Christmas season is in the wings and it seems that everyone still gets into the shopping mode. Not to be outdone, when we were kids we always pored over the Simpson’s and Eaton’s catalogs, wishing and dreaming about things to come…This photo provided by Don Carter, shows his family was pretty happy with what they found under their tree one year.
As for the Christmas morning photo or our family around the Christmas tree, I have no objection to sharing that photo. And Oh, I do remember those Christmas catalogs - the wish book from Simpson's Sears and the joy of looking at the wonderful pictured items, and picking out a Christmas present. I remember many nights going to bed with the catalog and I am sure I dreamed of receiving many of the wonderful gifts that were shown. I bet my brother and I would pick out 5 or 6 items from the book, and the items would change from day to day and come Christmas we usually received at least one. Good memories for sure.
Don Carter, GA Class of 1967
Everyone got into the holiday spirit in Gander back then, and …
When we would go (to my aunt’s house) in Calvert, on the Southern Shore, there were eleven children in their family and five in ours). Our parents would always have a sing-song going. Aunt DeSales would play the piano and Dad (Ed Goff) would have his saxaphone and we would all sing. Whenever Dad's two sisters and their husbands would come to Gander with any of the children (Cousins) (Dad's two brothers-in-law were brothers) we would have a great time singing and playing music. We still will sing etc. when we get together which is not very often as we are all living all over the world.
(Faye, there is a sound track of the radio show from CBG in an article in ON THE GANDER about Cliff Powell and the Solidaires. Dad sings two songs on that. I don't know if there is any more available, although I do have a VHS tape of Dad in later years in CBC TV programmers. Don't know if there are any more available at CBG or CBC).
Anne Goff Andrews, SJ Class of 1966
And Anne went on to ask if anyone remembered seeing famous people arrive at the Gander airport…That sparked a flurry of activity as people recalled celebrities they had seen…Keep it up, send in your famous person story to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll include it in upcoming discussions here…thx, Faye
The Bobby Curtola concert happened when I must have been in Grade 9 or 10 so it would have been between 1961 and 1966. When he came back through Gander to return to Ontario, Dad took some of us to the airport to see him again. Maybe Shirley McNiven Beresford could remember the date. Dad used to talk about the time Louis Armstrong came to Gander.
Also, I remember seeing Peter Lawford and John Ireland come off a flight once but can't remember the dates.
I will keep trying to find out things for you. I also remember going to a Girl Guide Rally once in Grand Falls when Lady Baden-Powell came to visit. We went on the train and returned on the train. That was lots of fun as there were Guides and Scouts from all across the island at the Rally.
Keep in touch!
Anne Goff Andrews, SJ Class of 1966
Rocket Richard visited St. Joseph’s School and had his picture taken with the Class of 1960. I think it was part of the slide show at the Reunion and my older brother Ern was in that class.
Bob McKinnon, SJ Class of 1961
As you are well aware, Gander in the 50`s was not a hub of entertainment venues. I arrived there in 1957 without my family and destined to be separated from them for the better part of a year. Newfoundlanders, as you know, are very hospitable so there was no problem making friends and many an evening I spent being entertained in their homes.
The first week I was there it was suggested that, if I needed to pass some time and be amused, the Gander airport was the place to go. Taking this advice, I went down there on several occasions and watched as prominent citizens from every country passed through. There was no end of celebrities to be seen – movie stars, prominent politicians and many sports personalities. Being able to see some of these personalities was fun but you could tell that they were living in a different world from me – most were very aloof and unapproachable.
There was one evening though that I will never forget. Bob Hope and his entourage came through and, of course, there was a great rush to get his autograph. Quite a crowd gathered around him and he seemed to enjoy making personal contact with every one. He was there for about an hour and entertained the group with spontaneous humor. It was obvious that he had a good feel for Newfoundland folklore because many of his jokes were rooted in Newfoundland traditions. I didn`t get a chance to meet him personally but being with him that evening was a tremendous experience.
Dave Gilhen, RCAF Gander 1957
That’s it for this time…anxious to hear your holiday memories as well as ‘famous person sighting in Gander. Send along to Faye at Brfr1@verizon.net. And, thanks…more ‘great sighting stories’ still in the queque.