Document 51927

Updated by Hall of Fame Committee
City of Orillia
The history of Orillia is the legacy of deeds and achievements of its residents.
Every day we live with and build upon that history and the accomplishments of
the people we have known.
Among so many notable candidates for the Hall of Fame, both contemporary and
historic, the choices are difficult but rewarding. Over the years of this committee’s
work, forty-three inductees have been awarded a place in the City’s Hall of Fame,
located outside the Council Chamber at City Hall.
Of these, twelve inductees are from the arts, music and literary community, seven
from the field of sports, eight from industry and commerce, and the rest from fields
such as medicine, philanthropy and politics. So, enter into our Hall of Fame and
discover the spirit of Orillia!
City of
Office of Mayor and Council
town and
of Mayor
and community
Council has a history. The City of Orillia is
blessed with a long history that is the envy of many. Our heritage has
city, town
has a who
The City
by and
a number
of Orillians
past of
provided us with a historic past that we as Orillians are so very proud
been enriched by a number of Orillians who through past deeds have
provided us with a historic past that we as Orillians are so very proud
This booklet, along with the caring efforts of the Orillia Hall of Fame
Committee, formally acknowledges the past achievements of the
This booklet,
the caring
efforts ofwhy
of Fame
of the
of Fame
and illustrates
are Hall
so worthy
past achievements of the
as well acknowledges
as our unendingthe
members of the Hall of Fame and illustrates why they are so worthy of
Our Hall of Fame inductees have a wide and enviable range of biographies
this recognition, as well as our unending respect.
that cover nearly 230 years of our history, starting with Laurent Quetton
Hall of who
a wide
and enviable
of biographies
born inhave
in 1771.
He came
to the
Orillia area
in the early 1800s and amassed landholdings of some 5,600 acresQuetton
in close
St. George,towho
was born in France in 1771. He came to the Orillia area
in the early 1800s and amassed landholdings of some 5,600 acres in close
To date, 43 people have been named to the Orillia Hall of Fame since its
proximity to Orillia.
inception in 1964.
To date, 43 people have been named to the Orillia Hall of Fame since its
The Orillia Hall of Fame Committee meets on an as needed basis to review
inception in 1964.
an ongoing list of names that have been put forward for consideration.
he Orillia
meets on an
as needed
basis to
job isHall
in Committee
trying to determine
worthy of this great distinction.
Their job is not easy in trying to determine those individuals who are
As the Mayor of Orillia, I commend the Committee for their dedication
worthy of this great distinction.
and for their great wisdom in the selection process, ensuring that only
As thewho
I commend
the honour
for their dedication
are of
of this great
are selected.
and for their great wisdom in the selection process, ensuring that only
Ron Stevens
those who are truly worthy of this great honour are selected.
Ron Stevens
(alphabetical index)
ANDERSON, Thomas Gummersall...............30
LIGHTFOOT, Gordon ...................................15
BAILLIE, Alexander Charles .........................34
LONG, Erastus..................................................7
BAIN, Frank “Piper”.......................................13
MACINNIS, The Very Rev. John Angus........23
BARTLEMAN, James K.................................39
MCGARVEY, J.A. “Pete”................................33
BARTLETT, George W...................................32
MCKENZIE, L. Mervyn..................................16
BEATON, Dr. Alexander H. ..........................18
MCKINLAY, Duncan .....................................41
BELL, William.................................................36
MULCAHY, Gertrude ....................................31
CAIRNS, Peter W. ..........................................37
O’BRIEN, Lucius Richard...............................20
CARMICHAEL, Franklin ................................1
PLUNKETT, Albert, Merton
CHALMERS, Floyd S. ....................................24
& Morley (The Dumbells)............................8
DE LA ROCHE, Mazo .....................................2
SHILLING, Arthur Bradford..........................27
FROST, The Hon. Leslie M..............................3
SHRUM, Mamie Faris ....................................29
GAUDAUR, Jacob Gill “Jake” (Sr.) .................4
SISSONS, The Hon. John Howard ..................9
GAUDAUR, Jake Gill “Jake” (Jr.) ..................25
ST. GEORGE, Laurent Quetton.....................26
GILL, Harry ....................................................40
STEELE, Sir Samuel .......................................10
GOULD, Glenn ..............................................42
TAPSCOTT, Don ...........................................43
GREENE, Canon Richard W. .........................21
THOMSON, Dr. David ..................................22
HALE, Charles Harold .....................................5
TUDHOPE, James Brockett...........................11
HARVIE, Eric. ................................................38
WATSON, Gordon Alexander “Skid” ...........28
HENRY, Walter...............................................17
WOOD, Elizabeth Wyn..................................12
KEITH, Marian (Esther Miller MacGregor) ..19
YELLOWHEAD, Chief William “Musquakie”................................................35
KNOX, Walter ..................................................6
LEACOCK, Stephen Butler ...........................14
Many people have made this publication possible. Some deserve special
• Mrs. Amelia Shilling for allowing us to reproduce Arthur Shilling’s self
portrait in charcoal.
• James Pauk Photography for producing many of the photographic
• Isabel Brillinger, Editor in 2002
ne of Orillia’s most famous native sons and one of Canada’s most
significant painters, Franklin Carmichael studied under Canon Greene
of St. James’ Church in his early years.
While still very young, he worked in a commercial art studio in Toronto, meeting
Canadian art pioneers there. He studied for a short time in Belgium. Returning to
Canada, Carmichael joined the renowned Group of Seven – its youngest member.
He was a member of the Royal Academy of Arts. In later years, he taught at the
Ontario College of Art in Toronto, remaining there until his death in 1945.
Best known as a landscape painter, Franklin Carmichael was also accomplished in
water colours, furniture making, gardening, batiks, block prints, and music.
The National Gallery of South Africa has two of his charcoal sketches. As well,
his works are in the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the Art Gallery of
Ontario, the McMichael Canadian Collection in Kleinberg and in private
collections throughout the world. His best known pieces are Autumn Woods, Lake
Superior and Northern Tundra.
Carmichael will be remembered as one of the greatest in the field of the arts. There
is a plaque to his memory erected on the grounds of the Orillia Public Library.
Carmichael and his wife, the former Ada Went, are buried in St. James’ Cemetery
in Orillia.
Inducted 1966
azo De La Roche has a very tenuous link with Orillia; indeed, she makes
no mention of ever having lived here in her autobiography, Ringing the
Changes. We do have evidence that she spent one year here, living
with her grandparents on Coldwater Road. Her name “Mazo Roche” appears in
the high school register, dated August 29, 1892.
She is best known as author of the Jalna novels, which chronicle the history of the
Whiteoak family, depicting life on a 19th century farm in Southern Ontario. Her
readers receive a gentle picture of Canada, of large houses and horses and gracious
living. Her books are widely read throughout the world.
The Jalna books were made into a TV series a few years ago. A large, sprawling
brick mansion in Clarkson, named Benares originally, is reputed to be the model
for the Whiteoak home, and Mazo lived in a small cottage nearby.
She is buried in St. George’s Anglican Cemetery at Sibbald’s Point near Sutton.
Inducted 1966
ld Man Ontario”, as Leslie Frost once called himself, was a true
statesman who served his country well. Born in Orillia, he was the
son of a well known jeweler, William Sword Frost, who introduced
Daylight Saving Time to Orillia. Educated in Orillia and Toronto, he was called
to the bar in 1933. His law firm was in Lindsay.
In World War I, Mr. Frost was an officer with the Simcoe Foresters and went
overseas with ‘C’ Company. He was severely wounded.
He was first elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1937. He served as Treasurer and
Minister of Mines until he was chosen as leader of the Progressive Conservative
Party of Ontario in 1949 and was sworn in as Premier of Ontario and Treasurer.
He held the premiership of Ontario longer than any other.
After his retirement in 1961, he spent much of his time in historical research for
his book Fighting Men, reminiscing on the effect of the First World War on his
hometown of Orillia.
He died at the age of 77 and is buried in Lindsay. A bronze portrait bust, bearing
the signature of Elizabeth Wyn Wood, stands in the front hall at the Orillia District
Collegiate and Vocational Institute, where Leslie Frost had been a student.
Inducted 1966
n 1960, an historical plaque – now at Centennial Park – was erected near Jake
Gaudaur’s home at The Narrows, to the memory of one of the world’s greatest
oarsmen. Here, at The Narrows, young Jake developed the skill to win fame
on rivers and lakes across Canada, the United States and beyond. Over six feet
tall, he possessed a commanding appearance, yet was a man of modest character.
A veteran of 100 races, it was in 1892, on Lake Couchiching, that he and F.
Hosmer won the doubles scull championship of the world, defeating Ned Hanlon
and William O’Connor.
In 1896, at the age of 38, he won the world’s singles sculling championship when
he defeated Jim Stanbury of Australia on the Thames River. Gaudaur held the
world’s title for five years. To celebrate this event Orillia arranged a magnificent
parade and reception, complete with fireworks, and the Mayor presented Jake
with a purse containing $500 in gold.
He was a popular and much sought-after fishing guide; no one knew Lake Simcoe
as did Gaudaur. The bridge at The Narrows is now called the “Jake Gaudaur
Inducted 1966
t a very young age, Harold Hale joined his father, George Hale, in the
publishing of the Orillia Packet, later to become the Orillia Packet and
Times. His association with newspaper journalism spans a period of 65
years, from printer’s devil to editor.
Harold Hale was a man of foresight and vision, of sound wisdom, a forthright and
fearless champion of every cause he believed to be right. He maintained a high
standard of ethical journalism, never stooping to sensationalism, and his editorials
were widely read across Canada.
An intense historian, he was active in preserving both written history and historical
sites. It is impossible to give in detail the many and varied services he rendered to
the town he loved and to the movements he initiated and the positions he held.
He was one of Orillia’s greatest citizens and truly could be called “Mr. Orillia”. As
he was one of Canada’s outstanding journalists, University of Toronto conferred
on him the degree Doctor of Laws in 1956. A bronze portrait bust of Harold Hale,
by Elizabeth Wyn Wood, stands in the Orillia Public Library in recognition of his
many-faceted contributions to the community.
At his death at the age of 88, Orillia mourned the loss of one of its most illustrious
Inducted 1966
Athlete – Coach
eginning in 1900, for 20 years Walter Knox shattered Canadian and world
track and field records. He was a model athlete and a valued coach. He
won the all-round championship of Canada, the United States and the
British Isles.
He competed in pole vaulting, running, broad jumping, shot putting, discus
throwing, high jumping and the 105 lb. hammer throw. He established records
that survived for generations, in both running and jumping.
Born in Listowel, he was 15 years old when he came to Orillia. The following year
he started practising with a group of boys near their homes on Gill Street, where
they made a jumping pit and 40-yard sprint track.
In 1903, he went to Beloit College in Wisconsin, where he first received proper
training under coach Harry Gill, a former Orillian.
Walter held many positions as coach: in 1925 he was chief coach for the Ontario
Athletic Commission and in 1930 he was coach at Queen’s University, Kingston.
As a prospector in Northern Ontario he held several mining properties. In later
years, he took up golfing for recreation.
Inducted 1966
rastus Long, a native of Oro Township, came to Orillia in 1881, as a young
lad, to begin his apprenticeship in the shingle mill of his uncle, Robert
When his uncle died, he managed the business for the estate, along with J.B.
Thompson, under the name of Long & Thompson. In 1900, it took the name
The E. Long Mfg. Co. The shingle mill developed to include a saw mill and the
manufacturing of transmission machinery and mining machinery. Trade extended
across Canada from coast to coast and it was one of the principal employers in
Mr. Long took an active interest in public affairs, being a member of Town
Council, Chairman of the Water, Light and Power Commission and a trustee of
the Methodist Church.
For several years he was president of the YMCA and was largely instrumental in
the building of the Y on Peter Street, just north of Mississaga Street.
His death, at the age of 48, cut short an enterprising business career.
Inducted 1966
Morley Plunkett Merton Plunkett Albert Plunkett
Albert, Merton and
Morley Plunkett
lbert, Merton and Morley Plunkett, three brothers with good voices and
histrionic ability, brought fame to Orillia, their birthplace. During World
War I, they volunteered to produce entertainment to boost the morale
of the war-weary troops. Merton was a “YMCA Captain”, a special designation
granted to YMCA men working in support of the troops.
They took the name The Dumbells from the insignia of the 3rd Division and the
name became widely known in the trenches, in London, across Canada and even
on Broadway.
The all-soldier revue was a resounding success, staging shows in the trenches and
later into peacetime. One outstanding member of the cast was Ross Hamilton
who played a very realistic Marjorie.
Peacetime shows continued for many years after the war, and patrons of the Orillia
Opera House always gave them an enthusiastic reception when they played
Inducted 1966
n his memoirs, a fascinating book written with humour and wit, John Howard
Sissons tells us that it was the life of his cousin, David Livingstone, the African
explorer, who instilled in him his hatred of injustice, his understanding and
affection for our Indians and Eskimos and his dedication to bring justice to these
people. His youthful life of hunting, fishing and trapping around Brough’s Creek,
helped him to understand some of the cases before him in later life.
His summer employment on the wards of the “Asylum”, where his father was
chief attendant, helped him to recognize the signs of mental instability, and
the knowledge of epilepsy assisted him in many a trial to weigh the degree of
responsibility. Mr. Isaac Day, the school inspector, was his mentor, and at his
urging he continued his education to become a lawyer.
After a successful legal career, Jack Sissons accepted a tremendous challenge to
become the first judge of the Territorial Court of the Northwest Territories. He
insisted that “justice be taken to every man’s door, and a man must be tried by
a jury of his peers.” This necessitated extensive travel by aircraft and dogsled,
holding trials in remote communities.
A man of great moral stature, he was sensitive and caring and showed great
insight into the Eskimo background and culture. His decisions relating to hunting
rights, native marriage and adoption have become legal landmarks in spite of
bitter opposition by the bureaucrats in Ottawa. He became a legend to the native
people and was called “EKOKTOEGEE” – “the one who listens to things” – by the
Inuit. He retired to Edmonton in 1966 and wrote his memoirs. Orillia is proud of
the Honourable John Howard Sissons.
Inducted 1966
Policeman – Soldier
orn at Purbrook, near Orillia, Samuel B. Steele was the son of Captain
Elmes Steele, a retired navy captain. At the age of 19, he joined the Red
River expedition and three years later signed up with the newly formed
North West Mounted Police, who were to preserve law and order in the West,
which was a huge territory.
The life of the police was an arduous one – patrolling of the plains, controlling
of the desperado, enduring bitter winters and scorching summers. Steele was a
big man and exceptionally strong. He was also a superb tactician, diplomat and
A legend grew up around the brawny frontiersman and the Mounted Police. At
the time of the Klondike Gold Rush, it was because of Steele there was so little
lawlessness in Western Canada, as he had jurisdiction over all of the Yukon and
British Columbia.
He served with distinction in the Boer War in South Africa. In 1915, he went
to England as Major General in command of the 2nd Canadian Division and was
knighted for his services.
He died in London in 1919 and is buried in Winnipeg. The building at 30 Peter
Street South, which formerly housed the post office and police department, has
been named The Sir Sam Steele Memorial Building.
Inducted 1966
ames B. Tudhope will long be remembered for his philanthropy, his civic
mindedness, his sense of fair play and his business acumen. At the time of his
death in 1936, it was said that because of him, Orillia had become the chief
industrial centre north of Toronto.
Born of Scottish pioneers in Oro in the early 1880’s, he joined his father, William,
in Orillia, in the carriage business that developed into a large industry, and finally
entered into a merger known as Carriage Factories Ltd., of which he was president.
They turned out 60,000 cutters.
The advent of the car altered the business. He joined with his brothers and
together they became pioneers in motor manufacturing, turning out a motor
buggy; next came a complete car, including its engine.
At the time of the disastrous fire in 1909 at the factory, though other municipalities
held out inducements, J.B. stalwartly refused to abandon Orillia. During World
War I, their attention turned to munitions.
At various times, Tudhope had been actively identified with Canada Wood
Specialty, Canada Electric Castings, Tudhope Anderson Co., The Orillia Furniture
Company, and as a director of the Traders Bank and McIntyre Mine.
His political life included councillor, reeve, and mayor and his election to the
Ontario Legislature and the House of Commons. Always a generous contributor
and canvasser, he backed every civic undertaking. The Orillia Presbyterian Church
and its magnificent organ owe much to his generosity.
Mr. Tudhope enjoyed recreation. As a youth, he was a good lacrosse player and
later took up curling. But hunting and fishing remained his favourite recreational
pursuits up to the end of his long life.
Inducted 1966
lizabeth Wyn Wood, one of Canada’s best known sculptors, was born in
Orillia to Mr. and Mrs. E.A. Wood. According to her mother, as a very
young child Elizabeth displayed a talent for clay modeling. She studied at
the Ontario College of Art and at the Art Students’ League in New York. Her
many awards included ten scholarships while at the Art College and the GovernorGeneral’s Medal. Marriage to her former teacher, Emanuel Hahn, took place in
1926. For twenty-five years, she was an outstanding teacher at Central Technical
School in Toronto.
Elizabeth Wyn Wood’s work has been rendered in limestone, copper, granite,
bronze, marble and white plaster. She is noted for her work in monumental
sculpture, especially that of King George VI in Niagara Falls – a ten-foot statue of
granite that took eight years to complete. Welland boasts her war memorial and
Niagara-on-the-Lake her monument of John Graves Simcoe. The fountain in the
Fragrant Garden for the Blind in Toronto demonstrated her use of the abstract
form to achieve a certain purpose, where the sound of water trickling on the
sculpture is more important to the blind than the visual form.
Citizens of Orillia commissioned bronze busts of three of its most important figures
– former Premier Leslie Frost, Stephen Leacock and Harold Hale. But she is most
widely noted for the series of landscape sculptures, which represent trees, rocks
and waters of the Canadian Shield country. A marble bust of the sculptor, herself,
by her husband, graces the Orillia Public Library.
A founding member of the Sculptors Society of Canada and a member of the Royal
Canadian Academy of Art, she was the Canadian delegate to the first general
conference in Paris of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization. She is buried in the family plot in St. James’ Cemetery in Orillia.
Inducted 1966
rank Bain’s nickname, “Piper” came from the fact that his father was a pipe
major of the Toronto Irish Regiment. His lacrosse career started in school in
Brampton, continued in Toronto, and at one time he played with the IrishCanadian Dominion Championship Team in the junior division.
In 1930, Piper represented Canada in the World championships, losing out to the
United States in Baltimore. He toured the USA with the University of Toronto
Blues in 1931 for one month, having a fantastic record…13 wins and only one
Piper turned professional in 1932; his coach was Conn Smyth. He joined the
Chicago franchise of the American Lacrosse League for three years and won
the Jimmy Murphy Memorial Trophy as the most valuable player in the Senior
Lacrosse League in 1936.
That same year, he moved to Orillia in order to play lacrosse, as Orillia was an
outstanding lacrosse town. From 1936-1939, the Orillia team won two Ontario
championships and one Dominion championship. In 1937, Piper coached the first
junior club Orillia ever had, for boys twenty years and under, and in five years they
won three Ontario and two Dominion championships, During the war years, in
the winter months, he coached a hockey team.
Inducted 1969
tephen Leacock, Professor Emeritus of McGill University, born in England,
was a respected teacher and a widely published academic author in the
fields of economics and literature. His range of interests and activities at
which he succeeded could be termed extraordinary.
At McGill, he was Head of the Department of Economics and Political Science
from 1908 until his retirement in 1936.
His publications included over sixty volumes of essays, biography, history,
economics, political satire, humour and nonsense. His two masterpieces are
Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town and Arcadian Adventures of the Idle Rich. The
former, written at his summer home at Brewery Bay, Orillia, has been called the
most Canadian book ever written, and immortalized Orillia as Mariposa. Leacock
was the English-speaking world’s best known humourist from 1915 - 1925.
He was an ardent fisherman, gardener and entertaining host.
His home at Brewery Bay, the Stephen Leacock Memorial Home, is maintained by
the City of Orillia and is now a National Historic Site.
A bronze bust of Leacock by Elizabeth Wyn Wood graces the Orillia Public
Inducted 1970
ordon Lightfoot, now a household name from coast to coast, sang as a boy
in St. Paul’s United Church. His beautiful soprano voice is remembered
by many to this day; in particular his rendition of “The Lord’s Prayer”.
Encouraged by his mother, Jessica, who recognized his talent when he was very
young, he entered, at age 12, the Kiwanis Music Festival held at Massey Hall in
Toronto, where he won first place in his category. That was just the beginning.
With hard work, diligence and his dedication to furthering his musical efforts,
Gordon Lightfoot achieved world-wide success as a singer, composer and a talented
He is one of the early Canadian superstars to become famous in the United States.
His first concert at Massey Hall in 1967 was sold out, and he performed there
every year for decades.
It might be said that, as a composer, his folk music depicts the social history of
Canada. Some of his best known songs are The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,
Canadian Railroad Trilogy and Black Day in July. The winner of 17 Juno awards,
Lightfoot was honoured with the Order of Canada in 1971 and the Order of
Ontario in 1988.
Inducted 1971
Athlete – Administrator
e can credit activities at the old YMCA on Peter Street for starting
McKenzie on his career in sports. Living on Mary Street with two
maiden aunts who raised him, the young lad spent countless hours
at the Y. Merv excelled in hockey, lacrosse, football and swimming. He was a
member of an Orillia junior lacrosse team that won the Minto Cup. He served
overseas in the RCAF.
The list of his credentials is impressive: a member of the Championship Committee
of the World Boxing Association, Vice-President of the Canadian Professional
Boxing Federation, Commissioner of the Ontario Lacrosse Association Senior
His appointment as Ontario Athletic Commissioner came in 1953 to a man who
had all the obvious qualifications for the position. As athletic commissioner
he had strict control over boxing and wrestling in the province and in 1955 he
cancelled Sunday boxing and wrestling cards.
He was instrumental in setting up the 1966 heavyweight bout between Muhammad
Ali and George Chuvalo of Toronto at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. Also as
Commissioner, he was able to help many communities with sports programs. He
never forgot his home town and returned many times to help out at community
events here.
He died on January 23, 1977, at age 55.
Inducted 1971
alter Henry was born in Hong Kong, but it was as a schoolboy in
Ireland that he showed promise as a boxer. Coached by his father and
trained by his brother Jerry, he won the Irish schoolboy championship
at the age of nine. Boxing became his whole life. He was dedicated to his career,
which continued when the family moved to Canada.
His list of accomplishments is impressive. In 1958, he represented Canada in
the British Empire Games. On a return trip to Ireland in 1962, he won the Irish
Senior Flyweight Championship. He fought in the Olympics in Tokyo in 1964 and
in Mexico City in 1968. He was a boxing judge in the 1976 Olympics. In 1967,
he had the honour of being the first Canadian ever to win a medal in boxing at
the Pan-American Games held in Winnipeg. Henry is 9 times Canadian Flyweight
Champion and has won 20 Ontario titles. He was inducted into the Canadian
Boxing Hall of Fame in 1974.
Walter Henry retired from boxing in 1971 after a career that included 403 fights,
losing only 18.
Orillia is proud of this popular successful athlete when he says, “I am from Orillia,
and proud of it”, with just a trace of his Irish accent.
Inducted 1972
pioneer in the treatment and education of the developmentally
challenged, Dr. Alexander H. Beaton justly deserves to be included in
the Hall of Fame. He worked hard to justify his belief in the educational
requirements of the patients as well as residential facilities.
Dr. Beaton was educated in the Township of Pickering, then graduated from the
Toronto School of Medicine in 1864 with a specialty in surgery. He practiced in
Stayner for ten years. In 1876 he was appointed superintendent of The Orillia
Asylum for Idiots, five months after the institution was opened with 100 residents.
It was the first Canadian institution for the developmentally challenged and
remained the only one for almost twenty-five years. Dr. Beaton was superintendent
for thirty-four years, retiring at age seventy-two.
As more progress was made in the treatment, research and education of the
developmentally challenged, the institution was renamed The Ontario Hospital,
then The Ontario Hospital School, and finally The Huronia Regional Centre.
Dr. Beaton was twice elected the president of the Association of Medical Officers
of American Institutions for Idiotic and Feeble Minded Persons. To this day,
it is believed Dr. Beaton is the only Canadian ever elected president of that
Dr. Beaton was an elder in the Orillia Presbyterian Church for forty-five years
and was involved with the planning and building of the church sanctuary. The
beautifully carved communion table in the church, presented by his son, is a
memorial to Dr. Beaton and his wife.
Inducted 1973
ro Township was fortunate to have John Miller, a fine, intelligent,
educated Presbyterian to teach in its schools, a man who instilled in his
children the joy of learning, good literature and devotion to church.
Mary Esther, one of his four daughters, was born at Rugby in 1874. She earned her
teacher’s certificate at the old Normal School in Toronto, then taught the Junior
Fourth Class in Central School in Orillia. Her love of writing led her to leave
teaching, and she devoted herself to writing and Sunday school work. Her first
short stories were published in the Westminster Magazine, which was sponsored
by the Presbyterian Church.
Her marriage to the Rev. Donald C. MacGregor, minister of the Orillia Presbyterian
Church, took place in 1909. The couple served in various churches in Ontario.
Esther Miller began writing using her own name but discovered another authoress
by that name, so she took the name of one of her nieces and wrote under the name
Marian Keith.
Marian Keith loved her home, her church and family but she was determined to
write, although it was difficult to find time in her busy life.
Her writings were popular because she wrote of the life around her, of typical
Ontario rural communities, and her readers could identify with the fictional
characters. Duncan Polite and In Orchard Glen were set in the Rugby and Edgar
districts of Oro. The Silver Maple (1906) shows how the clannish rivalries of
English, Scottish and Irish immigrants broke down as their children learned to
mix with each other at school.
Although she loved children and could hold them spellbound with her story
telling, she wrote only one children’s book, Glad Days in Galilee.
Inducted 1980
ucius Richard O’Brien, was the outstanding Canadian artist of his day and
the founder and first president of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art.
He was born in Shanty Bay in 1832, and he and a brother conducted a
general store in Orillia for a number of years. He was a member and reeve of
Orillia Township Council and sat on the Simcoe County Council. He was a
member of the Village of Orillia Council in 1867 and was a church warden of St.
James‘ Church in Orillia for three terms.
He studied and practiced as a civil engineer and was proficient as a draftsman.
He was president of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art, which he helped found,
for ten years. His diploma picture, Sunrise on the Saguenay, is in the National Art
Gallery, Ottawa, and it is this painting that was used for the 35 cent Canadian
stamp, issued in 1980.
O’Brien’s paintings are in the National Gallery and other galleries and in private
hands in Canada and elsewhere. There are a number in private homes in Shanty
Bay, and one in the Orillia Public Library. He exhibited in London, England, in
Chicago and Philadelphia and other places as well as in Canada.
O’Brien’s works are mostly landscapes in water colour and oils. His early paintings
were done in the Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching areas.
O’Brien returned briefly to engineering work but became a full time artist about
1872. He painted widely in Ontario and in the eastern parts of Canada, visited
the Rocky Mountains in 1882 and in 1886, and painted on the Pacific Coast in
1888. He was art editor of the large two volume illustrated work, Picturesque
Canada by George Munro-Grant, published in 1882, and many of the black and
white engravings are his.
Inducted 1980
Community Leader
n eloquent preacher, a devoted follower of the Christian faith and a man
of many talents, Canon Richard W. Greene was a much loved rector
of St. James’ Anglican Church in Orillia for twenty-three years. He
graduated from Trinity College, University of Toronto, and in 1872 was ordained
in St. James’ Cathedral, Toronto, to which church he was called as second curate,
remaining there for thirteen years.
In 1888, Canon Greene arrived in Orillia to be the rector of St. James’, becoming a
friend and advisor to many in the town. During his years here, the present church
and the fine parish hall were built.
Canon Greene was active in the life of the community. A painter, he was the
centre of the artistic life of the town, encouraging young artists, including Franklin
Carmichael, in their work. His talent for wood carving is still evident in the
Church today when one admires the eagle lectern carved by him.
He had a good ear for music and an eye for design. He was one of the judges who
chose the Vernon March design for Orillia’s Champlain monument.
As president of the Orillia Branch of the Church of England Temperance Society
he was one of those responsible for bringing Orillia into the Local Option fold,
with a vote in favour of temperance.
He was elected President of the Ontario Sunday school Association when it
held its annual convention in Orillia in 1908. Canon Greene was buried in the
churchyard of St. George’s Church in Islington.
Inducted 1983
avid Thomson was the son of James Thomson, a merchant in Orillia.
He earned his B.A. degree at University of Toronto and then taught in
the Orillia High School for three years. He received a Ph.D. from the
University of Chicago and studied at the University of Munich, Germany.
In 1902 he became the Professor of Latin at the University of Washington in
Seattle and rose to become Dean, Vice-President and Acting President. It is
said he served in more capacities than any other professor in the history of the
Dean Thomson had a fine personality, a good Scottish wit and was a friend to all
who came in contact with him. He had been a member of Orillia’s chess club and
continued to enjoy the game for many years. Golf and tennis were two sports he
enjoyed. His reading interest ran to detective stories, and he had a library full of
mystery books which he discussed animatedly with staff and students.
June 1948 saw the dedication of Thomson Hall, at the University of Washington,
named after this beloved Dean as a tribute to his many contributions to the life of
the university.
Inducted 1983
Religious leader
ohn Angus MacInnis was born on a farm in Mira, Cape Breton Island, on June
22, 1886, to Scottish parents. He graduated from Queen’s University and
received his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in
New York. Answering his country’s call, he served in Britain and France during
World War I, suffering severe wounds.
Ordained into the Christian ministry in 1921, he was inducted as minister of
Orillia’s Presbyterian Church on January 3, 1929. Thus began thirty-three
years of a distinguished pastorate, during which he led his congregation through
a depression and another World War, keeping the faith in difficult times. He
endeared himself to the hearts of the Highlanders as he conversed with them in
their beloved Gaelic.
He gave himself unstintingly to the service of the community. He was co-founder
of the Victorian Order of Nurses in Orillia, served on the Board of Education and
was a member of the Masonic Order and the Kiwanis Club. He was a well respected
Padre of Branch 34 of the Royal Canadian Legion. Knox College conferred on
him the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1947, honouring him for his leadership.
In 1952, Dr. MacInnis was elected Moderator of the 78th General Assembly.
As Moderator, Dr. MacInnis, with his wife, had the honour of representing the
Presbyterian Church in Canada at the coronation of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth
II, in 1953.
Recognizing the high esteem in which Dr. MacInnis was held, and in grateful
memory, at his death in 1964, the congregation established a memorial bursary in
his name for the encouragement of students training for Christian service.
Inducted 1985
(1899 – 1993)
loyd Chalmers arrived in Orillia in 1910, living with his family at 40 Peter
Street S. Along with his brother, Harold, and his sister, Dorothea, he
attended Central School and Orillia Collegiate and there became friends
with Leslie and Cecil Frost. He helped augment the family income as a paper boy
and delivery boy, delivering handbills for the hockey rink and the Opera House.
Part of his payment was in the form of free tickets to the travelling productions,
which sparked his interest in music and the arts.
In 1913, he moved to Toronto with his family but he remembered Orillia as the
happiest years of his childhood. Perhaps because of those productions he enjoyed
at the Opera House, he spent his World War I leaves in London at the theatre,
furthering his interest in the arts.
Floyd Chalmers was only 17 when he started as a cub reporter with the Toronto
News and Toronto World. Four years later, he joined the Financial Post and for 17
years was the editor of that publication, a job he filled with distinction. He was
president and chairman of the McLean Hunter publishing empire, editor of the
Financial Post and a valued advisor to many Canadian statesmen and politicians.
He was a member of the board of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, vice-chairman
of the Royal Conservatory of Music, president of the Canadian Opera Company,
and president of the Stratford Shakespearean Festival. He and his family created
the Chalmers Foundation, which continues to aid young Canadian artists and the
performing arts in Canada.
Inducted 1986
(1920 – 2007)
Athlete – Administrator
ake, the son of Jacob Gill Gaudaur, a world professional rowing champion, was
born in Orillia. He served as a pilot in the R.C.A.F., 1942-45, and, exclusive
of the war years, played professional football from 1940 through 1953. He
was President and General Manager of the Hamilton Tiger Cats from 1954 to
1967, during which time they won 9 Eastern Conference titles and 4 Canadian
Jake was Commissioner of the Canadian Football League from 1968 to 1984 and
did much in the founding of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum.
During his term, he was instrumental in keeping the C.F.L. a Canadian entity,
in opposing American influence and encroachment, by seeing that the League
stuck to Canadian rules and regulations. He assumed permanent chairmanship
of the Player Pension Plan Advisory Board, the Management Council, the Rules
Committee and other offices and duties pertaining to the C.F.L. He was elected
to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1984, and was named an Officer in the
Order of Canada in 1985. Under his aegis as Commissioner, he had a great deal
to do with placing the C.F.L. on a firmer financial footing with regard to radio and
television rights and contracts. He had much to do with making the Grey Cup
Game Canada’s number one event in sports.
Jake is a strong believer that professional sport should use its high visibility to
support charitable and fitness causes and annually authorized the use of noncommercial messages in C.F.L. game telecasts at no cost, to support such charitable
Inducted 1988
aurent Quetton St. George never actually lived in Orillia, however he
did amass extensive land holdings nearby. It could be said he was Orillia’s
pioneer entrepreneur.
He was born in France in 1771. A Royalist, he had a distinguished military career
in Europe until the French revolution hastened his departure from France, along
with many other Royalist refugees. There is a possibility he added St. George to
his name in gratitude for finding refuge on British soil on St. George’s Day.
In the summer of 1798, forty-one people, including Laurent Quetton St. George,
led by the Comte de Puisaye, arrived at Oak Ridges, a place where the four
townships of King, Whitchurch, Vaughan and Markham meet. The settlement
was a failure and de Puisaye returned to England in 1802.
St. George was ambitious and resourceful. He determined to succeed and
to adjust to the pioneer conditions in Canada. Some time between 1800 and
1802 he opened a fur trading post at The Narrows, Orillia. Later, he established
stores at York, Queenston, Fort Erie, Dundas and other areas. Records show his
landholdings in this part of the country consisted of 2,300 acres in North Orillia,
2,500 acres in Medonte and 800 in South Orillia.
In 1815, St. George returned to France, married Adele de Barbeyrae, by whom he
had a son, Henri. In 1847, Henri came to Canada to claim his inheritance. He
built a sawmill at the outlet of Lake Couchiching to the Severn River. The names
of Quetton Street in Washago and Lake St. George remind us of the activities of
Henri rather than of Laurent.
Inducted 1988
paint because there is no other way to express the beauty of my people.”
For Arthur Shilling, his love for his people, pride in his native heritage
and his awakening to Ojibway spiritualism, inspired his work.
Arthur Shilling was born on the Rama Indian Reserve, near Orillia, in 1941. At
the age of 22, his first solo exhibition took place in Orillia. Numerous exhibitions
of his work have been held in Canada, New York City, Brazil, and Europe. His
paintings are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Civilization, the
Royal Ontario Museum, the McMichael Canadian Collection and in private
Shilling studied at the Ontario College of Art, but preferred to develop his own
method of painting, rejecting traditional art forms and remaining “his own man”.
He developed a distinctive expressionistic style, using vivid strokes of colour to
make a strong statement, to define shape and form and to express the inner life
of his people.
Open heart surgery in the 1970’s changed Shilling’s perspective on life and he
came home to Rama to fulfill a lifetime dream, constructing a native art gallery
beside the home he shared with his wife, Amelia, and sons Bewabon and Travis.
Working there, he developed his talents to become one of the greatest and most
imaginative Canadian artists of our time. The National Film Board recognized
this in its award-winning documentary about Shilling, The Beauty of My People.
It is most unfortunate he did not live to see published the book he had been
commissioned to write, The Ojibway Dream, that was released after his death in
1986. We end with his own prophetic words; “My pillow is a burning log. You
could rake coals over my body. Death will not put this fire out.”
Inducted 1989
anada’s Mr. YMCA” – a title most suitably ascribed to Skid Watson,
after 70 years as a member and leader with the Y . He was born and
educated in Orillia where he spent many happy hours in the new Y,
opened in 1907 on Peter Street, just north of Mississaga Street. There he learned
those important values for which the Y stands.
After teaching in a country school at Dartmoor, near Sebright, he enlisted in the
service. Again, in England and France, he found the Y meant so very much to the
Canadian soldiers.
Returning to Orillia, Skid spent his whole life in the service of the Y as General
Secretary, a position he held until his retirement in 1968 – 41 years. His relentless
efforts ensured the growth and success of the local Y.
For years, summer camp was a very important part of the life of the YMCA. As
far back as 1910, William Thomson allowed the Y to use his Breezy Point property
on the east shore of Lake Couchiching, and for some years the camp was known as
Breezy Point. The camp ran intermittently as a tenting project. “Skid’s” dream was
to establish a permanent camp at the site and to that end he expended enormous
effort. He was proud that his project received tremendous support from the entire
community. And so Camp Summerland, an institution that developed Canadian
youth from coast to coast, came into being in the 1930’s.
Skid entered wholeheartedly into the life of the town, serving on numerous boards
and institutions and giving freely of his leadership. The words that best describe
this man are displayed on the mural at the new YMCA building on Peter Street
North – “Camper, Counsellor, Student, Teacher, Soldier, Athlete, Naturalist,
Husband, Father, Community Leader, Mentor, Humanitarian, Citizen of the Year,
Churchman, Friend”.
Inducted 1989
t is interesting to note the names of Orillians who had a part to play in the
sensational rise of Mamie Shrum to athletic champion status. Mr. Harry
Warren, a butcher shop owner, saw her at work on the family farm. Mr. Jack
McInnis, in his watch repair shop across from Mr. Warren’s, noticed her going and
coming from his place, and was impressed by her as a possible athlete. Mr. Walter
Knox, her eventual coach, was also impressed. A world famous athlete and coach,
and later a member of the Orillia Hall of Fame, he had, himself, been trained
under a former Orillian, Harry Gill.
