Yes, we remember!

It was Remembrance Day again as I talked to a pair of high school lads at lunchtime and learned they now have three principals in charge. Only one was sufficient in my own days under J.R. Townshend, who became probably our most memorable Second World War casualty.
We kids called him “Butch” when he was training us boys to march and obey military commands in back of the school. He also was an army reserve officer before starting active service. But en route to England, his ship went down!
His body was recovered off Ireland and buried there, so he did not reach the European fighting.
But “Butch” kept his students under stern control and insisted on us all looking respectable. If a boy needed a shave, he was called into the principal’s office and did penance “after four” in Room 5, outside his office.
He might put you to copying passages from the Bible or at the blackboard while he supervised through the adjoining window in his office. Sometimes the same boys seemed to spend half their time in “good old Room 5.”
“Butch” lived on Second East, close to his school and behind my home, and had a son whom he allowed to chum with me, so I became well-acquainted with our stern principal and feel badly over his demise that was soon after I graduated in 1941.
But he lives on for me every Nov. 11.
• • •
Someday after it opens, I plan to attend a service in the very large New Beginnings Fellowship Church because I admire the spirit of its supporters, who are going ahead while some other and older churches seem to be closing.
I have seldom attended church lately, aside from certain funerals and weddings, but I began as a boy friendly with other boys going to the Anglican Church until the Second World War years.
My mother was raised a Methodist, which meant she sometimes went to the United as well as Anglican churches, but my father came to Canada very young and had no education or church ties.
So I will try to visit our huge new church, although my walking is weak and I’ll need my family to drive me. I hope the new church can continue to grow while some of the old churches seem to be failing.
Christianity has been punished in some parts and sometimes scorned, but it’s here to stay!
• • •
Gerry Martin, an old Allan Cup campaigner who grew up in the nieghbourhood of the 200 block of Third Street East, reports that crippled Rudolph (Dorf) Coran, despite the loss of three brothers and a sister, is still “on the go” in his mid-80s despite loss of a leg, an arm, and other fingers in a railroad accident as a boy when he went under a train close to his home.
Third Street also provided me with happier memories from the ’30s. Among our neighbours were also my late wife’s family, the Shortreeds.
• • •
Taking Dial-A-Ride trips daily around town, a number of improvements are seen as needed, including smoothing of Eighth Street and a more convenient railroad crossing near Rainycrest. Our streets definitely need work in various areas.
• • •
Never did I expect to need extra instruction in order to look at TV. My present dial changer has evolved away from the convenient gadget I learned on. All I could get was my favourite “Lone Star” program until I had everyone around advising me—and even then it was tough going!
Perseverance seems an ability I am gradually learning against the impatience of others.
• • •
“When the winds of November came early,” I asked around a week ago Tuesday to learn how many remembered the source of the words above and was surprised by the positive response.
“The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald” on Lake Superior brought out the song, which was appropriate for last week when winter certainly seemed to arrive.
A much kinder weather followed, however, as our good luck took over!
• • •
The sale of the international bridge here is being advertised by the paper companies—and talk about it rivals the town buying the doctors’ clinic!
But I imagine more than that $1 million will be required, despite what some report, as the need for more concrete underneath due to heavy train and truck travel over many years.
We all hope this deal turns out well because most residents at both ends, as well as tourist travel, are happy to pay the toll!
• • •
“How’s the gold strike going,” I yelled at Joe Bliss from Mine Centre, who hollered back, “Fine!” So I guess that old ghost town is about to perk up again!
I went to school with several of the Bliss family, whom I seldom meet lately. Their father had five sons and two daughters in my school there.
• • •
The young fellow with the broom explained he was small because he was Irish. Shawn McGill’s home is Stratton. Only 14 and still in school of course, he also explained his surname was different but whatever made him stand out, it was not any lack of energy!
• • •
The new skateboard park may be next on Big Al Bedard’s “hit list” after he gets the doctors’ clinic issue straightened out.
His petitions opposing the town’s purchase are everywhere and loaded with supporting signatures. He hung one at his workplace bulletin board and it held more than 500 signatures before someone tore it down.
But Al reports hundreds more names on hand—and more and more backing him daily.
When I criticized the skateboarding as practised here, unsupervised while skaters ignore safety by leaving off helmets and padding of knees and elbows, Al and others discussed the dangers and wondered if town council would ever show better judgment!
• • •
Thanks to safety storekeeper Warren Anderson for sending over a man when my big “electric chair,” obtained through D.V.A., was giving off a wild creak when I pushed it back.
But that very expensive chair is okay. The noise came only when it tried to push on the wall behind!
• • •
Driver Verlin told everyone about the new rule on Dial-a-Ride—exact change please (this saves him time!) So next day, a girl hops out of his van offering a huge fistful of loose coins.
It probably was the right fare but “roll those coins next time!” she was told.

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