The Way We Were

compiled by Bonnie Chevrier

Feb. 16, 1994

25 Years Ago

Fire destroys Portage home: A fire of unknown cause completely destroyed a house in Portage du Fort Friday afternoon. No one was home at the time.
Fifteen-year-old Robbie McCallum was coming down the street with his father shortly after one p.m., when he noticed smoke coming from the house where he lived with his mother Darleen and step-father Jack Murdock.
Entering the back door, Robbie saw that the house was on fire and immediately ran up the street and pulled the alarm at the town hall.
Within minutes, local firefighters were at the scene but were hampered by a lack of water pressure from their hydrants. Because of the cold weather, many residents had been running their taps to prevent freezing.
At 1:45, a truck arrived from Shawville. The firefighters drilled a hole in the ice at the river nearby and pumped water onto the flames.
Continuous dousing of the houses next door prevented the fire from spreading but the Murdock house was gutted.
Jack Murdock says that the family is proud of Robbie’s quick response to the emergency.
PPHS club camps in snow huts: Members of the Adventures Club at Pontiac Protestant High School in Shawville lived up to their club name on Feb. 5 when they camped in the woods in shelters they built out of snow.
The club was formed this year by phys-ed teacher Kathy Patterson.
On Friday, they skied and snowshoed to their campsite and began to build their “quinzees”, or snow huts.
The students cooked over a campfire on Saturday while they prepared for their night’s lodging.
Candles served to warm the inside of the quinzees until the hardy campers snuggled into their double sleeping bags for the night.
“It was kind of scary when we went to bed, because I thought I might freeze in my sleep,” said one grade eight member. To her surprise, she wasn’t cold at all.
The students are eager to repeat their outdoor camping adventure next year.

Feb. 19, 1969

50 Years Ago

Industrial development committee named at county-wide meeting: A meeting to discuss industrial development was held in Campbell’s Bay at the County building. Chairing the meeting was Mayor Edgar Lance and guest speakers were Mr. Ghislain Girard of the Deparment of Development of the Province of Quebec and Mr. Henry Lavergne of the West Quebec Economic Council.
Dr. Roland Chretien showed a film setting forth the needs of a community seeking industries and some suggestions about how any town might go about attracting industries to its area. After the film, a panel consisting of the two guest speakers, the chairman, Dr. Chretien, Father T.G. May and Remi Fortin led a general discussion with contributions of ideas and questions from the audience.
Clarendon Ministerial donates to Sacred Heart: Recently Sister Aline Desrochers, Directress of the Sacred Heart Manor, Fort Coulonge received from the Clarendon Ministerial Association a cheque for $100 for the Sacred Heart Manor. Immediately at the first meeting, the Directress wanted to share her joy with the Ladies Auxiliary and with the residents. All rejoiced at the good news.
This substantial donation will increase the comfort of the aged residents of the Manor.

Feb. 17, 1944

75 Years Ago

Local news: Going to Campbell’s Bay Monday night, minus seven regular players, Shawville Wildcats, although trailing most of the game, settled down to hockey and finally won out by a score of 6 to 5.
Scorers for Shawville were: H. McCredie, Morrison, Rennick, Corrigan and Hobin.
At a meeting of the Holy Trinity Guild, Radford, held at the home of Mrs. Robt. Chamberlain on thursday, Rev. K.C. Bolton and Mrs. Bolton were presented with an electric table lamp.
Coloured smoke grenades a new type of signal device, have been developed by the army chemical war-fare service, the war department has announced. The device which serves to control and identify army units and has other uses is available in all theaters of operation.
Advantage of the grenades over signal pistols and rockets is that they are more readily seen, as they throw off a dense smoke for two to three minutes, which hangs in a cloud.
The attack upon Berlin marks the highest point yet reached in the bomber offensive, says Squadron Leader John Strachey in London Calling. This attack is a deliberate attempt to deprive the enemy of the use of his capital city. R.A.F. Bomber Command has set out to make it impossible for the Nazis to use Berlin.
Nine orphans of the blitz have started a new life with a new “mother” at her spacious home in a London suburb. Their identity and their past is her secret. She has had them rechristened in her private chapel, all with the same surname – Kerin. That is the mother’s name, Miss Dorothy Kerin of Chapel House, Ealing. Of the children who she has legally adopted she says: “ I believe that God sent them to me.”

Feb. 13, 1919

100 Years Ago

Local news: The village of Cobden, for its size, seems to be taking the lead among Ottawa Valley centres of population in receiving the returned soldier with some very tangible evidence of the citizens’ appreciation for what has been done overseas.
Ninety enlisted from Cobden out of a total population of 1,000. Of this number, fifteen have returned and when the armistice was signed sixty-five were still to come back. Ten paid the supreme sacrifice. It was realized that the 65 still overseas should be treated as those who had already returned. To meet this expenditure, a fund was organized and $9,000 raised. After each returned man has been presented with $50 in gold, there will be $2,800 left. With this sum as a nucleus, a memorial hall for Cobden’s soldiers will be erected, there being no hall at present.
The good roads movement is likely to get a substantial boost this year. This is indicated by declarations made by men in authority at the convention of the Eastern Ontario Good Roads Association held in Ottawa last week. An important announcement was made by Hon. Dr. Reid, Minister of Railways, representing the Dominion Government who stated that the government of Canada would provide sufficient money to pay a portion of the cost of all the permanent roads that can be constructed in the country during the next five years.
Ad: Ford Prices: Runabout – $660; Touring – $690; Coupe – $875; Sedan – $1,075; Standard Chassis – $750; One-ton truck chassis – $750. All prices subject to war tax charges, except truck and chassis.

Feb. 13, 1919

100 Years Ago

Local News: A Mattawa correspondent under date of Feb. 3 writes to say that the previous week he was that Wm. Wilson had received telegram from A.W. Chamberlain stating the ice was bad. Our correspondent states that the ice could not be better than it is at present, and in support of this statement he says that a team drew 3,900 pounds of pork and flour across Kippewa Lake a few days previously. The writer adds that there is plenty of work for teams and likely to be so for some time.
A boiler of a portable steam sawmill exploded near Eganville a few days ago, and was carried bodily a distance of two and a half acres. Although a number of men were around, John Possette, the engineer was the only one hurt and his injuries are likely to terminate fatally.
A gang of men from Mason’s shanties on the Coulonge spent Sunday at the Russell House. They left by train Monday morning.
Business is rather dull around the Fort at present. Some of the Shawville boys were in to have a glide over our rink one evening last week.
Mr. Robt. Dagg of this village who is engaged drawing supplies to Mason’s on the Coulonge had a somewhat thrilling experience while crossing Perley’s Lake a few days ago. It seems that Robert with the rest of the boys who were in the gang were driving along enjoying the comfort of a good chat on the subject of rescuing drowning horses. Robert was in the midst of his story telling, his plan in which horses might be rescued from a watery grave, when suddenly there was a splash and a plunge, Robert’s team had gone in. The rest of the boys hurried to the spot and proceeded to extricate the horses from their perilous position which was done after some difficulty.
During the excitement Mr. Dagg had the misfortune to lose his footing and slipped into the icy waters of the Lake.
Willing hands soon had him hauled out but not until he had received a good ducking.

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