Tag Archives: doris blackburn

The Things I did in School?—Tribute to Corey Sample

The Things I did in School?—Tribute to Corey Sample


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Yesterday Karen Blackburn Chenier and her brothers gave a great eulogy about their late mother Doris Blackburn. Doris, known to many was a no nonsense teacher, but the students that came out of her class became the better for it.

I really did not like school because I felt there was nothing in school for me that would help me become the fashion designer I wanted to be and became for decades. I love history and English Literature and Composition but had no passion for anything else. Some people are scholars and some are not, and I was no scholar.

Every year I pulled something off– which wasn’t huge in anyone’s eyes– but in my mind I  thought I had blown it. Even if I wasn’t known for my brilliance I did try- I swear I did. Okay, so I tape recorded the teacher scolding one of the Dover kids in Grade 7 and got caught. I was notorious for passing notes as I can never keep quiet, and no doubt if I had been in Doris Blackburn’s class I would have been eating those notes.

I don’t remember too many awful things happening in school except the pencil sharpener tacked to the wall was way overused by myself included. The object in question was a graphite-chomping thresher that more often than not left your pencil gnarled and twisted. Not only that, but the sound of its grinding was so loud, the class basically had to stop what it was doing while you finished destroying your writing implement mid-exam. Basically the only good thing about this pencil sharpener is that it provided you an excuse to get up from your seat during class.

No doubt that Mrs. Blackburn had the pencil sharpener as well as everything else in her class under control. But there was one thing that annoyed Doris and the Blackburn family told a story about Corey Sample and their Mother at her funeral Monday. Seems that Corey was a “fidgeter”and that was definitely “a no fly rule” with Doris. So, without blinking an eye one day when Corey began fidgeting, well  Doris took action. In one fell swoop she went to her desk and came back with a big roll of tape and taped his hands to his desk.

What happened to him that day made a lasting impression on him, so much so, that he wrote the family when he heard of her passing. He said there was no one that put the fear of God in him like Doris Blackburn– well maybe his Grandmother. Corey told them he was sorry he could not be there, but he was raising a glass to her memory. He also added that he was now was able to do that with his glass because his hands were no longer taped to a desk.







 Friday night October 5- FREE! Donations to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum would be appreciated–

AND it’s on!!! Explore the amusing and ghastly tales of old Carleton Place. Escape into the past as your offbeat guide Linda Seccaspina provides you with an eerie, educational, yet fun-filled adventure. Learn about many of Carleton Place’s historic figures and just like you they walk the dark streets of Carleton Place in search of nightly entertainment, yet, they don’t know that they themselves are the entertainment. Walkabout begins Friday night October 5 at 7 pm in front of Scott Reid’s Office–224 Bridge Street– the former Leland Hotel –and ends at the Grand Hotel. About one hour.


Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome 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. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.

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Remembering Doris Blackburn

Remembering Doris Blackburn



For the last year Karen Blackburn Chenier has been a rock for me, as both her Mother Doris Blackburn, and my Mother-in-law have shared the same horrible disease-Dementia. My mother-in-law was nowhere near what Doris was having to endure- but I cannot explain how hard is to accept this disease.

I  sadly knew this day would come with Doris as her eating habits were declining. There was a sad inevitability about it all. When someone has dementia, as a caretaker, you have to prove to yourself that you can put your needs above your own emotions. Every time you see them, you grieve a little bit more, but you never, ever show it—and her daughter Karen Blackburn Chenier helped me understand this. Thank you Karen for all you have done for me otherwise I could never do this.

Doris and I had been friends for years. I met her first at St. James Anglican Church and then at Caldwell Elementary School when I volunteered there. To tell you the truth Doris Blackburn scared the crap out of me. She was a no nonsense lady, and you didn’t muck around with her-trust me. I was never known for fitting in anywhere in town, but Doris accepted me– and she laughed and rolled her eyes at me when she disapproved of what I wore– which was frequent. But Doris had a heart of gold, and she never failed to show it. She cared about her students and made sure they got a good education.

She told me one day that being a teacher was a privilege for her. Doris reminded me that parents were not only sending their children for a few hours a day to learn– that they were also entrusting their hearts to her. No matter how many things went on, or the daily pressures, she did not forget that her voice, insight, knowledge and respect for each child was not only important; it was necessary to give each child the best learning experience they could have.

Last night I sat with lots of Doris’s historical memories in my kitchen, and my stairwell, and then I sat down on the stairs and had a good cry.  You don’t realize how much someone has done for our community, and how you are going to miss them, until they are gone. Every day that Doris was on earth was a blessing. Everything that her daughter Karen brought me to record is being done and then I will pass it on the museum. Doris will always live on in this community, I will make sure of that.



Doris Blackburn in front of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum


I have never been one for goodbyes. Never really saw the point. But someone having Dementia is different. Because of the disease we feel robbed of the ‘goodbye’ we somehow believed ourselves entitled to. In the end Doris had little quality of life, and regardless of whether or not we were ready,  she  died with the dignity she deserved. Her family and friends made sure of that.

When a loved one passes away, we feel we have lost something precious. We are left with a gaping hole in our heart, and we often wonder why they were taken away from us. But at the same time we can be grateful for the very fact that they were given to us in the first place. We were blessed to have such a beautiful soul like Doris Blackburn in our lives. In time all souls will be reunited. In the meantime, let us be thankful for the gift of each day we had with her.

One day I remember her shaking her head and saying, “Linda I swear they only made one of you!”  You were probably right Doris, but I never changed and neither did you– we both stood our ground and tried to do our best. It takes a big heart to teach little minds, and today we all grieve because we lost you Doris, and your heart. I miss you already.

Doris Ethel Blackburn | 2018 | Obituary please click




Deirdre Gillespie and Doris Blackburn Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Awards program


Mindy Merkley One of the best teachers I ever had.

Donna Timmins Lovely pic,Karen! A dedicated teacher! Her students were so lucky to have her.

Beth Sweeney Lovely lady and great teacher

Bill Crawford One of my favourite teachers & a family friend…I had her two years in a row (grades 4 & 5 ) in two different schools. Say hi to her for me Karen.

Craig Wilson I had her for both grades 3 and 4…she taught me all about yellow rulers and cleaning chalkboards. I still give her credit for giving me sheer will and desire to make something of my life.

Wendy Healey I had her for a Grade 5/6 split and learned so much. Very memorable!

Allison Kirkpatrick A lovely lady, soft spoken and kind just like the rest of her family.

Christi Barry She had to deal with all four Barry kids!

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Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome 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. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.


Mad For Hats!! Doris Blackburn’s Hat

They Still Call Her Mrs. Blackburn!

So Who is Doing the Tennessee Waltz with Doris Blackburn?

Memories of Spelling Mistakes–Doris Chamney Blackburn

The 1977 Pow Wow Caldwell School

The 1977 Pow Wow Caldwell School

The 1977 Pow Wow Caldwell School



1977 Photos were by Michael Bennett Carleton Place Canadian thanks to Doris Blackburn/ Karen Blackburn Chenier. The photos were laminated so I apologize for the glare.


Sharon Flint and Kim Thompson prepare the wood for Chief Principal Bill Widenmaier to light.


Greg McIntosh, Paul Dack and Krista Lee


Cheryl Thomas




Sue Coyles


Susan McCann


Sharon Flint


Doris Blackburn





Mad For Hats!! Doris Blackburn’s Hat

Mad For Hats!!  Doris Blackburn’s Hat

THERE ARE PLENTY of mediocre hats out there. Mass produced, boring, and unlikely to inspire any of us to take up hat-wearing. Maybe that’s why so few of us adorn our heads any more. But there are great hats out there too and I try to take old hats and make them new again. Karen Blackburn Chenier gave me a great hat yesterday that belonged to her mother Doris Blackburn. I call it a mini Gainsborough hat.



Here we have Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, in 1787, who was quite the trendsetter of her day. This portrait is by Thomas Gainsborough, so the hat she is jauntily wearing came to be known as the “Gainsborough hat.”



Thanks Karen and sending love and hugs to your Mum.



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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 and The Tales of Almonte


So Who is Doing the Tennessee Waltz with Doris Blackburn?

Memories of Spelling Mistakes–Doris Chamney Blackburn

They Still Call Her Mrs. Blackburn!

In Memory of Lila Chamney of Carleton Place

And the Carleton Place Citizens Band Played On For Leah Bryce – Jean Craig — Irene Chamney– and Ruth Brown

They Still Call Her Mrs. Blackburn!



One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, and with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. Doris Blackburn turned 80 on July 23, and at 80, you know everything, but nobody asks you.


Some teachers just have a knack for literature– but at eighty-you still read the print edition of the newspaper, and what you like best is “Forty Years Ago Today


The best teachers teach from the heart-not from the book. At eighty-you tell your great grandkids that when you were their age, going to the movies cost less than a pack of gum today.

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At eighty however-you no longer chew gum because of what it does to your dentures.


Teachers want their students to feel impassioned and empowered, and at eighty, you’re not elderly, you’re “chronologically gifted.”


At eighty, people shouldn’t eat health food, they need all the preservatives they can get.




What perks do I now get at 80? ( I’m still waiting for mine at 65 Doris-please let me know)

Just a note– everything you see in the photo is edible– the teapot, teacup and saucer,cake, place mat– all edible.

Cake by Twisted Sugar Cakery–Kelly Lloyd



To teach is to touch lives and thanks to Facebook, Doris will never forget the birthdays of people she doesn’t really know–even at 80!



A good teacher is like a candle, it consumes itself to light the way for others. However,maybe Doris don’t necessarily agree with everything they say, and certainly not what is going on behind her right now.


Good teachers know how to bring out the best in students. But, those numbers still aren’t right- what the heck are they doing back there? Contemplating a group hug?


Balloons only have one life-but education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students- and as seen today at St.James Hall- as we celebrated the 80th birthday of this wonderful lady of Carleton Place. She will be forever known to most as— Mrs. Blackburn.

Happy 80th Birthday Doris! You’re just starting over!


Great picture of Mrs. Blackburn. It’s hard to break old school habits–I still call her Mrs. Blackburn-Sandra Hurdis Finigan


So Who is Doing the Tennessee Waltz with Doris Blackburn?













Sometimes you find the greatest things at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum. These photos were once from the Carleton Place Canadian and are now stored at the Museum. Doris has a birthday coming up soon. Happy Birthday Doris!

Valerie Edwards and Karen Chenier said:

Could be Dick Shail.
The first man with guitar and glasses is my Uncle Mike Papworth,the second man on guitar is Jim Lowe,deceased now, who was a member of the CP Police Dept.Will ask my Dad who the fiddler/dancer is.