do you remember

April 06, 2012


Somewhere I read that there was a jewellery store in Old Town Gander. Anyway, Pat Dempsey Hiscock had an interesting account awhile ago that brought this to mind.

Remember those heart-shaped lockets--they used to open up and you could put photos inside?...My mother had one of those...

I know that the only pearl ring I ever had, I found buried in the sand at either Twin Ponds or Deadman's Pond, I can’t remember which. I was only there once swimming, shortly before we moved away from Gander n 1959. I treasured that ring for years, even after the pearl fell out and I had it replaced with another.

With these comments, other memories of a Gander Jewelers Store came to mind.
Faye Lewis Raynard, GA Class of 1959


So here is Pat Dempsey's story, of her jewellry with a 'Gander connection': 

 “Rings:  I still have a St. Bride’s College, Littledale ring and a gold ring with a single pearl given to me at the time of my graduation from Grade XI by Mom and Dad.

 “Bracelet:  Five identical “silver filigree” medallions strung together, each medallion contained three blue glass stones and two imitation pearls - - magnificent “bling” by today’s standards.  This was a gift from my Dad upon return from a Marine Radiobeacon Course, Air Services Training School, Department of Transport at Clinton, Ontario.  I am also in possession of a bracelet, necklace and earrings he brought back to my mother . more ornate yet elegant.”
Patricia Dempsey Hiscock, MHA Class of 1956

When we were young girls Mom bought each of us sisters, Patricia, Helen and me (Jane) silver rings with a Labradorite stone.
I thought I had lost mine. Over the years I thought about that ring as I really liked it, and it had been a gift from my Mother, who is no longer with me.

During the reunion we had here in Barrie, Ontario, a couple of years ago, Elizabeth Bursey Lyons, gave me a gift.  A silver necklace with
a Labradorite stone  AND returned my  LOST RING - she said she had it all these years in her jewellery box, I guess I had lent it to her and forgotten. As teenagers we often shared our belongings. It was  wonderful to have a piece of the past that has such a sentimental value returned. 

Thank you Elizabeth.

We were also given silver necklaces with the small Newfoundland nickel attached, unfortunately, I no longer have it. Another lost part of my past.

Today one of my most prized pieces of jewelry is a beautiful three diamond ring that was my Mothers. Vera (Mom) is on my finger and in my heart, a daily reminder of the love, laughs and tears we shared.
Jane Dempsey Donnelly, GA Class of 1960

Hello Faye

Your note stirred a memory of a jewellery store near the library in the old town. I can remember my dad (and later me) talking to the owner on trips to the library. I did some checking and, sure enough, an old map shows the library and jewellery store in the same little building next door to the Globe Theatre.

The 1949 and 1950 telephone directories also list the business.

That business moved into the new town. I remember one of the owners and know his son, Larry Nolan.    
Maureen (Milley) Dickson


And this from Bob Pelley…even tho’ I warned everyone this might simply be a ‘chick’ topic:

“I promised you I’d have have a think about the jewellery business and have come up with something.
“Very interesting subject Faye, that I suppose will get more input from the gals from the guys.  But it does bring up many pleasant memories, even for me. The first one (which I already mentioned in an email just before the 2005 reunion) concerns my ‘”love-life” in Grade 4.     “I sat in the back of the class but was quite enamored by a young lady (who will remain unnamed) who was up in the first row.  I spent more time looking at her than at the teacher but there was no way to get her attention.  I figured trying simply to pass her a note would be too ordinary, so I came up with a better idea.  

I had found in the house two gold colour rings, with lots of shiny stones, which didn’t belong to anyone. One of the rings had a lot of small stones while the other had small stones with a really big one in the center.  So one day I brought them to school and tried the slip them with a note to the demoiselle in question while the teacher wasn’t looking.          Unfortunately, it was one of those teachers with the proverbial eyes in the back of her head. The young lass who got the rings very quickly had to turn them over. But I figured, no loss, because my message got passed, quite dramatically.  

However, years later and thinking back on the story, I realized something else. I had found these rings in a kitchen cupboard, tucked in behind a little piece of that made up the door stop, very well hidden and heaven only knows how long they had been there. Obviously somewhere way back in time, some woman took off her wedding and engagement rings before using the sink and forget them.  

So I guess my actions that day did two things. Firstly, I managed to get the attention of the girl in the front row and, secondly, with the size of the rocks on those rings, I probably made a very nice contribution to some teachers retirement fund!

Mentioning the rocks in the rings brings up a second idea, having to do with real rocks. As young boys, we spent a lot of time “prospecting” for gold and jewels.  One place was really good to find “gold”, namely where they bulldozed  a road north of the runway now west of the new terminal. There was a lot of fool’s gold to be found and in our mind, we all became rich.  And, it was always a good place to hang out anyway to watch the girls when they walked home around the runway!  

The other prospecting was our search for “diamonds” which took the form of quartz crystals, found generally in the rock formations south of the new airport, closer to Gander Lake. These crystals, while not diamonds, were beautiful in their own right from pure transparency to delicious tinges of mauve, pink, blue and, on rare occasions, green.

But if our play experiences had anything to do with it, many of us should have become watchmakers.  On the west end of the building occupied by the old library was a jewellery and watch repair store. I’m not sure who operated it but the names Nolan and Tuma come to mind – maybe someone else can confirm.  Many of the watches they got were not economically repairable and were thrown out.

This was a treasure trove for the guys at all mechanically or scientifically minded, who checked the garbage barrel once a week on the way home from school. I remember a few watch names such as Bulova, Lord Elgin and others - some of these watches are now worth quite a few dollars as collectors items, even broken.  Maybe we did the wrong of kind of prospecting!!
Bob Pelley, GA Class of 1962


Thankyou everyone for your contributions to this topic, and to Patricia Dempsey Hiscock for suggesting the idea. We hope that Maureen Milley Dickson can connect with the owner of that Jewellery establishment to give us a little more history of the business that flourished in oldtown as well as the move to the new Gander site. We’re hoping that there may be a follow-up to this at a later date….

Keep the memories and photos coming…each new wave brings more people to the forefront. Those who are willing to share their memories.

To find out how to participate or send memories/photos/topic ideas contact Faye: at or the Flight Webster



back button