sent my wife and I a copy of your issue #17 (Sept. 2001) and we
were happily surprised to see my wife, Phyllis (Helps), who was
a member of the Walkerville Collegiate basketball team, pictured
on page 26.
I was born in Walkerville on Dec. 17, 1913 and have always believed
I was born at our home on Windermere Rd. between Wyandotte and the
river. Maybe Margaret Meyers can enlighten me as my folks lived
with her family in the same house. Maggies brother Malcom
(Mac) was born 5 or 6 weeks after I was so I always felt close to
the Myers family.
My father was a foreman at Ford Motor Co. when war was declared
in 1914. Being a reservist with a British Regiment he had to leave
Walkerville in the fall of 1914. I have passed on to my son the
clipping from the Windsor Star reporting on my dad being the first
Border Cities casualty he was killed at Ypres in early
1915. My mother, being in ill health, had me shuffled among friends
and relations living in Walkerville. When she died in 1919, I went
to live in London with an uncle and came back to Windsor to work
in the Ford Motor Co. mailing room in Sept 1929. I retired from
Fords in 1969 and have lived on the West Coast ever since.
All but 5 years of my Ford time was spent in the Windsor offices,
so I have many memories of places and people in Walkerville. Maggie
Meyers father was a good friend and fellow golfer and many
a story he told me when I visited his barber shop. I was a member
of the AKO fraternity and thus had many acquaintances among the
sport community. I was a member of the five plus ten-pin team in
the Walkerville Bowling League and bowled every Thursday night on
Pitt Street. I have fond memories of the post bowling activities
we took part in at the Walkerville Brewery hospitality room on Walker
When I came to Fords as a 15-year-old mail boy, I lived with
an aunt just off Pierre Avenue. I would walk to the post office
on Devonshire every morning, collect the Ford mail and be driven
to the office in a pickup. There the mail would be sorted for inter-office
and interplant delivery by half a dozen of us mail boys.
Someone in your paper expressed curiosity about tunnels. From under
the Ford Commissary Bldg. you could walk underground to Plant 4.
The tunnel went along Sandwich Street, (Riverside Dr.) to the Power
House. From there it went under the railway tracks to Plant 2. This
was the heating and utilities tunnel from the Power House. From
Plant 2 to Plant 4 it also had a conveyor system to transplant auto
parts, engines, wheels, fender and other sheet metal parts not made
in Plant 4. I used these tunnels many times in bad weather when
picking up and delivering mail to the plants.
R.J. (Bob) Rose, Delta B.C.
Ed: Bob, thanks for sharing all your memories. Unfortunately, Margaret
Meyers cannot help you with your recollections as she passed away
Soccerball-eating Street Cars
the Times every month has been a ray of nostalgic sunshine. I am
truly a Walkervillian having been born in a Walker townhouse
at the north end of Monmouth road in 1926. It was the same house
my mother and dad moved into after they were married in 1910. Dad
was a traffic manager with Parke Davis and served as a volunteer
fireman with the Walkerville Fire Dept which was headquartered directly
across from Parke Davis on Walker Rd. His picture appears in your
Walkerville Times website archives standing on a horse drawn rig
labeled circa 1900 although the actual date of the picture was probably
closer to 1910 otherwise dad would have only have been a teenager
when the picture was taken.
Fire Department c. 1910
Reader Ray Pillio's father is at the far right
though my family moved to Vimy Rd. in South Walkerville
in 1929, I attended the old St. Anne school on Monmouth Rd. until
entering Walkerville Collegiate in 1938. And yes, the old 4-wheel
street cars still went up and down Monmouth Rd. and still loved
to eat wayward soccer balls. This small car was affectionately known
as the Toonerville Trolleynamed after a then popular
cartoon in the Border Cities Star.
It was at W.C.I. that I met my very good friend Al Roach with whom
I have remained close. Ours was the graduating class of 1943 which
never graduated due to a decision by the then principal Mr. Ball
to cancel the graduation after the death of the former, well respected
principal W.L McNaughton. It was an unfortunate decision as some
who were to graduate never returned home from overseas duty after
In the February issue of the Times I noted a picture of the Hugh
Beaton School safety patrol. I attended W.C.I. with most of the
boys shown in the picture. Hugh Beaton School is in an area where
graduates could have a choice of Kennedy or Walkerville Collegiate
and since they all chose W.C.I., I knew them all. The picture included
Jack Creed, Vic Davies, Charley Rowe, Charley Cherrie, Howard Moore,
Jack Purdie, Bob Bachelor, Fred Hawkesworth. Ill check my
W.C.I Blue and White of 1941 and find the other names later.
While at W.C.I we benefited from the dedicated teaching skills and
guidance of the outstanding staff which included: Evangeline Vange-Drama
Club Robbins, Fred Latin-CCF Burr, Mr. Ball, Bill
Young, Charley Put Put OBrien, JimDentist
Hartford, Mary Artist Auld, Leo Music Malania,
Archie Chalk Flipper Fletcher, Ian Olympic Basketball
Allison, Cec Cadet Bunt, Howard Physics
Hugill, Mr. Smell This Swanson, to name but a few. Bicycles
were a main means of transport then, even for the staff.
I wonder how many readers will remember that W.C.I even had its
own dentist facility in the ground floor east end with good ol
Dr. Deans coming in when requested. Free dental work? It didnt
stay very long unfortunately.
I live in Mississauga now but my heart still is in the Centre
of the Universe as my dear friend Al Roach calls Walkerville.
I am in the Windsor area frequently and it is nice to see that the
town hasnt changed that much to upset the fond memories especially
when I walk through Willistead and the beautiful old residential
Ray Pillon, Mississauga
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