I graduated from Almonte High School in 1961. I am downsizing and while sorting and packing, I found a 1957 and a 1958-1959 yearbooks from Almonte High School. I was Janet Ritchie then. Happy to find them a home. Found some later ones too. I was on the yearbook committee when we called the yearbook “et Nomla Libris” because some of us were in the Latin class and spelling Almonte backwards made it look classy. ( our joke). I taught later at Church Street School and met a younger AHS student who said they changed the name of the yearbook. It wasn’t even a real word! We thought it was funny at 16.
I lived in Almonte from 1953 (Grade 5) to (Grade 13) 1961 and then went to Teacher’s College. From 1963 to 1965 I taught in Church Street Public School. I directed Waupoos Girl Guide Camp for three summers 2005 and the Almonte Leaders volunteered to staff the Nature Camp. They left with me a Talking Stick in my care as they intended to come back the following year. This Talking Stick, belonging to the Girl Guides has been in my care for almost twenty years I still have it but wondered if they would like it back in their unit. Thank you for getting in touch with Heather Legge and I am dropping her off a Talking Stick, belonging to the Girl Guides that has been in my care for almost twenty years.
My maternal grandfather was Arthur Forsythe who was born in Rosebank I think. His father drove coach between Almonte and Blakeney but died suddenly when Grandpa was only 12. Forsythes lived at Cedar Hill. Kate Cochrane was my Great Aunt.
I tell my grandkids about swimming under the railroad bridge in Almonte but I wouldn’t recommend it now. We were crazy. We got careful instead of carefree as we grew older. I was born Dec.3,1942. We lived on the Henderson Chicken farm on Carling Ave. Then. Dad followed the snowplow into the Civic Hospital in a terrible blizzard. I’ve seen historic Ottawa photos of men digging out streetcar tracks with shovels following the storm.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving here … a holiday I still don’t appreciate as much as I should … Canadian Thanksgiving is much more meaningful to me, even though I now have a huge “American” family of relatives and friends!
Almonte will always be home to me! I was born in Ottawa in 1955 and moved to Almonte in the early 60’s. I went to St. Mary’s School in Almonte, and after a few years at St. Pius X High School in Ottawa, I completed my high school years at ADHS! I was athletic, but never a standout, and have always been overshadowed by my brothers and nieces/nephews with their athletic prowess. While at ADHS my geography teacher (Mr. Souter) made the world come alive and as a result of his lectures I wanted to explore the world … and to date my wife Carol and I have backpacked throughout 88 countries, over 3 year-long trips! In 1984 we backpacked through Europe, Canada/USA for a whole year, in 1988 we backpacked for a whole year around the world, and in 1993 we again backpacked for an entire year in Latin America … started in northern Mexico and ended up in Ushuaia, Argentina. June Dalgity at the Almonte Gazette gave me an opportunity to chronicle those travels in my column, “Letters Home”. I always hoped that my shared travels and adventures would inspire others to see the world.
While at ADHS it was Guidance Counselor Mrs. Rachel Lamb that suggested I pursue a career in Nursing … she saw something in me that I did not see myself. I graduated from St. Lawrence College (Brockville) in 1976 with a Diploma in Nursing and in 1978, after a few years working in the Ottawa Ambulance system, I moved to Corpus Christi Texas to start my career as a nurse. After years of Medical Surgical, Coronary Care, and then Emergency-Trauma Nursing I moved to Columbia, SC to start work as an Operating Room Nurse. Along the way I went back to school to pursue higher education as I learned that more education would help me to save more lives … I now have a Baccalaureate and Masters in Nursing, as well as a Masters and Doctorate in Public Health. After acquiring my Doctorate in Public Health I wanted to give back to my profession of Nursing … so I transitioned from the hospital setting to academia at the University of South Carolina (USC). Over a period of 15 years I taught healthcare focused courses and during my last 10 years I created an international healthcare course in which I was able to take USC healthcare focused students to Latin America (Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala) to render hands-on healthcare to a rural population of very underserved people in dire need of assistance. My Masters and Doctoral research focused on the barriers that Hispanics face when trying to access healthcare in the US … an ongoing huge issue!
