Sunday, May 31, 2009

Former LaSalle Power Dam Now a Bird Sanctuary Area

The former LaSalle Power Dam area is now a bird sanctuary. There is now a second dike downstream at the foot of 7th ave. giving access to the earth jetty along the rapids. I was there yesterday and I took these photos and the Google Earth aerial  photo gives you a birds eye view of the whole area. There were many bird watchers with their sophisticated cameras as well as some fishermen. It is a place to visit for those who are familiar with the area and are on a visit to Montreal.


Mayor Wilson's house on Woodland

Here's a picture of Mayor Wilson's house on Woodland Ave. It later became the Bonnie Brae rest home and then I bought it. I lived there until I transferred to Ontario,




150 th Anniversary of Black Rock

.....If your Irish, you know about Black Rock at Victoria Bridge today it celebrates it's 150th anniversary...................   George McCrae from the Point site ( a good site Btw:) will no doubt have some photos to share ,I would imagine, here's some info from today's Gazette,..............

The Irish came by the tens of thousands in 1847, packed like cordwood below deck in fetid ship holds meant for timber. They were fleeing famine and seeking salvation in the New World. Instead they found death, dying by the thousands at sea, in quarantine near Quebec City and finally in Montreal, victims of disease and neglect.

There were so many corpses, trenches were dug to dispose of the dead in what is now Point St. Charles. Twelve years later, labourers building the Victoria Bridge would uncover the bones of their brethren and insist the remains be protected. To make sure of it, they planted a massive 30-tonne, 10-foot high boulder dredged from the St. Lawrence River over the burial site, and inscribed it, in part: "To preserve from desecration the remains of 6,000 immigrants who died of ship fever."

Sunday marks the 150th anniversary of the planting of the stone, and as they've done every year for more than a century, Montreal's Irish community will march in the hundreds to the Irish Stone on Bridge St., just before the entry to Victoria Bridge, to honour the dead, those who tried to save them, and the descendants who survived and prospered.

"They came for a new life and found a grave," said Don Pidgeon, historian for the United Irish Societies of Montreal for the last 19 years. "We do it for them, and to remember all the Montrealers who risked their lives to help."

- - -

The population of Ireland surged from about 5 million in 1800 to 8 million in 1841. At the same time, the Industrial Revolution robbed many of their livelihoods of sewing, spinning cotton and wool and metal work, forcing them to rely on agriculture in overcrowded territories. Potatoes were the main sustenance for much of the population, one-third of whom lived in one-room shacks with no beds or chimneys.

In 1845, potatoes were struck by a fungal infection that caused half the crop to rot in the earth. In 1846, the blight returned, wiping out almost the entire crop, followed by one of the harshest winters in living memory, and the people starved. With the British government unable (some say unwilling) to provide adequate social assistance, emigration became the only option. Many were forced from their homes by landlords worried about non-paying tenants.

Most would have preferred the well-established promised lands of New York and Boston, but America had set strict standards and fares for passage to the U.S. were too high for the impoverished. But British traders who shipped lumber from Quebec City and St. John's were happy to have emigrants paying a low fare to serve as ballast for their return trips to Canada. Many passage brokers told passengers food would be provided for the 45-day journey, which was untrue.

Meanwhile, a typhus epidemic was raging through Ireland. The disease, marked by severe headaches, high fever, rashes, delirium and death, is passed to humans through lice. Crammed as many as 400 thick in the holds, the Irish were easy prey on vessels that came to be known as coffin ships. An estimated 5,000 died on the trip over in 1847, their corpses flung overboard.

Canadian immigration officials, who had no say in emigration policies determined by the British colonial authorities, were sorely unprepared and underfunded for the deluge of emaciated Irish. At the immigration depot on Grosse Île, an island in the middle of the St. Lawrence 50 kilometres east of Quebec City, the medical officer in charge of the quarantine station prepared beds for 200 invalids, thinking 10,000 emigrants had departed from Britain. That summer, more than 100,000 would flee to Quebec.

By the end of May, there were already 40 ships lined up for three kilometres, awaiting to discharge passengers. The ships kept coming till the river iced over in October.

"I never contemplated the possibility of every vessel arriving with fever as they do now," wrote Dr. George M. Douglas. Of the 427 passengers and crew on one ship, the Agnes, only 150 survived.

The ill overflowed the quarantine stations, lying outside on the grass and sand beaches. Healthy passengers were stuck waiting on the ships for 20 days, a death sentence for many. Bodies were pulled from the holds with hooks and stacked on shore. Between 3,000 and 5,000 died on Grosse Île.

By way of comparison, one chronicler noted that German immigrants arrived on their boats well-fed, healthy and happy.

Overwhelmed health officials started waving many ships with "healthy" passengers on to Montreal.

They disembarked, malnourished and diseased, dying in the streets and on the wharves, begging for water on the steps of churches. Worried about an epidemic, authorities constructed three wooden "fever sheds" 150 feet long and 50 feet wide at Windmill Point, near where Victoria Bridge now stands in Point St. Charles. The sick and dying lay two or three to a bed, side by side with the dead, leaving hundreds of orphans behind. The number of sheds grew to 22. Military cordoned off the area so the sick couldn't escape.

Seeing the ill dying alone, the Grey Nuns went to help, attending to the sick and carrying women and children in their arms from the ships to the ambulances. Thirty of 40 nuns who went to help fell ill, and seven died, writes historian Edgar Andrew Collard. Other nuns took over, but once the surviving Grey Nuns had convalesced, they returned. Priests also came forth, many falling ill after leaning in close to hear the last confessions of the dying.

When a mob of frightened Montrealers threatened to toss the fever sheds into the river, Montreal mayor John Easton Mills quelled the riot, and later went himself to help in the evenings, giving them water and changing their straw bedding. The father of a large family, he died in November.

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Montreal urged French Quebecers, linked to the Irish by their Catholic faith, to help the orphans. Many came from the country to adopt one or two children, accepting them in to their families, in some cases passing their land on to them.

- - -

More than one million died in Ireland of starvation and disease during the great famine; another million and a half emigrated. The country's population has never been as high since.

Grosse Île, site of the largest Irish famine graveyard outside of Ireland, is now known as the Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site of Canada.

And in Montreal, on a busy street in an industrial neighbourhood near a Costco superstore sits a rough, uneven 30-tonne stone, blackened with age, fittingly sombre, erected by labourers to ensure the suffering of their countrymen who came in search of a better land not be forgotten.

One hundred and fifty years later, their countrymen will march to the stone once again.

The "Walk to the Stone" organized by the Ancient Order of Hibernians begins with a mass at 10:30 a.m. at St. Gabriel's Parish, 2157 Centre St. in Point St. Charles, followed by the walk and a complimentary buffet at the church hall.

Museum Day in Montreal

It looks like this is becomming an annual thing,where Montreal opens it's Museums to the public for Free,.....  I know we mentioned this a few years ago,and so it seems it happenning again.....So if you live in MOntreal & want something to do,today,.head out & checkout some of the museums.......

 Sunday is Montreal Museum Day. Access to 30 in Montreal and island suburbs will be free from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will also be free public transit to many of the museums, with a transit hub set up at the Centre Pierre-Charbonneau, at 3000 Viau St. Full information about Sunday’s event is listed at

              the above is from todays Gazette,.........Sunday May 31st

Bannantyne Avenue 1929 - 1954

Here are 2 photos taken at different periods, 1929 and 1954 on Bannantyne Avenue wich appeared in the Guardian 14th of October 1954. Here is the text:


Bannantyne Avenue has changed its appearance slightly in the past 25 years, as can be seen by the two photos above. The top view is from a photograph taken by Rowland Hill, of 1050 Willibrord Ave., in 1929, looking towards LaSalle Boulevard from a point near Woodland Avenue, in front of where Olivet Baptist Church now stands. Below the modern street is seen the intersection in the same direction from the intersection of Moffat Ave., with St Thomas More Church as a prominent landmark.

Quite a change in a 25 year period.


Maison Saint-Dizier 1943 - 2009

I finally got around to taking a photo of the Maison Saint-Dizier so as to compare with the 1943 photo. Of course the photos were not taken during the same season and there is plenty of foliage that has grown since then and new houses were built on the right. Earth from the metro construction was added to the water's edge with landscaping added. The Maison Saint-Dizier was completely overhauled as the borough has alloted a budget of over a million dollars to renovate, as closely as the original construction as possible. Also, archealogical research was done and is continuing up to next year wich will be the 300th year anniversary (Built in 1710) and hopefully this building will become a museum where all the archealogical discoveries will be displayed. As a partner (SHGV) with the city in this project, we are anxious to see the end results and of course we will be an ardent promoter.




Saturday, May 30, 2009

Gladys Priestley - 1953 VHS Yearbook

We were trying to identify the prize winning swimmer shown in the photo taken at the Natatorium and a member suggested taht it might be Gladys Priestly who remembered her as a possible candidate. I was at the SHGV today aand looked in the 1953 VHS Yearbook and this is what I found. It is difficult to say that it is the same person as the gal in the swimsuit is at least 15 if not sixteen years old compared to the yearbook wich gives her age as been 14 and we know how much teens change at that age. What do you think. I have other photos to submit on the subject wich will follow.



Who Cares about Montreal ?

I thought that headline would get some attention,  but it seems for years now (since 2001) Montreal has what they term as a Montreal Citizens Summit.......where people get to voice their cares,wants & percieved needs,as to what they want their city to be like.......................  Seems like a good idea really,where the people,get a chance to voice their ideas.......    the following appears in today's Gazette as well:

What kind of city do Montrealers want to live in? Next week, residents will get a chance to weigh in on the future of the metropolis at the fifth Montreal Citizens' Summit.

