News from the Archives v06-1
- Created by: Albert Fulton
- Date: 1997-03-01
- Provenance: Collected by various members of the Toronto Island Connections group, scanned by Edward English, OCR by Eric Zhelka, PDF by Eric Light
- Notes: v06-1
Vol 6 No 1 March 1, 1997 One Dollar
The Archives will be closed on Sundays, March 9 & 16, and will reopen during the regular hours of 1-5 pm on Sunday, March 23.
A retrospective exhibition of Kathleen’s paintings opened at the Rectory on Sunday, February 23. Kathleen has been painting since age 3, and she has sold her colourful Island scenes at our local art and craft shows for many years. Numerous Island homes have one or more Roes adorning the walls. The record is probably held by Mary Canary, who owns about 30. The 2 paintings in the exhibition on loan from the Archives’ collection show Kathleen’s former front porch and shrubbery at 14 Nottawa and AI Schoenborn’s pottery shed at 13 Ojibway. Congratulations to Marci Crist and Brooke Gibson for organizing this welcome event. Brooke has been a very busy lady — an exhibition of her own recent work opens today, March 1, 11 am to 4 pm, at the Heliconian Club, 35 Hazelton Ave, 922-3618.
Kathleen’s artistic ability is well known; let us consider her writing. A review of her book about the Canadian Women’s Army Corps, published in 1975, appears on the back page. From the preface, written by former federal cabinet minister Judy LaMarsh:
Here is the story of one young woman, one of the first to enli<;t, one of the first to be sent overseas to England to live there through the terror and harrassment of the bombing, one of the few to land on a French beach, following the advancing troops through western Europe. It is the story of one C.W A.C. member but also the story of many. Through the eyes of Kathleen Robson, we learn the way she lived, the people she met, the places she saw. This is a corporal's eye-view of a woman in war; warm, simple, reflecting the politics and the life of the times. We are lucky that her letters were saved, and we too can settle down to read them avidly, to follow her into a look at the past from inside. A copy of Kathleen's interesting book, containing photos of herself and her fellow CWACs, is in the Archives. Following are 2 excerpts from Kathleen's unpublished writings which she deposited in the Archives a few years ago. I first discovered the Island in the forties as my sister belonged to a sailing club on Algonquin Island. I came over with her and fell in love with the place, the never-never world of Centre Island, and the new homes being built on the sands of Algonquin. I met a young man who was just building his home and thought it would surely be the most beautiful spot in the world to live. Then came the war, I enlisted and went overseas for four years, married and became an army wife since my husband remained in the permanent army. We were posted in various army places, but when Eddie was posted to Egypt while we were living in Edmonton with our 2 children, I decided to come back east to be near relatives while he was gone. We sold our house in Edmonton and foolishly carried the money with us. We had some anxious moments, the worst being in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. A more desolate place I have never seen. There was a frame hotel where we spent the night. I must tell you that this was the time of the white bobby socks, saddle oxfords, and crinolines. Every girl had them, and my daughter Nancy was no exception. In the morning as we drove away along the long flat road which seemed to go on forever, I looked back and could see the hotel in the distance and someone waving a white object from the upper window. We turned around and went back -- Eddie was by then panicking because he could not find his wallet and thought he had left it under the pillow. In the hotel room we discovered the maid holding Nancy's crinoline. Eddie put his hand under the pillow and found the money -- saved by a crinoline! I went to the Island to look for a house, taking Bimbo, our small beagle-bulldog, with me. He ran about frantically when he saw ducks sitting on a ledge and leaped at them, but he did not know that behind them was a deep lagoon full of rough water. We had to rescue him with a pole and hook! I found 14 Nottawa, which I bought in 1959, and we have lived there ever since, except for a few postings overseas ... January 23, 1975. I awake before the clock radio comes on and wait for the sound of the screen door slamming at the Pohl house across the street. Then I hear the sound of the ferry making its way through the ice and the bump when it hits the dock at Ward's Island. I wait until the radio comes on with Joe Morgan and the voice of doom as I call him and then go to the ALGONQllN ISLAND ARCHIVES c/o Albert Fulton 5 Ojibway Ave Algonquin Island MSJ 2C9 203-0921 or 537-5006 kitchen to put on the kettle and to the bathroom while it is heating. By the time I am through washing my face and cleaning my teeth, the kettle is hot enough for me to make instant coffee which I carry into the bedroom and put on my clothes while it is cooling. Pansy, the dog, is awake and waiting for the paper boy. She barks furiously and after a decent interval I let her out and bring in the paper, which I take with me to read on the ferry and in the office. At 7:30 I leave the house, usually at the same time as my neighbour. It is very cold and the wind chill must be around six below. Shall I cross the ice on the lagoon or take the bus which will arrive in a few minutes at the foot of the bridge? As the water is low this year, there is the climb up the ladder on the other side which is far up the lagoon and the ice isn't that strong yet as it's been a mild winter. I walk with the neighbour who has just emerged from her home to the foot of the bridge and wait for the bus. It is so cold that we go under the bridge to get out of the wind. They are reinforcing the underpinnings of the wooden bridge and as we are living on borrowed time having had eviction notices last year we think it is being done to make it safer for the bulldozers when they come to destroy our homes. There are about ten people waiting for the bus and we climb on eagerly when it arrives. The ferry is just arriving when we get to the docks and we wait until the workmen get off. The bus is really to take them to the filtration plant and not for us at all. Percy the milkman gets off and Bill the mailman will be waiting on the other side if there isn't a postal strike. We have been having a great many lately. The ferry is a small icebreaker type and has two built up areas and a space in the middle for vehicles. One side is smoking and the other is non smoking. I go into the smoking side as all my friends smoke and usually coming home I go into the non-smoking side as my friends are not on the ferry. The air is dense and blue in there but it is warm and friendly. There are ftremen going to the city. Sometimes young people have children with them and are taking them to day care or school in the city. I used to know more people when my children were going to school but now their contemporaries have grown beards or changed in other ways or left the Island, so I don't recognize very many. Besides, there are a great many new people and I never seem to get to know them. The Harbour Castle Hotel is being constructed and workmen are hauling things up on cranes. The Harbour Square apartment house has been built but not rented yet as it is too expensive they say. They have just built a walkway across the way and are putting the glass on it. There is danger in these terrific winds of building material falling. We hurry down to the bus terminal and stand shivering in the cold or in the small shelter. I stay on the bus and go up Bay Street to Wellesley to the Government Complex there. Get off the bus, cross the street, go inside the building passing the fountain which is coated with ice, and take the elevator to the fIfth floor in the Mowat Building to the office of the Mining and Lands Commissioner where I work. Have been here two years now but will have to stop in March under compulsory retirement plan since I will be sixty ftve. Don't know how I will manage yet. This is a mining tribunal that looks after renewing leases for mining claims. We also handle cases of disputes and there is a court room. It is a lovely office with nice people and although absolute accuracy is demanded, it is a quiet peaceful job. When I fIrst started I was very nervous and my hands got so sweaty my fIngers fell off the keys, but when I relaxed and knew everything was going to be all right I found it simple to do things the way they are required. At fIrst the staff appeared the usual, but on further acquaintance I found the office one big whirlpool of swirling emotions and plots and counterplots, most of which are too complex for me to unravel. .. [sounds like Island politics!] In 1977 The Writers Union of Canada published a 400-page book containing photos, biographies, and writers statements for 192 of its members from coast to coast. Two pages were devoted to Kathleen, and the Island was also well represented by 4 others: Harry Bruce (white cottage by the Eastern Gap), William Kilbourn (1 & 9 St Andrew's Ave), Gwendolyn MacEwen (10 Second), and Peter Such (14 Fourth). A copy is in the Archives. Another multi-talented member of the Roe family is son Murray. Have you heard his recently released CD of guitar music which he composed and performed? From the CD notes: I originally started to study guitar in France on a red vinyl electric instrument. The beautiful street music of the gypsies when I lived in Germany cast its lasting spell. I studied classical guitar with Eli Kassner in Toronto, then continued to work on composition, performance and technical development as well as classical guitar construction. On this recording I play two guitars which I constructed myself, as well as a Ramirez. The guitar music of Murray Roe is frequently played at the Rectory Cafe and at the Archives. Murray's CD is available at the Rectory for $20. HOUSE NAMES In the early years most of the Island dwellings had names. A few survive at Ward's, e.g. Sunset Ho, Dun Rovin, and EEEE (pronounced For Ease, of course!) When they were located on the western sandbar, 33 Seneca was called Balaclava, 20 Omaha was Idlenook, and 11 Wyandot was Summer Bliss. The names of the other cottages moved from West Island Drive to Algonquin in 1938 can be found on old maps in the Archives. If you name your house and are in the market for a nice sign, I'm sure our resident sign painter, Len Barnett, could be commissioned. Examples of Len's beautiful work can be to the Rectory on. WISHING WELL by Don Darroch to the Archives. # 1 Seneca recently acquired a .uUJ.u,,",. Sandy and I each other we would get in the garden of our new completion. The honour at our ceremony was my 93-year-old "Sweets". We integrated a house into the wedding speeches by Sweets to toss a coin into our new well. The of the matriarch of my family "wish us well" lay in fact that throughout my childhood and my mother's childhood Sweets' summer home in the Laurentian mountains; named Wishing Well, was filled with summer holiday memories. At 85 Sweets was on her own and unable to care for Well. We never wanted to not have a Well in our family. we will. Hopefully our new home will to be a great place for family to The Wishing Well sign ULL,"""'LI,,",U of the QCYc. is builder ICE STORY NIGHT front wall of 1 Seneca was created by Jeff Turner large wooden boat Daydream. For Joanna Kidd brought a Marine Museum slide show to Island. Last May 24, Curator John Summers entertained and us with a presentation history and current restoration of the tug Ned Hanlan. On 14 John returned with and stories about iceboating on Harbour. Included were paintings by artist William Armstrong, summer home at Hanlan'S was called Rendezvous, and with shots of Silver Heels owner Tom Swalwell 10 Hooper and 11 Ojibway. Silver Heels, and Wesley iceboat Comet, are the Marine Museum John's history lesson was in a Telegram article Stevenson of Hanlan's Point, I shall be a lazy reporter by simply an edited piece next. A rousing with words and music by Joanna Kidd was by Joanna McDonnell with accordian accompaniment. Bill David & Vivian Pitcher, McDonald, Lorraine myself. Also on display were Joan McDonald's photos of spectacular ice formations and we were before, during intermission, and afterwards by a videotape An Ice Odyssey, 1968, produced, directed, filmed (according to own R. F. Mazza of 3 Oneida. The cast included Peter Broecker, D. Rae, and the star was Dave Bell's huge Skeeter. A copy of Archives, as are tapes of this story Birthing Stories on were written up in February community Let's keep these enjoyable ICEBOATING ON BAY by Connie Stevenson for the first time were spun by Freeman and boardwalk, _~_, •• ,..,v gomg. Excerpted from an in the Schooner Days 20, 1948. You you with your jolly card parties, formal dances with and other gay affairs in the attractive clubhouse -- and all things that make up a Hanlan's Island winter of 1948. What a contrast to the winters of long ago! But there were compensations, and not the least these was the joy of iceboating. sport was at its zenith on Toronto Bay 30 to 35 years ago. Such islanders as then wintered there didn't worry about tug schedules. There was no service after the Bay over. Sleighs and iceboats replaced Convenient as we find summer water taxis today, imagine how those Islanders the ice taxis, flying which would skim and swoop to town at lightning speed. Through the week several of these boats would wait at the foot of John St. in the mornings and at Blockhouse Bay in the afternoons and taxi to and from the fIltration Hanlan's with their pleasure boats, would fetch doctors from the mainland when necessary. also used their boats for various neighborly chores -- shopping for fetching the day's newspapers, milk in gallon cans, and their summer island friends for a sail. Many adventurous summer on Saturdays and walk over the old York S1. to the waterfront, which was then at Fleet waylaid by salesmen for the commercial iceboats. And these fellows literally battled for with fIsts. At the foot of York St. would be seen parked, u,."'h,,,n perhaps as many as pointed into the wind, with stern crossed, and their large triangular the breeze. Perhaps a would be walking, skating or among the boats. When business was was amazing. The boats would in and out of the narrow between the aquatic clubs' wharves with crews SnOUllil£! warnings to to It was surprising how few the hazard of these boats '!l1p,~"'r"" their way through dense "V""" .. "l,Vl Oldtimers remember a crew, Toronto boats would carry twelve passengers comfortably, and at pack on twenty. The largest boat was Art Baldwin's. Its sail approximately 4Ox4Ox4O feet, and so heavy were the spars and canvas it took three men to hoist the sail. The passengers on these boats would lie on mattresses in the box-like covered with blankets and fur robes. It wasn't "all smooth One of the hazards was air holes in the ice, with snow, what was known as "slush holes"', Striking these at terrific generally resulted in a wrecked boat. And there were the deep snow drifts! the boat came to an abrupt stop with passengers and crew tossed into the snow. Shovels were carried the boat freed, then off zipped again. Sometimes the ice would shove up in some places and depress in large pools of water over the Boats hitting these really gave a cold bath! In later years all the Christmas trees were to the waterfront and and used these to mark dangerous The pleasure boats were a delight to see, racing at great rates of speed with one skate high in the air. The !5ll"""'UlUll:', varnished bodies, black-enamelled white sails and many-coloured flying from the stays and yards was an unforgettable sight the blue ice and dazzling snow. Jessica, by Eddie Duman, with a crew of Lou Scholes (famous oarsman), Jim of RCYC and yachts), Topsy and Sam Stevenson [Connie's husband], once claimed the speed 120 m.p.h. said to be clocked during a race Capt. Joe Goodwin Jr.'s Zornya. was on the Ward's Island to York St. with an E.N.E. gale blowing. When in a heavy wind it was a practice or two of the crew to board of windward skate to keep boat upsetting, On turning a buoy, men would have to one to the a hazardous when were travelling at such These men were frequently thrown. It didn't if the ice was smooth a block at a mile a minute meant a broken neck. The late Lou well-known sports editor, was one crew for this race and incidents of these affairs are stories in tnemselVC~s [postscript by C.HJ. Snider in same article]: Toronto Bay "never was same" for iceboating after the western channel was cut a thousand feet south the old one, and the harbor in 1920 both restricted area and broke that area up by the traffic of vessels being shifted In 1910, William Buckland, a Toronto artist and iceboating enthusiast, permission to sue the Ottawa Government because they had "deliberately ClestfO'yea Toronto's fmest winter on our Bay". Mr. Buckland out that the Ottawa action in and enlarging the western gap created currents which periodically broke up the in Bay and made iceboating dangerous or im possible. Ottawa refused him to proceed with his suit and the was that during the rest of his when he encountered an unlucky politician in the street, he would shake the umbrella, which he constantly carried, in the face of unhappy gentleman and storm: "I see we have no iceboating on so I presume, sir, you are still in the of the poolrooms!" advent of the Ned Hanlan and icebreaker and the fire tug rang down the curtain on Toronto Icelbol:ttmg. although some of the modern did have a successful try for it as late as 1940. Oldtimers would be names of Islanders and their iceboats which ...... VU.LlJ.'" described. is on file. Sam lived at 56 Hiawatha Sam's brother Bill Ann lived at 12 owned an lceDo'Lt. McLarty tells me that Bill as Uncle Wiggly and Wobbly. Why? Ask John! houses were demolished with the during the winter of but Connie's childhood summer home escaped demolition this past year! It had moved from 61 West Island Drive to Omaha in 1938. Bill and son Bill Jr (1923-1992) Laurel and family moved from to 7 Ojibway, lived from 1959 until The current fleet of two (Noy and Fulton) would some company. Unfortunately