The following is a copy of the radio script entitled “Ontario’s , Patriarchs and Papers” which was broadcast over OFRB, Toronto, on June 4th and rebroadcast over CFRA, Ottawa, on June 12th 1952. It dealt with Mr. James Albert Evoy, Almonte’s oldest citizen and included an historical sketch of the Almonte Gazette; Mr. Evoy will also receive a crayon portrait of himself. This broadcast, and others in the series are sponsored by ’ the Cities Service Oil Co., Ltd., with headquarters in Toronto and branches in many cities and towns of Canada:
Jack: “In the north-eastern portion of Ontario, some 25 miles south-west of Ottawa, is located the community of Almonte, with a population just under 3,000. There is much of historical interest to be found in and around Almonte— and one interesting fact which comes to light immediately is that it had a newspaper even before Confederation.”
Doc; “Which would make it close to a hundred years old!”
Jack’. “Except for one thing, Doc —it didn’t survive. You see, Almonte’s first newspaper—The Express—was founded in 1860—but apparently it wasn’t a very successful venture, for it folded early in 1867.”
Doc: “The year of Confederation.” Memorable Year Jack: “Yes—and also the year when The Gazette was established by William Templeman. Mr. Templeman’s publication was entirely “home-print” at the start—but, profiting from his earlier newspaper experience, he gradually developed an interesting weekly with strong local appeal. Some dozen years later, seeking fresh fields to conquer, he left for the West Coast and founded the Victoria “Times,”—and eventually ‘he became a Senator and a minister without portfolio in the Laurier Cabinet.”
Doc: “And I suppose while he was covering himself with glory, Almonte struggled along without a local newspaper.”
Jack: “Not at all. Before he left Almonte, Mr. Templeman sold the Gazette to two bright young men on his staff—James McLeod and W. P. McEwen—and they carried on the publication for another dozen years. Then, in 1901 McEwen was appointed to an important position by the Ross government of Ontario—and McLeod continued the Gazette by himself. In 1918, he sold out to James Muir, who published the paper until 1930.” Late Jas. Muir
Doc: “Another dozen years. That’s getting to be a significant figure in the history of the Almonte Gazette.”
Jack: “I hadn’t noticed, but you’re right. Anyway, the coincidence ends right there—for Muir sold the Gazette to A. S. Hanna, and he has continued as publisher to this day, which makes a total of some 22 years. Mr. Hannah previous experience with both dailies and weeklies has enabled him to establish the Gazette more firmly than ever. After 85 years of continuous publication, the paper now enjoys its greatest popularity to date, both as a source of news and a medium for advertising. Cities Service congratulates the Almonte Gazette on its long record of achievement, and its development from pioneer to progressive home-town weekly!”
Doc: “You know, Jack—Almonte’s patriarch has been there almost as long as its paper—almost 80 years, to be exact.”
Jack: “Surely, Doc, he’s older than 80!
Doc: “He surely is! Almonte’s oldest resident will be 94 next September 10—and his name is James Albert Evoy—Albert to his friends. Not that I can claim to be a friend of his—but Albert was born in Carp, Ontario. When he was 15 his family moved to Almonte— presumably because it offered better business opportunities.”
Jack: “Any specific type of business?”
Doc: “Well, Mr. Evoy Senior was a shoemaker—and Albert learned this trade, too. He became an expert at it, and has made it his life work.”
Jack: “I certainly hope that remark doesn’t mean Mr. Evoy is still working!”
Doc: “Oh come now, Jack— surely at 93, the man has earned his rest! Mr. Evoy is retired now, naturally—but happily, is remarkably well’ and is up and about every day. And, by the way, his wife is also in good health and still able to help with the housework. Mrs. Evoy is the former Annie Lang of Fitzroy Township.”
Jack: “Have they been married long?”
Doc: “Sixty-two years! And although they lost a son in the first World War, they still have a fairly sizeable family—three sons, two daughters and four grandchildren.”
Jack: “Which makes Mr. Evoy a patriarch in the real sense of the word.”
Doc: “And provides him with considerable pleasure, I’m sure. By the way, I should mention that Mr. Evoy and his family lived in Arnprior for some time—but apparently Almonte holds the stronger place in their affections, for they finally settled there. And although Mr. Evoy is rather a quiet man, and has given most of his time to his work and his family life, he is well-known and well liked if and around the town. So I’m sure there will be many neighbours and friends who will be pleased that he has been singled out for this tribute on our Cities Service Program.”
Jack: “We’re happy to salute James Albert Evoy, the grand old man of Almonte, and to announce that the well-known Canadian artist, Egbert C. Reed, is now working on a life-size charcoal portrait of Mr. Evoy, which will soon be presented to him.
Died 30 Sep 1952 at about age 94 in Almonte, Lanark, Ontario, Canada
James Albert Evoy who spent his entire life in the building trade here, died at his home In Almonte on Tuesday at the age of 94. He came to this town as a young man and set up business as a carpenter. Born In Huntley township, he was a son of the late William Evoy and his wife Catherine Shore. In 1896 he married the former Annie Lang of Fitzroy. A son William died in the First World War. Surviving besides his wife are two daughters, Mrs. H. Christopherson, Arnprior; Mrs. J. Dontigny, Chalk River; three sons in Almonte, Allen, Roy and Fred; one brother. George of Ottawa, four grandchildren and, five great grandchildren. The funeral will be held from the Comba funeral home Almonte, on Thursday with service in the parlors conducted by Rev. H. C. Wolfralm of Almonte United Church. Interment will be in the Auld Kirk cemetery.