Tag Archives: kitten factory

Did you Know that this one of the Malta Flying Aces Was a Doctor in Lanark?

Did you Know that this one of the Malta Flying Aces Was a Doctor in Lanark?


Anyone know the name of the former Lanark Doctor this 1952 news article is referring too? The article mentions some of the things found in Lanark such at Glenayr Kitten sweaters.

Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)

The Malta Aces

Squadron Leader Irving ‘Hap’ Kennedy was a Canadian fighter pilot. He flew Spitfires in Europe and Malta and Sicily and Whirlwinds and an American Kittyhawk in an amusing adventure in North Africa. He was shot down in France after the Normandy invasion and escaped.

One of the last of the future Canadian aces on Malta was a man with matinee idol good looks: Irving “Hap” Kennedy, who arrived in December 1942. His seven months of operations from Malta with 249 Squadron netted him five of his 12 victories. Like MacLennan, Hap wanted no more to do with war, and returned to the small town outside of Ottawa where he had grown up.

He became a much-loved country doctor first in Lanark Village and then back to Cumberland. “There was a need,” he says. “There were few doctors. I wanted to be a country doctor.”

His father had been Cumberland Township’s clerk treasurer. He was also a First World War veteran wounded at Vimy Ridge. For 37 years, Dr. Hap delivered babies at a rate that made him lose count He was the only doctor in the middle delivering hundreds of babies and making a powerful yet peaceful contribution to his hometown of Cumberland, Ontario, for decades.


They are out there. But soon they will all be gone. Perhaps you think of them as simply that older gentleman that walks his small dog down your street every day, the elderly fellow fumbling with his wallet ahead of you at the check out, that quiet guy who wears a badged blazer to church on Sundays, or that wonderfully kind, retired doctor who tends his garden. They live among us, blend in, live quietly and in the end they face the inevitable with dignity and quiet strength. To most neighbours and passersby, they are largely invisible, but once they were the boldest hearts, the fastest warriors, the most dashing and handsome of men, the most steadfast of comrades.

They are the fighter pilots of the Second World War. They are the ordinary men who stood up in the face of abject evil, prevailed and returned to live and love. They are the reason for our freedom. They are the lucky ones. Many did not return and those that did, lived their lives to the best of their abilities as tribute to their fallen brothers.

No one did more during their time in the RCAF, nor lived the remainder of their hard fought life with more dignity, contribution and gentleness than Cumberland, Ontario native Irving Farmer Kennedy. Known as “Hap” to his air force friends and “Bus” to his local community, Kennedy died on Thursday, January 6th, 2011 at the age of 91.

Mike Potter, Founder of Vintage Wings of Canada, had much the same thoughts when it came to describing the priviledge of his friendship with Kennedy:

“We are occasionally reminded that there are giants that walk among us, but sometimes they are heavily disguised. Hap Kennedy, as he was in his 80s when I had the privilege to meet him on several occasions, was a soft-spoken, friendly, modest and courteous gentleman, a father, grandfather, country doctor, and a strikingly handsome man in his old age. The few photos we have of him as a young man show him as the kind of clean-cut handsome young man you hope your daughter will bring home to introduce to the family, but they do not tell the whole story.

But here, behind the handsome face, is one of Canada’s magnificent warriors – a man who voluntarily entered some of the toughest and most dangerous fighting of recent times, where every engagement was the modern equivalent of hand-to-hand combat. Simply surviving Hap Kennedy’s war would have been an accomplishment, Malta in ’42, Sicily in ’43, D-Day in ’44.  But to chalk up victory after victory and become one of Canada’s most celebrated Aces of the war sets him apart. READ more here– CLICK



Irving Farmer “Hap” Kennedy


DFC   &   Bar

Click Here



The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
08 Jan 2011, Sat  •  Page


Black Crosses off my Wingtip– click here.. Burnstown Publishing

Jessie Leach Gemmill -The “Claire Fraser” of Lanark

Another Lanark Mystery– Paris Green

When I was 17- The Kitten- Glenayr Knitting Mills Reunion

How Much is that Kitten Sweater in the Window?

Stories from the Old Kitten Mill

Down by the Old Kitten Mill

Linda’s Mail Bag– Do You Have any Info on my Blanket?

You’re from the Village of Lanark You Say?

When I was 17- The Kitten- Glenayr Knitting Mills Reunion

When I was 17- The Kitten- Glenayr Knitting Mills Reunion

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I’ve never gone to a reunion before; not even high school, because honestly I’m always afraid that there’s going to be some ‘Carrie’-like incident that I won’t be able to deal with.

My life began in Cowansville, Quebec, a mill town similar to most places in rural Lanark County. The last time I personally saw or spoke with any of my old friends was years ago, although I retain a relationship with some of them in my Cowansville High School group on Facebook.

I was honoured to be part of the former Glenayr Knitting mill employees reunion on Monday. There were a few who had not seen each other since the plant closed down in 2000 I’m sure. Most of the employees were women as it was pretty well the only job available in the area in those days. Some at the reunion on August 7th at the Lanark & District Museum still had their original tools of the trade (scissors etc) from their former jobs whether it was knitting, dyeing fabric or sewing.



Photo by Linda Seccaspina at the Lanark & District Museum


Was the reunion a sense of nostalgia or just reminders of what had transpired years ago? No matter how wonderful and interesting the lives of the former employees from Tatlock, Watson’s Corners, McDonald’s Corners and even Carleton Place have been, there was just something endearing about this work reunion of the staff that most went home with a pay cheque of 45 cents an hour.

In 1953 the mill was the backbone of Lanark, and some still called it the Clyde Woolen Mill. David Markle made lots of improvements in the old grist mill, with new machinery initially making men’s woolen socks, blankets, and motor rugs. In 1945 the Markle brothers bought the large two storey stone building on the main street by the Clyde River and used it as a store. The Kitten Factory  at one time had a payroll of over $200,000 that turned over three times in local businesses before it left the village in the year 2000.





Photo by Linda Seccaspina at the Lanark & District Museum


I am sure some of them talked late into the day on Monday where they  laughed, cried, and reveled in nostalgia. I was surprised at the intensity of their bonding; perhaps it was the acute awareness of how much everything had changed. At the soul level they were still the same people they always were, and seeing them all together reminded me of how important it is to stay connected.



Lanark Era Photo–Gena Gibson


Photo by Linda Seccaspina at the Lanark & District Museum


Feryn Donaldson was still Miss Kitten of Glenayr Knitting on Monday with her original 60s sash. She was voted in by her fellow employees and got an outfit to wear for special events as long as it was back by 5. When asked if she became the “belle of the ball” of Lanark Village after she won her crown she laughed and said she was already married with two children at that point.

I doubt if there’s anyone among us that can’t remember that first day of work, and sometimes we reflect on the people we were crazy about, and some we weren’t so crazy about. These women still remembered the muffins brought by some to work, perms that were given in the washrooms, and the fact that a few actually met their future spouses at that plant.  As one woman said:

” I moved to Lanark in 1947 and most of the people that worked in the mill became my friends. I lived here, my family lived here, and when the time comes I will die here.”

Catching up with the past and seeing your  former friends and co-workers reminds us that your life story is not over. The final chapter has not been written and we are still writing new endings to our lives. That very thing happened at the Glenayr Knitting Mill Reunion on George Street in the Village of Lanark– as a forever friend is really someone who knows all your best stories and lived them with you. In the end you always go back to the people that were there in the beginning.


When I was seventeen, it was a very good year
It was a very good year for small town girls
And soft summer nights
We’d hide from the lights
On the village green
When I was seventeen





Jo Camelon— Of the 11 siblings of the Camelon family. I believe 9 worked at some time in the different departments of kitten mill. Thank you for sharing






Photos by Linda Seccaspina at the Lanark & District Museum






How Much is that Kitten Sweater in the Window?

