Mar 31, 2010

Thanks everyone for submitting answers to the ‘mystery photo’ below…Bob McKinnon, Audrey Mingo Grantham and Jim Butler all were correct.. Yes, that is little Frank Goulding, GA Class of 1959.



Many appreciated the last column’s information submitted on the topic of “Co-op Housing” built in the new town of Gander. And some were surprised to learn about it for the first time


What interesting stories of the building of houses.  This was an aspect of Gander which is and was not part of my knowledge.  Very interesting to read of how all the families helped each other.  The real good old days, huh? Thanks for sharing folks.  

Michal Millar Crowe, GA Class of 1960


I posed the question to everyone about ‘hand-me-downs’ which drew absolutely no response, so with a little chiding…sometimes one has to resort to nagging…hmmmm…I sent the following to a few of you again…

Hey folks: I’m not getting any feedback on this topic. Were Dave Gilhen and I the only ones ever to wear or use hand-me-downs as a kid (still do...there are a whole bunch of people in Florida running around naked because I bought their clothes at a thrift shop).

OK you Ganderites, so you didn't wear hand-me-downs, maybe you inherited a treasure in childhood that was second hand...a bike, a train set, a wireless radio, whatever...???? Whaaaaat?  The whining worked…


Ok here's one for you.

Being a fairly hefty fellow when I was a 13-14 yr old teenager, I sometimes got clothes slightly used by several uncles. On one occasion I got a great pair of pants from one of them, the kind with the very tight cuffs just as they became popular. So I was proud to put them on right away, without even as much as checking the pockets. I figured that the uncle who gave them to me (or my mother)  would have emptied the pockets anyway.

So about a week later I came home with the sniffles.  

My mother said, "Don't you have handkerchief in your back pocket somewhere?"  

So instinctively I put my hand in my back pocket. Felt something and pulled it out to find it was a condom!!

My very properly brought-up and church-going mother turned green.  I turned red.  It took quite a while to explain it wasn't mine and that it must of been left there by the former owner.

Moral of the story - if you ever get (or give!) used clothes, check for treasures in the pockets before going any further!

I also got a brown leather coat from another uncle. Was a bit intatters but who cares.  I got some paint or ink and on the back I drew a horizon line and a rising sun. Just underneath I wrote "The Sundance Kid" - and nobody was gonna make me take that jacket off!!  Don't remember though if they went well with the pants.

Should be a good starter for your column!  

Robert G. Pelley, GA Class of 1962


Being the oldest of eight children - the first five being boys - I was on the top of the hand -me-down ladder. However, with a family of eight, even the things I got were seldom new.

My earliest memories of learning how to skate are painful, as I recall my first pair of skates. These were a pair of those skate blades that you had to strap onto your foot wear. They came to me by way of a neighbor who decided that skating was not his favorite recreation. I could understand why after trying to balance myself on those things. Anybody who learned on those skates had it made. I struggled with them for a couple of years before Mom took pity on me and bought a pair of second hand tube skates with boot attached. The difference in the skating experience was dramatic. Nothing got thrown out in those days though so each of my siblings had to struggle with the skate blades before they were finally discarded.

Dave Gilhan, RCAF Gander 1957


Dave, I know the skates you are talking about. I remember watching my great uncle with a pair of those on. He must have been in his 50s and he could still cut a great figure. He seemed to be able to 'draw with them on the clear ice". I recall watching him doing a grapevine, something he’d learned to do when he was a child, long before they’d invented figure skates.

A few years ago, I came across a pair of those skates at an auction and bought them and sprayed them silver. I  used them as a decoration on an outdoor Xmas wreath. See, nothing ever went to waste with us because of our frugal upbringing.

And, when we were little my mom was always making snow or skipants for my brother and me out of some old woolen coat. She would sew those elastic cuffs around the bottom to keep them tucked into the boots. And boy, when they got wet, our legs would turn the color of the coat from the heavy wool. They took hours to dry, hung behind the stove.

Faye Lewis Raynard, GA Class of 1959





Okay, okay, here I am.   Around the time of my 16th birthday which is in August, my father bought me my first pair of high heels from Eaton's.  They were black suede and I thought I was pretty special.  Right up there with Marilyn Monroe, or some other movie star.  About the same time you gave me a really pretty cornflower blue summer dress, with a round white collar. Your mother had made it for you and perhaps you had grown out of it, or maybe tired of it, I cannot remember.  

Now do not ask me who I passed it on to because I have no recollection of it
leaving my possession.  Maybe someone knows.

Anyway, I really liked that dress and wore it a lot - well as long as one could
wear a summer cotton dress in Gander - so thank you again for the dress and for
the memory.  

Michal Millar Crowe, GA Class of 1960



The dress that I got from Michal was a yellow dotted swiss that flowed so nicely. I too had it long after Gander and don’t recall where it went…I remember well the day she stood in front of my closet choosing the dress she would like in exchange for the one she gave me.

Faye Lewis Raynard, GA Class of 1959


Great story, Michal.  I'm assuming that it was Faye's "hand-me-down" to which you were referring!

My brother can correct me on this, if it is inaccurate; however, my recall is that I learned to skate on my brother's skates and learned to ride using his bike (between the cross bars).  

I recall 3 dresses only until I was about 11 years of age - they were "new"; no doubt, all of my other clothing must have been hand-me-downs.  The tide must have turned somewhere because my cousins in Trinity Bay recalling, with joy, receiving parcels of my hand-me-downs to them.  

Some of it had to be new - "hand-me-downs" sooner or later had to be turned into cleaning cloths!

Marion Pardy, GA Class of 1958


Well Faye, as you are so persistent, and are now stooping to begging, here's a little story that I don't think anybody knew about, or remembered, or for that matter, even cared, but I recall it well and it was a life-saver for me at the time.  It involves a 'hand-me-along' rather than a 'hand-me-down' but it is a nice little story.

When I was graduating from high school in Gander, there was to be a special event e.g. awards, speeches, etc.  I don't think there was a formal prom as there was only a handful of us.  We were told by the Principal we were to wear formal dresses, pumps, etc. and the guys were to wear suits - as if we had anything like this at the time - I was only 15. 

My mother and I looked in the few stores in Gander (Eatons, Milley's Style Shop) for something appropriate for me to wear but there was nothing available and I was in tears.  She must have been talking to her good friend Lillian Steele about it.  Anyway her daughter, Doreen, who I knew slightly, and who was 3-4 years older than me, called me and asked if I wanted to borrow a pretty dress she had.  She had just gotten married a few months before and wore a lovely lacy beige gown.  I went to her house, tried it on, and it was perfect.  I went to the graduation floating and felt like the 'cat's meow'.

Geraldine Fitzgerald Nimmo, SJ Class of 1959


Thanks to everyone for their contributions to hand-me-downs and esp. to Bob Pelley who took some pressure to finally tell his ‘hand-me-down story above.

Apologies to Doris Moss Cowley (and any others who may have sent stories that could have been lost when I got a computer virus recently )..If you will resubmit, I’d be glad to include in an upcoming edition…And remember folks it is never too late to submit a memory or two on whatever topic, or even suggest topics that you’d like to hear more about and we will discuss them here. Just write to me at