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Bonfires
When we had those great bonfires in the pit on the Army Side, we started in September collecting tires, wood etc, etc. and hoarded it away on the right side of the pit. These we
would take down on THE night.
I remember one night, with a couple other guys going up to Jane's house,where there
was an big airplane tire just under the kitchen window.We could hear the people talking
in the kitchen, just a few feet away.We managed to get it over the fence , and head back
to the PIT ,with our loot. We were quite pleased with our loot.
Jane, I am curious if that was your tire, or someone else. I remember it was someone who
went to school with us .Would like to know whose house it was.
Morley Smith

Any Army Side resident should remember the annual bonfire night. I have only one photograph of that. They were great events! We would start collecting tires, etc., just after school started in September and then, about two weeks before the fire (on November 5) we would start cutting trees after school. It was also customary that someone would steal a gallon of gasoline from one of the service stations to start the fire. Bruce Sheppard was usually instrumental in that part; and Harry Newhook was usually the victim. (Gosh, the secret is out now!) They were great fires and usually burned for some time.
Jim Butler

School Dances - the Sock Hop

We had just moved into our new school, in the new town, with a brand new gym. I was in Grade 9 and was so excited with the new school plus a new gym and being in High School, the idea of a "Sock Hop" was unheard of. I guess the higher classes had some influence with the student council who had some influence over the staff to agree to a dance but with limitations.
Rule #1: only Gander Collegiate students allowed. In other words, no "Catlicks". They had nuns who wouldn't let their girls go. plus we didn't want their guys getting our girls anyway.
Rule #2: No Elvis Presley Music was an old school record player and we had to bring our own
records (mostly 45's).Vice principal Harold Loader was chaperon and stood at the door checking everyones records to insure no Elvis records entered the premises. Meanwhile Elvis records were hidden under sweaters and coats and smuggled in. I can still see old Loader tapping his feet to Jailhouse Rock as Elvis just belted her out, convinced he had saved our morals from that hip- shaking satan, Elvis Presley. Of course, only the girls danced to those fast songs. Us guys just stood around, saving ourselves for the slow ones. Even today, just hearing the Platters "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" does wonders for my libido.

The following year a new teaching staff (Gil Wells & the boys) came online, and we held dances on a bi weekly basis downstairs in the Science Mechanics room where we could keep our shoes on. As much Elvis as we could handle and those "Catlick" girls were invited along with the guys. George Baker worked weekends at CBG doing a midnight DJ hour show and he made tapes for us to play on the school tape player. That year I graduated from the slow dances to jiving (thank you Gwen for being so patient), but I did enjoy that "slow dancing".
Jack Pinsent

School Dances - Sadie Hawkins


Tickets from the Sadie Hawkins dance that George Baker and went to on May 1, 1959
Faye Renaud

Friends
Gladys (Goulding) Stryde and I were reminiscing a little via telephone. Loretta (Smith) Brinton was one of the first in our circle to get her car license. We can remember getting a gallon for gas for .50 and then driving around town - going to "lovers' lane" (the cemetery) to see whom we could see and then gossip about! Gladys and I were recalling bicycling to Denty's Pond, having chips and coke before returning home. Chips and gravy and coke seemed to be the "in" refreshments then - I can't believe it!
I recall one day when Joan Greene and I skipped school at recess time to go to Bishop's Falls to visit my grandparents (we actually went with my parents); Joan had relatives there as well. The next day I was "kicked off" the prefect team for skipping school. I was not a "happy camper" about that. What actually happened was that my mother telephone me at school to see if I could leave. I returned to the classroom and whispered the news to Joan, suggesting that we might ask permission at recess. The teacher gave me heck for talking in school. I was so peeved that at recess we just left
Marion Pardy

Reading about the snow, Morley, reminds me of an incident that happened around this
time of the year in 1960 or 61. I was in university and got a little extra money somewhere
and flew home for the weekend on a Saturday. I got the family car, picked up Ina and went
down to the old army side - I won't get into any details why there, but, there were no houses there then. It was February thaw, pouring rain and everything flooded. The old road down
across the old field was flooded so much that it was actually only one big pond. I went to
turn in where I thought the old road was and went to the chassis. No lights, streaming rain,
no one around and couldn't budge the car. Of course we took advantage of the time while wondering what to do next. By and by saw the lights of a car coming - got out and flagged
it down and this was good ol' you. You were on your way down to the American site for a
party and said you'd phone for a tow truck when you got there. Had a great time waiting
for the truck. When it came he had to lift the car and swing it. I asked how much - $20 -
that was the very last cent I had to my name. Next day - Sunday - flew back to St. John's
after a great weekend.
Of course, that wasn't the only time you came to my rescue. Remember in '63 when I had
to go back to MUN for convocation and you loaned me your car for the day? You were at
the bank on Water Street then and you had a new Volkswagen just like mine. Gander to
St. John's was a six hour drive or more, depending on the weather conditions, over a gravel winding road in those days. I had planned to fly with a bunch of other guys, but, everything
was fogged in. We ended up hiring a taxi to drive us in at 11:00 in the night. One of the
Quinlan guys drove us - it took all night, but, we got there just in time for the meeting at
9:00 a.m. Ina and my parents flew in that morning. Those were the days when the university was so strict about everything that if you didn't come to convocation they would refuse
you a certificate of graduation. They would never get away with that stuff nowadays.
Anyway, I can't remember how I made contact with you, but, you loaned me your car
for that day and I picked it up after the meeting. You don't know, though, how much we appreciated your generosity that time. In fact, I think I was even late coming back to get
you after work. Great memories.

Ron Mosher

Graduating Class of 59
Faye mentioned the large size of our grad class and Jim explained that it was caused by the big in-flux to Gander just after the war. Further to this, most of the families coming in to Gander were men and women in close to the same age group. Don't know why. I noticed this when it came time for my father to retire - it wasn't long after that all the men who worked with him and whom I knew growing up, were also retired. Guys from Hangar 13, the Met office, the Admin office and the fire hall. It could be that after the war when Gander opened up for civilian workers it drew technicians and craftsmen who had basically been trained somewhere during the war. Before the war, the only other towns that had such trained workers in NL were Grand Falls and Corner Brook because of the paper mills and possibly Bell Island because of iron mines. Those workers didn't leave those towns to come to Gander because pay was quite good where they were.

In reference to the size of our class - in grade one our class was divided into two classes which continued up through until grade 8. When we refer to Molly Primmer as our teacher, she was really only the teacher of one of the classes. You might find this next point interesting - I do, being involved in education - in grade 8, with the combining of the classes, there were 54 in class. Can you imagine trying to teach that! It was chaos. Looking back I pity our teachers of that year. If I remember correctly, there was a Mr. Parrot and a George Stanford. Jim, was that the first year that Gil Wells came on staff? Anyway, the next year in Grade 9 there were just over 30 students left who had passed grade 8 - everyone else was kept behind to repeat the year. I think there were 34 or 36 in grade 9. Looking back, what was astounding was how the system managed to keep the class so large for the whole year without parents, students and teachers causing a riot in protest. Then, with the high failure rate, how did they manage to let that continue to exist with all those kids losing a full year by having to repeat? They would never get by with it today.
Ron Mosher

Gerald S. Doyle Bulletins ,Don Messer and other radio stories
The 8:00PM Gerald S Doyle bulletin gave all the St. John's Hospital reports about people who had operations or illnesses and how they were feeling, and when they would be returning home. Also there would sometimes be a broadcast trying to locate someone in particular to call home, as he or she were not contactable any other way. The Gerald S.Doyle Bulletin was a means for people to have basic communications around Newfoundland, because there was really a very limited telephone system in those days. Even the Newfoundland Railroad used Telegraph messages in morse code right up until it ended service in 1988. Also the GSD Bulletin used to give the price of the different fish on the market.This was so people could keep up with the current prices for their goods.Remember, many people living around the coast and especially on Islands and other remote areas had no communications. They had to travel by boat sometimes for long distances just to get to a roadway or train to get to a main city, like Gander, St. John's, Grand Falls, Botwood, Lewisport, Corner Brook, etc. So, by using the services of G.S. Doyle news bulletin, they could at least have peace of mind that they could tell relatives and loved ones that they were OK or on their way home and when.The best part of it was they became great conversation pieces when the locals in the villages and ports knew when anyone was coming home, who and when. Everyone would crowd around the radio and listen for names of anyone they knew, and if a familiar name was mentioned they would all smile and say "Did you hear that, Jane is coming home
from the hospital tomorrow
."
Campbell Pritchett

