1940 Pine Grove Football Club | Denise Lemieux | Rae MacCulloch | A. Gordon MacDonald | Samuel MacLeod
1940 Pine Grove Football (Soccer) Club
The Pine Grove team of the 1940’s was arguably the best ever to play soccer in the Ottawa and surrounding district. Unfortunately, the greatness of the team was never fully realized because of a three year suspension of playing during World War II and the tragic loss in combat of the classy Campbell MacGillivray, perhaps the best all-round athlete of the time.
The Pine Grove Football Club began play in 1938 when Kirk Hill and Laggan, each facing a scarcity of players, joined forces. From its initial game (a 7-1 win over Lochiel) to the club’s last season of play in 1948 when it amassed a 12-1-1 record during regular season play, Pine Grove dominated the Glengarry Soccer League and the best teams that Ottawa and Montreal could field.
In the four years prior to the suspension of play in 1942, Pine Grove lost only five of 66 games and won the league title four times and the championship three times. When play was suspended at the end of the 1941 season, Pine Grove had a 36-game undefeated streak that included victories over the Ottawa and District champions in 1940 and 1941.
After the war when the Glengarry Soccer League resumed play in 1945, the Pine Grove line-up was missing perennial all-star goalie Archie MacGillivray, the previously mentioned Campbell MacGillivray, Keith MacMaster and Donald MacMaster. The 36-game undefeated string that carried over from the 1941 season was stretched to 39 as Pine Grove opened the season with three successive ties.
Although failing to win the league title, the team worked its way into its old form and defeated Dunvegan for the championship. With the nucleus of the pre-war team in the line-up for 1946, 1947, and 1948, Pine Grove won the league title on each occasion and the championship in ’46 and ’47. During each of these years they defeated the Ottawa and District champions for Eastern Ontario supremacy.
Over eight years of play in organized competition, Pine Grove won 98 games, tied 31 and lost 13. Those statistics would read 94-22-10 if the 1945 season (when a number of regulars had not yet returned from combat) is removed.
Although it is difficult to compare Pine Grove teams over a number of years, the 1940 and 1941 clubs were in a class by themselves. Were it not for the war, this line-up would have undoubtedly set all-Canadian records for performance.
In 1940, Pine Grove won 18 and tied one on the way to victory in the Ottawa and Valley championship with Ottawa. In 1941, the record was 13 wins and four ties and Pine Grove again defeated Ottawa for the Valley championship.
This was the club that disbanded for war with a 36-game undefeated streak and this was the club that wore the black and white with the greatest success.
After leaving high school Denise took part in many different summer and winter sports. In 1979 during the Alexandria Winter Carnival she competed in the Richelieu Carnival Marathon ski race finishing second, only one second behind the winner.
Denise also took up curling and was third with the team that won the Brownsburg Mixed Bonspiel in Lachute in 1972-73. Had she continued with this sport, an informant stated, “She would have become proficient as she showed a natural ability.”
In addition, she was an active bowler participating in the 1962-63 Mixed Bowling League continuing to the 1965-55 season. Although Denise was active in and enjoyed all sports, it was golf which became her favourite game.
In the summer of 1963 she decided to tee off on the golf course and by the season’s end she was a participant in the semi-final round for the Ladies’ Club Championships, coming second in a close game. This was only the beginning for Denise as the following year she captured the Alexandria Ladies’ Club Championship. She also earned the ladies’ ringer honours.
Subsequent years saw her win the Ladies Club Championship in 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1970 and 1971 giving her a total of seven championships in eight years. Competing in the O’Keefe Tournament she captured top honours three consecutive years from 1965-1967. She also was the winner of the Molson Tournament in both 1966 and 1967.
The President’s Trophy, now called the Glengarry Open, was awarded to Denise three consecutive years, from 1965 to 1967 and again in 1970. Work commitments kept her from playing golf as often as she would have liked so she withdrew from competitive play in the early ‘70s.
Denise served as Vice-President of the Alexandria Ladies golf executive for the 1965 season and the following year she acted as Club Captain. Denise was also active in the Twi-Lite League and was a winner in a tournament sponsored by Roy’s Lancaster Park Annual in 1990 and 1991.
