April 16 , 2010

First time contributor to this column, Frank Goulding, had this to say about pranks (in keeping with the April Fool’s Day request for comments)…

I forgot to tell you about the fishing experience. This happened at Hunt Memorial Academy. I guess it to be grade 8. We were all in the classroom and Ross had the window open so he tied a string to his ruler and let it hang out the window. He was going fishing, he said, and all of a sudden, the ruler was plucked from his hand and out the window it went. In a minute or so in the classroom walks principal Roland Clarke with ruler and line in hand, wanting to know who owned it-- and of course you can guess the rest. We all had a good laugh after.

Frank Goulding, GA Class of 1959

Here is a ‘Where and When’ photo….

One of the buildings in Gander…does it spark any memories? Is the building still standing?


Sorry folks, but not many replies on the clubs or organizations that we were members of while in Gander. People must be busy getting settled after winter holidays…

I was going through some files and came across a copy of my first membership in an organization connected with the church in my first hometown (a village actually)…I was a preschooler 4-5 years old, for sure, and all I really remember about it was saving pennies in a little cardboard house (bank) and donating it at the end of the year so missionaries could help in other countries. I remember the closing party at the end of the year featured Jello for everyone in all different the different colors and flavors of the day.

                                 Faye Lewis Raynard, GA Class of 1959


And David Naish has this recollection of his early days as a member of the Red Cross. See Naish even brought his music to that organization.

I used to play a short little introductory example on this ‘blister’ in front of a Grade 5 class in 1954 during Red Cross meetings. It was ‘No Place Like Home’. I'd  learned it from an Air Force kid whose family was from Nova Scotia. Now that I think of it, he was the first one to show me some chords on an acoustic guitar. 

             Dave Naish, GA Class of 1960 

Does anyone remember those Red Cross meetings we would hold in elementary school? At the close of the school year we would all receive Red Cross pins. I had quite a collection of them at one time. I also recall that our big fundraiser was to bring fudge to school which would be cut up and put in little bags to sell to one another. We could buy a bag with three pieces of fudge for 5 cents or  a larger bag for 10 cents. That was always held late in the afternoon on Fridays.

            Faye Lewis Raynard, GA Class of 1959

Here’s what Jim Butler had to say on the topic of memberships.

I have to comment on the special organizations information you requested.

Apart from the AYPA (Anglican Young People's Association) and other groups, I have to being to the attention of everyone the curling group that was sponsored by the Airport Club in Gander. I remember starting curling at the stadium on Foss Avenue in the winter of (perhaps) 1959.

The Airport Club started the project because it was building a new club in town and were including a couple of sheets of ice for curling. I remember we started curling after school during the winter of (I think 1958) I do remember that we were attending school on Foss Avenue at the time and walked across the street to the rink. I don't remember much about the teams, etc., but I do remember that after the season was over we all received a crest for playing. I don't have the crest anymore, but I do remember what happened to it.

I did not get back to curling, except for the odd game, until 1979, when the Commercial Curling League was formed at the St. John's Curling Club. I stayed with it until I moved to Halifax in 1998.

So started my long career in curling.

As Bob Hope would say "Thanks For The Memories”!"

          Jim Butler, GA Class of 1959


On the topic of membership cards and passes, Jane Dempsey Donnelly shared this little tidbit

The saga of CNT operators and the famous trips to Clarenville. I still have a CNT pass for the Newfie Bullet from those "Golden Years" - one of our Operator's father was a conductor on the bullet, checked our passes and gave them back to us – ‘cause we could only get issued 3 per year. We were able to travel all year on the same pass. OHHHHH such good times were had by all.

And I bet I can top you on the railroad stories too - but that is another topic.”

               Jane Dempsey Donnelly, GA Class of  1960


And Co-op Housing being built in Gander is still in line for more information such as this from Carol Walsh…


Your article on the co-op building of houses - I'm surprised that nobody mentioned that a goodly number of the houses were built from lumber taken from the dismantling of the apartment buildings on the airport.

The procedure was that the government would tender the dismantling of a building and two or three men would bid on it and use the usable lumber, fixtures, etc. to help with the construction of their houses.  After all, all of these buildings were only a little over ten years old when they were condemned. Now, it is possible that this has already been mentioned somewhere else and I missed it.

            Carol Mercer Walsh,  MHA Class of 1954


I do remember my brother building a house on the "new townsite" in Gander, but I don't know if he was a member of the co-op housing or not. I do know that he was supposed to have paid $300 for the land and contracted some of the work to Saunders & Howell from Carbonear. It was at 45 Hawker Crescent.

I know there were a number of co-op houses on the street (we were across the street from Lud Hodnott). We were nestled between the Hodders and the Falons and just up the street from Robert Pelley's house. I remember being at the house on weekends working, but I don't know how much of a help I was at the time.

You seem to have struck a nerve with this topic.


        Jim Butler, GA Class of 1959

OK everyone, that’s it for this time. But how about talking about those picnics we used to go on when we were young..everyone would head out as soon as spring arrived. I know there must be more on this topic…Or another might be what our schools looked like from the inside...we had Red Cross meetings, Music, Geog., History, Math, Reading, but what about gym in the classroom especially when there were no gym facilities in the school…

Was Arbor Day celebrated in springtime? Any Special ceremonies that you remember?. Did you have Spelling Bees? Festivals, art classes? Tell us more on this topic.

Send along your thoughts to me at brfr1@verizon.net and thanks again everyone for your contributions—always…Faye