life and times
hiram who
birth of the auto
border cities
sports heritage

Who says the art of letter writing is dead? Since our last issue, we’ve received double our usual amount of missives. (O.K., some were e.mails.) We got letters describing the No. 1 Tartan Fan, local beauty queens, Ontario’s first safety patrol, even how to build a house by hand – all fascinating glimpses into our past. Many thanks to all our readers who took the time to drop us a line.

We've Got Mail

Smokin’ Issue!

You’ve done it again, another wonderful issue. It will seem strange to call it the “Times.” I’ve gotten used to the Walkerville part but all things must change. It opens up a world of new possibilities for articles. I bet I can come up with a hundred new ideas for stories now that you are going to cover the entire Border City area.

Only one problem with the issue – the big colour centrefold. The font you used is not English! Is the entire text of the centrefold Russian?

Other than that, smoking issue! Did you know the Commodore Hotel, now Jason’s, [pictured on page 10 of Issue 23] was the residence of Vital Ouellette, namesake of Ouellette Avenue?
Keep up the great work.
Andrew Foot, Windsor

Ed: Belated April Fool’s Andrew! The font on pages 14/15 of our April issue defaulted to Symbol. See page 22 for the photos with the captions printed in English. We kept a running score of the various languages readers thought the captions were printed in: there were six languages in all including Russian (4 votes), Spanish (2), Ukrainian (1), Polish (1), Greek – the winner (8) and French (1).

According to local historian Michael Gladstone White, Vital Ouellette’s house once faced Ouellette and was moved to its present location on Chatham St. many years ago when the city was removing houses from this main downtown avenue.

A Small, Safe World

I was delighted to read the article about my son Mark in the April issue of The Times [Where are they Now?] and I look forward to reading about others. Memory plays tricks on all of us so I’m sure Mark won’t mind if I correct a couple of his statements. I did not run for mayor. After the provincial election I let my name stand for council, spending not a cent on advertising for I was ambivalent about the whole thing. Fortunately for all of us, I lost.

The morning after the election, Mr. O. M. Stonehouse phoned and upbraided me for not putting an ad in the paper the Saturday before the election. “You’d have won,” he said. He was a good alderman moving easily from principal of King Edward School to City Hall, whereas I would not have been, for I have little patience.

As for Mark’s piano, Wally Townsend refused to take him unless he continued with classical and so Mrs. Irene Hugill, a dear friend and neighbour, soldiered on with this reluctant pupil. Mark never comes to Windsor without asking about her. As for him thinking we were married at Chalmers, I am mystified. Our lives centred around the church, augmented by school, the Willistead Library and the Art Gallery. It was a small, safe world and my friends from those times, especially from Chalmers, are dear to my heart.

Mark’s sister Sheila and her Walkerville friends, the former Ann Lee, Ann Dixon, Candy Johnson and Jane Dixon meet together for a weekend once a year, although they now live in different cities. The ties of the old neighbourhood are strong.

By the way, Mark was born at Metropolitan Hospital in Walkerville as Drs’. Tom Robson and George Fraser can attest.
Barbara Kersey, Windsor

Aunt Aboard Fated Noronic

Thank you for a wonderful magazine! I learned something about one of my own family members that nobody had ever told me!

Betty Savage Butcher, who was the receptionist to the doctor in the house now occupied by Kelly’s Funeral Home, was my Mother’s aunt and through a letter to the editor of the Times I learned that she was aboard the ship Noronic that burned in Toronto Harbour!

Aunt Betty (née Savage) Butcher worked for Dr. Little. Dr. Hoare also had a practice there, and one covered for the other when one was not available.

There was also a dentist named Dr. Hogan who worked upstairs. Later, a Dr. Turner replaced Dr. Little. There was an operating room on the premises, and recovery "cubicles." Mom (Ruth Long, now Ruth Pye) also worked there sometimes, answering phones when Aunt Betty was not available.
Keep up the good work.
Heather Pye, Toronto

No Angel

I was a longtime resident of Walkerville (from age four when I immigrated to Canada from Scotland, until age 25 when I emigrated to the USA). Mary Stefan, formerly of Pierre Ave., and I were married at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church by Rev. Dr. Paulin in December 1950. Mary and I met at the now demolished Ford Motor Office Building on Riverside Drive. A lot of marvellous memories went down with that building but have not been forgotten.

We have the good fortune to still have relatives in Windsor. My sister, Elizabeth lives on Turner Road (my last Walkerville home). Anne Gorski (née Stefan), Mary’s sister and husband Barney, live in South Windsor. Barney owned Gorski Pharmacy for years until his fairly recent retirement. The Gorski’s started sending me a copy of your publication, as they were aware of my long Walkerville background.

I really had my interest drawn to your magazine when I read an article about Ian Allison, who had taught me at Walkerville Collegiate. He also was in charge of the bugle band, in which I played the tenor drum.

While perusing the February issue, lo and behold I see a picture of a group of lads I recognize – including yours truly in the Hugh Beaton Safety Patrol boys photo sent in by Jack Creed, a school friend.

My interest was further peaked by an article in the March issue by Roy Nagorson about the Boys’ Choir of St. Mary’s Anglican Church. I always felt sorry for the poor, dear lady that was our choir mother, trying to get about 18 young colts presentable and in the church on time.

Boys’ Choir of St. Mary’s Anglican Church with director Mr. Greenhalf second from right at top. Reader Charles Cherrie was a choir member (unidentified)
in this circa 1930s photo


1936-37 Hugh Beaton School Safety Patrol Squad, first in Ontario, from our Feb./02 issue. Thanks to reader Jack Purdy Sr., more faces have been identified. Front l-r: Jack Creed, Bill Bates, Lyle Ross, Victor Davies, ?, ?, George Scholey, Bill Gillette, Charlie Cherrie. Back, l-r: ?, Bob Coulter, ?, Mr. Warwick, Fred Hawksworth, Bob Bachelor, Jack Purdy, ?

I am a piper and learned to play the pipe while in the ‘Boys Brigade’ at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church under the tutelage of the legendary Jack Copeland.

It took The Times to make me aware that I was part of a first in Ontario (the Hugh Beaton Safety Patrol) and that I sang like an angel, according to the heading of Norgy’s article. My sister will dispute that statement.

Thanks for a lot of terrific memories. Keep up the good work with your wonderful magazine.
Charles Cherrie,
Holland, Michigan

Safety First

In your February 2002 edition, page 6, is a picture of the first Safety Patrol in Ontario. Being part of that group, I am attempting to fill in the names of some of the members. I have enclosed a partial list. Perhaps some of your readers can assist with others.

Jack Creed, who supplied the picture, was a neighbour and boyhood chum on Lincoln Road. Perhaps he could help. I love the magazine!
Jack Purdy, St. Simon’s Island, Georgia

Walkerville Factor

Your magazine brings back fond memories, possibly since I was born in an apartment at the northwest corner of Moy and Wyandotte on June 5, 1926. Does that make me a Wakervilleite?

I couldn’t help noticing the little mistake on page 12 of your April Photo Issue. I was a deckhand on the S.S. Landsdowne for a number of years and it had Landsdowne on the side of the bridge. The ship pictured, which used to dock at the foot of Goyeau Street or at the foot of Crawford Avenue on the Windsor side of the river, has Windsor on its side. But it is still a great picture.
Gerald Hannam, Windsor

Ed: Gerald, thanks for the correction. I take full responsibility. You were born just one block west of the former western boundary of the town of Walkerville which, before amalgamation with the city of Windsor in 1935, was the alley between Lincoln and Gladstone. Nowadays, you could call yourself a Walkervilleite however, as people generally consider the western boundary to be Hall Avenue.

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