The summit, a public conference with more than 80 different workshops, panels and talks, is expected to attract nearly 1,000 participants to the Université du Québec à Montréal next weekend.

Participants will be asked to think about "The City We Want" and to choose among the more than 80 workshops, lectures and round tables to be held June 5 to 7. Topics are diverse, and include plans for the Turcot Interchange, racial profiling, gentrification, migrant workers' rights, climate change, car-free streets, public transit, the protection of urban forests, and the black anglophone community in Montreal,

"One of the goals of these summits is to increase public interest in municipal issues," in the run-up to this fall's municipal election, said Luc Rabouin, executive director of the Urban Ecology Centre, the group that co-ordinates the event.

Organizers issued invitations to non-governmental and non-partisan organizations and groups to conduct workshops, round tables or talks on six themes as they relate to Montreal: urban planning, culture, democracy, the economy, environment and social justice/inclusion/citizenship.

The first Montreal Citizens' Summit took place in June 2001, inspired by the World Social Forum held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in January of that year. The idea was to encourage an open exchange among diverse, non-governmental and non-partisan groups to stimulate ideas for a more democratic and fair world.

Subsequent summits have often been held during municipal election years, and Rabouin said they have had an impact on political actions.

For example, a resolution from the first Citizens' Summit demanded Montreal city council come out in favour of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. The council did and this eventually led to the adoption of the city's first sustainable development plan, Rabouin said.

Another summit led to the first "participatory budget" process in Montreal (in the Plateau Mont Royal borough).

An environmental film festival in connection with the summit is taking place this weekend at Cinéma du Parc. For information, go to

The summit begins Friday, with an evening of cultural events at the Société d'arts technologiques, 1195 St. Laurent Blvd. and continues Saturday and Sunday at UQÀM's J.A. de Sève Pavilion. at 320 Ste. Catherine St. E.

For more info and to register for the conference, go to


........Well there you go, for some of Our Montreal area members ,maybe they will attend & then relay their findings to us all:                                      HF&RV

Place Ville Marie (47 storey's of stories) as it's put in today's Gazette

In this morning Gazette is a storey about the PVM ,and many letters from Montrealer's who had a story about the well recognized building: One of te stories about halfway down the list, is fom a Verdun gal whose figure skating club from Verdun,were invited to perform at some ceremony,on the rink in the plaza of the PVM ( I can't say I really remember a rink there,but I guess there was.........)

         here's the Gazette story:

Until Oct. 30, Montrealers can take in an exhibit at Place Ville Marie that showcases the local landmark's history, with more than 100 photos and scale models on display. The building was inaugurated on Sept. 13, 1962. The exhibit is the first of a series of events leading to its 50th anniversary in 2012.

Last week, Metropolitan News, The Gazette's blog about Montreal, dipped into The Gazette (and Montreal Star) photo vault and posted some photos of PVM from the 1960s and 1970s. That prompted readers to submit reminiscences. To see the photos and share memories, visit Here are some of the comments we've received:

John Gallop: The day PVM opened, an IBM colleague and I were casual visitors to the site when I spotted an old college friend.

Andrew (Andy) Little was a CBC Television journalist, there to cover the event with a cameraman. He said, "Tag along," and we did. There was no security at all. We entered 1 PVM, rode the elevator to the 47th floor, then climbed two flights of stairs to the roof. The roof was quite flat except for a metal railing around the rim for the window-cleaning equipment. Andy stood perilously close to the edge to have his script recorded. Simultaneously, another CBC crew on the roof of C-I-L House at 630 Dorchester recorded the event. They had a great shot of Andy and the opening festivities on the plaza. I crept to the edge of the roof, looking straight down some 600 feet to the street below. In all, it was an indelible memory of the opening of PVM.

Steven Goodhue: PVM is one of the buildings that says "This is Montreal."

Alison Beck: During the '60s there used to be a lottery, I think it was called the Mayor's Lottery (Jean Drapeau), and my aunt, Jessie Stark, was one of the lucky winners.

We had visitors over from Scotland and to celebrate Aunt Jessie took ALL of her family to the Altitude restaurant, paid for by her winnings. For me it was my first taste of lobster. To this day, each and every time I am able to enjoy lobster, my mind wanders back to that wonderful childhood experience of happy times spent with loved ones that are no longer with us. I now live in Toronto (ugh) but miss my home very much. You can take the girl out of Montreal but you can NEVER take Montreal out of the girl! Go HABS go!

Toni: I worked on the 33rd floor of PVM from 1980 to 1982.

Had a great view of the western part of the city. On paydays, we used to go up to the fancy restaurant on the top floor (I don't remember the name). We ordered whatever was cheapest but we loved sitting there and feeling so worldly. What great memories! I used to spend most of my measly paycheque at the shopping mezzanine downstairs; the clothing stores and the restaurants were fantastic. I haven't been there in many years - are they still there?

Charles Ploem:

I started to work at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in September 1962

as a waiter in the Beaver Club and retired on June 23, 2000, as maitre d'. The hotel also managed the restaurants and bars (21 altogether) in PVM. There are many stories to be told but I will just relate a few:

No. 1: The fabulous buffet at Altitude 737, for less than $10, included fresh New Brunswick lobster. You could eat as many as you wanted, but this lobster fest got a little out of hand - people would put them in their bags and purses to take them home ("doggie bags" were officially not allowed). To solve the problem we put the lobsters out of reach so the guest had to ask a chef to provide him or her with one (maybe two).

No. 2: To a lot of Carrefour guests, PVM did not only mean Place Ville Marie. When they ordered one of the birdbath martinis they would ask for an extra dry PVM, up or on the rocks with a twist or an olive. In this case PVM meant Polish Vodka Martini. The PVM became the most popular drink at the Carrefour and was drunk by many famous guests.

No. 3: Mr. Donald Mumford (his picture was on front page of Tuesday's Gazette), our general manager, gave the order that all drinks were on the house in the Carrefour bar after Team Canada beat Russia in that famous first Canada-Russia series. The game finished at 5 p.m. and we had put a TV in the bar. It was the busiest cocktail hour the Carrefour ever had. I remember it well.

This are a few of my memories; there are many more.

Vardit: I worked around the vicinity of PVM when I graduated from high school.

I remember never being able to save a paycheque because the stores were beckoning. "Enter and spend," they seemed to command, and so I did. PVM was a place where you could get lost in the hustle and bustle and lose track of time. It was, for me at that time, a wonderland. One didn't have to get high. You had that feeling naturally just going from store to store every Thursday and Friday after work and seeing the crowds, meeting friends, buying clothes, then meeting for supper. One felt so grown up, especially if this was done right after finishing high school.

Marilyn Grimes:

I remember being part of the opening ceremonies for the rink on the plaza.

The Verdun Figure Skating Club had been invited to skate a number or two on this rink to officially open it. Our precision team at the time was know as The Verdunettes. I remember it being very cold and very windy that night. The ice wasn't the best, either, but we did our best anyway. It was great being part of history.

Christina: I used to work in the Sun Life building across the street but walked through PVM on my way to work from the train station.

I remember seeing Steve Martin making a documentary of Mont-

real's underground city, starting his "take" in front of Classic (?) Book Store. I later worked in PVM on the 34th floor. While the managers were in offices in the middle parts of the floor, we "lowly secretaries" had our desks in an open area on the northwest corner, with great views of Mount Royal and the west. I've lived in Australia now for many years, but was thrilled to see a shot of PVM when I went to a screening of Jesus of Montreal back in the late '80s.

Michael Elkin: I worked for PVM's developer from 1971 through 1977 in two different PVM buildings.

What an environment. Truly a city within a city, with links to travel, food, entertainment, and more. Yes, Christina, it was Classics Books. My grandson now has the lamp I bought for my new daughter at the long-gone baby store.

Beverley: I went to my first concert on the promenade of PVM.

The groups performing were The Grateful Dead followed by Jefferson Airplane. This unforgettable event took place on a weekend afternoon, the summer of 1966 or 1967. It was free, and a fantastic time was had by all. Peace, Love and Flower Power.

The Strategist: Was there recently - after nearly 20 years -

and while it is still very majestic from the outside, the inside looks like a 48-year-old wearing bell bottoms and a gold chain. The time has come for a major remodernization of the interior. As for the plaza: yes, definitely a skating rink à la Rockefeller Plaza.

Julia: I have worked in PVM for many years and would never wish to work anywhere else in Montreal.

PVM is unique and one of the most beautiful office towers in North America. It's a one-of-a-kind phenomenon where you can work, shop, enjoy a variety of culinary delights. It connects you to the métro and the fascinating underground city of Mont-real. PVM is the ultimate Montreal downtown experience.

Jack Trapp: In the mid-'60s I discovered people could go unchallenged up to the Alcan cafeteria somewhere around the 25th floor.

A cheap Coke and a breathtaking 360-degree view of the city. I had to regularly change seats to take in the view from all points. Anyone with a window office in PVM should pay their firm for the pleasure.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Verdun Glider Club 1935

I have previously posted this subject on the old VC site in 2007 but new information turned up wich I am passing it on to you. While going through the old Guardians, I found this article in the September 5th 1946 edition wich describes how the plane built by Arthur Quicke was stolen in 1930 and turned up 16 years later. I typed the article in my computer so that it can be readable. The stelen plane cound'nt be the one on the photo since it is dated 1935, nevertheless, it is a saga worth reading about an enterprising group of young Verdunites. Imagine a car towed glider flying over the VHS in 1935, I wish I could have seen such the spectacle.

I have discoverd problems enlarging the text so I will make a short transcription:

The 1946 article says that the plane Albert Quicke built in 1930 was stolen and turned up in 1946, 16 years later. He dicided to buy it back and kept it in his store with the intgention of completing it later, He built a new one and won several prizes at the Cleveland Air Show.

I will try to reproduce the complete text and post it.






Thursday, May 28, 2009

Auditorium 1939 - 2005

The top photo was taken in 1939 showing the finishing touches to the landscaping and access road in front of the Auditorium. We could then see Nun's Island and the boardwalk can be seen on the right. The Stadium was built in the beginning of the 60s to eventually be replaced by the building project on the bottom photo.


Archives SHGV

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

LaSalle Hydro-Electric Power Dam

Here is some more information on the LaSalle Hydro-Électric Power Dam wich I found in our archives at the SHGV. The ground view photo of the dam dates back to 1910 and is new information wich I have added to my Album no. 38 along with the other photo dated 1920 also giving more historical information. I am fascinated by this building and has been part of my growing up in Verdun as we used to walk all the way from Galt ave. to spend the day playing, fishing or/and swimming and walk all the way back. Where did we get all that energy. I took some photos of the dirt dike that has replaced the dam a couple of years ago but I can't find them so I will have to go back this summer to take more photos as I like to have before and after photos wich makes the subject more interesting.


Wellington 58 Tramway at Woodland

This is a photo of the Wellington 58 tramway at the Woodland terminal probably from the 50s. Here is the route from 1951 to 1957:


Montreal: Place d'Armes Circuit (Notre Dame--Place-d'Armes--St-Jacques--Colborne) return direction west via Wellington to Woodland terminal. Return Wellington towards east, Colborne, Notre Dame to Place d'Armes terminal.

I'm sure some members are familiar with this route and it would be interesting to hear some anecdotes. I am adding this photo to my Album 11 on Busses and Tramways.


Collection Jacques Pharand

Source: SHGV Les Argoulets article in spring 2006 issue by Jean-Marie Hachez



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Familiar Storefronts from a familiar Store

Checkout all these locations of a store we all knew well, & just how widespread their empire was may be news to you now,...........they were the beginning of something big,in terms of Grocery Chains,...................... Have a look if you like,....and Remember Have Fun & Remember Verdun

77 Die in Laurier Theatre January 9th 1927

This tragedy happened 82 years ago at the Laurier Theatre on Ste Catherine St in Montreal East as described in the La Presse article and photo. 77 children died mostly from panic and smoke. From then on to the beginning of the sixties all children had to be 16 years old to be able to entre movie theatres. I myself recall being refused entrance to the Savoy theatre when the manager asked me my age and I was too shy to tell a lie.


From the collection of Raymond Aubry, member of the SHGV

Monday, May 25, 2009

Opening of the Blue Bonnets Race Track

I found this notice in an old La Presse newspaper announcing the opening of the Blue Bonnets racetrack on the 4th of June 1907 and here is my translation:

The Montreal Jockey Club proceeded on the 4th of June 1907, the opening of the Blue Bonnets racetrack. Some 3000 persons assisted at this initial "meeting". The main race, the Mount-Royal handicap, was won by Lotus Eater. The drawing by Paul Caron illustrates the end of the "King's Plate" race, third on the program, won by Woodbine with a comfortable lead.

The Blue Bonnets racetrack as well as other racetracks in Quebec are dying of a natural death due to the changing habits of the public preferring the Casinos as well as betting on-line. 


From the private collection of Raymond Aubry, a SHGV member.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Deaf of Buffalo Bill 10th January 1917

Here is an old La Presse article advising the death of Buffalo Bill on the 10th of January 1917, his real name was William F. Cody. He was born in Iowa 26th February 1846 and was a hunter, scout, soldier, sherif, circus director and ranch owner.He killed 4280 Buffalos thus his name Buffalo Bill. He was deputy in the Nebraska legislature. He had a hand to hand fight with an indian called Yellow Head wich he killed and he fought at Wounded Knee. In 1893 he founded The Wild West Circus and performed in front of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, and King of Greece. He was injured several times but survived due to a strong constitution..


From the Private Collection of Raymond Aubry,   member of the SHGV

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Another Claim to being the First Automobile inventor

This article was taken from our rich archives (SHGV) wich I have added to my Album no. 33 on Antique cars and related subjects. This article appears in the "Boreal Express 1774 and says that Nicolas Joseph Cugnot invented a steam operated auto able to carry 4 persons with an average speed of 2 miles per hour, yes, thats right, 2 mph. The trial was conclusive but it was only an experimental model. This was in 1774. Cugnot received an order to build another car to carry several tons at a speed slightly higher. The intentions of the French government was  to use this vehicule to transport  heavy war armements during wars. (Nothing has changed has it) but Cugnot did not follow through on this order. All historians agree that this Cugnot vehicule is the first motorized  vehicule ever invented. What is more important to the frinds of science is the revolution that Cugnot brought to the steam engine. Up to then, all steam engines used one piston wereas Cugnot's used 2 cylinders with a back and forth motion. The steam, after operating the first cylinder enters the second wich puts it into motion. Even more fascinating, the movement of the pistons is transformed immediately into a circular motion. Techniciens of the time said that Cugnot's machine had a promissing future and it is unfortunate that the public did not have the same interest.