While working full-time and going to school full-time in Columbia, SC I decided to further challenge myself by taking on the task of climbing the 7 Summits … the highest mountain on each of the 7 continents of the world! In 1985, Richard Bass, a businessman and amateur mountaineer, was the first man to climb all Seven Summits, and in In 1986, the Canadian mountaineer Patrick Morrow became the first man to climb the Seven Summits. When I made it to the summit of Mt. Everest on May 24, 2007 I became the first nurse in the world to do so on the first attempt, and joined only 75 people in the world, at that time, to complete the 7 Summits. To date there are only about 500 people who have completed the 7 Summits! When I went to Mt. Everest I knew the risks as many people have died there, and through my 7 years of high altitude climbing I have seen way too many people die. In honour of my good friend and mentor Sean Egan of Almonte, who died on Mt. Everest in 2005, I carried his ashes to the top of the world. On completion of the 7 Summits I was awarded the Key to the Town of Almonte!
I wrote a book about my mountaineering and adventure travels (7 Summits: A Nurses Quest to Conquer Mountaineering and Life) and traveled around the US as a motivational speaker. All proceeds from my book, and speaker fees, have been donated to 4 nursing scholarships that I have initiated … to date around $150,000.00. While climbing mountains around the world, I did so with a fear of heights, but pushed myself to face that fear head-on. As a result of this experience, I created the “Personal Challenge Program” at the University of South Carolina where to date tens of thousands of students have challenged themselves each semester to step out of their comfort zone to face adversity. I wrote a book about this program “The Path to Student Success Starts With a Personal Challenge”, but have not published at this time … hopefully will pursue that soon! I retired a few years ago from USC, but continue to pay-it-forward as I am now an instrument rated pilot (I know … it doesn’t make sense that I can fly and be afraid of heights … I have learned not to look down!!!) and through an organization named Angel Flights, I fly patients from their home cities to a hospital for treatment, but more often lately I have been flying patients from the hospital after a surgical procedure back to their home city. There is no charge to the patient as I have my own plane, I pay for the fuel, and I donate my time.
Again, I am not famous, but through my travels, climbing and adventurous life-style, I believe I have inspired many students and others to push their limits and step outside their comfort zones. As I have shared with all, “we only live once and the time is short, so do as much as you can in the time that you have left!”
I have enjoyed reading your historical stories of Almonte and the area as for me it is very nostalgic. Few in Almonte may know me now as I have lived in the United States for the past 44 years, but many know my family name as the Hickey’s are very involved as teachers, mentors and coaches in our community. I feel blessed to have been raised on a farm in Almonte, the oldest of eight brothers and one sister, and learned early in life to pay-it-forward, as I have done all my life. Almonte, the Friendly Town, was where I gained the values that would guide me through life … much better values than what I see in some of my friends that were raised in large cities!
Patrick Hickey RN,BSN,MS,MSN,Dr. P.H.,CNOR(E)
Distinguished Clinical Professor Emeritus
University of South Carolina
I have attached a few photos:
1. My wife Carol and I by my plane (she refuses to fly with me since I had a slight incident with her in a plane when I blew a tire on landing and ended up in the ditch off a runway in Texas)
2. My brother Greg and myself in Myrtle Beach, SC … his home-way-from-home for golf!
3. Second edition cover of my book
4. One of my scholarships … Nurses Can Do Anything
5. Carol and I at Mt. Everest basecamp (17,800 ft.) in 2017 – my ten year anniversary
6. Summit of Mt,. Everest – May 24, 2007
7. Hiking through the Himalayas in 1988 … proposed marriage to Carol in the mountains of Nepal
Popularity and good looks brought Joan Johnston, a grade 13 student of the Almonte High School the title of “Queen of the Prom” at the 2nd annual spring prom held in the high school on Friday evening, May 4th.
The pretty miss was voted queen by the students of the school. She is a daughter of Dr. E. F. Johnston and Mrs. Johnston of Carp. Miss Johnston was crowned by Principal Norman F. Carruthers and was presented-with a bouquet of roses by Mr. R. E. Miller of the-teaching staff. All but six contestants for the crown were eliminated on the first ballot.
The six were Joan Johnston, Margaret Blanchard, Gayle Johnston, Sandra Fraser, Gail Barr and Evelyn Armstrong. The gymnasium was decorated with colored streamers, paper flowers to create the effect of spring. The students went all out in their decorating under the convenorship of Miss M argaret Blanchard. Refreshments were served in the cafeteria style. Music was provided by Archie Cameron and’his Rhythmaires. Chaperones were Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Donaldson and Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Duncan. This was the school’s second annual spring prom and was under the direction of the student council. Several of the teaching staff were present and the evening was a most successful one.
Students from the Almonte District High School received their first term reports on Wednesday, January 22nd. These reports were an evaluation of the students’ progress based on first term classroom work from September to December, and the December examinations.
Mr. Sweeney reported to the Gazette that excellent results were achieved in almost all areas. Fifty-five students achieved mi average of 75 per cent or better when the averages of all subjects were considered. These students have been placed on the Honour Roll and their names are listed below.
Mr. Sweeney also reported that an average of 89 per cent of the subjects taken were passed by the student body. He said that Almonte District High School students have fine potential to produce out- – standing results in June, with a large number of the graduating students in all programmes achieving Honours standing.
Honours List —The following students achieved an overall average of 74.5 per cent or better: 9A — Lynn Fulton, Dana Mitchell. 9b — Charlene Payne, Marlene Sauermann, Sherry Blakeley. 9C — Lee Fulton, Karen Mills, John Argue. 9D — Barbara Boal, Joan Lalonde, Ronald Cameron. 9E—Tommy Payne. 10A — Brenda Acres, Maureen Dunn, Nancy Giles, Paul Smolkin, Lee Stewart.
10B — Jean Donaldson, Bev. Sadler, Richard Bekolay. 1OC — Ian Pragnell, Phillip Shaw. I0E — Tony Larose. lOF— Richard Wooldridge. 11 A—-Anne Barr, Susan Bradley, Diane McDonald, Robyn Reid, Vivienne Stewart, William Casey, Michael Fulton, Julian Noad. —Christine Beckett, Brenda Mordy. 11C—Debbie Reid. 11E—Lee Cox. 12A — Marilyn’ Davis, Joanne Wylie, John Bekolay, Gary Giles. 12B—Beverley Holmes. 12D—Linda Findlay. 13A — Brian Chaffee, David Caldwell, Philip Low, Michael McCormick. 13B — Janet Bradley, Kathy Camelon, Karen Donahoe. Catherine Dunn, Linda Gale, Beth James, Carol Ann Sadler, Lea Ann Weiler, Cheri Warwick.
PUPILS WERE READY TO TESTIFY AGAINST PRINCIPAL OF SCHOOL (By Dugald Campbell)
It has been a long time now since this little item happened. But it was back in Almonte around the latter 1800s likely. The old town had two’ famous school principals. One of course, was the redoubtable P. C. McGregor, patron saint of Queen’s University at Kingston, and for many years principal of Almonte High School. P. C. was really something.
My story, however, concerns another principal, the late John McCarter. He was an old dour, stubborn Scot with a single mindedness and a stern approach to life. He held forth in the Church Street School, and he trudged, summer and winter, across the Bay Hill and up Mill Street. John McCarter was a stem disciplinarian aland he did not hesitate to lay on the birch rod at times. His arder in this direction brought him into trouble.
The old man licked a lad named Jack Carney rather heavily, and there was such a rumpus kicked up that the case was sent up to the higher court in Perth. The late E. W. Smith (Almonte magistrate) did not wish to get into trouble with the two principals in the affair, so he wisely sent the case up to the county court.
Mr. A. M. Greig represented School Teacher McCarter, and W. H. Stafford represented Jack Carney. The presiding judge was Judge Senkler at Perth. Carney’s lawyer took a cart load of school youths to witness that Carney took a shellacking. I was not one of the kids, but it was a great day when the prosecuting lawyer took the kids over to Perth. The late Sandy Robinson took his famous side-seater to Perth with his team of steppers.
Twenty two miles was a long trip in those days, and there was a lot of heat generated around town because of the interest in the case. John McCarter had many friends and it would have been suicidal had he lost the case, but because of the youth of the lads, who were keyed up to take their oath re the licking of the Carney lad, the wise old judge dismissed the case. No evidence was taken because of the youth of the witnesses for Carney. Jack Carney’s health was not abated one whit, and maybe it was a good thing for the discipline of the town, but it was hot stuff when it lasted.
John McCarter was born on April 10, 1823, in Brechin, Angus, Scotland, the son of Isabel and William. He married Agnes Russell Young on January 5, 1855, in Lanark, Ontario. They had 11 children in 22 years. He died on September 25, 1899, in Almonte, Ontario, having lived a long life of 76 years, and was buried in Lanark, Ontario.
When Dugald Campbell was born on May 9, 1886, in Lanark, Ontario, his father, Donald, was 48 and his mother, Christinia, was 41 he lived in Almonte in 1901. He married Sarah Garret Johnston on September 10, 1913, in Vancouver, British Columbia. They had four children during their marriage. He died on August 17, 1973, in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the age of 87, and was buried there.