The Gerald S Doyle bulletin was very popular. I remember Grandfather turned on that old battery radio for two items ... one was the Don Messer show and the other was the GSD Bulletin..
The standard message: from " Uncle Harry" to "Aunt Mary Smith " in Twillingate------------" Up and around. Feeling fine. Back home on the " Kyle " on Saturday " ----------
Morley Smith


I asked Dad if he had some stories re our move to Gander. He said he used to sit outside the old Goodyear store, waiting for Mom to buy groceries, and he would be able to tune in Don Messer on his car radio. Then it would fade out, and then it would come back, and he found that very frustrating, and wonder, why did I move so far away from home? He doesn't regret it now, but at the time, he tells us now, he used to wonder what he was doing in Gander!

He had a bulldozer shipped in from New Glasgow. He waited and waited for it to arrive, he would call and call the guy at the railway station, no bulldozer. So one day Dad went to the station, there was his dozer, on a flatbed, parked on a siding. He asked the guy why didnt' he let him know it was there. The CN guy said he wondered who owned it. Another reason Dad used to throw up his arms and shake his head..
Audrey (Mingo) Grantham


I listened to the hockey games on the radio from 1945/46 up until I went to New York in 1960. My parents didn't get a Television set until 1962 ro 63, I think. So that was how we got
to know about hockey and the game, and then of course playing it on the patches of ice in the winter and in the rinks, if we were lucky. I remember my dad kept turning the thermostat down during the game on the radio, because the furnace made a lot of static on the radio, and by
the time the game was finished, the temperature in the house had dropped about 15 degrees or more. So we automatically knew when there was a hockey game on the radio and dad was listening, we dressed pretty warm to compensate for no furnace running. (It was worth suffering for).
Campbell


Goodyear's Canteen
I would walk from the Canadian side to the old Goodyears canteen (down by the railway station)- where Mrs. Hoddinott always asked if my mother knew where I was and that I was spending money on candies, ten cents bought a LOT of five for a penny candies.
Jane (Dempsey)Donnally

The comment made about the Goodyear's Canteen and Mrs. Hoddinott brought back a few memories. That was a "religious trek" to see Mrs. Hoddinott at recess while attending the school across the road from the drill hall (which became Gander's first artificial ice sheet a few years before we all moved into the new Town of Gander).
Jim Butler

Taverns and Clubs
As to the clubs, Duffy's Tavern was on the Canadian Side just east of The Globe theatre and across the street from the heating plant (that kept all you Building 50ers warm). That closed in the early 50s. Cy's Tavern was on the American Side. I think that before it became Cy's (Cyril Oates)Tavern, John Lush ran it along with the bowling allies. And who remembers what John Lush ran before that?? I can't wait for someone to ask! He operated the Log Cabin on Deadman's Pond. A great place that was once (probably) a recreation facility for some military group. It was made of huge logs and the Lushes ran a canteen there in the summer. I remember seeing an article in some paper (probably The Evening Telegram; I doubt if The Beacon was publiahed at that time) when the building was burned as a safety hazard.
Jim Butler


Jack Lush did run the Log Cabin down at Deadman's Pond - I had forgotten that. Remember all the wooden bridges (walk ways) up through the woods and over the boggy areas? We used to go down to Deadman's Pond to swim, remember? We also used to go out to Union East. The first time I went out there, I went with you and Morley. We used to walk out the track and a couple of times we hooked a ride on the "speeder" with the section men. Remember all the sand that was there? That was the opposite side on Deadman's Pond from the Log Cabin where the sea plane base was. Remember Mrs. Baker used to have a small store there - she used to sell cigarettes individually for a nickel each? She used to walk to Gander every day and everyone used to call her the "Way Freight" - like the freight train that used to cross the Island two or three times a week.Dad and Mom and I used to ride the "Way Freight" to Grand Falls every so often before the highway went through because Mom had a twin sister living there. It used to take us three to four hours to get there. Can you imagine - 100 km - that we travel now in less than an hour! Jack Lush's sons were Norman, Peter and Max. Norm went on to become a Neuro-Surgeon in St. John's. In fact, he became well recognized throughout Canada for some of his procedures. He went to Med school with my cousin Jim Yarn from Corner Brook. Pete stayed in Gander driving a truck delivering drinks mainly to the Gander Bay area. Max worked in the James Paton Memorial Hospital in Gander as the main accountant and retired only a few years ago.Someone mentioned Mrs. Hoddinott. Her son Lud worked in the men's dept. of Goodyear Humber Stores, as well. He used to be Molly Primmer's boy friend, remember? By the way, I went to Goose Bay back in 1967 as supervising principal of the school system there. That was the year the school system there changed from a DND system to the Newfoundland Dept. of Ed and the systems on the base and in Happy Valley amalgamated as one. I found out that Molly Primmer taught on the base for a number of years up to the year I came. She heard I was coming, I guess, and left.
Ron Mosher

Driving to Grand Falls
I also remember driving to Grand Falls when the road was opened and it taking quite a bit of time then, too. There were ferries across both the Gander and Exploits Rivers that usually could only take two or three cars at a time. I remember a section of that road being called Bradley's Blunder, since the contractor ran short of money while constructing the road and having to follow the contour of the land for the last 10 miles or so.
Jim

I
n August 1958 or 1959, (when I turned 16 or 17 - cannot remember which). Daddy (Sandy Millar) said he would drive me and some friends to Grand Falls for my birthday. I cannot remember why other than the Trans Canada had been completed recently at that time and Grand Falls was a reasonable destination. Although the highway was new it was not paved and it was covered with shifting gravel and sharp stones and as one drove along there was a great cloud of dust raised which obscured visibility. Also no air conditioning, I might add. Halfway along (near Glenwood?)
we got a flat tire and I have a photo - somewhere in my boxes in Halifax - of Clarence Lehr and someone else changing the tire while Daddy looked on. What were those teenaged boys good for anyway? Although it was my birthday, I cannot remember who else was in the car. We had it full so there must have been at least two or three other kids. Who were they. And why were we going to Grand Falls. I almost think John Malone was there too but I simply cannot remember.
Michal (Miller) Crowe

More driving stories
Loretta (Smith) Brinton was one of the first in our circle to get her car license. We can remember getting a gallon for gas for .50 and then driving around town - going to "lovers' lane" (the cemetery) to see whom we could see and then gossip about! Gladys (Goulding) and I
recall bicycling to Denty's Pond, having chips and coke before returning home. Chips and gravy and coke seemed to be the "in" refreshments then - I can't believe it!
I recall one day when Joan Greene and I skipped school at recess time to go to Bishop's Falls to visit my grandparents (we actually went with my parents); Joan had relatives there as well. The next day I was "kicked off" the prefect team for skipping school. I was not a "happy camper" about that. What actually happened was that my mother telephone me at school to see if I could leave. I returned to the classroom and whispered the news to Joan, suggesting that we might ask permission at recess. The teacher gave me heck for talking in school. I was so peeved that at recess we just left
Marion Pardy


The forest fires
Does anyone remember the summer we had the dreadful forest fires in Nfld. I believe it was the summer of 1960, but could stand corrected. I worked at the CN Telecommunications as a telephone operator, so I think I must have graduated by then.

We worked all day on the long distance telephone calls and at that time we wore headsets and the calls all had to be connected by special little jacks plugged
into the correct holes. We thought we were ever so clever and it was very exciting as we knew each phone call was to help with the forest fire. We were asked to work extra hours as there was such a crises and everyone was pleased to be able to do something to assist the forest fire fighting effort.
When not working, we were encouraged, and expected, to help make sandwiches and then help to deliver them to the men on the fire lines. The whole province was tinder dry and a state of emergency was declared with the army brought in to help fight the fires.

Somehow in my off duty time I met Jacques D'Anville who was brought in from Quebec to concoct the chemicals to seed clouds with a view to encouraging rain. Why I was helping him I have no idea, but one day we were standing looking at a small lake and assessing the fire in the hills across the lake when the whole forest exploded into flames in front of us. The sound was deafening and the heat was overwhelming. The situation produced the strangest sensation of fear and excitement at the same time. I remember we were so shocked and mesmerized it took several seconds to realize we had to get out of there fast.

Daddy (Sandy Millar) was also helping in his off work hours delivering food to firefighters. My mother was away in Ontario for the summer with my brother, so there was just my father and me at home. As we were so busy working and volunteering, there were no meals made in our house for days and I think we were running on nervous energy so we did not even bother to eat. One particular night we came home at 2 - 3 in the morning totally worn out but so overcome with nervous excitement over the whole forest fire situation we could not sleep. Individually, we both got up and just talked by the light of the full moon. There was no need to turn on any lights as it was as bright as day, albeit smoke was in the air and permeated hair and clothing. Oh yes, and in those days we smoked cigarettes as well. Can you imagine.

The man in charge of Forests in Nfld. was Ed Ralph (why can I remember some of these details in such vivid details and be so vague on others)He was a handsome man and I had applied to him for a job as a fire watcher in a firetower that summer. Never did get the job which was just as well. I probably would have burned to a crisp.
Michal

Doc Paton
It would be interesting to ask at the reunion in August how many there were delivered by Dr.Paton. My husbands brother (the late Dr.Jack Crosbie) worked with him at Banting Memorial Hosp. in the fifties and said it became known to young MDS starting out as Patons School of Post Graduate Medicine. I'm sure, Ron, you probably know Ted Shapter, Frank Duff, George Sceviour and many more of our Nfld.specialists did a stint at the old hospital.
Jean (Cornick) Crosbie

Going to the Dentist
I remember going to the dentist Mike Maguire on the American side and my parents had good friends there by the names of Max and Kay Oldford. He worked with Flying Tigers and later was transferred to San Francisco, Honolulu and then was an airport manager in Alaska. Always returned to their Nfld roots for holidays though and I last saw them in Florida about four years ago. They had a place in St Petes where all Newfs were welcome.He has since died and she is living in Homer to be close to her kids
Jean

Senior Banquet

Does anyone remember our senior banquet? I remember getting all dressed up and it was held in the auditorium with long table up near the stage. Don't remember who put it on for us (ungrateful that I was). I can remember being very sad sitting there, realizing it was probably the last occasion that we would be seated as a class. After I found an old scrap book, I learned that we wrote provincials after the banquet/dance (I remember pulling an all-nighter studying for them, trying to catch up on all of the reading and studying I should have been doing throughout the year).
Faye (Lewis) Raynard

Overnight at Mingo's Cabin
The weekend was particularly special to me as it was the first time I had been
away from parental supervision overnight anywhere, so there was a tremendous
sense of freedom and excitement surrounding the event. I was so thrilled to be
invited and part of the group. Vaguely in my mind I remember Helen Dempsey there
too although she is not in any of my photos. (There may have been others there
too, so they should feel free to add their memories of this weekend.) Also, I
seem to remember a whisper of some boys in another cabin not far away. I do not
know who they were as I did not see them, but it seemed there were some of the
older girls who may have visited the boys late at night without us. It is my
impression that part of the excitement was staying up as late as we wished and
indeed I believe we did. However, as we only had candles and a coleman stove
perhaps after darkness fell it just seemed late.

Michal (Millar) Crowe

Elizabeth's Cabin Story
Our father usually went to our cabin in Glenwood on Friday evenings and returning Sunday afternoon. So, my sister Marcia and I always invited our friends Betty and Jane to spend these weekends with us. This particular weekend our planned events were:
A. See who could stay awake the longest
B. See how many cigerettes we could smoke. We had a "tobacco can" to keep the butts in.

Marcia and Jane fell asleep by late Saturday afternoon or early evening and I don't know why but Betty and I went to visit our dog house situated in a garden of ours a short distance from the house. Soon we heard a lot of people noise (shouting, calling each other, etc.). We went in the direction of the noise to investigate what it was all about.
Well, PINSENT'S BOARDING HOUSE WAS BURNING DOWN! Betty and I stayed until the bitter end. Then we went back and woke up Marcia and Jane. They couldn't understand why we didn't wake them sooner!
Elizabeth Lyons


The Scandal Story.
It all really started in spring 1958 when the school board didn't invite the principal Roland Clark and vice principal Harold Loader back for the 1958-59 season. They (the school board) were
going to clean house and bring in a bunch of new people, all with university degrees.

They started with the principal, an british guy with more degrees than a thermometer. I forget his name. The vice principal was Gil Wells, a local guy with a degree. The rest were all brand new to us. The principal was a real phoney. He walked around with a cup and saucer
sipping tea all the time. He even set up a smoking room for the students. We thought this was great. He taught us History in Grade X, Not sure about other grades. We also had this young Science teacher. Forgot his name as well. He was just out of university, about 21-22 and
hung around with the boys after school. He was a pretty daring guy. He was caught making moonshine in the chemistry lab with the distilling apparatus. Not only that but a couple of the students were involved as well. Alex Genge was one of them.

Then the sh-- hit the fan. The principal was fired. A couple of teachers were fired/quit which made the school short staffed. They made Gil Wells acting principal. Then the Board asked parents who had teaching experience, to become "temps" till they hired new teachers. Sandy
Miller & Hap Chafe took turn and taught Physics. Clarence Bowering taught History. Sandy & Hap were great. They were ex WWII air force pilots so they spent most of the time telling us war stories. Mostly BS but at the time we thought it was true. I worked with HAP in ATC later
and he said he had to tell us those lies because he didn't have a clue about physics. Clarence was an ex school teacher and taught History. We gave him a hard time. Nicknamed him "Plato". Years later he told me it was the worst experience of his life and I was his worst student. We had a lot of laughs over that.

There were other temp teachers for other classes but I have forgotten them. This was all over in a few short months. We got a couple of new teachers and the following year, a new principal.

Jack Pinsent

I was aware of it. That was when Bill Lebans came to the school and also Murray to teach Science - they were the teachers hired in the middle of the year because of the shortage. That was the year we used to come and go in class as we wished. Remember, Clyde Taite would never show up for Math classes and teachers were changing courses like changing socks in the first term. It was slack for a time - but - it tightened up a little after Christmas. There was more to it than Jack mentioned there, as well. Apparently, the School Board meeting where the principal was sacked was a riot with half the staff supporting him and half not. The guy was a
character all right. The story was that he used to go to the bar at the RCAF base (station) and lower a bottle of Scotch just about every evening. Gil Wells did a good job pulling that year out of the toilet, but, never ever got any real thanks for it. I was gone the next year, but, I heard the stories for years afterwards. Roland "Pop" Clarke went back to university and got his masters and took over a school in Conception Bay and Harold Loder took over the high school
in Glovertown and treated his teachers there like he treated his students.
Ron Mosher


A Love Story
The first day of school in Grade 1. I had attended kindergarden and had never seen her before. There she was. The prettiest thing I had ever seen . I had just been given a little puppy dog by my parents, which I thought was the most precious thing I had ever seen but this was
different. I made up my mind right then and there. She was going to be my girlfriend and I would marry her.
Well. after school that day, we all (the boys) met together for the general fooling around antics with 6 yr olds, when I declared Barbara Godden was going to be my girl friend. This other guy stepped forward (Kenny Barnes) and challenged me because he was going to ask her to be
his girl friend.
I had seen enough cowboy movies in my short life time to know that this meant a duel to the death. I don't know who threw the first punch, but the one that Kenny hit me with hurt. To be polite about it all, I was thrashed soundly (as the British would say). That was the last time I
ever fought over a girl. A lesson learned very wisely at an early age.
I don't know if Barb ever knew about my fight for her honor. I guess I never thought it was important enough to tell her.
Jack Pinsent