Just Passing By

Phillip Pochailo of Fort Frances and Rainy River was shot down in his RCAF plane while flying over Holland during World War Two. And after joining the Dutch “underground” for three years, he has written a fascinating book!
His book is being introduced at Northwoods Gallery and Gifts here this Saturday (Oct. 23).
Hollanders hid him and a crewmate after they walked away from the wreckage. Constantly in hiding, they were moved from home to home among Dutch friends, and there was another hiding place in a stone wall while the homes were being searched.
Now Philip is home for a while and looking forward to autographing his book, published by Borealis Press, for many friends this weekend!
A graduate of Fort Frances High School, he owned and operated Filmore Grocery with his brother and nephew.
Borealis Press published the book.
Phil recently returned from a visit back to Holland. His book examines the relationship between Canada and the Netherlands that has flourished since the World War Two.
The book also celebrates the 60th anniversary since the end of the war and the liberation of Holland by Canadian forces!
• • •
Allan and Doreen Webb, now at their second home here, will be heading back to B.C.’s Okanagan Valley where, unlike other parts of the West Coast, they are not troubled by threats of earthquakes or volcanoes!
Allan continues to operate 13 delivery trucks here and around the district (since 1935). His wife, Doreen, is a Hodge from Emo. Their local business serves this area west to Manitoba.
• • •
Bill Bone does not fool around when he decides to do some jumping!
Earlier this fall, Bill parachuted at the Thunder Bay Airport as a fundraiser for the Arthritis Society—part of this district’s $20,000 contribution, his wife, Nancy, reported.
No injuries were reported!
• • •
We’re noticing a considerable decline in locally-familiar names and faces! For example, two of the more prominent families in nearby rural areas were the Hayes and Crosses.
Now I’m told there remains only one Hayes brother of seven, Wes, and only two of the six sons in the Cross family, Vic and Bert, who were the eldest.
There were two daughters in the Cross family and three Hayes girls.
• • •
Les (“Stoney”) Howarth says all of his father Cecil’s photographs went into the town museum to help illustrate local history preserved by that great collection.
Present-day storekeepers here are Cecil’s grandsons.
He was a member of an active historical committee which moved the town’s first schoolhouse to Pither’s Point Park, where it was eventually destroyed.!
• • •
I’m disappointed because, at this late date, there have been only two traces of snow, including Saturday’s sickly showing!
• • •
As well as the 1949 Fort Frances tornado mentioned here last week, there were others around Devlin much more recently, but I don’t remember how seriously the district was struck that time.
Perhaps someone could describe that time for me!
• • •
And another new author here has emerged. Mary Pasechko says she has just finished writing about growing up at the Border Mill. That was the small community at J.A. Mathieu’s sawmill just east of town, where I can remember when the CN passenger trains stopped years ago!
• • •
Yves DeGagne, a former reeve of Alberton (1994-97), and brother of deceased former reeve Lawrence, is wondering what’s holding back our farmers and business leaders from developing a slaughterhouse and meat packing business here to take advantage of the market while our district continues to stay full of beef cattle despite the lower prices
• • •
Marjorie Macklem (Morrish), who was in Robert Moore School with me, came along for a conversation that stirred the memories very well! She remembered my sister-in-law, Gail Madill (Shortreed), who keeps in touch from Winnipeg, along with her sister, Winona Pizzey.
My wife, Emily, was remembered by a daughter of George Turner. She recalled baby-sitting for us long ago! George had six daughters and one son, Rick.
• • •
Mrs. George Turner, along with three of those daughters and son-in-law, David Bushey, from Vernon, B.C., stopped to recall their popular Fridge store, partly a food locker.
It started after Turner returned from flying in the Battle of Britain. His father was formerly a bank manager here. George had Peter Palanica as a butcher.
• • •
George and Diane Glowaski’s older son, Kiley, has grown up, married, and become a busy father since I last saw him when his Crozier parents would visit with us.
Kiley, now a construction man, recently accepted a papermill job also.
• • •
It’s great to see my son-in-law, Thunder head coach David Allison, has his local junior hockey team going along so well again this season.
They recall memories of the popular junior Royals and, before that, our national senior champion Canadians—as much as we may shudder concerning the weather that accompanies hockey!
Our biggest year was 1952 and by coincidence that’s exactly 52 years ago!
Another coincidence: I met and talked one morning with three members of the old Allan Cup lineup—Richard Ricard, Gordon Calder, and Gerry Martin. All deserve credit yet for their diligence and hard work.
None seemingly look much older today although the “grim reaper” has swung his scythe against this team too often! Now I hear their Willy Toninato is very ill at Little Fork, Mn.

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