1930 Dunvegan Football Club | John McLaren | Margaret Mutch | Johanne Pattyn | Glenn Whitford
1930 Dunvegan Football (Soccer) Club
From the introduction of soccer into Glengarry County at the turn of the century, to the formation of the Glengarry Soccer League in 1924, to the Pioneers to the current successful senior women’s team, Dunvegan has a rich tradition in this area’s soccer history.
One of the great teams from the hamlet’s proud soccer heritage – the 1930 GSL champion Dunvegan men’s club – has now been enshrined into the Glengarry sports hall of fame.
One member of the 1930 Dunvegan club – William Keith ‘Little Willie’ MacLeod – is already in the Glengarry sports hall. MacLeod, a centre-half, played for Dunvegan in 1924 when the club was a charter member of the GSL, or the Glengarry Football League as it was then known.
Longtime Glengarry News sportswriter Angus H. McDonell once referred to ‘Little Willie’ as one of the great centre-halves in the history of Glengarry soccer.
MacLeod was a fixture in the Dunvegan line-up from the time the team was founded in 1924 until he hung up the cleats following the 1946 season. MacLeod attended soccer games in Dunvegan right up until his death in 1995 and was often asked to officially begin the local soccer season by kicking the first ball.
Men bearing the name MacLeod have played a major role in the long history of Dunvegan soccer. William was just one of five MacLeods who were on the original Dunvegan team. The Dunvegan midfield was made up of three MacLeod brothers – William, Chisholm and Cameron.
The first edition of the Dunvegan team established itself as the class of the West Division, which also included Greenfield and Maxville. Dunvegan was set to represent the West in the first GSL championship game, but a squabble resulting from an ineligible player protest led rest of the league to turn its back on the GSL president’s decision to uphold Dunvegan’s status as the first-place team in the division.
While Greenfield and Laggan tried unsuccessfully to stage its own title game, the unopposed Dunvegan squad became the league’s first champion. The Dunvegan franchise remained a strong competitor for the league title in the following season, but it wasn’t until 1930 that the club would win another championship.
By then the roster had almost completely been turned over as only William K. MacLeod and Donald R. Campbell remained from the original team. While William’s brothers Cameron and Chisholm were no longer with Dunvegan, yet another sibling – Donald – had arrived on the scene as the goalkeeper. In fact, Dunvegan’s drive to the 1930 championship was a real family affair. In addition to the MacLeods, there were two other sets of brothers – Rodger and Peter Hartrick and Wildfrid (Bill) and Donald Kennedy.
Rodger played defence for the 1930 team but was in nets when Dunvegan won its next league title in 1939. Joining Rodger on defence in 1930 was Kenneth MacLeod. The half-line featured William K. MacLeod in the middle flanked by Donald R. Campbell on the right and Peter Hartrick on the left.
The centre-forward and team captain was Charlie Fleming, a native Scotsman who worked at the Skye farm of Donald Hugh MacIntosh. Englishman Arthur Wrigley also worked on a local farm and was the inside right forward.
Donald Kennedy was the inside left forward. On the wings were Wilfrid Kennedy and Norman MacLeod. Norman MacLeod has a legacy in Dunvegan soccer to this day. Three of his granddaughters – Betti, Bonnie, and Bobbi Jo – have played for the Dunvegan women’s senior team. Bobbi Jo is still an active member of the club while Bonnie serves as the Dunvegan rep on the GSL exective.
The leadership for the 1930 team was provided by president Donald D. MacKinnion, a farmer and drover by profession, and vice-president John A. Steward, a well-known pipe major and blacksmith.
There, he participated as part of the Ottawa District competitors, and came in fourth in the second heat of the 440 yard run. At the fourth annual EOSSA track and field meet held at Lansdowne Park, he again competed in the 440 yard run, where he placed second to E. Whitney also of Cornwall.
But despite his success in track and field it was hockey where McLaren excelled. His “superb” goaltending helped teams such as the Cornwall Canadians, Maxville Millionaires, and the Lancaster Rainbows out of many dangerous situations and into many prestigious victories.
He has been described as the “backbone of each team” he has played for, and called “ a student of the game” and “great innovator.” As part of the Lancaster team, which won the Frank T. Shaver trophy for three years in a row (1938, 1939, 1940). McLaren’s name was found all over the newspapers, being listed as one of the key players in virtually every game. Clarence White, who was a former teammate of McLaren, wrote play by play descriptions of the Lancaster playoffs in a scrapbook.
In many of these game descriptions, he mentioned the importance of McLaren on the team and the quality of his goaltending. In the first game of the 1940 playoff again Maxville, White notes, “McLaren saved Lancaster from a disgraceful defeat by marvelous goaltending, Jumping Johnny was the star.” McLaren himself seemed to take the playoffs and goaltending in general easily. After the end of the series between Lancaster and Williamstown, McLaren commented on the match up. “I had an easy time of it, against Williamstown,” he said.
One newspaper article, published in 1940, boasted the Lancaster team’s acquisition of the Shaver trophy. In the article, it gave thumbnail sketches of each member, and listed first was John McLaren. “Weight, 135. Goalie and Captain.
Born and raised in Lancaster, Johnnie seems to improve every year and is playing the best hockey of his career. “He is 25 years old and has seen service with numerous Cornwall teams including Bessborough Juniors, Kingcots and Les Canadiens.”
After playing with the Lancaster club, McLaren played with the Maxville Millionaires, where he once again stood out. “Individual star of the playdowns was goalie McLaren of the Millionaires, whose consistent shot-blocking was one of the biggest features of his team’s success,” reported a local paper after a Maxville – Alexandria match-up.
While with the Maxville club, McLaren was coached by Lancaster resident, Pete Bonneville. In addition to his acclaimed hockey career, McLaren also served overseas in WWII where he was based in London. He later married Norma McLeod of Cornwall, and then moved to Lancaster. He died December 13,1979, of diabetes and after the amputation of both his legs.
McLaren could be considered something of a legend when it comes down to his goaltending. He contributed everything he had to each one of his teams, and played a large role in their victories.
Jumping Johnnie was a star.
After graduating from Barrie Collegiate, she entered the Toronto General Hospital School of Nursing, from which she graduated in 1941. She married Dr. John Mutch in 1942. The couple arrived in Maxville July 1, 1947 and set up a medical practice on Main Street South in premises previously occupied by Dr. Duncan McEwen and his son Dr. Bennett McEwen. It was a practice the family was to conduct with great distinction until Dr. Mutch’s death in 1967.
Dr. Mutch received a papal medal for distinguished service to Catholic families in the Diocese of Alexandria while Margaret was awarded the Bicentennial Medal by the province of Ontario in 1984 “for long years of service and dedication to her community.”
Reminiscing about her early days in Maxville, Mutch said there was a serious lack of activities for young people. She credits the help and encouragement of people such as the late Hugh Smith, a former village reeve, the late Dr. Donald Gamble, Ontario Provincial Police Constable Bill Potter, the late Bill Colemen and others with getting together and meeting this need.
A minor hockey program was one of the initial challenges, with Mutch heading a committee in charge of planning , financing and carrying out activities for both boys and girls. “I’m afraid my husband was a hockey widower each winter during those years,” she laughs. “Sometimes with games and tournaments going on, I would take the family car and John would have to hire a taxi to visit his patients.”
Lacrosse was also introduced by the local committee and drew an enthusiastic response. “I remember being asked to provide a team to play against Indian children from Akwesasne when Queen Elizabeth came to Cornwall to open the St. Lawrence Seaway,” she recalls. “Ours was a mixed team of boys and girls. The Indians weren’t sure they wanted to play against girls, but Norm McCrimmon, the lacrosse commissioner, told us to get on with the game. It was a wonderful experience for all of us.
Mutch will tell you the children of that era greet her warmly and exchange memories with her each time she runs into them. They include current village businessmen such as Dale Munro and Richard Scott and women such as Susan Gamble and Helen Chisholm. Her own children were into things too of course. John and Margaret are now high school teachers while Davis and Barbara have followed in their father’s footsteps and are now doctors.
Margaret was active in many local organizations over the years. Included were Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, the Maxville curling club, the Glengarry Highland Games and Maxville United Church. She helped introduce figure skating and this drew up to 30 skaters at times over a period of several years.
She even helped set up swimming lessons at a pond located on what is now Maxville Manor property. But water quality proved impossible to maintain and the program had to be cancelled.
Mutch accepted the position of director of nursing at Maxville Manor in 1968, retiring in 1984. She likes to dabble in painting and needlecraft and although her family is now scattered, she visits them and her 11 grandchildren as often as possible.
It is fitting that this woman who loves children, in fact was almost a second mother to many in the village recreational program, should be honored for her many years of unselfish service to others.
Good things, small packages The woman who was destined to be a national champion was born in Alexandria the day after Canada Day in 1961.
The daughter of Germain and Clare Cholette grew up in Alexandria, but she didn’t grow very much. By the time she reached adulthood, Cholette stood only five-foot-two and weighted less than 100 pounds.
But Alexandria’s mighty mite would soon show everyone that she packed a lot of power in that small frame.
It was in 1981 when Ron Pattyn – then Cholette’s boyfriend, later her husband – first got her interested in the sport of powerlifting. After months of training, Cholette made her competitive debut in the 44 kg (97-found) weight class at a bench press competition in London and met with immediate success, establishing a new Canadian record with a 52 kg lift.
Cholette made her first trip to the national championships in February, 1982 and placed third. In November of the same year, she won her first major title when she claimed the Ontario provincial crown. Cholette made a return trip to the nationals in February, 1983, and this time she would not settle for a bronze medal. Cholette captured the gold medal and was subsequently asked to represent Canada at the world championships in Australia later that year.
She had to decline because the worlds were on the same weekend she was scheduled to marry Pattyn, himself a former powerlifter and the founder of Pattyn’s Gym in Alexandria. But Cholette would get another crack at performing on the international stage.
More records, titles The latter stages of 1983 and early months of 1984 saw the continuation of Cholette’s meteoric rise to the upper echelons of her sport. The Alexandria lifter, who by then was using the name Pattyn, won a competition in Kitchener in July, 1983 and in the fall she picked up a second provincial title.
In early 1984, she repeated as Canadian champion while setting a trio of national records. Again Pattyn was invited to wear the Canadian colors at the world championships, and this time she was able to accept.
Pattyn travelled to Santa Monica, California for the 1984 world championships and placed fifth despite being hampered by a back injury. “I was happy to come fifth overall, but I was a little disappointed,” she told The Glengarry News in an interview following her return from California. “I did less than what I usually lift in the dead lift event. My back was sore and it bothered me a lot.” The back trouble didn’t stop Pattyn from establishing new Canadian records in the squat (97.5 kg) and the bench press (55 kg) and her overall finish could have been higher had she not been forced to pass up her third squat attempt.
Pattyn lost her third attempt on a technicality – she did not sufficiently increase her lift weight between the first and second attempt.
Nevertheless, Pattyn was still a contributor to Canada’s bronze medal in the team competition. In addition to being named the top female athlete in Glengarry in 1984, Pattyn received the Distinguished Performance Achievement Award from then Ontario premier William Davis.
Pattyn’s career was put on hold for a while later that year as she became pregnant with her first child. Son Dylan was born in March of 1985, and Pattyn decided to get back into shape by heading for the gym. Pattyn made it a hat trick of provincial titles in the fall of 1985. She made her fourth trip to the nationals in early 1986 and settled for the silver medal.
The 1986 nationals would be Pattyn’s last competition. A growing family – Pattyn gave birth to two more sons – and Ron’s nomadic job at CP Rail made training difficult.
Despite her retirement as an athlete, Johanne is still active in the sport. She is a referee and is involved with blind powerlifting and the Special Olympics.
Glen’s remarkable achievements resulted in his selection for the 1985 national team which competed in international competitions.
Glenn Whitford passed away on June 12th, 2015.