Stories from the Old Kitten Mill

Down by the Old Kitten Mill

Linda’s Mail Bag– Do You Have any Info on my Blanket?

You’re from the Village of Lanark You Say?


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The Weekly British Whig
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
29 Mar 1920, Mon  •  Page 6

How Much is that Kitten Sweater in the Window?

How Much is that Kitten Sweater in the Window?





Vintage 1950s red pullover sweater, a classic! Ribbed waistband, cuffs and neckline. Made of 100% virgin wool.




1950s cardigan – kitten sweater – Glenayr Kitten Brand cardigan – gold and brown houndstooth – preppy – vintage cardigan





Glenayr Kitten Vintage Womens Cardigan, Womens Blue Sweater, Sz 16 Wool Polyester Top, Made in Canada Sweater Cardigan









This is a gorgeous 100% wool Sweater made by Glenayr KITTEN. Features an argyle pattern of beige, mustard and brown.




                                       Elaine Louise Dick

January 29, 1935 – May 02, 2013

Obituary for Elaine Louise Dick-Glenayr Knitting Mill Alumni

Elaine Louise Dick (Maiden name Dean) Born in Toledo, Ontario on January 29th, 1935 – Passed away in Lanark, Ontario on May 2nd, 2013 Elaine, who cherished her family, passed away at home with her husband, daughter, and grandson, at the age of 78 years old, following a difficult battle with cancer and will be sadly missed. Elaine had 12 brothers and sisters, and was the second oldest daughter of the late Albert Dean and Nellie (Catchpole) of Plum Hollow, Ontario.

When Elaine was in her early 30s, she left Ontario and travelled to Didsbury, Alberta to marry Calvin Jack Dick. For 40 years, she worked a variety of jobs alongside her husband on a small mixed beef farm. Elaine had fond memories of being a caregiver in the Didsbury Region and described it as a job that gave her much joy.

Prior to her move west, she spoke often of her time spent as a “mender” at the Glenayr Knitting Mill in Lanark, Ontario where she worked after her mother’s death when she returned home, from Toronto, to help her father care for her younger siblings. In 2007, Elaine and Calvin moved back to Lanark, Ontario where she spent the last few years of her life surrounded by her siblings, numerous nieces, and nephews. She will be greatly missed by her immediate family. Elaine loved to dance, enjoyed music and concerts, playing cards, was a gifted knitter and canner, and took every opportunity to travel to various places. She enjoyed spending time with her family, friends and was a dedicated grandmother. Elaine is survived by her husband Calvin, daughter Talva, and grandson Ethan. She is pre-deceased by her parents and siblings; Gerald, Joy, George, and Sharon. She is survived by her siblings Charles, Gary, Ross, David, Albert, Richard, Randy, and Debra.



Marge Mitchell
Marge Mitchell My Mom loved that “Kitten store”…she lived just north of Hopetown on Bow Lake Road with my Dad in their cottage on the Clyde. Everyone that came to visit shopped in the Kitten store and the shoe store up midway on the hill…she loved the shoe store on Bridge Street (Ken’s Shoe Store) in Carleton Place. .so many super memories…no wonder I love this area.
Karen Blackburn Chenier
Karen Blackburn Chenier My dad ,Ken Blackburn, had the shoe store in Carleton Place,”Ken’s Discount”. He sold Naturalizers at discount prices way before the trend of discount stores.LOL I worked there as a teenager as did my youngest brother and literally BUSLOADS of shoppers would come on Saturdays . They would buy shoes at Dad’s store,hop on the bus and head to Lanark to the Kitten Mill.There was a discount shoe store in Lanark later on but it was the “competition” not run by Dad.Fun times indeed.


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

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.



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Stories from the Old Kitten Mill

Down by the Old Kitten Mill

Linda’s Mail Bag– Do You Have any Info on my Blanket?

You’re from the Village of Lanark You Say?