Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Willibrord Park

Willibrord park, view from corner of Willibrord and Bannantyne. City Hall on the left background.

Willibrord Park, view from corner of 1st avenue and Bannantyne, City Hall in background.

Centre Communautaire Marcel Giroux across the street form the park at the corner of Willibrord and Bannantyne and was formerly a car dealer.

This vacant lot to the left of the Centre Communautairte Marcel Giroux was possibly where Buz Beurling lived in early 40s. Lovel's directory shows a Beurling family that lived there and was the only Beurling family listed so it is quite feasable. There was also a Beurling family that lived on Church avenue prior to this listing. This would have to be confirmed.

I took these photos on Saurday morning with parents bringing their kids to play. The park was modernized with pavement bricks on the ground and beautifull landscaping, a far cry compared to the early forties when is used to go there with my friends regularly and play in the summer as well as the winter where there was a skating rink wich had a wooden shack with a wood burning stove so typical in those days and where we could warm up and change our skates. Maybe I will find an old photo in the Guardian of this park.

Guy

11 comments:

Diane Roberts said...

Seeing a photo with a City Hall in it, reminds me of my son Rick visiting Montreal about 15 years ago with his wife. Touring around he noticed a magnificent building called "Hotel de Ville" in Montreal. He loved it so much, he went inside and asked the attendant how much the rooms cost for a night. The attendant, in his limited English, just kept saying "citee howl" and Rick, not understanding him, kept insisting he wanted to book a room for a night but he needed to know the cost! After several attempts, someone else came along and explained what "Hotel de Ville" meant and Rick, red faced, slinked out of the place, never to return to "Hotel de Ville" on subsequent visits to Montreal!....P.S. His French has improved!....Diane

Gord Carlington said...

Guy;
I believe the Dealer was Doyles Chevrolet, there was also a Dodge dealer on the NE corner and it might been called Verdun Motor Product or such (?)
Also I beleive the Beurlings lived on Gordon just above Wellington near the Church which was there.

Gordo

Guy Billard said...

Here is the listings that I found in the Lovell Montreal Directory from 1945 to 1946 for the Beurling name:

Years 1934-35, 1935-36, 1936-37:
Beurling, Fred G.
Com. Artist
Lamb's Garage
182 Rielle Ave.

1937-38, 1938-39:
Beurling, Fred G.
Com.
Lamb's Garage
180 Rielle Ave.
Verdun

1939-40, 1940:
Beurling Fred G.
Com. Artist
Jennings Auto Body
4573 Bannantyne (see photo of vacant lot in front of Willibrord park)
Verdun

1941, 1942
Beurling, Fred G.
Com Artist
Jennings Auto Body
313 Rielle Ave.,
Verdun

1943 No Listing

1944 Beurling Fred
Emp.
Claude Neon
315 Rielle Ave.,

No listings for the Beurling name from 1945 onward.

Questions:
Was Fred Beurling Buz's father.
Was his father a commercial Artist and did he own a garage.

We have Buz Beurling's biogaraphy at the SHGV and I will check it out. If anyone has information that will help us discover more about this Verdun hero, let us hear form you.
Guy

Diane Roberts said...

Exactly where is the vacant lot located around Willibrord Park Guy?
I recognise the style of house to the left of the photo, but I would have assumed there would be a laneway next to it. I'm Lost!...Diane

Guy Billard said...

Diane,
The address 4573 Bannantyne is where the vacant lot is now situated as the building was demolished. It is situated directly facing the Willibrord park and is to the left of the Centre Culturel Marcel Giroux wich is at the corner of Willibrord.
Guy

David Flood said...

So they have removed the baseball diamond that was on the 1st Ave side of the park. Saw many a fast pitch game there featuring sports greats including Canadiens etc. Played a little ball there myself as a kid. That was the home of the Verdun Hockey Board games in the winter.

Ken McLaughlin said...

Are you Frank Flood's son? I played a few years in Small Fry Football league, maybe you were my coach with the Vikings one year? Anyway, Frank Flood used to announce baseball games at that park, sort of weird to see the gravel baseball field gone after all those years.

Ken McLaughlin

David Flood said...

Yup I am Frank's son. Sadly he passed away at 89 years in December 2002. He and my mother did a lot of work for the kids (NDMA hockey at Melrose Park, Small Fry Football, raising money for uniforms, and much charitable work for The Legion and other charities). They sacrificed time, money and anguish for little accolades, recognition, many headaches and some nasty crap. However, he cherished his work with the above. I coached the Vikings for a couple of years ' 64 and ' 65 I think. I may have coached you but the name is not familiar. They were very very rewarding years for me. Extremely fond memories of the team of kids who I hope all were successful in life. Thanks for remembering. My Dad was a special person.

Ken McLaughlin said...

He was announcing the game at Wilibrord park and that's how I found out about Small Fry Football. Yea, you were my coach probably in '64. Small world eh? I played a few more years with the Shamcats, Johnny McLeod was the coach and a guy named Russ helped out. I can remember registering at your house which I think was on the avenues, was all nervous about it. But your folks were beautiful people.

I remember going to Johnny's place to pick up the uniforms all lined up down the hall. Fun times.

Ken

Guy Billard said...

Isn't it nice to reminisce about our growing up days in Verdun. I go back to the forties and I rremember playing in the Willibrord Park, climbing up the trees, playing baseball with the gang and on the cannon at the corner of Willibrord and Verdun Avenue, playing hockey in the winter and warming up in the shack next to the wood burning stove, those were the good old days.
Keep those memories coming,
Guy

David Flood said...

Good to hear from you again Ken.We lived on 4th Avenue until 1966. I often wonder what became of the 8-10 year olds I coached. The MacKasey's (I know Blair went on to play pro hockey and a mover in the amateur/Olympic management area) Cootes, Gerry ?? and the others who were so fun to coach and interact with. Good old days they were. Thanks for the compliments. My folks WERE special.