public affairs and the advancement of the best interested of the District and has endeared himself to a wide circle of friends, all of whom will wish him the very best in health and happiness in these difficult days.
John Horton, of Kingston and recently of Toronto, accompanied his grandfather to Manitoulin and will spend a while here assisting in the farm and office work in Mindemoya.
Through The Years, Vol. XI, No. 7, May 1994, page 17

Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Atkinson of Durham, Ont., Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred Atkinson, Mr. Cecil Atkinson, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Sommerville and Miss Tressa Atkinson of Toronto attended the funeral of the late Wm. J. Atkinson of Mills last week.
The Recorder, Gore Bay, July 31, 1930

Card of Thanks
The family of the late William J. Atkinson desire to express in this way their sincere thanks to all friends and neighbors who were so kind to them during their recent bereavement.
The Recorder, Gore Bay, July 31, 1930


The terrible experience of Geo. Avis and his teamster Pat Barry. Nine days lost.
Mr. Geo. Avis of Cockburn Island manager for the Island Cedar Co. of Chicago and his teamster Pat Berry had a terrible experience on the ice during the last nine days. They left Thessalon on Saturday 29th ult. at 9 a.m. for Cockburn Island with a load of about fifteen hundred pound. They headed for their destination which lies about 24 miles to the southeast of Thessalon. When about half way across a snow storm set in and on looking for his compass, Mr. Avis discovered it was lost, they kept on, however, and after wandering around for some hours, during which the wind changed to the north east. Finding they were lost they let the team take their own course and the horses naturally went with the wind until tired out, when the two men wrapped themselves up in their robes and blankets and lay down in the sleigh to wait for daylight. When Sunday morning broke the weather was stormy and cold as ever about 25 degrees below zero. There being no change on Sunday evening they turned the horses loose and prepared themselves to spend another night in the sleigh. Monday morning broke clear though cold, when they found they were within about a mile of Sulphur Island light house which lies eight miles to southwest of Thessalon. They left the sleigh and made for the Island knee deep in slush and water, They arrived there with both hands and feet badly frozen and almost helpless - succeeded in obtaining an entrance into the light house dwelling where they did their best to thaw out their frozen members, succeeding only partially. They found there some fuel and bedding, a little flour and oatmeal and about two drawings of tea. They remained there under these circumstances suffering untold agonies physical and mental until Sunday 6th inst. at midnight when a relief party arrived from Thessalon. At the close of navigation the lamps had been removed from the tower, one of the men succeeded in getting a lamp up to the tower by placing it in a bag and holding in his teeth while he worked his way up the steep stairs on his knees and elbows, which took about two hours. They first lit the lamp on Saturday night 5th inst. but being a bright moonlight night the dim light was not discernable. They lit the lamp again on Sunday night when it was seen from Thessalon and was at once taken as a signal and a relief party immediately proceeded to the island where they found the lost men, together with Mr. W. J. Harper of Thessalon one of the search partners who had arrived there a couple of hours before. They were speedily removed to Thessalon where they received every care and attention possible and are now both doing as well as could be expected from their terrible experience. All hope of finding them alive had been given up, but the search was continued for their remains. Great rejoicing prevailed at their almost miraculous escape from an awful death.
On the arrival of the sufferers Mr. Avis was taken to the residence of W. L. Nichols and Mr. Berry to the Thessalon House, where they have both received the best attention that could be furnished. After their arrival they appeared quite cheerful, though both feet of each were badly frozen, as well as their hands. Dr. McCort attended them, looking after them with the closest of care, and until Tuesday evening about 5 o'clock they both appeared to be doing well and on the way to recovery. At that time a change appeared on Mr. Avis who became delirious, and from that time to the hour of his death he gradually sunk, until at 5 o'clock a.m. yesterday he passed quietly away. Mrs. Avis and their son John on hearing the news of his being found came over from Cockburn on Tuesday evening about 3 p.m. when she gladly rejoined her lost husband, too soon alas! to lose him again.
The loss of Mr. Avis created an immense amount of excitement wherever heard of on the north shore, as he had hosts of friends all through the district and his death casts a gloom over the community and especially the people of Thessalon.
His remains were buried at the cemetery, Little Rapids, this afternoon.
The funeral was largely attended and the members of Dyment Lodge, A.F. and A.M. of which he had lately been made a member, attended in a body to perform their last offices of respect of a departed brother.
Through The Years - (original newspaper and date not given),
Vol. 1, No.1, November 1983, page 30


