March 1, 2007  

Glad that you joined us for more chit-chat about the Gander of our youth. You may have read Garfield Pardy’s memory of arriving in Gander (Past Reflections), Well now,  have you heard what his sister Marion had to say about that topic?…


“We moved to Gander from Norris Arm some time after school closed in the summer of 1948.  The Railway Strike (CNR) was in August and we were already in Gander at that time (although, to be honest, I don't remember the Strike even though we were personally affected with our father as a section foreman with CNR). 

“I remember playing in the freight shed, a great place to play ‘Hide and Seek’.  I also remember, to my chagrin, fighting with a next door neighbour there; I went home with a bloody nose and he went home with a torn shirt! We lived in one of four small yellow houses - all alike - and I also remember returning from school not knowing which house was ours - I was scared and cried! 

“On a more positive note, I remember becoming friends with Elizabeth Dyke (who unfortunately died a few years ago in a car accident) who lived on the same street and next door to the Gander Bakery.  And soon others in the area became friends. 

“I was in grade one in the fall of 1948, having attended Kindergarten in Norris Arm. Obviously, kindergarten there was not the same as in Gander as shortly after school began I was placed in grade two because I had completed the grade one work in Norris Arm.  I can only surmise that Kindergarten in Gander focused more on "sand box" activities, games, colouring and crafts while in Norris Arm we were focused on our ABC's, reading, etc.  Maybe that is why, to this day, I dislike making "crafts" (although I enjoy other people's creations) and have a fondness for reading, etc..

“In the neighbourhood, my friends included schoolmates as well as friends who attended the Roman Catholic school. Again, maybe that is one reason why today I am involved in the interchurch/interfaith movements, presently being one of the Vice Presidents of the Canadian Council of Churches (which includes the Salvation Army, Baptist, United, Anglican, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches). 

“I have fond memories of life, school, church and friends in Gander.”

- Marion Pardy  Class of '58


Yes indeed Faye, I spent 2 years at Gander Academy teaching Physical Education from Kindergarten to Grade 11.  If the memory serves me correctly the time frame was 1962 to 1964. The certificate course in PE at Memorial was only 2 years in duration.  Then I went to Grand Falls for 1 year before accepting a position in Gander.  I later went on to complete my PE and Eduation degrees from MUN and did my graduate work from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. It does bring back memories.  Also from our graduating class of 1959, Joy Mercer ended up teaching at Gander Academy for a much long period. 

    - Joyce (Noel)  O’Doherty Class of 1959


A few bits of info about Joyce Noel, as well. She did have an exercise show on the local TV channel in Newfoundland. She also was really into holistic medicine at one time; presenting seminars on the subject when she visited St. John's after leaving university.

   - Jim Butler Class of 1959



And,  Rowena Lehr Goodman replied after reading the tribute to her brother Bill Lehr on the In Memoriam page, written by David Naish.


Faye, I have to tell you that I had a meltdown while reading the story about Bill and mom (Jenny  Lehr).  It is a wonderful tribute to Bill and yes please use it. Mom spent many years at the rinks as I told you before and she was always in the corner cheering on all the boys.  Hockey was the thing for us and I remember coming home from a hockey game at the rink on the American side  to listen to the NHL game while trying to keep my feet warm in our oven.

- Rowena (Lehr) Goodman  Class of  1961


And subsequently Cam Pritchett had this to say about his good pal George Baker…

We arrived in Gander the first week of December, and I was 5 years old. I turned 6 in Feb. I think George Baker came to Gander in late 1940's, probably around 1948, I know he was in the Cub and Boy Scouts. His father used to work in administration at the hospital, and became the hospital
administrator eventually.

- Campbell Pritchett Class of 1959


And finally today, this from Kevin Smith, after reading the tribute in the In Memoriam Page to Neil Bridgier from his friend Dennis Pritchett

Hi all:

“I concur with Dennis's comments about Neil. He`was a terrific guy.....

He would have died on or about 1967. I remember I was in University and was working as an orderly in the General Hospital in the summer of '68 and Neil has been gone for some time then. I remember specifically because Neil's mom was in hospital and and I used every minute I could to go to her bedside and chat. She was a lovely person too.”

- Kevin Smith Class of  1963


That’s it for this time. We are looking for info, however brief, on favorite foods while in Nfld. Maybe even a recipe if you have one. And anything you may remember about traveling on Nfld trains (i.e. the Newfie Bullet). Pictures, of course we like pictures. Email to me at

Many thanks.

Faye (Lewis)  Raynard