A humorous story about a trick pulled off by the Almonte firemen in a contest at Brockville in 1874, is told by Mr. Robert Young, 240 Fifth avenue, who was then a resident of Almonte. In 1874 the town of Almonte having secured a large new fire engine (hand pump), the amateur brigade decided to take part in a pumping contest at Brockville.
The new engine was larger and more up-to-date than any in the Ottawa district and great things were expected of it, particularly with the husky Almonte brigade of sixty men to man the pump. It appears that at that time the Almonters were an unusually husky lot. There was not a man of the sixty who did not tip the beam at over 200 pounds, while several went around the 240 pound mark.
The nozzle used with the new engine was a 2-ring nozzle which was something new then and had not heretofore been used in contests. Capt. J. S. Stephens expected that his use of the 2-ring nozzle might be questioned and prepared himself for the possibility by procuring a second 2-ring nozzle and blackening and scratching it up to look like an old nozzle.
It should be explained that a 2-ring nozzle had an advantage over a 1-ring nozzle, in that it caused a more solid and even stream to be thrown, thus causing the attainment of greater distance. In due time the Almonte brigade arrived at Brockville with their new engine gaily decorated and their men outfitted with fine new uniforms, making an imposing appearance. In front of the engine there was pulled bv the brigade a float decorated with evergreens and flags, setting forth the merit of Almonte as a community center or place to live.
It was the first time a brigade had attempted any propaganda, other than such as their prowess would bring, and the Idea was widely commented on. The engine and the float had been brought down on the St. Lawrence and Ottawa and Grand Trunk railways on a flat car. The people of Brockville took quite a fancy for the Almonte outfit and began to back them both morally and financially. It was Almonte’s first appearance at any contest, but the favorable Impression.
While the brigade were getting ready for the contest an American from “the Burgh” came up and said: “I like your boys and I want to give you a tip, which will help you. Before you start pumping pour a gallon of oil into your hose (rubber hose). It will make the water flow more easily. Keep it quiet though as there is nothing in the rules preventing you using oil, some of the other fellows might think you used oil.
The Almonte brigade gathered tightly around the man who was to pour the oil in. The crowd tried to find out what was going on around the Almonte engine, but did not. As soon as the oil was poured they revved up the old engine. It had so happened that the only sort of oil the Almonte men could get was what is known as engine oil of the black summer variety.
When the water came out it looked black, as though, it had come out of a mud puddle. “What dirty water!” the crowd said, but nobody, strange to say, suggested oil. Whether the oil caused the Almonte stream to go farther or whether the heavyweights of the team pumped more effectively is hard to say, but anyway the big Almonte team with their big new engine won, amid the cheers of the crowd.
Almonte got a great reception when they got home and the story now told was kept in the background for many years. Now you know the rest of the story!
These comments were taken from the readers of Tales of Carleton Place on Facebook- Respects made to the family and friends of the late great Morley Black.
We call various people heroes – and firefighters don’t consider themselves heroes – but if you look at their job description, they are. Their job is to straight up save people. Firefighters go where they’re needed, sometimes ignoring the dangers even when no one is inside a burning building to be saved. Morley Black was one of them and today we mourn the loss of another Carleton Place heroe. Linda Seccaspina
From the Tales of Carleton Place
Norma Jackson Deepest sympathy to the family
Ted Hurdis He will certainly be missed. I was thinking today when we would go over to the hydro office beside Carambeck school to pay the hydro bill. It was always fun when Morley was there to have a chat or tell a joke.
Susan Mary Risk Sincere sympathy to the Black family. I always chatted with Morley when I went up to pay the Hydro bill. He originally ran an actual Hydro turbine for Carleton Place, and it was because this still existed as a backup to Town Hall that I was able to enjoy Hydro in my apartment for the two weeks Ontario was crippled for energy due to a massive ice storm. I always enjoyed Morleys’ personality, even though he seemed fairly conservative. That’s because he was a friendly man with a big heart. 💕
Jane McIntosh Churchill My most heartfelt condolences to the Black family. I always enjoyed seeing and speaking with Morley. Such a nice, friendly man. 🌹
Deb Bigras Morley was a great man!!! My greatest sympathies to the Black Family.
Judy White Sorry for your loss. Morley was a great person and will be missed by all.
Ray Paquette A former neighbour on Herriott Street many years ago. My sympathies to the Black family… 😥
Margaret Martin So sorry to hear this sad news, my condolence to Morley’s family & friends.
AJ Shayla Sheppard My condolences 😦
Carol McDonald Our condolences to family and friends , he will be missed.