Mamie Shrum was born in 1913 on a farm, a little north of Orillia. She was only
17 years of age when Mr. Warren, Mr. McInnis and Walter Knox persuaded her to
train as a shot putter. Mamie was skeptical. After only 7 weeks of training, Walter
knew he had a “winner”.
On August 16, 1930 and three days later, this nervous, inexperienced, ill at ease
girl made her athletic debut at the Ontario and Canadian Women’s Track and Field
Championships, winning both shot putting titles, an unheard of achievement. One
month later, on September 12, a crowd of Orillians gathered at Couchiching Beach
Park to welcome and honour Mamie, presenting her with a gold wristwatch from
the town and a migrator from the Township of Orillia. She was now enthusiastic
about the sport and was determined to lead the field with flying colours, adding
discus throwing to her training.
The year 1932 saw her set a Canadian record of 38’3”, the first in the shot put, and
first for the discus throw – 103’ 6 1/4”. Again, in 1933, at the Ontario Track and
Field Championships, Toronto, Mamie’s shot put of 34’ 11 1/4” won her a first.
Shortly after her marriage to Reginald Faris in 1933, the couple moved to Atikokan,
where Mamie still lives. Orillia is indeed proud of this outstanding athlete.
Inducted 1992
Government Agent
homas Gummersall Anderson was the government agent responsible for
the settlement of the native tribes in the Orillia area in the 1820’s. He had
been a successful and respected trader, then military commander during
the war of 1812, before starting a career in government services.
In 1829 he was summoned to York by Sir John Colborne and ordered to undertake
the settlement of the three tribes of Ojibwa Indians under Chiefs Yellowhead,
Aisance and Snake at Coldwater and The Narrows. He supervised the building of
the mill on the Coldwater River in 1833, a store and a school for Indian children,
as well as the dwellings and meeting house at The Narrows Village.
Yellowhead settled at The Narrows, Aisance at the Coldwater end of the Reserve
and Snake on Snake Island in Lake Simcoe. Anderson’s reports at that time
stressed the successful transition the tribes had made from hunting to farming and
noted that religion and education was increasingly important in the lives of the
natives. However, in 1836, the new Lt. Governor, Sir Francis Bond Head urged
that they be removed in order to accommodate the white settlers moving into the
area. Thus in 1839 Chief Yellowhead and his band settled in Rama Township,
Chief Aisance went to Beausoleil Island and Christian Island while Chief Snake
remained on Snake Island.
As a trader and government employee, Anderson had close contact with the
Indians for 58 years. He was a shrewd judge of character and was devoted to their
interests and was highly regarded by them. He was responsible for executing the
first attempt made in the British Empire to place aboriginal people on reserves.
Inducted 1993
(1918 – )
Chartered Accountant
ertrude Mulcahy was a pioneer woman in the chartered accounting
profession and Orillia is proud of her. She is the sixth child of the late
Mr. and Mrs. Teefy Mulcahy, of Orillia, but from then on she was first
in everything. Graduating from the Orillia Collegiate Institute, she went off to
the University of Toronto to study commerce, where, in 1940, she received her
honours Bachelor of Arts degree, but discovered companies where she applied for
an accounting position were not interested in hiring a woman. This was especially
hurtful when she was turned down by the prestigious chartered accounting
firm Clarkson Gordon, which had been founded by her great-great-grandfather,
Thomas Clarkson. That firm finally recognized her good work as an auditor with
the Bank of Canada, and, in 1947, she became the first woman to qualify as a
chartered accountant with them. In 1969, Gertrude earned her MBA from York
Gertrude joined the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) in
1949, where she served as secretary of the Board of Examiners and progressed to
Accounting Research Director. Over her long career with the CICA, Gertrude
received national and international acclaim for her commitment and outstanding
contribution to the accounting profession.
Her technical writings, speaking engagements, appearances as guest lecturer
at universities and colleges across Canada, and participation in meetings and
conferences in Canada, the USA and Great Britain won her high recognition
from the accounting profession and business community.
Her list of “firsts” include: 1st woman elected a Fellow Chartered Accountant
of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario; 1st woman to receive its
Award of Outstanding Merit; 1st woman to receive the Presidential Certificate
of Merit from the CICA. In 1992, the YWCA honoured her as a “Woman of
Inducted 1993
Park Superintendent
eorge Bartlett was a Provincial Park Superintendent who was instrumental
in the development and preservation of Algonquin Park as we know
it today. Mr. Bartlett came to Canada in 1863 and in 1872 to Orillia,
where he and his family lived on Regent Street. He was a man very fond of the
great outdoors. His initial work on the railroad construction and lumber camps
up north, led to a position of considerable responsibility with the J. R. Booth
In 1893 the Ontario Government passed the act establishing Algonquin Provincial
Park as a “Public Park and Forest Reservation”. But by 1897, the administration
of the Park had fallen into disrepute and the Premier of Ontario, the Honourable
Arthur Hardy, asked George Bartlett to take responsibility for the Park and
“to make it a credit to the province”. This he did for the next 24 years. As
superintendent, he was also the Postmaster, Police Magistrate, Chief Coroner of
the District of Nipissing and Commissioner of Oaths.
Mr. Bartlett hired former trappers to become Park Rangers to help him curtail
poaching and illegal trapping, no easy task in the days of snowshoes, dog sled
and travelling by canoe. He was a hard working man, expecting the rangers he
appointed to be the same, and he was determined to maintain the wildlife of the
Park. The preservation of the Park is a tribute to the foresight of the people of
Ontario and the supervision of people like George Bartlett.
Algonquin Park was put in the hands of a truly dedicated gentleman, who
was recognized both nationally and internationally for his achievement in the
preservation of wildlife in a controlled area enjoyed by people from all over the
world. He helped build a legacy for Canadians that should endure for centuries.
Inducted 1995
J. A. “PETE”
(1927 – )
Journalist – Newscaster
rom script-writer to assistant general manager, to feature newscaster and
commentator, to arts and entertainment editor, to author, Pete McGarvey
has had an interesting and exciting life. He was born in Toronto in 1927,
and arrived in Orillia to work at radio station CFOR in 1947, then moved on to
Chatham and Toronto.
He has interviewed over a thousand prominent personalities from Hollywood,
Broadway and the world of music. As a radio journalist, he had the opportunity
to travel the world, including Moscow, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, Jerusalem
and Beirut, bringing back reports from these places. As a syndicated travel
correspondent, this energetic man journeyed to many more global destinations
in the 1990’s.
Like his good friend, Dr. Harold Hale, Pete entered wholeheartedly into the life of
the municipality wherever he was. Chatham will remember him for his “Pageant
on the Thames”. It is impossible to list the many and varied ways Pete has served
– on boards and foundations and institutions in connection with radio and with
historical projects.
For 12 years, Orillia was fortunate to have Pete as an alderman, reeve and deputyreeve. Through his determined efforts, Old Brewery Bay, the summer home of
the celebrated author, Stephen Leacock, was secured and restored. It is now a
National Historic Site. Pete was chairman of the Leacock Home Board for six
years and the citizens of Orillia chose him to be the “Citizen of the Year” for
Pete lives in semi-retirement in Orillia and Orillia is proud of his endeavours.
Inducted 1995
(1939 –
lexander Charles Baillie was born in Orillia in 1939, to Dr. and Mrs.
Charles Baillie and even as a young lad, he knew he wanted to run a
company some day. He has certainly achieved his goal.
He was educated at Hillcrest Public School, Orillia District Collegiate Institute
and University of Toronto Schools. He earned his BA at University of Toronto
and MBA at Harvard Business School. It is interesting to note his grandfather,
Alexander Baillie, many years ago was an executive with the Dominion Bank,
which merged with the Bank of Toronto. With this Toronto Dominion Bank,
Charles started his career, which included several years in New York, in the USA
division. The TD Bank has profited from his business acumen, and, recognizing
this, appointed him Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Much can be said about this accomplished man – a philanthropist, a family man, a
keen golfer, a student of history, and athlete. He is outspoken as he sees the need
for greater commitment to education. He is an avid bird watcher and this interest
has taken him and his binoculars to many parts of the world.
Many companies, organizations and charitable institutions have profited from his
expertise and his willingness to head fund raising campaigns for these institutions.
B’nai B’rith honoured Charles when they presented him with the Award of Merit,
B’nai B’rith’s highest honour. Orillia was fortunate that he agreed to be honourary
chairman of the fundraising campaign for the Orillia Museum of Art and History
at its founding.
Inducted 1999
Ojibwa Chief
here was an Ojibwa chief called “The Yellow Head, Chief of Lake Simcoe”,
who is thought to be responsible for keeping his people loyal to the British
during the War of 1812. When this chief was wounded in defense of York
in 1813, his son, Musquakie, was created chief of the tribe. Four years later, at the
desire of his father, Musquakie was appointed principal chief of the Deer Tribe,
and was more commonly known as Chief William Yellowhead.
In 1818, the Crown purchased 1,592,000 acres of land in the Georgian Bay-Lake
Simcoe area from the First Nations, and one of the signers of this treaty was Chief
Yellowhead. He and his followers settled in the vicinity of Orillia, and a house,
which stood until recent times, was erected for him. Eventually, white settlers
infiltrated the region, and the Ojibwa claimed they spoiled their hunting grounds.
The Ojibwa were compelled to relinquish their lands and moved to Rama during
1838 and early 1839. Yellowhead spent the remainder of his life there. A devout
Christian, he was highly respected and admired by all who knew him. When
he died in 1864, his age was supposed to be upwards of 100 years, although the
burial register of St. James’ lists his age at 95. A large gathering of whites and First
Nation’s people attended his funeral out of respect for the British Crown. He is
buried in the churchyard of St. James’ Anglican Church, Orillia.
The Muskoka District of Ontario is a permanent memorial of Musquakie’s
name. It is generally believed that this region was named after him since the area
comprised part of his recognized hunting grounds.
Inducted 1999
(1945 – )
Author – Educator
illiam Bell was born in Toronto in 1945 and educated there until he
graduated from the Ontario College of Education in 1970, immediately
after which he moved to Orillia where he has lived ever since. He
holds a master of arts in literature and master of education, both from University
of Toronto. For many years William taught English and creative writing at Orillia
District Collegiate and Vocational Institute, where he was the head of the English
Department. For years he was an instructor in China at the Harbin University
of Science and Technology and Foreign Affairs College. He has also taught at the
University of British Columbia.
William Bell has written fourteen books, twelve for young adults and two for
children. In the mid-80’s he was among the first novelists in North America writing
specifically for young adult readers aged 12 to 17, and has been an innovator
in this genre ever since. Many of his books are widely used in school courses of
study, since they novelized political and social issues such as disabilities, illiteracy,
alcoholism, gay relationships, student unrest, gangs, cancer and bullying, long
before they became current in the media or popular subjects for other novelists.
His novels are set in the Orillia region, Algonquin Park, China and elsewhere.
His books have been translated into ten languages including French, German,
Polish, Dutch and Spanish. Mr. Bell has won the Belgium Prize for Excellence, the
Ruth Schwartz Award (Canada), Manitoba Reader’s Choice Award, Canadian
Librarian’s Association Award and Mr. Christie’s Award, among many others. He
lives in Orillia with author Ting-xing Ye.
Inducted 2002
(1938 – )
Vice Admiral
ice Admiral Peter Cairns was born in Orillia on October 4, 1938. The
son of Mildred and Carrol Cairns, he attended West Ward Public School
and Orillia District Collegiate and Vocational Institute. A keen athlete,
he enjoyed a variety of sports and played for several Orillia teams. In his final year
of high school, he was elected head boy, and was selected as a cadet major in the
school’s army cadet corps.
In 1956, Cairns entered the Royal Canadian Navy as an officer cadet. During
his 39 years of active service, he had numerous sea commands. In addition to
commanding two frigates and a frigate squadron, as a qualified submarine officer
he also commanded a submarine and a submarine squadron. He completed tours
of duty in the Royal Navy and the United States Navy, and was on the North
American Treaty Organization’s maritime staff. In 1991, he was appointed to the
Order of Military Merit in the rank of commander.
For three years, Cairns served as commander of the Canadian Pacific Fleet and for
two years, just prior to his retirement, he held the position of commander in chief
of the Royal Canadian Navy. He retired from active service in 1994.
Since his retirement, he has been involved in a number of organizations. For several
years, he has been president of both the Shipbuilding Association of Canada, and
the Canadian Institute of Marine Engineers. He is also a member of the advisory
board of the Institute of Ocean Dynamics.
Inducted 2002
John Gilroy, “Portrait of Eric Harvie”, 1960, oil on
canvas, Collection of Glenbow Museum, Calgary,
Canada, 991.87.1
ric Harvie was one of the great philanthropists of western Canada.
Harvie was born and raised in Orillia, part of the Harvie Settlement clan.
After obtaining his law degree, he headed to Calgary to start his career. As
his practice grew, he quietly bought up mineral rights in the region, and struck
it rich when oil was discovered on his land in 1947. In short order he became a
He used little of his money on himself, living frugally and driving an old Studebaker.
His wealth was directed toward lavish efforts to preserve the history of western
Canada. In 1954, he founded the Glenbow Museum in downtown Calgary where
his massive personal collection of western artifacts - native, pioneer and military
- are on display. The institution is a combination of museum, art gallery, archives
and library.
He created the Harvie Foundation, supporting projects such as the Banff School
of Fine Arts, the Calgary Zoo and Heritage Park, Charlottetown’s Confederation
Square and Arts Complex and the re-development of the Ryerson Polytechnical
Institute in Toronto. Over the years the foundation has spent more than $100
million supporting many cultural institutions across Canada.
Harvie was also fascinated by armies and armour. He fought in WWI achieving
the rank of captain, and had a career in the Calgary mounted constabulary during
WWII attaining the rank of commandant. In 1952 he was named the Honourary
Colonel of the Calgary Highlander regiment.
Inducted 2002
(1939 – )
Lieutenant Governor
he Honourable James Karl Bartleman was born to Percy Bartleman of
Orillia and Maureen Benson Simcoe of Mnjikaning (Chippewas of Rama)
in 1939. As a youth growing up in Orillia and in Port Carling, Muskoka,
James straddled the two worlds of Scottish-Irish heritage and native heritage,
facing the poverty of the family and discrimination from the community.
The Honourable James Bartleman was the first aboriginal to be named lieutenant
governor of Ontario.
As described in his two biographies of maturation, Raisin Wine: a boyhood in a
different Muskoka (2007), and Out of Muskoka (2002), Bartleman overcame
obstacles to his personal growth through reading and self-education. With the
assistance of a wealthy Muskoka cottager, he attended university, then embarked
on a diplomatic career in 1966, when he joined the Canadian Foreign Service.
In a further memoir, Rollercoaster (2005), James writes of his career as a senior
diplomatic advisor to Prime Minister Jean Chretien. Bartleman has associated
with a great many prime ministers, premiers and presidents through his years as
an ambassador or high commissioner to Bangladesh, Israel, NATO, South Africa,
Australia and the European Union. On Six Continents: a Life in Canada’s Foreign
Service 1966-2002 (2004) describes his many amusing and treacherous adventures
from the perspective of a poor aboriginal kid from Orillia and Muskoka.
The greatest accolade he ever received is the National Aboriginal Achievement
Award in 1999. His influence is still felt in the northern Ontario literacy camps
for native children that he championed while lieutenant-governor of Ontario. He
retired to Perth, Ontario, but frequently visits Orillia and Mnjikaning.
Inducted 2004
Athlete – Coach
arry Gill was known as the finest all-round athlete of his day, the most
successful athletics coach in America and as an innovator in track and
field equipment design.
He was born outside Orillia, near Coldwater, to a family that included cousins Jake
Gaudaur and George Gray, both world champion athletes. Harry was a self-taught
athlete, practicing on Gill Street in Orillia after school. Three times in the 1890s
he won the Canadian All-round Athletics Championship (the precursor to the
decathlon). Then in 1900 he traveled to New York to contest for the American
championship as an unknown there. He won with a record score that stood for five
years. Two years later he turned professional and won that all-round championship
in both Canada and the U.S.
Harry took up coaching in 1901 and went on to an illustrious 30-year career at the
University of Illinois. He took over a low-rated program and went on to a 111 and
24 won/lost record in track meets. In 1924 his athletes scored more points at the
Olympics, than any other team or country! He helped to organize the first NCAA
track and field championship in 1921, which his Illinois team promptly went out
and won.
Dissatisfied with the state of track and field equipment available, in 1918 Harry
started a company that developed innovative designs. Some of his innovations
that became standards were the discus, the hurdle and the first aluminum vaulting
Always returning to his summer home in Orillia, Harry encouraged and provided
the first coaching for Walter Knox, another Orillia all-round athletics champion.
He also wrote many books on coaching that became standard texts.
Inducted 2004
(1862 – 1914)
orn in Orillia in 1862, The Honourable Duncan E. McKinlay learned
the carriage painting trade at Tudhope Carriage Works, Orillia. He used
this skill, to work his way across the United States to California. He then
studied law, was admitted to the bar by the Supreme Court of California in 1892
and practiced law in Santa Rosa, California from 1901-1907. He became second
and then first assistant United States attorney at San Francisco.
He quickly rose to prominence; by developing his native talents and through
extensive reading he became a well-informed and eloquent speaker.
He was elected as a Republican to the United States Congress (1905-1911). He
became a personal friend of President “Teddy” Roosevelt who sent him to the
Philippines, as a commissioner, to report on conditions there. In 1910, Duncan
McKinlay was appointed by President Taft as United States Surveyor of Customs
for the Port of San Francisco, California.
He had a very keen interest in the Panama Canal and its national and international
importance. As a member of Congress he visited the Panama Canal with the
Interstate Committee of the House. In 1908, he addressed the Orillia Canadian
Club on the Panama Canal. In 1912, he published a book, The Panama Canal, in
which he explained the absolute necessity for the construction of a canal across
the Isthmus of Panama and the events leading up to this gigantic project. The
Honourable Duncan E. McKinlay died in Berkeley, California, in 1914.
Inducted 2004
Concert Pianist
he name Glenn Gould still resonates around the world as one of the greatest
concert pianists. His performances and recordings are remembered and
loved in Canada, United States, Russia, Israel and elsewhere a generation
after his death.
Glenn Gould was born in Uxbridge, Ontario and lived most of his life in the Beach
area of Toronto. Until he was twenty he spent as much time as possible at the
family cottage near Uptergrove and Orillia. His childhood in a rural area nourished
him a lifelong love of nature and boating.
At ten, Gould began studying piano with Alberto Guerrero of Toronto, who also
began cottaging in Orillia to continue Glenn’s summer lessons. At eighteen, already
a mature pianist, he retreated to the cottage, where he found solitude, tranquility
and a contemplative life. Here he could practice, study scores, and analyze his own
tape recordings without the pressures of city life. Often he played until the early
morning hours.
Many residents of Orillia remember Gould playing piano at the cottage or the Opera
House at night, or eating and shopping at their restaurants or stores. In Orillia,
Glenn Gould had friends rather than fans. Consequently he did not suffer the same
pressure of his stardom in this area as he did elsewhere. For years, as long as the
cottage was available, he would spend as much time as possible there to rejuvenate
between concert tours and recording sessions. The cottage’s Chickering piano
became the standard by which he measured all other instruments, including the
Kevin Bazzana, author of Wondrous Strange: the life and art of Glenn Gould, comments
“there is the phenomenon of ‘Gould Tourism’. Since his death in 1982 an astonishing
number and range of people have made the pilgrimage to Toronto … and been
drawn to ‘Gould country’ around Lake Simcoe”.
His recordings of The Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach is legendary. Glenn Gould is
the subject of at least ten biographies and several films.
Inducted 2007
(1947 – )
Author – Consultant
on Tapscott was born in Toronto in 1947, the eldest son of Mary and
Don Tapscott. He moved to Orillia with this family in 1960 and attended
West Ward Public School. He spent his high school years at Park Street
After graduating from high school, Don attended Trent University where he
received a B.Sc. in psychology and statistics. He then moved west to the University
of Alberta where he received his M.Ed., specializing in research and methodology.
From both universities, he has received honorary doctorates.
Don’s first position was with Bell Northern Software Labs, where his job was
to develop the office of the future. Here he was introduced to the concept of
networked computers which, in turn, led into business consulting, and eventually
into writing books on the effect computers have on society.
Don has authored or co-authored 11 books on the application of technology in
business, and is much in demand, worldwide, as a consultant and speaker. His
book, Wikinomics: “How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything”, a definitive text,
was published in 2006 and was a best seller for many months.
In 1992, Don founded New Paradigm Learning Corporation, a consulting firm
for business management. He is also an adjunct professor of management at the
Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
In addition to his business, Don is very committed to the issues of mental health,
and over the years has served on several boards of mental health organizations. He
and his wife, Ana Lopez, are the benefactors of the Tapscott Chair in Schizophrenia
Studies at the University of Toronto.
Inducted 2007
Committee Membership
The Hall of Fame Committee is unique in its purpose and function. Committee
members must have knowledge of the local area and of the local citizens. It
should be noted that over the years the committee members themselves have been
noteworthy Orillians deeply concerned with the City’s heritage. The following is a
listing of all who have served on the committee since its inception in 1964:
Louis Francoz (Councillor/Deputy Reeve)
J.B. Lamb
Edna Cutt
Skid Watson
Grace Crooks Leigh
Harry Tissington (Alderman)
Ron Leliever (Alderman)
William McFarlane
P. McIsaac (Alderman)
George Czerny
Frank Kehoe (Alderman)
Tony McCauley
John Parks (Alderman)
W.M. Cramp (Alderman)
Allan Ironside
Mark Furlong
Gerry Briggs (Alderman)
Frank Dolcort (Alderman)
Douglas Blackburn
Jay Cody
Sue Mulcahy
Clare Long
Jeff Day
Alannah Langlois (Alderman)
Mel St. Onge
Isabel Brillinger
Patricia Hehn
Don Hunter
Peter Hoare
Wendy Hutchings
Donald Ross
Andrew Johnston
Kelly Lassaline
Janifer Tissington
Mort Seymour
David Town
Michael Hill
1964 - 1966
1964 - 1971
1964 - 1985
1964 - 1984
1964 - 1985
1971 - 1973
1970 1971 - 1973
1974 1974 - 1977
1975 - 1978
1978 - 1980
1979 - 1982
1979 -
1980 - 1988
1983 - 1985
1983 - 1985
1986 - 1987
1986 - 1988
1984 - 1997
1984 1986 - 2004
1988 - 1997
1987 - 1990
1989 -
1989 - 1995
1990 - 1993
1991 - 1997
1994 - 1999
1995 1999 2000 - 2004
2003 - 2006
2001 -
2006 2006 2007 -