GOODERHAM AND AREA
NEWSLETTER NO. 5
COMPILED BY: ELVA BATES
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas 2002 in our own fashion, we have some memories from a few people in the community to share with you.
GOODERHAM CONSOLIDATED SCHOOL CHRISTMAS CONCERT
by Ileen Hunter
In the 1940’s and 1950’s when I was a teacher in Gooderham Consolidated School, the Christmas Concert was an event the whole community looked forward to. Each child was included in some part of the concert. One part that I recall was when nine children stood in a line on the stage. Each child held a card with one letter of the word "Christmas" on it. The letter was on a red sheet of construction paper. Written on the back of the sheet was a line for the child to read such as: "C is for Christmas. It’s that time of year." The next child would have the letter H with a line to read such as: "H is for happy. We’re glad it is here" and so on until the word "Christmas was spelled out as the children stood on the stage. The concert was held in the Gooderham School and was always attended by parents and people in the community.
Christmas songs and hymns were also sung by the children. When the concert was over as each child left he or she received a bag of candy and a small present.
Thank you, Ileen, for sharing these memories with the community.
What did you get for Christmas when you were a child? These are some of the things that children who lived in this community 50, 60 or 70 years ago received:
Marjorie Billings (nee Billings) was given a big doll by people who came up to the lake in the summer.
Cliff Stoughton got candy, no presents.
Marjorie Hunter (nee MacDuff) got an Eaton Beauty doll; her Mom used to hang it up when she wasn’t playing with it; it met with an accident and its head was broken – Marjorie was heartbroken!
George Adams got a pull-a-long mechanical dog.
Dallyn Pickens usually got some hand knitted mitts or socks, and orange and maybe some candy.
Myria Stoughton (nee Higgins) got handkerchiefs.
Bea Viner (nee Traviss) got an Eaton Beauty doll from her parents. She hung it up when she wasn’t playing with it.
Vera Riel (nee Gill) got a doll made from a sock.
Margaret MacDuff (nee Madill) says "I was horse crazy since I was in the cradle." Someone sent her a horse made out of large wooden beads and its joints were bendable.
And the following was contributed by Faye Snider:
"A good number of years ago as a little girl one Christmas morning it was my pleasure to be visited by one of Santa Claus’ helpers, namely Mr. George Hancock of Irondale, Ont. Delivering a most beautiful & memorable gift – a doll house. This wonderful gift was given to me by Mary (Griffin) Ferns – who now resides in Irondale, Ont.
I will endeavor to describe this doll house as well as possible – around 3 ft. in height and 3 – 4 ft. in length & about 1˝ ft. in depth. It was styled as an English Tudor home with a pretty entrance door – cream in color with brown latticework and imitation leaded windows. The front opened in 2 sections and within were 4 rooms – living room furnished with velvet sofa and chairs in pretty coral color – rug on the floor to match & a tiny grand piano & radio & a stand lamp – the wall were wallpapered – a kitchen with drop leaf table, 4 cane bottom chairs in orange color & a little cupboard, 2 bedrooms upstairs furnished with twin beds, and dressers & tiny chair. There were electric lights in it operated by batteries.
Many happy and entertaining hours were spent playing with the lovely house and friends also shared the enjoyment as well. It sat on top of the piano, in my home in Gooderham Railway Station for many years. Later in life I returned it to Mary Ferns for her eldest daughter to enjoy.
This was a highlight of my Christmas years past and I wish to extend my Sincere Thanks to Mary Ferns for her kindness and generosity letting me have this lovely doll house to enjoy over the years.
Wishing everyone who reads this little memento a Merry Christmas Season!
Mrs. Faye Snider"
Thank you, Faye.
And a "Merry Christmas" from the Over 50’s Executive Committee which sponsors the Gooderham and Area History project.