Lorena Turgeon So sorry to hear of Morley’s passing.
Lenore Gibson So very sorry to hear of Morley’s passing. He was a true gentleman.
Lesley Leigh Hurdis My condolences
Heather Leary So sorry for your loss . Truly was a great guy
Maureen Evans Our sincere sympathy to the Black Family!
Tim McIntyre Heartfelt prayers to all the Black family! I met Morley in the late 70’s and I was honoured when he asked me to be his assistant coach with the Midget rep team. We also coached the OVS summer minor midgets. Many great trips through the valley and a couple to Boston His big heart and great sense of humour will be greatly missed. Proud to have called you a friend. RIP Mo!!
Lynda Humfryes-McKimm A true gentleman. Condolences to the family. 😢
Dyann Hamilton So very sorry for your loss…condolences to the Black family…bless you all 🤗🙏🏻😥
Debbie McRae So sorry for your loss. Condolences to the family! 😥
Photo- Rod Black
Marilyn White Condolences to the family.
Jane Carnegie So sorry for your loss….Morley was a great lad that did alot for CP!!
Bob White Morley Black will be missed by this Community. Spent many years around Morley at the Hockey Rink When he was coaching, My condolences to the Black Family
Bill Brown Rest easy Mo. – A wonderful selfless gentleman who gave to his community. A warm and engaging sense of humour. A family friend.
As my hockey coach I can still hear him telling me “ Brownie – two hands on the sick – your out there flailing that thing with one hand like your Florence Nightingale”. Ah fond memories Margaret Partridge I was so sad to hear of Morley’s passing. My sympathy to your whole family and extended family. We go way back, as you know! I will always remember your dad’s cheeky smile, which I think you inherited, Rod! Remember the months of the broken leg and trying to teach the impossible one!😊 Your Dad was a tremendous, well-respected fireman. I also remember his years with Linda-we were high school classmates and friends. My thoughts are with you.❤️😢
Sylvia Giles So sorry!! He was a lovely man! Condolences to the Black family!!
Rita Regimbal Brennen Condolences from the Brennens
Diane Rintoul Sorry to hear about the passing of Morley. He was a great guy.
Margaret McNeely Remember Morley when we each lived on Coleman’s Island in Almonte many years ago and when we met he always called me Toshie!
Ruth Drummond Was like the older brother I never had.
Fran Hurdis I remember making mud pies using his mother’s eggs when we lived on the island. Needless to say we got in trouble for the eggs.
Cathy Paterson RIP
Theresa Porteous Such a nice man condolences to the family
Mark Lynch My condolences to the family
Judy Churchward My condolences!
MBeth Thompson Our deepest sympathies to the family.
Reggie Gagnon RIP
Nancy C Sonnenburg Condolences from our family to yours, Morley was a wonderful man and will be missed.
Martin McNabb Our deepest sympathies to the family
Rhonda McRae Landriault Oh no. Rip Morley a great man
Roger Rattray My Condolences Rod .
Linda Ann Schmidt I’m so sorry for your loss. My condolences to the Black family.
Sandra Rattray My condolences to
the Black family from Sandra and Pete Rattray
Gary Mclellan Morley was a good fellow. I was in the same class at CPHS. So sorry to hear about his passing
Tim Campbell My condolences to the Black family.
Ralph Shaw Really great guy gone He and Corky Reynolds were two of the first guys to take me under their wing when I came to Carleton Place
More Morley Black Memories–Logan Trafford— Cheryl Claire Deforge said–he was 1 in a million..loved it when he was coaching hockey..boy his voice could be heard all over the arena..
I stumbled upon this post and since it is the 40th anniversary of this team/picture, I thought I’d add a bit more insight and perhaps you would consider re-posting it.
this picture would have been taken near the end of the exhibition season in 1978. There are about 1/2 dozen people in it who didn’t actually end up playing on the team that year. The final roster team eventually went on to win the league championship for the very first time. That picture is in the trophy case at the Arena.
There’s a couple of possibilities for a couple of players, but here’s the identity of most of the people.