Doug Ganton's iceboat is on the bottom somewhere between Beach and the Spit, and Ruskin's work. Bill Ward and Smith have not had out for a few years. Mark Millen built a wooden one, which became firewood after his metal one, but Mark has preferred Florida winters recently. son soon entering Mark and his boat be back on the ice. Mitch Fenton built a new skate sail, Smith Sons have had with a huge kite. This season has been the memory -- one day, Sunday, February 9th! The ice was or good wind but not both at same Maybe next "WILLIAM WARD: ISLAND HERO" Did you acquire a copy of the beautiful 32-page booklet by this which was on sale at the Christmas Boutique? Joanna Kidd wrote the text (from which at Story Night last May 24), and Laurie Jones provided the colour illustrations. A copies are available from Joanna at $20. Joanna the same of drownings of William's sisters which appeared in Sally Gibson's More Than An Island (including a report from inquest), Late life, William a slightly as was reported in the Star Weekly of February 3, ...... aVl
July 2, 1980. Toronto Star: GROSSMAN BACKS ISLANDERS BUT IT’S NO PICNIC, HE SAYS Boos and shouts of “Shame” Larry Grossman when he told a rally 2000 on Ward’s Island that he won’t condone violence in attempts to stave eviction. Grossman, minister of industry and tourism and MPP for the Islanders, said “I can’t associate myself with lawbreaking in the event the II Grossman wants Metro and the city to agree to a provincial into the of Island community. inquiry, by Barry Swadron, would include two each Metro and city. Metro so far has refused to take part. The booing started when the minister suggested that the Islanders should get Metro to participate by agreeing to by the if Metro would do likewise … Toronto Mayor John Sewell was greeted with a standing ovation and interrupted by applause when he liThe Toronto Island community is here to ”
January 1997. PAL MEETS Islanders
On Wednesday, January 15 transportation minister AI Palladini 9 am Ongiara run to Hanlan’s to meet the During that week of announcements of massive changes in provincial funding, education minister John Snobelen had led off on morning at Enoch Turner Schoolhouse. The location was well in and Mr Snobelen was beset
many protestors, and the schooL Mr Palladini’s choice seemed safe — the 8:45 boat from would dock, everyone would the media would board, no passengers or trucks would be and the would proceed to and back. However, a dozen 8;45 crowd noticed the lectern decided to aboard, the crew cooperated by not to leave, and Mr Palladini’s turned out to be more lively he had expected. He was heckled throughout his prepared address, and vigorous chanting could be heard in the background. Interviews with
Islanders were recorded on the boat and afterwards on shore and were included in reports on the 3 local TV channels in the 3 daily newspapers. Photographer Boris Spremo was bedazzled Laura Shepherd’s radiant tresses in the and Laura appeared next day in colour on the front page the Star. Mittelstaedt provided page
coverage in the Globe & Mail. Clippings, TV tapes, and about 50 photos are in Archives. February 1997. RELEASE: People, Go U’here We Send Thee
The Singing Gospel with Tabby Johnson, have adapted NChildren, Go Where We Send Thee”, a Negro “‘vJ~'”””” Spiritual, to VOICE our to the Harris onslaught of legislation 103,104,105, and 106). Our efforts grew out of a group’s to lend energy to Citizens Democracy and out of frustration that Harris goverment will not LISTEN to the voice of people. Taking our lead from the
Civil Rights Movement, the Singing Citizens wish to inspire and uplift spirits these troubled times in Ontario. It is our hope that other choirs, groups and individuals will us in our song; to that end cassettes have been distributed to local radio the lyric song posted on the Citizens Local Web Site at http://community
Vl’vu …… “. ” …. …..,u.,. For further Sandy Krzyzanowski/203-1036 or Laura Shepherd/203-3637. clever song was performed by a choir of Islanders on the steps Metropolitan Church on Monday, 27. It since been each Monday night at C4LD
meetings, and a studio recording was taped on February 11. Photos of choir at the original performance and tapes original the studio performances are in the Other me~ga,Cl materials on file are copies of the hearings, newspaper coverage of Island participation, TV news videos of scenes such as Tabby Johnson’s rendition
at Holy Trinity Church and the Rebellion of parade down Y onge St Arhythmics and Englar’s 50 yellow costumes. What an exciting winter has turned out to be!