Sunday, May 17, 2009

Le Messager

There is an interesting story  (in english) on CTV'S Derek Conlon in the Messager at:

While your there, you may want to see the old photos that the Messager publishes for our society in the SOUVENIR section.


Scotty Bowman

While in Verdun on Saturday I went to the Auditorium as someone told me that there is a plate (plaque) commemorating the accomplishments of Scotty Bowman. The Auditorium was closed but I found a small plate about 12 x 18" in the front flowerbed and of course somebody had to put grafiti on it. There may be a more imposing plate inside the lobby and I will check it out in the near future. I think this illustrious Verdunite deserves a bronze statue for all that he has accomplished in hockey.


Danse Pavilion

Robin, a member of this site has made a major discovery. He has found a photo of the front full view of the pavilion just prior to its demoliton from the Guardian of January 14th 1970 with a backdrop view of the senior's manoir and wich is from our archives at the SHGV. I am adding this photo to my no. 15 album along with other new items.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Belmont Park

Here is a photo taken at Belmont Park of the Guardian staff wich appeared in their August 2nd 1945 issue.



 In lieu of a long missing photo in this topic , I am including the one that Ray Watson sent us of his Mom.(Gladys Priestley)Again thanks Ray even this many years later we appreciate your participation of your Mom at the Natatorium, I do have the orginal picture that we initially were talking about, but many of our photos didn't make the migration to this blog. I tried to save everything I could,so your submission is a great addition.
"the following is from the original thread and the photo is missing)As promised, here is the photo taken at the Natatorium, probably in the 50s. We happen to have the original copy in our archives. I sure would like to have more information of this photo such as the event, the name of the official and of the swimmer. Notice the VHS crest on the swimmer's sweatshirt.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Heron Island


Here is a 1935 map of the Island of Heron (Ile au Heron) wich is a large bird wich inhabits the area. It is facing Ville LaSalle near the Verdun border in the middle of the Lachine rapids and facing the old Hydro Power Dam. There are some chalets there but other than that I don't have any information.



I've heard the name before and we have a Heron Island (Aboriginal sacred site!) in the Swan River in Perth!  Don't know anything about a Heron Island in Montreal, so could you please give me some history of the place Guy...thank you, Diane 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

Old Convent Nun's Island









The photo of the ruins  on Nun's Island wich you just posted must be the Old Convent that is shown on the photo wich appeared in the July 8th 1957 edition of the Verdun Guardian. Notice that there was talk of making a museum with this building before it conveniently burned down at the end of the 50s.




Stillwells, Hard Times for Humbugs

a story in the May 5th Gazette , reads  "Hard Times for Humbugs"  it seems the old familiar Stillwells Humbugs store is Closed,.( at least ,closed to the public,I read into the story they are supplying a few stores around Montreal,wholesale I guess,or maybe they are done completely)....I had 3 of my 4 sisters work at the Verdun store over the years for the Mrs Light , & Connie Light, there was also a Johnny Light..blah blah blah, but they were in business for a long time.

Here's the Gazette story

The humble Humbug, a traditional British hard candy that began a popular run in Montreal during the Great Depression, has fallen on tough times in this latest recession.

Stilwell's Home Made Candy Store, the Verdun confectionary shop that opened in September 1933 and became world famous for its distinct version of Humbugs, is now closed to the public.

At its peak, Stilwell's sold at least a ton of Humbugs a year to sweet-toothed fans as far away as Europe, Russia, China and Japan.

Now, devotees are reduced to only five retail locations, all in Montreal, where they can still buy their beloved Humbugs.

The son-in-law of Kathleen (Kay) Light, the Stilwell's matriarch of the family business who died nearly a decade ago at 83, continues making Humbugs on a limited basis.

"I do it as a side job when more special orders are needed," said Lorne Jenkins, who is also keeper of the still-secret Humbug recipe that Light's parents, Richard and Constance Stilwell, brought with them when they moved here from England in 1914.

Jenkins has directed some of the loyal customers to the remaining outlets that continue to carry the Humbugs.

"We sell tons," said Toni Cochand, owner of Le Panier, a Pointe Claire Village emporium reminiscent of an old-fashioned New England store.

"Everybody wants the Humbugs, so we keep packages on each of our four cash registers," she said.

They sold more than 3,200 225-gram bags last year, which is about the annual average, she said.

Cochand suggested Humbugs are especially popular in the West Island and Westmount because Stilwell's "is a particularly English tradition."

Deli Plus Frank & Fred, also in Pointe Claire, has many regular customers who buy Humbugs, co-owner Fred Caligiuri said.

Penny Charbonneau, an employee at Westmont Stationary Inc., said: "It's one of our most demanded products. We sell about 25 bags a week when it's in stock and at least 50 bags a week during the peak Christmas season."

Judy Owen, manager of the St. Mary's Hospital Centre gift shop, says they sell about 75 bags a month.

"We do great with them. We've been selling them for 30 years or more," Owen said. "It's a staple."

Nancy Daly at the Montreal General Hospital gift shop calls Humbugs "kind of a steady seller" to the tune of about three dozen bags a month.

Ross Moore, a long-time aficionado, was saddened to learn of the closing.

"I got hooked the first time I tried them," recalled the 76-year-old Lachine man. "I always had them in a jar in my car and in the house."

Jenkins points to a pair of circumstances that led to shutting the Centrale St. store in LaSalle about a year ago: the location itself and the struggling economy that saw people spending less on non-essentials like candy.

He conceded it wasn't well advertised when Stilwell's moved from the original store on Verdun's main drag, Wellington St., in January 1999 to the less-visible Centrale locale.

And because of the increasing cost of the Humbug's staple ingredients - black molasses, butter, pure peppermint oil and the darkest brown sugar available - the price per pound has almost doubled to $7.50. It was 75 cents a pound 40 years ago.

In an attempt to keep his family off social assistance during the Great Depression after losing his job in 1927, violinist and artist Richard Stilwell and Kay began peddling fudge bars baked by his eldest daughter, Gladys.

Kay sold them for a nickel each to caddies at the Mount Royal Golf Club while Stilwell bicycled into Montreal's business district, where he earned $2 to $3 a week selling ribboned boxes of the fudge.

After he was arrested for selling without a permit, Stilwell resorted to delivering call-in orders around town with the help of another daughter, Jeanne.

Jeanne worked at Bell Canada and with all those numbers at her disposal, promoted her sister's fudge and took the phone orders.

Sales were so good, they rented space for walk-in business for about 10 months, during which time they added Humbugs and other speciality candies to their selection. Then they moved to the permanent Wellington St. shop.

Meanwhile, Jenkins hasn't ruled out reopening in a new spot "in the future."

       ---   " the times , they are a changing......"    ------- bob dylan

Natatorium 1945

Here is a photo of the Natatorium I found in the Guardian 16th August 1945 while on duty at the SHGV on Saturday and wich I have added to my photo album no. 22 on my site.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Verdun High School 1965 Year Book

Steve Gladish,

I finally got around to checking the 1964 and 1965 VHS Yearbooks in our archives (SHGV) but did not find a Steve Gladish. However in the 1965 Yearbook I did find a B. Gladish in grade V111-M, 4th from the right next to the teacher. Any relation ?



Saturday, May 9, 2009

Johnny Coy, Montreal born Hollywood Tap Dancer 1945

Would any member be old enough to recall a Montreal born tap dancer (NDG) who made it big in Hollywood in the mid 40s, I do, having seen him in movies at one of the Verdun theaters. He really made it big having been named the tap dancer of the year during that period. Here is a photo showing his expoits wich appeared in The Guardian of November 22nd 1945, the same year as VE DAY.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Victory Europe May 8th 1945

Military personnel and civilians celebrate VE-Day on Sparks Street in Ottawa on May 8, 1945.  (CP Photo/ National Archives of Canada, PA-114617)
Military personnel and civilians celebrate VE-Day on Sparks Street in Ottawa on May 8, 1945. (CP Photo/ National Archives of Canada, PA-114617)
Victory in Europe
CBC News Online | May 6, 2005

The news flash reached Canada at 9:36 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on May 7, 1945: “Germany has surrendered unconditionally.”

This time the news was real. There had been two earlier reports; one was erroneous and the second officially premature.

On April 28, as the war continued in Europe, as Russian and American troops met on the River Elbe, there were rumours from San Francisco, the site of the conference leading to the founding of the United Nations.

The second report came on the morning of May 7, when there was a flash from The Associated Press saying Germany had surrendered.

The military surrender agreement for the German armed forces was signed at a schoolhouse in Rheims, France, at 2:41 a.m. local time on May 7, 1945, by Colonel General Gustav Jodl, chief of staff of the German army; Lt.-Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, chief of staff for the Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower; General Ivan Susloparov for Russia; and General Francois Sevez for France.

But there were no confirming bulletins from other news organizations – Allied headquarters had ordered the news withheld for 24 hours, even though German radio had announced the surrender.

That news did reach Canadian soldiers in Holland; church bells rang across the country, and the troops took part in celebrations in Utrecht and Amsterdam.

On May 7, 1945, within minutes of a CBC bulletin that Germany had surrendered unconditionally, crowds flooded onto Rue Ste-Catherine in Montreal. (CBC Photo/Montreal Herald)
With the premature news, celebrations had already started across North America; people gathered at Toronto City Hall and in small towns across the Prairies, as well as in New York and other major cities across the U.S. The parties dampened down when people heard that the news could be wrong again.