Charles Henry Aylesworth was born 9 February 1852 in Hastings County, Ontario. He was a cheese maker in 1881 and living at home with his parents, Bowen Wesley Aylesworth and Rebecca Morden. Bowen was born 30 October 1819 in Ernesttown, Ontario and died 3 June 1890 in North Marysburgh, Prince Edward County, Ontario. Rebecca Morden was born 19 May 1825 in Sophiasburgh, Prince Edward County, Ontario and died 17 February 1916 in Hamilton, Ontario. They were married 10 December 1846.
(information from Art Hubbs)


Harry and Ruby (nee Ashley) Middaugh were married in Honora, Manitoulin Island, June 10, 1920. He worked as a Section foreman for the Ontario Northland Railway up to his retirement September 1, 1961. His hobbies were fishing and hunting. Now he watches his favorite sports on TV.
His wife is and has been an active worker of St. Paul’s United Church of New Liskeard.
They have four sons: Bill of Callander, Harvey of North Bay, and Don and Doug of Huntsville. They have one daughter, Mrs. Jean Schryer of New Liskeard. They also have 13 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
A daughter, Lynn Othmer, died two years ago.
Congratulations have been received from: MP John MacDougall and his wife Dylite; a plaque from the Ontario Government and a plaque from the Town of New Liskeard.
An Open House which included 94 relatives was held at their son’s home in Callander June 8th.
Temiskaming Speaker, June 26, 1985, page 15b