Have you watched weekend activity Sunfish since the middle of January? John and courier chainsawed their way through a lot in creating the huge around their figure-eight race for the Annual liSt. Valentine’s Day Massacre” evening of the Two of Smith’s sculptures helped light night. is proprietor Jet Fuel at 519 Parliament St where the bike couriers refuel themselves with strong coffee. From The Vancouver Province, 30, 1996:
Johnny Jet Fuel is bike bad boy. After years of mayhem in Toronto with the annual Halloween Alley Cats Scramble, Johnny Jet Fuel — Johnny .- is running a legitimate race on a figure-eight track in an east Vancouver warehouse, starting at noon The promises road rash as competitors try to for tomorrow’s finals on 125-metre-Iong (410-foot) plywood track. He’s looking “the most urban cyclist
With an international field of competitors, organizers say the two-day Alley Cats Scramble is a race for Chan, kind of riders”, ..
A photo John cycling on the track accompanied article. The ultimate winner was Lars Urban Bremen, Matt MacDonald and Roddy joined John and 5 others October construction the $30,000 sponsored by a tobacco company. an 18- booklet of photos taken construction of the structure.
HARBOUR LICENSE (excerpted from Sept/Oct’96 issue of GAM magazine) Anyone a vessel sailboats) with a motor any in Toronto Harbour is to hold a Harbour license. If an operator without a license is cautioned by the a record will be kept. A second caution is unlikely. If charged [with or another the police will the operator a notice to appear in court on a day. There is no allowance settlement. If the operator to appear, judge may a bench warrant his/her
arrest the may held in custody until may be charged with a further of “Fail to appear” which is a Criminal offense and carries a penalty of two years in jail. If there is a conviction, the failure to appear will also result in a criminal record. All boating charges are Federal under the Canada Act as the Harbour is a Federal Port
The long-time publisher/editor of GAM is Karin Larson, formerly of 74 Lakeshore. The no-nonsense approach which she describes was experienced last by a daughter of a former commodore. She was nabbed for speeding and to appear in court as she was writing exams. When she dropped in to explain absence, she was locked up Daddy had to come and bail her out!
Adam Zhelka donated about photos the past few a series on the demolition of 30 Omaha a composite bird/s-eye panorama of the sheds the backyards between Ojibway and Oneida. Adam/s unconventional choice of subject matter is always appreciated — previous included shots of crawl spaces. Gertie Weinhart donated 10 excellent 8″xlO11 photos, mostly taken by a Globe Mail photographer at the Island Winter Carnival on February 2, 1971. prominently was Gertie’s son Arthur. Laura Shepherd donated a cassette the new “People, Go We Send Thee”, Irina Schestakowich donated 2 books of poetry by Robert (formerly of 3 Wyandot) and some examples of recent work in 3 different mediums. art is currently on exhibit at the Gallery on the 231 St N in Hamilton, Fri/Sat/Sun has a commission for to in the Seasons Hotel Vancouver. Lu Schoenborn deposited another of her copious with City and Metro politicians during the long campaign to Island Homes. Lu and the other veterans all our praises — without our beloved community simply would not be. of the chief functions of Archives is to preserve the record of our local history so that newcomers can learn story of why they have privilege living in this unique environment. The Pioneers, via Cridland, deposited their correspondence meetings during 1991-1994, as well as some photos. Toronto Island Pioneers, a social group, originated during the summer 1991. and former 60 and over are invited to their regular Wednesday morning get-togethers at the Rectory. Tery PeUettier donated a copy of a front page The Star March 1891. It dealt with the incorporation The Ferry A number of boats had been purchased (two in Montreal), land had leased at Hanlan’s Point, and the company was ready to commence operations the new season. Matt MacDonald loaned a of film and negatives taken Megan Cridland of a waterskiing excursion by Roddy Jones last November 17 in an unusual location. Barry Lipton deposited a copy lO-minute presentation before the legislative committee hearing on Bill 103. Sandy Krzyzanowski continues to drop off clippings and ephemera on a wide spectrum local interest. Mike Davey donated a 28-page manual for the instalation and maintenance of Coleman oil floor furnaces were common in the post-war houses constructed on Algonquin, including #5 and #9 Ojibway. Allen Buck delivered several cartons of Island memorabilia by Harold & Alice Aitken (290 Lake Shore, 1 Ojibway). Harold was actively involved many in the (Centre Island Association), the IAA (Island Aquatic Association), publication of the Centre Islander newspaper, and he was an avid gardener. a stockbroker, he was accustomed to keeping meticulous From a cursory Harold’s papers to well-preserved examples primary source materials. Carl Bregman donated 20 photos he took of the Trillium in dry dock Hamilton last September. Klaus Bock dropped off a number of interesting items including a pair of colour illustrations by Dudley Davey.
materials are greatly appreciated, and they may examined during the regular Archives open houses on Sunday afternoons. Previous issues this newsletter are kept in and subscriptions by mail are available at $8 per (4
ODDS AND ENDS
Aitken: The end
heads south on Ojibway.
an era — Enid Cridland still finds turning into Alice’s yard as she has settled into Fudger House, on Sherbourne just south of
phone number is 922-8091, and she loves to hear from old friends. She that mail sent her daughter Bunty Buck at 202 Glengrove W, Toronto, M4R IP3. biographical sketch appeared in September 1994 issue of this newletter, on the occasion of Alice’s 90th birthday on August 24, 1994.
Glenn McArthur recently designed a beautiful edition booklet about Group Seven artist MacDonald, written by Robert Stacey. copy is in the Archives. Glenn is curator of the current exhibition at the Market Gallery on work architect William Thomas, July 6. Examples of Glenn’s photos and drawings Thomas’ works are included. For design and printing needs, contact Island Communications, 2 Ojibway Ave, 203-3956.
Lory MacDonald, formerly of 11 Ojibway, has an exhibition at the Rustic Cosmo 1278 Queen W, Gust west of Dufferin), until March 6. display are 23 watercolours priced from $95 to $1200. Lory, a graduate of the Ontario College of is living in Nottawa, near Collingwood, is active in teaching and organizing studio tours the area. Examples of Lory’s work are the Archives.
Nick the Mailman: From News Canada Post Corporation’s and People, December/January issue:
Many bike to work, but Nick Thompson-Wood cycles on the job. Thompson-Wood, a letter carrier in Toronto, delivers mail by to of Ward Island and Island, near Toronto. But it’s not an bike. This bike has three wheels — two up front and one in the back — and a box-like container attached to the front that carries The is decorated with CPCs colours and logo. “It looks like a Dickie Dee cream bicycle,” says Thompson-Wood. So much so, in that hungry spectators often him if he sells frozen treats. He hasn’t ice cream, but he’s lots of
plus to deliver to the 250 houses on the islands. “I’ve lost a lot of weight since I chuckles Thompson-Wood. “It’s fun. I really enjoy it.”
A photo of Nick and red, white and blue postal appears on cover the 76-page publication. and his wife run a 21-room bed-and-breakfast at 65 Homewood Ave (920-7944), just around the corner from Alice Aitken’s new digs at Fudger House.
Olympians: Island Olympic sailors McLaughlin (Silver, Dutchman, 1984) and Frank McLaughlin & John Millen (Bronze, Flying Dutchman, 1988) will be joined by Hans Fogh, John Kerr and Terry Neilson in an evening of speaking chatting at the RCYC city clubhouse at 141 St George St on Monday, April 14, at 7 The event is open to for $15, with
afterwards. 967-7245, ext 207, to reserve your tickets.
Showbiz: Matthew Ferguson appears the TV series Nildta on Mondays at 10 pm on CTV. Trudeau and the FLQ is back, until March 9, at the Factory Theatre Studio Caf~, 125 Bathurst St, 504-997L Astrid Janson designed multiplicity of costumes.
Summer Jobs: Beasley Amusements are currently hiring summer staff for the Centreville Amusement Park. Positions are available in food service, retail game operation, and sales. (an number to remember) to book an appointment, before the of March. another number to remember is that of the Emergency Response Network (c/o Weber): 203-091L
Toronto Historical Board: Thursday lectures, noon to one, 205 Y onge St, $4. I don’t if symbolism is intended, but the March series with Toronto disasters! March The Noronic and Other Toronto Harbour Disasters. March Hurricane (night of October 15, 1954). The Noronic burned at the Steamship docks at foot Yonge St on the night of September 17, 1949, with the loss 118 lives. The April/May features Toronto residential architecture.
of all ROM, AGO, and TFN including walking tours, are kept up to date at the Archives. From 1HB February
The THB has been awarding grant monies to owners of designated properties for restoration work for some years. However, it is not very that we a in return. Recently, S1. Church on Toronto Island the THB with a token of its for the $5,000 Toronto Fund grant and the on-going counsel of Heritage Toronto staff. A one-of-a-kind poster depicting the restored church, painted by Hilary Kilbourn, will hang in our at 2D5 St. .
Graham Mudge is the blessed applied the grant. organized the restoration work, contributed much of the labour, Hilary’s poster to the Congratulations, Graham!
Kathleen Roe, in her W.W.l1 uniform, and elegantly attired for the Island Winter Carnival, February 17, 1974.
A Fair\XIAC To Arms
War Letters From the C.W.A.C., b~ Kathleen Robson Roe, Kakabeka Toront~, 169 pages illustrated with photographs and cartoons, $10.95 casebound (IS~N 0·919588-31·X).
By STAFFORD JOHNSTO:\
CORPORAL KATHLEE>’; ROSSOI’, in the spring of 1944. was confronted sud denly with a difficult choice . She was stationed in wanime England. as a member of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps. It was that tension-filled period when invasion annies were assembling for the great leap across the Channel. to open the Second Front.
She was told. first. that she had been recommended for a commission and was in line to be sent to officer training school: second, that she had been selected for transfer to a picked group of women soldiers who could expect t(l be soon in an active theatre of war. The choice was put to her in guarded Ian· guage but the message was clear. She could withdraw from the war for a few months to be tra ined for officer ran).,. , or she could remain a corporal and go ” ‘here t he big act ion wa~ to be .
We know her decision. not from a misty recollection decades after the event. but from the leller she wrote in May. 1944. to her parents back in Canada. “He gave me a few moments to think it over. but as with coming ove’rseas, it was quite unnecessary.”
D-Day came June 6. On July 11 CpJ. Robson landed in the bridgehead in Normandy, as one of the c1eri~al staff at a headquaners on·wheels. From then on she had a front seat for a shooting war.
Published a ceneration afte; thev were wrillen, Cpl. Robson’s leiters t~ her family back home give a vivid pic ture of what it was like to be a woman soldier in London under bomb attack, and to be a Canadian becomin!!’ more and more conscious of her n-ational identity in an Allied army with its in evitable frictions between Americans, British and Canadians.
Mrs. Roe is honest with her readers. She publishes her letters as the\’ were written. altered only by the ~ilitary censorship that cut out place-names and unit designations before the lellers crossed the Atlantic. It is a merit. in a book of this son, than an occasional spell ing ·error remains in the published book . It is a reassurance that there has been no prettying-up of the text to pro tect the author’s vanit), .
Her letters begin in 1942, when Cpl. Robson had been selected for the first draft of C. W. A. C. soldiers 10 go over seas from Western Ontario . J( con
tinues thr~)Ugh London air raids. leave-visits to Scotland . in 1943, four weeks under buzz-bomb attacks on En gland in 1944, and then through the Canadian Army’s ballies. in F-rance . Belgium and the Netherlands. It finishes with a stretch of dutv with the Canadian occupation force in- Germany after war’s. end .
There is a sub-plot that will tantal ize some readers. From November, 194~ . through most of 1943, letters mention off-duty dates with someone named John. In February, 1944. she repons to her parents that, “I went to supper with a chap I have met , George .” Two months later she repons th-at George has asked her to mam’ him and she has said yes. • .
John reappears in the letters in the autumn of 1944. by which time she is at Canadian Army headquaners in Bel gium, and John is apparentl~ ‘ some· where .near Antwerp. His name keeps recurring until May, 1945 , when the news is that if they can get simul· taneous leaves to England they will get married there . .
Then from occupied German~ in JulY, 1945: “I must write and te ll V()u ab~ut Eddie and his background . ‘We have applied for permission to marry on the 20th of August.” A reader is not entitled to demand that the blanks be filled in that sequence, but has a right to be curious. C
10 Books in Canada. August. 1976