L-R for each row:
Row 1 (G) ???, Geoff Herbst, Bill Grease (Coach), Rusty Knight, ****Morley Black (Asst Coach), Ken Code, Garth Sculley
2nd Row Gary Raycroft ?, Martin Puckett, Pat Emon, Steve Bryce, Pat Domenico (traded mid-season), Don Vaughn, ???, Marty Sheehan, Steve Baird, Peter McGregor
Back Row – ???, Logan Trafford, Doug Riopelle, Brian Graham, Bruce McBrian, Dave Mills, Mike Bertrand (traded mid-season), Gerry Barber, John Hogg (G)
The 1981 Carleton Place Kings followed a familiar story line; struggling at the start of the season; but came together for the second half after a couple of minor adjustments. The Kings were having some problems on the blueline with the graduation of several players the season before, and it wasn’t until Griese and his assistant Morley Black discovered that Jimmy Ward had played some defence before the team solidified. “We put Steve with his brother Andy and Terry Mast, and moved Jimmy Ward back to defence,” said Griese. “It was about Steve’s fourth year with us. Ali that time he was playing defence with us. We moved him up to left wing, and all of a sudden they had a leader on their line. He was a good defenceman, but he was just a little too small. Everything seemed to fall into place after that.
Griese credits his former goalie John Hogg for his selfless dedication that season as the team’s goalie coach. “John had graduated; and at the start of the season, I looked up in the stands, and there’s John and his parents at the game. John was a real fans’ delight; everybody loved John. So I asked him to help out and he said sure. He never got paid either, he attended all of the practices and games.” Griese noted that one of the consistencies in his ten years as coach of the Kings was the solid netminding.. “John used to really come out of the net,” recalled Griese fondly. “I’d almost have a heart attack; but he was a good skater, and he never once gave up a bad goal doing it. He used to catch lots of teams changing on the fly.” Hogg would tutor his students well, and both Phil Powers and Glen Guenette performed admirably in leading Carleton Place to its second division title in three years.
Crowd support was at its peak in those days. “I would venture to say about 5700 people lived in town and more than 800 were in the arena every Friday night. The fans were great. The players just fed off of the crowd.” Fan support throughout the Valley up until the mid 198Os was stellar. “We beat out Arnprior On St. Patrick’s Day in Arnprior” said Griese. “They had 2,800 people in there with that darn steel floor. What a racket.
Another key to the season was Morley Black’s knowledge of Dave Ellet and what he could bring to the team, even at the tender age of 16. “Morley; he wanted to sign him after the first practice. He hadn’t really done much, but Morley was doing most of the scouting at the time, and he knew what he could do. Morley said “You sign him; you sign him now.” Ellet went on to Bowling Green University and a 16-year career as a steady NHL defenceman. “It wasn’t very long that he developed,” said Griese. “You just didn’t have to tell him a helluva lot. He was just like Donnie Vaughan; open the door and let him go. You could see at that age that he knew the game so well. He could play in his own end and he could play without the puck”. Led by Gary Raycroft and Steve McTierman offensively, Carleton Place finished in second place during the regular season, and then swept Richmond in four games in the first round of the playoffs.
Cork Reynolds on the left and Dave Brown on the right. Jaime Black holding the hose 1970s
In 1998 he had spent 27 years on the Almonte and Ramsay Fire Dept.
Bill had also spent a 7 year term in Almonte as a police officer, resigning in 1971 and joining the Fire Dept. as a volunteer.
He became a deputy fire chief in 1973 and assumed the chief’s role in 1978.
In 1973 they were getting 20-25 calls a year and in 1998 it was over 200.
Rescue units accounted for about 20-25 of the calls while most of the others are alarms or carbon monoxide detectors.
It used to be an employer thought having a firefighter in the fold and now when they do sometimes they can’t get away and they do it without pay.
Bill said people do not understand outside the fire dept the toll the job takes on volunteers. Unless you’ve been there, you have no idea.
The goal is to beat the fire before it does any damage. After the fire, you can tell if the firefighters are upset as they become quiet or start to drink. You have to be ready to talk to them about the stress.
You remember fires, accidents and sometimes you wake up seeing the victim’s faces years after.
In this election season Bill Lowry’s word’s from 20 years ago reminded me of people bringing a list of complaints and wanting everything under the sun for the new councils to approve. Not one person says they ever want a new fire truck or something for the fire dept.
What do remember about Bill Lowry?
Linda Nilson-RogersI had a chat with Bill not to long ago, he lived (lives) near where my parents lived. We were laughing about the time I drove illegally from Cedar Hill to Almonte, to the License Bureau 1 month late, to get my new plate, and had to ask for a screw driver to put it on! The license bureau was then across the street from the police station, he had retired from the force then. I always found him to be a kind but dutiful police officer.
James R. McIsaacI first met Bill when I started on the ambulance in 1974, did a lot of rescue calls with him over the years, super guy, I even had his 2 sons work for me over the years…good memories.