Just passing by

Memories flood in these days
“Should auld acquaintance be forgot. And days of auld lang syne?”
Well, not around Sister Kennedy Centre at this time of year, obviously, as you’ll learn Mondays with snow on the ground and memories whetted by winter.
It’s time to sit back and listen.
Some of our seniors were there going over the past only this week and their topics would make historical movies. They included the long-forgotten school cars, where kids from villages along the railroad were educated by some very dedicated teachers.
Also, earlier business places along Scott Street, next to the banks, such as the Sunlight Cafe and Dan Hampshire’s taxi stand, construction of power dams and bush camp operations providing employment and mines to the east of town . . . and the strong personalities involved.
They touched on some lurid incidents like old murders and other crimes as discussions proceeded, but the stories were mostly test of memories.
Such as when Alice Emes recalled her days with George on the CNR at Nickel Lake, or when Margaret Thompson, lately from Rainy River and now curator with files on view at Sister Kennedy Centre, was joined by George Hampshire, a wounded war veteran from Lac du Bonnet, Man.
Hampshire is a name recognized by everyone from a few years ago. He talked of having six sons who are also pilots like him–and how his Uncle Dan started the popular “Jitney” service to Point Park. He produced a photo of Dan’s Scott Street headquarters near the Abe Katz clothing store, the Belluz butcher shop, and Monarch or Irvine Hotel.
The same hotel that was transported intact 40 miles from colourful Old Mine Centre on Shoal Lake.
As a 70-year resident here myself, it was a treat to learn more about boyhood scenes, especially when Alice mentioned my old Mine Centre schoolteacher, Fanny McKenzie, about whom more can be learned from Rose Bell, now a resident of Rose Manor (Fanny could put you in high school at 12).
Of course, Dr. McKenzie of Fort Frances, whose hospital became an apartment building opposite the papermill office on Third Street West, was not forgotten since so much evolved around him as creator of the World War One Bull Moose battalion and early mayor and physician.
Yes, there were giants among us in those days and isn’t it shameful that more of their feats have yet to be properly recorded?
Let’s hope the museum committee planning to assist in our centennial celebration only two years down the road can uncover the events and people who made us an integral part of this great country.
They could do worse than start at the Sister Kennedy Centre!
• • •
Ted and Margaret Martens are headed to London, Germany, and Israel next week, starting off in Haifa.
• • •
Allan Hampshire, remembered as a popular practitioner of Swedish massage here more than 20 years ago, recently retired at Brantford, Ont., according to his cousin, George, who helped on local recollections here today.
• • •
Friends and relatives of Dave Allison will be flocking into Winnipeg Arena again next weekend when he brings in his Milwaukee Admirals for an IHL game with the Winnipeg Moose.
Another meeting of the same team is scheduled for Jan. 27, also at Winnipeg.
Dave and family, including my three granddaughters, have been away since August. The Admirals are the first farm team of Nashville.

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