hope chests, recipes and other stories
Hope Chests
Hey did any of you gals have a 'hope chest' when you growing up? My cousin did and she was was older and used to show me all of the dishes she had stored away in a big trunk. We would spend hours wrapping and unwrapping them and admiring them. She'd tell me all about how she was trying to get everything set aside for when she got married. Well, I was about 12-13 and thought "I guess I better have a 'hope chest' too," though I couldn't think about how or when I'd ever use it--but I should just start collecting stuff. Today I still have a dish that I use as a
butter dish, I paid 10 cents for it at the Royal Store (5 and 10 cent store ) in Yarmouth N.S. I had a lot of those carnival glass dishes that I would buy from time to time because I thought they were rather nice (I guess they are considered collectibles today). And of course I took up
embroidery and made a hundred bureau scraves with some pretty ugly designs on them. Many of them have been used for dust rags over the years, but it was fun to do at the time. Some gals I knew even had cedar chests to put their 'stuff' in. I was never that lucky. Mine was a
cardboard box under the bed, I think.

Faye (Lewis) Raynard

Yes, I certainly had a hope chest. It wasn't cedar, and it wasn't a box, but it was a trunk my mother bought me. I used to love to buy things for it, too, like your cousin, and I would go through it every now and again, things I would set up housekeeping with, someday. I had dishes and a few pots, one really really good one that I have today. I don't think I had anything
collectable in today's world. I too did a lot of embroidery work. I still have things I saved then, tucked away somewhere. And wasn't I just about the brightest new housewife in 1965 with all my stuff??? I think it all stemmed from when we were growing up, we played house constantly, and we cut out everything in the catalogue for the family;and I had this thing about setting up a home for years and years. Now I am trying to get rid of stuff.
Audrey (Mingo) Grantham

Yes, I remember the "hope chests" during the time that I was an adolescent in Gander. I remember from time to time, visiting the home of a young woman, and seeing a hope chest there. Although I did not have a hope chest myself, yet when you described some of the treasures that one might find in one, another memory came back of the wonderful Church bazaars in Gander in the 50's.At these delightful events one might find beautiful linens that were
hand embroidered and often crocheted. These were truly a treasure and were generously donated by the ladies of Gander to the Church. To this day I still have some beautiful linens that my mother purchased at some of these bazaars.

This also brings to mind how life has changed through the years. One of the vocational choices for young women in those days (50's) was to enrol in the faculty of Household Science. I should imagine that some of the courses involved might have been Nutrition, Cooking, Budgeting, etc. A lot of really practical, interesting information. But I don't think there is any such faculty as this anymore (at least not at the University of Toronto). And for those of us who were ambitious enough when we were young to want to learn how to knit, crochet or embroider, these talents would most likely be handed down from generation to generation.
Betty (Chisholm) Pesak

I never had a hope chest, although I would see Lane cedar hope chests advertised in Seventeen magazine and fantasize about having one - they did not seem to be on offer in Gander. I think the other aspect was that my mother never saw me as an adult, but only a little girl, and it never seemed to occur to her that I may marry some day.
However, my grandmother from Ontario started giving me Birks silver starting with my 15 birthday. I could not make up my mind of the pattern I wanted but as my mother, grandmother and aunt had Old English, I eventually went with that as well. Personally I would have chosen something a bit more ornate, but in the end I got all their silver as well as my own and really quite like looking at the different initials and knowing we all had something in common.
Michal (Miller) Crowe

Yes, I started a Hope Chest also. However, just months before I got married and because I was getting married,I was living with Lee Simmons at the time and when I would wash the floor or do housework for Mrs. Simmons, she would buy me something for my "Hope Chest". I still have some of the dish towels I bought and they are better than the ones you can buy now. Anyway,
they lasted! Funny how some of the things like a BEAUTIFUL plastic dish seems so tacky now! ha ha. Oh well, it was fun and no matter how cheap, they were our Treasures!
Elizabeth Lyons

I never had a hope chest, was not into that scene and never planned on getting married, oh well, married 40 years, 3 kids and 5 grandkids makes me think I should have had one and had some of that cutsie stuff to pass on. Who knew, ha!!!!!!!
Edith Staples Blanchard

My cedar hope chest was a gift from my parents at my university graduation in 1961. I believe I still have the card. At the present time it is in my bedroom in Grand Forks. It has followed me from Nfld. to Toronto, Wisconsin. Burnaby and Grand Forks. Is it an antique yet?
Joyce (Noel) O'Doherty

Cooks and Recipes
The year was 1958, and an offer was made by the Maple Leaf Milling Company of Newfoundland, who were the millers of "Cream of West Flour", to the ladies of Newfoundland who enjoyed cooking. The offer was to please submit your favourite Newfoundland recipes, using "Cream of West Flour". and these recipes may be chosen to be part of a new cookbook entitled "The Treasury of Newfoundland Dishes."
I remember that my mother submitted her recipe for Newfoundland Blueberry Pie. My mother's recipe was accepted, as were many recipes from the ladies of Gander. To this day I still have a copy of this very fine cookbook with my mother's name in it.
And speaking of blueberries, who can not but help remembering August in Newfoundland when the blueberries would ripen. It would be a major outing to go blueberry picking, and a real pleasure to come upon patches of blueberries that were super abundant and previously unpicked
Betty (Chisholm) Pesak

I did like cooking and became a pretty good cook over the years. I started my first cookbook in
1961 (says so right on the cover) and Alice Taylor gave me one of my first recipes: Marshmallow squares - do you still make those Alice? I haven't made them for years but they were so delicious. Another recipe I got was for ginger cookies from Gail Taylor, she lived across the street from me and I used to baby-sit for her little girl. Her husband was a pilot for EPA and
I cannot think of his name. Gail was a terrific role model as she enjoyed being a
homemaker and had Danish furniture with purple upholstery when it was first very fashionable.
I was terribly impressed.
However, one night she came home early and there were lots of teenagers in her house and she was none too pleased, I don't think she asked me back. Cannot remember who was there but it did not go over very well.
She always used to make those ginger cookies for me and they are still a family favorite.
Michel (Millar) Crowe

My cooking delima: I was to put a casserole in the oven for Mom and Dad, on a Sunday afternoon, while they went out, probably for a Sunday drive, it was a glass casserole dish with a sterling silver presentation stand. I put the whole thing in the over, thus melted the sterling stand. Never forgot that.But also, Mom never got mad at me for it. I replaced the whole thing for
her a little later.

Hey maybe after all of the madness is over we should put together a cookbook with some funny anecdotes. Like the time I burnt the only moose roast my parents ever cooked while we were in
Nfld. Parents went out and I was left to watch the roast in the oven. I got busy on the phone with that Baker guy and the thing got burnt to a crisp. Not too many happy campers when they got home hungry as bears. Couldn't resurrect the roast.

Ode to Newfoundland
What would a sing-a-long be with out "We'll Rant and We'll Roar".
The anthem should be a must. We have a tradition that I started about twenty five years ago, as nephew and nieces and our own sons got married, to sing the Newfoundland anthem at their wedding receptions and have all Newfoundland guests stand with us and join in if they wished. Not a dry eye in the house :)) A great way to remember our roots! And our extended family are grateful for the tradtion. I personlly think that we should sing it as often as we get the opportunity to do so.
Barbara (Godden)

The Ode to Newfoundland is, indeed, a special. When I was elected and later installed as Moderator of The United Church of Canada at York University, Toronto, all of the Newfoundlanders present (quite a number actually) came forward and sang the Ode. It was one of those "rare" moments in life. I also used it in my farewell speech (August 2003 at Acadia University, Wolfville).
Marion Pardy

My sister Julia told me about Dad's construction company having to move the United/Anglican Church from the old town to the new townsite. The Church had to be taken in 2 parts. The "Church" folks got bit annoyed with Dad because Dad tried to tell them it wasn't worth it. But it got done, and the Church ended up on its new site, placed about 10 feet apart. There were 2 floors. Julia and her friends, mainly the Ramsey family, would go there to'play', and jump between the two pieces. She said it was so dangerous, but that was in their radar screen. One day, Bill Ramsey was on the roof and Julia hid downstairs, they were playing hide and seek, when Bill fell through the roof to the bottom floor. NO one was hurt, just frightened.
Audrey (Mingo) Grantham

I can remember that well. What actually happened was the Anglican church tried to bring an old building in from the American side to be used as a church hall. I was in Grade VIII at time, living on the Army side. My father was in the process of building our new house just down from where they planned on locating the church hall. I would go with dad into the new town on Saturdays where he worked on the house. A bunch of us kids would go up the street where the two pieces of building were located and fool around playing stupid games. We all probably helped destroy the place because we were everywhere in that building. And yes, I can remember jumping from one building to the next. I think I was there when someone fell through the ceiling.They later tore it all down, burned it and built a new church hall on the basement prepared for the old building. The church hall is still there today plus being renovated many times since.
Jack Pinsent

When I was a kid, the Church also housed the "Roman Catholic" Church (as the Anglican's called it) in the same church. The "Roman Catholic" portion of the church was on the end towards Foss Avenue and the protestant (Churchof England - who called themselves "Catholics" . . . as opposed to the "Roman Catholics" and the United Church of Canada.) was on the end facing Chestnut Street.
Patricia (Dempsey) Hiscock
The backs of the pews "Swung" both ways!!!!!

Now I remember the church thing quite differently. The church on the Canadian Side housed the Church of England (Anglican) and the United Church. The Anglican faced to the east (towards Chestnut Street) and the United swung everthing around to face to the west (towards Foss Avenue) when they used the building for services. I don't know if the directions had any religious significance. I remember a number of times when Rev. Moss could not find some items he needed for his service and commenting on the use of the building by others. On the alternate Sundays, when we could not use the church building, services were held in the parish hall on Chestnut Street.
To my recollection the Roman Catholics had a church on the Army side for the first couple of years we lived there. I remember very well the first year I went to school I attended the Catholic school because it was close to home. I remember that the Catholic kids always had Mass on Friday afternoons (or was that only during Holy Week??) and I was stuck doing math problems for that hour.Later, in the early 1950s, the Catholic Church moved to the American Side; hence
the "great gap" between these two groups. Although we did develop some lasting friendships on the playground.

Jim, your description of the "church" as shared by the Anglicans and United
Church is my recall also. We (the United Church) also used the church for
Sunday School. With the moveable backs, it worked quite well as we could be
in a "groupy group" position, looking at one another instead of the teacher
in front of us and the students in a straight row. The United Church
minister lived on the same street at the school (Foss Avenue); attached was
the church hall and we sometimes had services there, in addition to meetings
and social events.

Marion Pardy

Swimming Holes
I was thinking about you (Ron) the other day when I was trying to dream up some Q & A trivia. I can remember when we graduated from swimming at Union East and our parents permitted us to swim at Twin Ponds. The transition was quite a jump for us. At Union East the water was shallow, had a sandy bottom and being a swimmer was not a prerequisite.Twin Ponds was completely different. The water was deep (over our heads) and you had to swim or sink in the mud. Can you remember that diving raft? I think it was put there by the RCAF. Anyway, if I remember correctly, you and I were not the strongest swimmers. The only way we could get out to that raft was by wearing swimming flippers. I don't think our parents really understood that it was a sink or swim situation or we would never have been allowed to go there.
We would walk up from the Army Side to pick you up at Bldg 50 . Your mother had a lunch packed for us and we would start to walk the 5 miles but knowing we would hitch a ride before we walked too far. I think I only had to walk the full distance once and that was when I was 15-16 and living in the new town.
The place was very popular for all ages and getting a ride back home was never a problem. One of the first things we would do was ask an adult if we could get a ride home with them. Once you "booked" your ride you were at their mercy. Sometime they would leave early before the rest of the group or were the last to leave making us late getting home for supper. All in all we spent a lot of time at Twin Ponds during those summers. It was a very enjoyable time for us all.
Jack Pinsent

Yeah, great memories. I used to stay with Bob Warren at their cabin there at Twin Ponds. Actually, that was where I finally did learn to swim - I graduated from flippers to bare feet. I will always remember the first time I swam across the pond with Bob, Cal, Jon Newhook and, I think, Bruce Carter - I was scared to death and it seemed like it took forever. However, it was graduation time - once you did that you were accepted as one who could swim. One summer, I think it was when we were 15, I stayed there pretty well all summer. Looking back at it now, it was really taking advantage of kindness. But, we had great fun - idyllic would be a good description. We used to love Sunday afternoons - that was when the older girls - those who worked at the Airlines Hotel, CN and at the base came up to swim from the raft. We'd be out there showing off our stuff the whole day and we really thought that they thought we were great, when, I guess in actual fact, we were considered bratty little show-offs.
Who was the guy that used to come up on motorcycle? When he would arrive, after coming up over the gravel road, he would be caked with dust. Going back he'd get even dirtier because then he would be wet after having a swim. I can't remember his name, but, I think he used to go to St. Joseph's School. He was a couple of years older than we were, I think.
Can you remember how dusty it used to be? There would be just clouds of the stuff. When you were in car and another car would pass, you would have to slow down because you would be buried in a cloud and wouldn't know how close to the edge of the road you were.
Talking about swimming, though, brings back memories of Gander Lake. Remember how cold that was? Morley, Jim, Bob and a crowd of us would bicycle down to the concrete wharf - I think we used to call it the old American base? It was where the pump house was situated for the water supply. I remember we used to jump off the end of the concrete pier and just barely be able to swim back to grab the side. I'm not sure if it was you (Jack) or Ross Patey, but, whoever it was, I remember you used to jump in and come up sputtering, splashing and grabbing with their hands without being able to swim one stroke and frantically try to make it to something to hold on to. We'd all laugh and cheer and whoever it was would crawl up and do it all over again. If our parents knew about it, they'd be worried sick for fear that someone would drown. Needless to say, the water was a little cooler than the Keys. :-))))
Ron Mosher

Yes, I was one of the foolish guys that would jump off and couldn't swim a stroke. I still can't swim more than 10 feet before I start to sink. Which set of piers had the boat house?? I remember jumping off that one day while trying to impress someone and believe me I wouldn't do it again. I almost drowned before I got to touch the side of the pier. That was the last time
off the boat house. Another thing that we did a couple of times during the winter on Gander lake hill was use the hood of a car to slide from the top to the bottom . Needless to say we went out into the woods a few times because we couldn't steer the bloody thing. One time we ended out in the water at the bottom because we couldn't stop it either. There was also a cabin half waydown the hill. I don't know who owned it but all of us guys used it for camping one time. We might just as well have camped in the living room of our house because there were always parents showing up to see if we were ok and to bring some goodies. I remember we were going to build an outhouse there so I was holding the two pieces of wood and one of the guys was hammering in the nail. Well not only did he nail the two pieces of wood together but he also drove the nail down through the side of my hand. That hand pounded the whole time we were there. Oh well so much for good times
Ross Patey

With all the memories being shared of life in Gander, during the 50's and just before and after, I was thinking of our healthy life style then and summer hiking trips.

Do you remember Twin Ponds? When we decided that we would like to go for a swim, it would be an all day adventure. This was because we would often walk to Twin Ponds, along the Trans
Canada Highway. As far as I can remember I think it was a distance of about 7 miles.

When we arrived we would have our lunch, usually consisting of "pop-up sandwiches" and then go for a swim. As we approached Twin Ponds along our walk, the larger pond was on our left, and the smaller pond, on the right. After we swam in the larger pond, we would cross the road and look tentatively at the smaller one. The smaller pond was filled with water lilies, and
we had developed a healthy caution towards these. We would exchange many verbal warnings as to how a swimmer could become entangled in the lilies.

After this we would try to get a tan. So we would sunbathe for what seemed like an eternity, and yet after a long time only the faintest hint of a tan could be seen. Soon it would be time
for us to start the long 7 mile walk back to Gander.

On one occasion, during our walk back to town, we decided that although our walk was very healthy, it should also be more challenging. So we decided to take off our shoes, and walked
barefoot along the road. After a short while all of us were experiencing sore feet, but we plodded along bravely over the stones that were at the side of the road. Finally realizing that
this was slowly us down too much, we put our shoes on again, and continued to head back to Gander.

Betty (Chisholm) Pesak