The Carleton Place Men’s Choir and Douglas Halpenny — Linda’s Mailbag

The Carleton Place Men’s Choir and Douglas Halpenny — Linda’s Mailbag


May 21 1953–CONCERT BY THE CARLETON Place Male Chorus in the town hall, Carleton Place, Tuesday evening, May 26th, at 8.30 p.m. Also novelty number, “Tale of a Hat.” Admission, adults 50c, students 25c.–Almonte Gazette


Last week I posted a social note from the Almonte Gazette and Blaine Cornell commented on it wondering if there was more information about the Carleton Place Mens Choir.  I had also posted a photo on the Lanark County Genealogical Society page last week of *Douglas Halpenny. Douglas used to live in Carleton Place and began with the Carleton Place Men’s Choir and then went on to bigger things in Ottawa as a popular baratonist.

The Carleton Place Mens Choir’s director was William N. Stevenson who was also an *organist at the Zionist United Church. From the research I did I think they were around in the mid to late 50s. There was also a Lanark Choir too that Doug Halpenny sang in also.



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal31 Oct 1952, FriPage 34



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal26 Apr 1952, SatPage 4



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal01 Mar 1956, ThuPage 4




*William Stevenson–March 7th, 1953     Willoughby – Gardiner Wedding At Zion Saturday       Zion United Church, Carleton Place, was the scene on Saturday afternoon, at three o’clock, of the marriage of Miss Irma Margaret Gardiner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gardiner, and Mr. David Willoughby, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Willoughby, all of Carleton Place. Rev. N. T. Holmes officiated in the church, which was decorated with Spring flowers and ferns. The wedding music was played by Mr. William Stevenson, and Miss Dolores New was the soloist. Given in marriage by her father the bride was attended by her sisters, Miss Nora Gardiner, as maid of honor, and Miss Marlyn Gardiner, as bridesmaid. Mr. Ivan Gardiner, brother of’ the bride, was best man and the ushers were Mr. Bill Nichols and Mr. Raymond Chambers. The bride wore a floor-length gown of white slipper- satin with a yoke and sleeves of sheer nylon net, and an overskirt of matching net. A matching headdress held her shoulder-length veil of nylon net and she carried a bouquet of red roses. Following the ceremony a reception was held at the home of the bride’s parents. Going away the bride wore a navy blue suit with navy and red accessories. Mr. and Mrs. Willoughby will make their home in Ottawa. Among the out-of-town guests were: Mr. and Mrs. John Snider, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Willoughby, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Willoughby, Mr. and Mrs. Darrahl Thomas,  Mr. and Mrs. Howden Day, all of Smiths Falls . Mr. Ray Warren and Diane, Mr. and Mrs. Doug Burke, Ottawa; Mr. and Mrs. Joe Ireton, Mr. William Gardiner, Mr. Norman Gardiner, Perth; Miss Ann Chaput, Renfrew; Miss Marjorie Pye, Shawville; Mrs. Milford Taylor, Beechy, Sask.



*Douglas Halpenny–Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 05 May 1950, Fri, Page 20 Douglas Halpenny on the right from Lanark who was always in demand for singing.. When he wasn’t doing his chores by day he was singing by night.





*Douglas Halpenny–Clipped from The Ottawa Journal05 May 1950, FriPage 20


1951         McGill- Willows Wedding Boyd’s United Church—Boyd’s United Church was the scene of a pretty autumn wedding on Thursday, November 1st, at 12:30 o’clock, when Rev. N. T. Holmes, of Carleton Place, united in marriage Ethel Feryn, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Russell H. Willows, of Boyd’s Settlement, and John Rivington McGill, B. S. A., son of Mr. and Mrs. Thos. McGill, of Pakenham. The church was prettily decorated for the occasion with a bank of ferns and chrysanthemums. Mrs. Franklin Boyd played the wedding march and Mr. Douglas Halpenny was soloist. The bride, who was given in marriage by her father, looked charming in a floor-length gown of French lace over net over satin. The gown, designed on simple lines had a slightly gathered skirt from tight-fitting bodice, buttoned from waist to neckline with tiny satin-covered buttons. The small Peter Pan collar was decorated with seed pearls and sequins, and the tight-fitting sleeves ended in points over the hands. Her three-quarter length veil of net and matching French lace, fell from a tiny Juliet cap of the same material, decorated with seed pearls. She carried a cascade bouquet of American Beauty roses and lily of the valley. Miss Elva Willows, sister of the bride, was maid-of-honor, and wore a floor-length gown of pale pink frosted organza over taffeta, also designed on simple lines similar to that of the bride. Her mittens and flower headdress were in matching shade, and she carried a nosegay bouquet of pink and white chrysanthemums. The bridesmaids, Mrs. Kenneth Strong, of Carleton Place, and Miss Ellen Willows, sisters of the bride, wore gowns of pale blue frosted organza over taffeta, of similar design to that of the maid-of-honor, and their accessories were also in matching shade. They also carried nosegay bouquets of pink and white mums. Little Heather Ann Willows, sister of the bride, made a very sweet flower girl in a floor-length dress of yellow nylon, with matching bonnet. She carried a tiny nosegay of bronze and yellow baby mums. Mr. Hubert McGill, of Toronto, acted as best man for his brother, and the ushers were Mr. Wesley Craig, cousin of the bride, and Mr. Robert Rivington, cousin of the groom. Mr. Douglas Halpenny, sang “The Lord’s Prayer” prior to the ceremony, and during the signing of the register “O Perfect Love.” Following the ceremony, a reception was held for about 60 guests, after which the young couple left on a motor trip to points in the eastern United States. The bride travelled in a suit of navy blue gabardine, with white blouse and other accessories of navy blue velvet. her topcoat was of white camel hair, and she wore a corsage of American Beauty roses and



Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)


Related reading


The Adventurous History of the Mississippi – Linda’s Mailbag

How Did Carleton Place Get the Name Cartoon Place? Linda’s Mailbag

Patsy Williams from Carleton Place and Uncle Ray’s Mail Bag

Ya call that a Snowstorm? Linda’s Mailbag

Were You the King of King’s Castle in Carleton Place? Linda’s Mailbag

Debbie Dixon and The CPR Bridge Incident in Carleton Place–Linda’s Mailbag

Linda’s Mailbag- Blasts from the Past

So Who Got Shot? Linda’s Mailbag




About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s