At 3 in the afternoon EDT, the BBC announced that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill would address the Empire at 9 a.m. EDT the next morning. Later, Washington said President Harry Truman would speak to the American people at the same time.

Something was definitely up, and six hours later the celebrations started up again when the German surrender was confirmed.

When Churchill went on the air, it was afternoon in the U.K. but first thing in the morning in Canada. He told the audience, “We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing, but let us not forget for a moment the toils and efforts that lie ahead. Japan, with all her treachery and greed, remains unsubdued.” He then declared “Victory in Europe Day,” soon shortened to VE-Day.

There were official celebrations across Canada, including a parade on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, crowds filled the streets of Toronto and Montreal, there were victory parades in small towns. Times Square in New York City and Piccadilly Circus in London were packed.

In Halifax, there were riots. The city was overcrowded, filled with navy and army personnel. For months there had been tension – many in the armed forces resented what they considered an indifferent or hostile attitude from the permanent civilian residents in the city.

The restaurants and liquor stores in both Halifax and Dartmouth were closed, but once the celebrations began some people began breaking into the liquor stores. What began as small incidents then became widespread vandalism and looting. In the end, three people were dead, 207 shops were looted, a total of 554 businesses damaged and many arrested.

Across the Atlantic, the surrender of the government of Germany was signed and ratified in Berlin at 11 p.m. local time, 6 p.m. EDT. After the ceremony, there was an official banquet for the victors, hosted by the Soviet commander, Marshal Georgy Zhukov.

In Moscow, the Soviet Union proclaimed what it called “Victory Day” would begin at midnight, May 9.

Fighting continued against the Japanese in the Far East theatre. The U.S. army was facing fierce resistance on the Philippine island of Mindanao, and U.S. aircraft sank or damaged 18 Japanese ships while American bombers hit the island of Kyushu.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wellington Tramway corner Church 1909

Here is an older 1909 photo of the Wellington tramway at the corner of Church. Notice the building on the right wich would later become the People's then the Marshall's 5 - 10 -15 cent to a dollar store wich I recently posted. The tramway would be about facing the J.A. Gagnon store. You may also refer to my photo Album no. 11 for more information on Busses and Tramways in Verdun. This photo is presently posted in the "Messager" by J.M. Hachez in the Souvenir section

More information on Verdun's rich historical past. I have added this photo to Album no. 11 on my site.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Remember Late-Night Montreal

"a very familiar & well known eatery in Montreal & a late night stop for many over the years when you thought of having Chicken it was a good bet this place popped to mind."  -Les_F       Chalet Bar-B-Q Rôtisserie opened its doors in August 1944. Over the years we have built a legendary reputation for the best charcoal barbecued chicken in the world. Ask anyone who knows! We selectively buy farm fresh plump chickens and then we slowly roast them over hardwood charcoal, in our custom built brick ovens. We make sure every chicken is crispy and golden on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. When served with our famous dipping sauce, nothing compares. Simply delicious: Serving customers since 1944" Quest for best winner 5456 Sherbrooke St. west Take exit 64 - off Decarie Expressway Free parking at the rear of the restaurant or Call us for fast delivery at 514-489-7235 Limited delivery area

       Here's the menu present day:

Entrées  / Appetizers 
Salade césar / Caesar salad
SaladeChalet / Chalet salad
Salade au chou / coleslaw
Soupe au poulet / Chalet chicken soup
2.85 / 5.95

2.85 / 5.95

1.60 / 6.50


 À la carte 
Poulet entier  / whole chicken
Poitrine / breast
Cuisse / leg
Demi poulet / half chicken
2 cuisses / 2 legs
Frites / fries
Pommes de terre au four / baked potato
Sauce bbq Chalet
2.25 / 5.95
 Repas Poulet / Chicken Dinners* 
Repas cuisse / leg dinner
Repas poitrine / breast dinner
Repas demi poulet / half chicken dinner
Repas 2 cuisse / 2 leg dinner
Sandwich au poulet chaud / hot chicken sandwich
           -   viande brun / dark meat
           -   viande blanche / white meat
*chaque repas est servi avec frites, sauce bbq et pain grillé /
 all meals are served with fries, bbq sauce and toasted roll
 Repas Familial / Family Pak 
Poulet entier, frite familial, 2 sauces, 
 salade de chou  familial et 4 petits pains /
Whole chicken, family fries, 2 sauces,            
family coleslaw  and 4 rolls
Tartes / pies
           -   pommes / apple
           -   pécans / pecan, coconut 
           -   au cinq fruits / five fruit
           -   à la crème boston / Boston cream pie
Gateau / cakes
           -  chocolat            
           -  fromage / cherry cheese
           -  carrot 
Boissons gazeuses  / soft drinks

    and here's the webadress:  

       Have Fun & Remember Verdun..........!!!!















                                                       Here's an old shot of 'AuCoqModerne' delivery car & store frontage in Verdun: