BAIE D'URFE MEMORIES, by Rose Nairn, N&V March 1977
News & Views is very happy to publish a letter from Mrs. Rose Nairn in response to our request in last month's issue. If you have some special thoughts or memories won't you share them with us as we celebrate our 30th birthday?
Mrs. Nairn writes ... "we have seen a lot of changes in Baie d'Urfé in the 29 years we have lived here. When first we came, there was no police department, no fire department and no mail delivery. Our mail was picked up at the Town Hall. We shared our telephone line with nine other families!"
"There were no churches or schools. All the children, elementary and high school grades, were bussed to Macdonald. It was then the training centre for all of Quebec's Protestant teachers."
"The Town consisted of Lakeshore Rd., Morgan Rd., (which was also called Station Rd.), and the College Green area, which comprised Oxford, Cambridge and St. Andrew's Rd. Lakeview was in the process of being developed and was followed shortly after by Sunny Acres."
"There was no organized recreation then, no hockey teams, no baseball teams, no skating rinks, no Cubs or Brownies. All these were to come later, thanks to hours of hard wor by dedicated volunteers. Baie d'Urfé certainly owes a debt of gratitude to them. Names that come readily to my mind are Lee, Mitcham, Proudfoot, Avey, Lothian, Norcott, Parker Vauthier, Higman, Ellis, Tait, the late Charlie Johnstone and Jim Gudewill. There were many more. Even then we had a very active Citizens' Assoc., which certainly made, and still continues to make, a valuable contribution to the good life we have here in Bale d'Urfé."
"The Lake was not polluted then and we had a nice beach down at the Town Hall. Sand was
trucked in at the beginning of the swimming season and the raft and wharf installed. We even had lifeguards who gave swimming lessons to the children and helped keep order at the beach. I well recall Harold Smithman, Tom Dunphy and Robert Pugh and their contribution to our most enjoyable summers. How sad we were when it was finally decided the Lake was no longer to be recommended for swimming".
"Baie d'Urfé Day was celebrated at the Town Hall. The swimming and boating events were, of course, held on the Lake, the land events on the lawn. In the evening we had the dance on the lawn. A big tarpaulin was pegged down for our dance floor and we had the trees all decorated with lovely lighting arrangements and lanterns. It was very lovely, when I look back on it."
"I well recall when the Town decided to buy a section of the Binz Farm (now the Fritz estate). That was one of the smartest of many smart moves our Town Council was to make on our behalf. We, the Citizens' Assoc. members, were given the chicken coop to try and turn it into a recreation centre of sorts. Again our ever-loving volunteers were there with all their combined talents.
My contribution consisted of scraping off layers of "you know what" from all those tiny panes of glass! All I had to work with was a razor blade and a bucket of cold water. So much for my talents. Nevertheless, with a minimum of money and a maximum of hard work, a very respectable looking building emerged, which was affectionately named "The Coop". It was to be used for many years for a host of activities, including Citizen Assoc. meetings".
Looking back over the years, I would have to say we have been extremely fortunate in the calibre of mayors and aldermen we have always been able to recruit to run our Town. We owe them a lot. Our building standards and regulations were high and our Town Council saw to it that all the contractors abided by them. Thanks to the present Council and all their predecessors, we are fortunate to live in one of the loveliest little towns in Canada. May we always be so lucky.
Images of the original N&V article: