Midland Memories

Midland Memories

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1942 seems a long time ago when a four year old boy, along with his sisters and their parents from Woodstock first visited The Gateway to the 30,000 Islands, Midland. A few weeks prior to shopping in Midland, we moved into our new cottage at Allenwood Beach.

One still has friends living full time across from Sandy Roost, name of cottage, once they retired from teaching. As a teen we biked to the cottage from Oxford County, took two days to cover the 180 mile route…we did it two summers in a row. As a furrier’s son I had no interest in making fur coats; dad also a pioneer in the Credit Union movement set up 60 CU’s around the world. I was more of a spender than a saver back then, so…..

One’s interest was always radio broadcasting which eventually brought one to CKMP in 1960. Cottage was sold in 1959, the next year I was hired by Bruce Armstrong and John McCullough to do the sign on radio show on 1230 CKMP, all 250 watts. My mother told me, eat more than a hot roast  beef sandwich for supper at the Diana Restaurant. Jimmy the Greek’s menu had about 20 blue plate specials…..over a month I tried them all, one at a time and then started over again. So many businesses back then have come and gone, wonderful business people they all were….Athletics grew crowds, baseball, hockey filled the old arena, firefighters acted as ushers, figure skating, skiing and summer ski jumping into hay, yes hay!

Bobby Scott and Johnny Power operated well equipped sports stores.  There were numerous well stocked hardware stories in town, a Chinese laundry, the Ontario Cafe for cherry cokes. The YMCA , CYO were busy, same with Teen Town, churches had bustling Sunday Schools.

The ship building industry was winding done. Lodges, service clubs and fraternities were super active. Midland was alive. Little Lake cabins were always full in the summer the same with boat rentals. One is fortunate to call Midland home having resided here more than 3/4 of his life.

Great friendships have developed, lots of history has gone under the bridge including the 1984 visit of the late Pope John Paul II who one had the honour to meet and shake hands. It might appear that Midland has become somewhat directionless in recent months….but don’t you believe it…….the town is just taking a breath, re-grouping and heading forward which is what this town has always done best. Midland is alive and well and you can take that to the bank.

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Midland Memories

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