Denise has been a valued employee of Roy’s Pontiac, Buick Cadillac in Green Valley for the past 28 years serving as the Customer Service Co-Ordinator. She is married to Robert Lemieux and they reside in Green Valley. Now she golfs for fun and relaxation.
Rae was born in Montreal to parents Donald Archie Grant and Josephine St. Jacques, both of whom were from the Alexandria area. In the Grant family there were three great athletes, Joe, who is inducted in the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame, Alex, one of Glengarry’s all-time great athletes and Donald Archie, a member of Alexandria’s Ottawa District hockey champions in 1913.
Instead of following the athletic family tradition, Rae and her three sisters become interested in dancing with Rae specializing in her first love, tap and concert dancing.
Eventually Highland dancing became more important and with diligent practice Rae mastered the intricate steps and became interested in teaching these ancient traditions to a younger generation.
Later Rae became Mrs. Alex MacCulloch and her new Glengarry residence widened her field of opportunity in teaching the art of dancing. A Montrealer by birth with Glengarry parentage, Rae was the first to accept the challenge of restoring Glengarry’s credibility as the home of future highland dancers. Her first classes began in 1955 with her dance studio in the kitchen of her sister, Sybil Cameron’s Glen Roy home. She also travelled to Bonville, St. Andrew’s, Martintown, Avonmore and Vankleek Hill for classes. Later classes were held in the Alexander Hall. Rae teamed up with Rev. Father John McPhail of St. Finnan’s cathedral to provide dance numbers for his St. Andrew’s concert. From there, Ron Clare and his band was instrumental in providing Rae with opportunities for her students to entertain with the growing popularity of tap and other stage dances as well as Highland traditions. Rae’s love for the performing arts began to bloom.
At the Highland Games the MacCulloch dances began the custom of presenting the massed Highland fling in a circle around the infield, a pattern that has been adopted by most games in Canada and the U.S. In 1972, the Rae MacCulloch dancers took their first major trip when they toured Scotland with the Glengarry Pipe Band. Bookings also came from CFCF TV in Montreal, CJOH TV in Ottawa, CBC In Halifax and the John Allan Cameron show. On New Year’s Day of 1976, Glengarry dancers were parading the streets in Pasadena, California in the Rose Bowl Parade, as were members of the Glengarry Pipe Band. Two days later they were performing at Disneyland with the RCMP musical ride and the Princess Pat’s band.
An appearance in Union Square, Los Angeles as part of the L.A. – Bicentennial observance followed.
In October of the same year the dance troupe was invited to Washington and Philadelphia to help celebrate the U.S. Bicentennial. Thus began the first of successive trips abroad in the next 20 years. What a travel experience for those young dancers, made possible by the dedication of Rae MacCulloch. This, at a time, when Rae and Alex were raising their young family, Heather, Gregory, Jamie, Deborah, and Lindsay. Credit goes to husband Alex in the role he played with this success story. He handled all the paperwork and worked as closely with the dances and their parents as did Rae. His pride in the dancers was a strong support as he was the “strength” beside Rae. No wonder the parents of the dancers were able to let them go so far away without worry – they were going with their second family.
Rae’s vision continued to be forward as she milled over the thought of staging a concert at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. She was backed by the pipe band executive and the Brigadoons when they approached the Arts Centre. Thus the first concert put on by local amateurs was staged in the prestigious Opera House of the National Arts Centre in October, 1976 to a capacity crowd of over 2,200. What a show it was! So successful that eight more performances followed at the N.A.C. The shows continued every second year at all Centrepointe Theatre from 1989 to 1995 with the MacCulloch dancers entertaining at each one.
Rae and her dancers have travelled to Disney World, Florida many times along with the Bridadoons to entertain during the March Break. For a Glengarrian hearing the music and seeing the Glengarry dancers on stage here in the brilliant sunshine makes goosebumps appear! Rae has with justified pride carried the Glengarry heritage banner far and wide and she continues to promote the heritage and culture of this great county. Each January, to celebrate the birth date of Robbie Burns, Rae gracefully fills the traditional role of hostess entertaining with dinner, music, song and dance at the Bonnie Glen.
A visit to Rae’s home is a stroll down memory lane. Among Rae’s cherished souvenirs are tributes from such dignitaries as ambassadors, premiers, presidential, representatives, political figures, including Prime Minister Jean Chretien and scores of personal friends. Pictures, plaques, and trophies adorn the walls and shelves. Today, Rae still maintains a dance studio in her home, run now with the assistance of daughters, Heather and Deborah, and sister Sybil. Thus, the MacCulloch Dancers continue to be a family affair.
Rae, remember, you are an asset to the community and your name is synonymous with Highland Dancing. The young minds you have influenced and the graceful dances you have taught speak louder and longer than all the words used.
Equally adept at hockey and soccer, he was a clean, fair, yet aggressive player. He attended the local separate school and Alexandria High School and was associated with his brother Donald in the grocery business until the outbreak of World War I. MacDonald enlisted in the Army Service Corps and spent four years overseas.
On his return, he conducted a mercantile business in Haileybury. In 1921 he married Ida Marie Villeneuve, daughter of Frank B. and Fabiola Villeneuve. The family moved to Kirkland Lake in 1927 and MacDonald went into business until his appointment as postmaster in January 1939.
MacDonald was a leading citizen of Kirkland Lake, an ardent supporter of all sports and familiar figure at the Kirkland Lake Community Centre. He was a member of town council, the Board of Trade, the Knights of Columbus and the Kiwanis Club.
This is Macdonald’s obituary from the Northern Daily News on February 14, 1948. “A born sportsman, he was the power behind almost every sports venture. Described by a friend as one of the greatest sportsmen that walked within the confines of this community, Mr. MacDonald could always be counted on to back a team. “He was largely responsible for promoting hockey here during the dark years after the war and in keeping it alive. “He was on the executive of a senior team within the Porcupine loop and when the team played out of town, Mr. MacDonald would be along, playing a mouth organ that became as familiar to the players as he was himself. “He was also a talented singer and whistler and also an amateur dramatist. “He struggled vainly for years to introduce lacrosse but his efforts proved unprolific, so he concentrated on improving local sport. He was also an ardent curler. “Kirkland Lake has lost a benevolent sports fan whose office was forever open to whoever wanted someone to lend an altruistic ear on some promotional campaign or if they needed financial support.”
A Gordon Macdonald died in February, 1948. He is survived by two sons – Frank of Kirkland Lake and Gerard of Charlemagne, Que – and one daughter – Dorothy of Kirkland Lake. All will be in attendance at the induction dinner.
He had two brothers, Donald “Boots” and Douglas, and three sisters, Annie, Ella, and Mrs. C. McVoy. Douglas lived in Kirkland Lake, but Annie, Ella and Donald resided in Alexandria.
In 1940, McLeod was one of only two OAC wrestlers to win his bout at a university meet in Rochester, N.Y. At the 1940 BWF championships at McGill, he reached the finals in the 100-lb. wrestling class. In his graduation year, McLeod won the prestigious OAC Athletic Award (sweater and university letter) as the top athlete. Graduation from Guelph in 1940. Enlisting in the RCAF Bomber Ferry Command ended his boxing and wrestling career. After World War II, McLeod played first base for the Martintown softball team in a league which also included Apple Hill, Finch, Lancaster and Bainsville. He retired from the sport after breaking his leg in the early 50’s.
He maintained a keen interest in sports at the school level as a longtime school board trustee. He was also involved in having Glengarry Farmers Mutual Insurance (of which he is past president and a veteran director) sponsor the Scottish heavy events at the annual Glengarry Highland Games.
Sam and his wife, Penny, have five children – Hugh, Rod, Jim, Sammy and Marlene. McLeod received the Harry Paikin plaque as the top school trustee in 1991. The Lancaster school has been renamed the S.J. McLeod Public School in his honor. In the spring of 1997, McLeod was inducted into the Glengarry Farmers Hall of Fame.