By Chris Kivinen-Newman
MANITOULIN – Over 65 years after the death of Field Sergeant Kenneth Howard Buck, a Manitoulin-born pilot who was shot down over the Netherlands during the Second World War, his niece Lynda Paul, of Georgetown, Ontario, is keeping his fascinating story alive.
Ms. Paul’s passion and commitment to her brave uncle’s story has even become a tale in and of itself, with remarkable coincidences and mysteries solved along the way.
Sergeant Buck, the youngest of 11 children who grew up in part in Providence Bay, enlisted in the military when war was declared in 1939, and eventually found himself serving as a rear gunner in the Royal Air Force (RAF), having been loaned to the British force from the Royal Canadian Air Force.
On the night of May 4, 1943, the 102nd (Ceylon) Squadron of the RAF embarked on a journey across the North Sea as part of the British bombing campaign of Germany. Sergeant Buck, along with the seven other crewmembers in his bomber, would not make the journey back.
The formation of bombers flew over northern Friesland just after midnight, but was unluckily caught on German radar and was engaged by the German Luftwaffe.
One of the German pilots, Lieutenant Robert Denzel, was credited with shooting down Sergeant Buck’s bomber, which was larger and less maneuverable than the other planes in the British formation.
Only two bodies were recovered from the wreckage, one of which was that of Sergeant Buck.
After the bodies were relocated and searched by Nazi officials, they were returned to the village of Kollum, where the soldiers originally crashed, so they could be buried in the local church cemetery.
In 1998, Ms. Paul went to the Netherlands as a guest of honour at a ceremony where a monument was erected for the five other soldiers who were never recovered in her uncle’s crash.
At this ceremony, she met the man who pulled her uncle’s body out of the airplane, who was in his 80s at the time.
“It was emotional,” said Ms. Paul. “I think in a lot of ways the family didn’t believe he was dead. When I went over it was like closure for the whole family.”
After years of trying to locate the cemetery where her uncle was buried, Ms. Paul eventually tracked down with the aid of Dutch school teacher who had an interest in preserving the graves of Canadian soldiers, and Ms. Paul had the opportunity to visit the grave during the Keeping the Memory Alive tour of Holland.
In one of the many remarkable turn of events that would surround Ms. Paul’s research of her uncle, after a story about her trip to Sergeant Buck’s grave ran in a Georgetown newspaper in 2003, she found a note on her door from someone who claimed to have been in attendance during the young soldier’s funeral.
The note was from Wim and Art Meerstra, Dutch immigrants who lived near Walkerton, but happened to be visiting their daughter in Georgetown when the article was published.
Ms. Meerstra lived in the village where Sergeant Buck’s plane crashed and acted as a mourner in his funeral service, laying flowers on his grave – an act that she carried on for years after the funeral.
The couple was later married at the church next to the cemetery before immigrating to Canada in 1951.
Ms. Paul has also been able to connect with Sergeant Buck’s widow, a young English woman named Dorothy Watkins, whom he married just six weeks before he was shot down. Ms. Watkins would later remarry to an American serviceman and move to the United States, but wore Sergeant Buck’s engagement ring until her death.
Ms. Watkins was living in Portland, Oregon when Ms. Paul found her in 2003, and the two initially maintained a relationship, but would lose touch with each other a few years after meeting.
After Ms. Watkins’ death, however, Ms. Paul would once again have an interesting and improbable story to tell, thanks to the granddaughter of her uncle’s widow.
Ms. Paul recently found out that one of Sergeant Buck’s war medals was being sold on the popular auction website Ebay, along with an 18-page photo album and records, which included pictures of Ms. Paul’s family.
“We couldn’t imagine who on Earth would sell them on Ebay,” Ms. Paul said.
The medal was a Silver Memorial Cross, which was given to widows and mothers of fallen soldiers.
After looking into it, Ms. Paul discovered that the medal was being sold by a dealer in Vancouver, and upon reading the records that came with the medal, it quickly became apparent that Ms. Watkins’ granddaughter had sold the medals to the dealer.
It upset Ms. Paul that her uncle’s widow’s granddaughter would do such a thing, particularly since she would have been aware that her grandmother had been in touch with Sergeant Buck’s family and could have returned the medal to them.
In the end, Ms. Paul was forced to purchase the medal, at a cost of $800, but she was simply grateful that she was able to bring it back to her family.
Ms. Paul said that there are six other medals her uncles received that are unaccounted for; but since they (unlike the Silver Memorial Cross) would not have her uncle’s name on them, it is impossible to determine where they are.
The medal itself is in very good, condition, but the purple ribbon it would have come with is missing, being replaced by a chain, indicating that Sergeant Buck’s widow probably wore it around her neck.
Ms. Paul is thinking about donating the medal to the Billy Bishop museum in Owen Sound along with duplicates of her pictures and other memorabilia.
For Ms. Paul, learning about her uncle and being able to share his story has been an important and rewarding journey.
“All my other uncles had children to remember them by, but this young soldier had no-one,” she said. “I had to keep his memory alive.”
Manitoulin Expositor, November 5, 2008, pages 1a & 2a

By Jim Moodie
KILLARNEY – Maury East was attending high school in Buffalo, New York, when the German Luftwaffe launched bomber raids over Britain – the country of his birth – in an attempt to crush Allied air power and blitz London into submission.
Two years later, at the age of 18, “I walked across the Rainbow Bridge (at Niagara Falls) and joined the Canadian air force,” he says.
Mr. East, who has lived in Killarney since 1962, says he could have volunteered with a US division at the time, but since he wasn’t an American citizen, he “wasn’t allowed to go into pilot training.” There was no obligation for him to sign up for any form of service at this point, but had he remained in the states, “I would have been drafted into the army,” he notes.
Mr. East wanted to be a pilot. “I just thought I wanted to fly,” he explains. “So that’s what I did.” His concept of a bomber pilot’s role wasn’t overly romantic, as he’d been exposed to plenty of eye-opening images from the Battle of Britain. “I had a pretty good notion of what the risks were, but every branch of service had its risks,” he reasons. “That was just the way it was.”
After graduating from a pilot training program at a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) base in Manitoba in 1942, Mr. East was sent overseas for advanced training at a Royal Air Force (RAF) station in southwest England.
The members of his operational training unit were mostly Canadians, but there were also Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans. And nearly everyone was exceedingly young. “I was 19 when I got my wings and became the captain of a bomber,” says Mr. East. “Most of my crew was 19 or 20.” The exception was the crew’s navigator, who was 35. “That was unusual,” Mr. East reflects. “He was geriatric as far as we were concerned. But he was a wonderful guy, and a great navigator.”
The war would end just before Mr. East was assigned to a Lancaster for bombing runs over Germany, and in this sense he was extremely lucky, as many of his classmates who got dispatched on such missions never came back alive, having been shot down either by flak fire or Nazi fighter planes.
Operational training had its own share of danger, however. Many of Mr. East’s comrades were killed in accidents before they ever saw combat, and he nearly perished in a couple himself.
“We were green crews flying worn-out aircraft in terrible weather conditions – at night, in a totally blacked-out country,” he says. “When I look at it in retrospect, we were pushed beyond our skills.” Mr. East experienced four engine failures, all of them at night, “while engaged in cross-country simulated bombing missions,” he recounts. “I was flying a twin-engine Wellington, and if you lost one engine, it was quite a challenge to get it down in one piece.”
The first three times this happened, the young aviator managed to land himself and his crew safely, but on the fourth occasion, the outcome was disastrous. “We were way out over the North Sea and lost height rapidly,” he says. “We barely made it back to the coast and then had a terrible accident. Our tail gunner didn’t survive.
Mr. East managed to walk away from the crash, or crawl, at any rate. “I was on crutches for a while,” he says. At 84, he still has a scar on his nose from this smash-up.
But it wouldn’t be long before he was back in the cockpit. The prevailing attitude, he notes, was “When you get thrown off your horse, you get back on it right away.” He wasn’t particularly keen to continue flying at the time, but was resigned to the task at hand. “I tended to be a bit of a fatalist,” he says. “What will be, will be.”
More daunting air exercises ensued. After one particularly harrowing mission – Mr. East had been ordered to execute “a low-flying, dangerous, and highly illegal” sweep over a German prisoner-of-war camp – the bomb aimer in his crew announced he would pack it in and refuse to fly in the next practice run. He changed his mind, says Mr. East when he was informed that he would be branded LMF – “lack of moral fibre,” a designation applied to RAF aircrew who exhibited cowardice or shellshock – and “likely assigned to the army for a tour in the Far East.”
The notorious and semi-official motto of RAF bomber command was “press on regardless,” says Mr. East. “You might be two hours away from base, in terrible weather; but one pressed on regardless.”
As noble as the creed may sound on paper, in reality it cost many lives, according to the air force vet. “It was quite common for aircraft to disappear over the North Sea.”
A British author researching the Worcestershire training unit for a book that would be titled Angry Skies Across The Vale contacted Mr. East at one point for input, and the story of his tragic crash occupies several pages of the text. “This fellow collected statistics of all the crashed in his history of this one station, and it’s page after page of crashes, with many fatalities,” says Mr. East.
Mr. East’s own accident served as something of a mixed blessing. He lost a friend and crewman, and was beat up badly himself, but the time needed to recuperate delayed his training schedule, and hence his deployment on bombing runs. “In some respects it probably saved my life,” he reflects.
“Another experience that held me back from actual bomber operations,” he adds, “was that I got court marshaled for low flying.”
Apparently it was a major no-no to attempt ground-hugging stunts as pilot in training, but many couldn’t resist the urge. “It was one of those adventures,” says Mr. East. “Everyone did it, but I got caught.”
Canadian pilots tended to be the biggest daredevils, according to Mr. East. “We’d fly between buildings, as low as we could get, maybe five feet off the ground. It was what we did when on-one was looking.”
The RAF wasn’t amused. “In this particular unit, they felt they were having air discipline problems with us Canadians – us colonials – and they were going to send me home to teach Canadians a lesson,” he says. “I had my hide nailed to the wall, and they were going to cashier me out. But in the end I was acquitted.”
When he and his fellow Canucks weren’t flouting flying rules, they were breaking local bylaws as they wobbled back to base from pubs on bicycles, says Mr. East. “Police were constantly charging us for cycling at night without lights.” Some of these semi-sloshed soldiers eluded brushes with bobbies but were unable to dodge ditches and fences. “In the officer’s mess the next morning, you’d see the walking wounded,” the veteran chuckles.
May met future wives during their forays from base. Mr. East confesses to having a “few girl-friends,” but he remained a bachelor when he returned home from the war.
Home by now was Canada, where Mr. East continued to serve with the RAF for several years. He then moved with his Canuck wife to Muskoka, where he worked as a tourist operator in the 1950s, finally settling in Killarney in 1962, the same year the road reached this port community, to operate Killarney Mountain Lodge.
As stressful as his wartime flying exercises may have been at times, the experience did not spoil his passion for the skies. Mr. East would continue to fly planes throughout his career as a resort operator, running Air Killarney, a charter-flight business, as an offshoot of the lodge enterprise. “I discovered float flying, which became a whole new realm,” he says. He’d pick up guests in his Cessna 185 to bring them to Killarney, or fly yachters who’d arrived at the docks back to their homes in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, wherever they wanted to go. His wife acquired her pilot’s license, too, and often joined him on these journeys.
His love affair with the air ended just four years ago, at the age of 80, when a vision problem finally grounded the veteran fly-boy.
While his eyesight might have dimmed in recent years, his memories of the war years have not. “I think anyone who has had that experience has vivid recollections,” he says. “Every aspect of it is so dramatic. I would say that applies to anybody who has served.”
Mr. East returned several times to England to revisit the airfields where he had trained as a bomber, although in most cases these places had reverted to plain fields. The RAF stations “no longer existed,” he says. “I think I enjoyed the RAF museum in London the most.”
In terms of the veteran community in Killarney, Mr. East has become something of a museum unto himself. The Legion hall there closed four or five years ago, due to a lack of active members, and “I think I’m the last veteran left,” he says. “There’s maybe one other.”
He still thinks quite often about his experiences in the war, though. “I’m writing my memoirs, and have printed two books.” The first one, he notes, “covers my young days up to the end of World War II.”
Mr. East doesn’t feel his time in the service of the air force was particularly noteworthy. “My career was no different from anyone else’s, and rather undistinguished,” he contends.
But it did make a deep impression on him personally, largely because of the bonds he developed with other men in his training unit. “I had some very good Australian friends, and some close friends from New Zealand, too,” he says.
Recent attempts to track down his comrades from Down Under have proven fruitless, he says, but “I am in still in touch with one or two Canadian classmates.”
He has some misgivings about the trials that he and his fellow pilots were put through, at a very young age, during those tense days of the war, and remains haunted by the tragic accident that occurred with his hands on the controls. But, if nothing else, he credits the RAF with preparing him well for a lifetime of flying.
“We were exceedingly well trained,” he says. “By the time I went through the wartime training, it was very sophisticated. It’s something that has lasted me all my life.”
Manitoulin Expositor, November 12, 2008, pages 1a & 7a

By Michael Erskine
KAGAWONG – The fate of the Allied nations war hung in the balance during the Second World War as most supplies of men and material had to be transported across the vast deadly expanse of the North Atlantic. Those vast expanses were far from empty, as dark silent killers stalked the slow ungainly merchant ships of the trans-Atlantic convoys in the form of the German U-Boat flotillas.
In 1943 George Boyd was a young student whose school had just gone on strike that January, and he wanted to join the glamorous (and very dangerous) Royal Canadian Air Force. Mr. Boyd’s father said no, he wanted his son to join the army.
“I said there was no damn way I was going to walk all over Europe,” laughed Mr. Boyd.
The compromise proved to be the navy. Mr. Boyd soon found himself leaving his home near Toronto and entering into the “Wavy Navy.”
There were three branches of the Royal Canadian Navy, explained Mr. Boyd. There was the regular standing navy forces, whose gold-braided service hashes formed straight lines around the ends of their uniform sleeves; the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve (RCNR) with its interwoven braids forming a chainlike band around the sleeve; and the Royal Canadian Volunteer Reserve, whose hash marks formed parallel wave patterns around the sleeve, hence, Wavy Navy.
A picture of Mr. Boyd and a couple of dozen of his young companions on the HMCS Oshawa, most of them in their early 20s or late teens, look for all the world like they were ready to audition for parts in an early version of West Side Story – young, tough and ready to take on the world, the invulnerability of youth glinting brightly in their eyes.
Mr. Boyd had a long way to go until that picture was taken, however. First there were a couple of weeks holed up at the Automotive Building on the Toronto waterfront. Then off to Cornwall for another month.
“They lined us up in two rows,” said Mr. Boyd. “A guy went down the line pointing at each one of us in turn: ‘You, signals, you, telegrapher.’ I was in the telegrapher line.”
Then it was off to St. Hyacinth, Quebec from September to the end of March 1944 when he was sent to Port Arthur, where the HCMS Oshawa was being built.
“I was there in April, but the ship wasn’t ready to sail until July,” recalled Mr. Boyd. He took part in the ship’s maiden voyage, a shakedown cruise, where he was in charge of the ship’s refrigerator. “I made more money, $10, on that trip than I made in a week.”
Mr. Boyd had plenty of adventures heading out to the Big Apple, New York City, where the crew would be let loose on the town for 72-hour shore leave. They didn’t have much opportunity to get into trouble though, or, rather; the money. “No we didn’t have much money in those days,” chuckled Mr. Boyd.
It was on a trip from Halifax, Nova Scotia to New York to escort a convoy to an assembly point back up north that the HMCS Oshawa (an Algerine class minesweeper) got word that a Sunderland flying boat spotted U-889 on the surface off Digby, Nova Scotia. Mr. Boyd knows that better than anyone, as he was in the radio room on duty on May 10, 1945 when the first calls came in directing the HMCS Oshawa to where the U-889 had surfaced. By May 12, the deadly U-boat was safely nestled under guard in Nova Scotia.
The U-889 went on to become a part of the Canadian Navy and her snorkel devices were heavily studied by Allied naval intelligence. She was later sunk in torpedo testing off the coast of New England.
Mr. Boyd recalls observing the U-889 from the stern castle of the HCMS Oshawa. “It was so close by that time, I could only make out one set of its 20-millimtre guns,” he said. “She had 40-millimetre guns in front of the conning tower, and two sets of 20-millimetres on top.”
The crew of the U-889 did not speak any English, and none of the Oshawa’s crew spoke German. “The newspapers at the time said we put a prize crew on board,” said Mr. Boyd. “But they got that wrong. We never did put a prize crew on board.”
Mr. Boyd described his days in the navy as an experience he would never go through again. “And I would turn down a million dollars rather than not have gone through it,” he laughed.
Mr. Boyd met his wife in 1961 in Lively. She was a school-teacher from the Sault who was visiting his cousin. He and his friend were introduced to the young women and each wound up marrying one. After the war, Mr. Boyd made his living at the Burroughs Corporation – a major competitor of IBM – which sold adding machines and computers.
He currently lives in Kagawong and is an active member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 177.
Manitoulin Expositor, November 12, 2008, pages 1a & 3a











Receive email when keywords appear

Click Here
Powered by NetMind
RootsWeb, the oldest and largest FREE genealogy
Clipart and background from:
J. O. D's Old Fashioned B & W Clip Art Collection

COPYRIGHT All rights reserved. Use of the information contained on this site for PERSONAL Genealogical research is acceptable, however, the information MAY NOT be uploaded to any commercial database or used for commercial purposes without the express written permission.
c 2001-2008 Manitoulin Genealogy

Disclaimer: I am pleased to offer this research tool and although I have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the Manitoulin Biography Pages, based on the data I have been provided, please check original sources whenever possible.