Adrien André | Dr. Barbara Cameron | William Gebbie | John Hay | Sylvia Kirkey | Bruno Major
This particular outing on the lake offshore from Lancaster was spent fishing for “muskies” (muskellunge) and pickerel. Our guide was veteran “Angie” Bertrand with a pioneer trolling boat and outboard motor. “Father Ewen” had a variety of costly fishing gear. Being in the novice class “Angie” Bentrand handed me a bamboo rod fitted with a carpenter’s chalk line, a homemade reel with a feathered double hook and a shiny spinner, the top of a tomato can. By late afternoon we had a catch of pickerel, pike and a 16-lb. “muskie” that gave me quite a battle and thanks to Angie’s coaching and his skill to gaff the fish and land the prize (to me) safely in the boat, clubbed with a mallet and knifed in the skull out of swishing danger.
“Angie” Bertrand, at this time, was, as horsemen would say “getting short in tooth.” There were younger guides on their way to professionalism thus succeeding this memorable legend of South Lancaster. And one was the subject of our writing – Adrien Andre.
Adrien Andre is the son of Aldana Andre and his wife the former Rose Alman Latour, South Lancaster. Here, Adrien attended school and with Lake St. Francis in daily view, enriched with legendary fishing lore, it is only natural that Adrien developed a keen desire to some day accept the challenges of not only being a professional guide but also be a winning competitor in Walleye tournaments and fishing derbys.
Knowledge of the better fishing areas of Lake St. Francis is one of the basic fundamentals relative to being a successful guide. However, cleaning a catch of pickerel, northern pike, bass, perch and the famed “muskies” is an art that must be practised by an apprentice guide and mastered before being rated in the professional class. Adrien Andre captured those skills at an early age.
Adrien Andre’s reputation of being among the guide leaders of Lake St. Francis, centred a South Lancaster, drew the attention of TV Ontario more than 10 years ago in filming fishing at Lancaster part of the province-wide episodes.
The filming was completed at Lancaster Inn by project leader Paul Marquardt, sound man Brian Avery, star attraction Adrien Andre and noted sportsman Ian Macintosh.
Adrien Andre has been a commercial fisherman and Lake St. Francis guide since 1949. He capitalized on his vast knowledge to win the 1986 first prize of $5,000 in the Budweiser National Walleye Championship. His young daughter Linda, skilled in the art of handling a rod and reel ably assisted her father in winning the championship. Until the previous year tournament organizers did not allow local guides to compete.
As we say in the realm of sport, Adrien Andre has never looked back after that rule change. He will be inducted in the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame at the induction dinner, Glengarry Sports Palace, September 4th.
Barbara Mutch was interested in extra curricular activities in her youth notable the Maxville Girl Guides and the Glengarry Highland Pipe Band. McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, provided Barbara with her first rowing experience. In her initial term Barbara was part of the crew which won the Novice Women’s Eights at the Ontario University championship.
At a diminutive height of four feet eleven inches, Barbara was recruited as a coxswain. In a rowing crew, the role of the coxswain is to steer a straight course during competition, and to provide coaching and encouragement inside the boat during both training and racing.
The next season Barbara trained with the Leander Boar Club, Hamilton. They won silver medals for a second place finish at the Canadian championships. This led to Barbara’s selection to the Ontario crew which when travelled to the Maritimes for further competitions.
In 1976, Barbara was selected as coxswain of the Women’s Four to represent Canada in the Olympic Games, Montreal. This was the first time that women were allowed to compete in rowing at the Olympics.
In order to gain international experience Barbara’s team travelled to Europe where here crew finished second and fourth in major Switzerland competitions and West Germany. At the Olympic Games Barbara’s Canadian crew raced only once for Canada, winning the Gold Medal in the Women’s Four at the Munich international Regatta in West Germany.
Barbara Muctch’s last competition season was in 1978, when she trained and raced for Burnaby Lake Rowing Club in B.C. The crew comprised of many national team members winning both the U.S. and Canadian championships including the Canadian Henley Regatta.
Following her retirement from competition, Barbara continued as a coaching assistant and team a manager for two years at Club Espana in Mexico City. Also at the University of California, Berkley. Since then she has devoted most of her time to pursuing her education and career. She has also coached Speed Skating (short track and Olympic) in British Columbia.
Although no longer a competitive athlete she maintains her fitness by running, hiking, and weight training. She has completed two marathons, numerous 10k runs and a triathlon.
J.T. is the son of the late Alex Hay and his wife the former Anna Margaret MacSweyn. In his youth he attended public school just beyond the family farm home in what is now the Lochiel Township administrative offices, 4th concession. Also here was the playground where J.T. began to demonstrate his youthful athletic skills in booting a football now known as soccer.
Graduating to high school J.T. discovered that football on Friday afternoons was the premier fall sport in Glengarry, Cornwall, Maxville, Vankleek Hill and Hawkesbury and in his first practises with this new type of oblong football he became attracted to kicking the ball from a tee to get a game underway and then boot the ball from different angles and distances through the goal posts. The Frank Clair of that high school era, Gaels coach Stan Fraser, observed that J.T. had distinctive kicking talents and he began to groom the Lochiel farm boy in the technique of kicking field goals. As we say in sport writing, “from that day on J.T. Hay never looked back.”
Playing junior high school football was ideal training for this budding gridiron great to carry forward Glengarry’s rich football heritage. In due course game the lofty heights of J.T.’s high school football career.
I have told this story before and as long as I am blessed with memory highlights, I’ll always cherish telling this football story again.
It is a late fall Friday afternoon, a cold breeze is blowing from, the northwest and the mist is on the fringe of a drizzle, we are on the Hawkesbury high school football field, literally a farm sold field. Gaels are behind tow points; Stan Fraser sends J.T. out to kick a field goal; my faithful companion each Friday covering the games for the Glengarry News in Angus R. MacDonald. I asked Angus to stand opposite J.T. and I would stay on the 40 yard stripe. J.T. cooly swings his educated toe to the ball, it’s … up … straight and just over the bar. Gaels are the champions by J.T.’s field goal, a single point.
Angus R. does the measuring and J.T.’s boot is 43 yards with a wet ball against a slight breeze. The rest is history.
At the spring training camp J.T. was graded in third place among the Sooners’ rookies. Success breeds success and J.T. in 1977 was signed by Ottawa Rough Riders. Youth had to surrender to seniority a couple of years later as veteran place kicker Jerry Organ returned to Riders’ Camp.
J.T. was gladly signed by Calgary stampeders where he played with distinction until retirement two years ago, 1989.
Next Wednesday night at the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner, J.T. will share the glory and prestige of our football heritage with Glengarry Canadian Football greats: “Big Dunc” MacDonald, Joe Corbett, Stewart Rayside, Jim McCaffrey, and “Tupper” McDonald.
Development was rapid and as a result Sylvia was selected to become a few member of Canada’s Youth Rowing in June 1979. In August, the short time of two months, Sylvia’s crew were gold medals winners in Moscow competing in the Women’s Eights races.
By the time Sylvia Wetzl was invited to train and challenge the major opportunity of joining the Olympic Rowing crew, hence she moved to Burnaby, B.C training camp. She was successful as she was selected a member of the Canadian Olympic Rowing crew.
Due to the Olympic boycott that was enforced, much to the disappointment of all Canadian athletes, the Olympic rowing girls competed in Amsterdam, Holland and in Lucerne, Switzerland, that summer in international races, World Championship class at Lucerne, both finalists. And the summer of 1980 women’s Eight Eight event.
All the forgoing led Sylvia to qualify for the Canadian Women’s Olympic Rowing crew the fall of 1980. When the crew was selected in June 1981, Sylvia Wetzel had attained a life time ambition; she was to be a member of the Canadian Women’s Rowing team.
The crew were gold medal winners at the Canadian Championship held in Montreal featuring the Women’s Eight races. The Canadian Olympic crew competing in the Women’s Eight races, World’s Championship at Munich, West Germany, were finalists, August 1981.
Among the many tangible awards Sylvia received she cherishes the Province of Ontario Distinguished performance in the field of Amateur Sport and the Alexandria Lions Club Vern DeGeer trophy emblematic of a Glengarry athlete receiving the most and laudable press coverage in 1982.
Now Sylvia Kirkey is retired from rowing after a brilliant career and pursuing further education as a medial laboratory technologist at St. Lawrence College there is one more award in the offing, that is artist D.A. Fales artistic painting of Sylvia to be placed in the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame museum for posterity.
Bruno Major is the son of Alphonse Major and his wife the former Rena Latreille, Williamstown. Similar to most Williamstown boys in their youth; Bruno Major played his first hockey on the Raisin River’s sheet of ice in early December and then Williamstown’s famed rink the cradle of several Glengarry players of who went on to stardom in professional and senior OHA class such as the Sullivans, Cattanachs, Raymonds, Larocques to mention a few in passing.
From hockey Bruno Major became interested in trap shooting and eventually taking part in competitions and was rewarded with several trophies, the result of his accuracy as a marksman.
The innovation of paddling competition with the Raisin River White Water Race during the spring high water fun-off attracted Bruno Major and he decided as a true sportsman to accept the challenge of paddling the gruelling 21 mile course beginning at St. Andrews.
Bruno’s competitive character was all that was required to make him an enthusiastic paddler. With the exception of one year he competed in the White Water race annually. He was the winner twice and once with Maurice Sauvé and repeated with his oldest son Mark. Bruno won silver awards four times and bronze in three races and all other contests finishing in the top 10.
By this time confidence and skills had boosted Bruno Major’s moral to the point that he ventured to a higher level of racing in the provincial and Marathon divisions.
Briefly from 1985 finished third in the Provincial-Mindex open and second in the National at Fredericton, N.B., also gold in the 40 mile distance from North Bay to Mattawa with Maurice Sauvé. In 1985 third tandem, third solo at Peterborough and fifth at World’s Masters in Toronto.
From 1987 to 1990 winning ways were maintained at the Provincials. At Parry Sound first tandem and third mixed; Saskatoon second tandem. On to London, Ontario next year finishing second in tandem and third in St. Georges, N.B.
In 1989 Campbellford Provincials, second in tandem and second in North Canoe. Then the National at St. Stanislaus, P.Q., copping a second and third and in 1990 Provincials at Campbellford, first North Canoe.
After building many racing canoes, Bruno decided to fashion a 26 foot full team canoe and the following were his team members: Larry Van Loon, Mark Major, Maurice Sauvé, Maurice Deguire, Yvon Ranger, and Lynn Marie Gallant.
Bruno has twice competed in the world famous “Calassique” in Quebec which attracts paddlers from all of Canada and U.S. The course is a distance of 120 miles and it takes three days paddling to cover the course.
Another prestigious race is the American (General) General Calinton which Bruno raced three times, a 70 mile endurance grind in one day at Cooperstown, N.Y. Bruno placed first in the Masters Class and was twice third.
In the off season Bruno keeps in physical condition by cross country skiing and that has led to competitive including the Gatineau 55 mile run. And another sport he excels in is triathlon, canoeing, biking and running. Four times he won the Ottawa Triathlon and as a result of various other races Bruno won a total of 140 and has medals galore as lifetime evidence. Bruno was voted nale athlete of the year by Charlottenburgh Township receiving a Government of Canada medal. And now further honours come September 4th at the Sports Palace, Alexandria, his enshrinement in the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame.