The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

Dec. 17, 2008

Wed. Dec. 17, 2008 – Main Street in the 1940’s

Since this is the Christmas Season and everyone is rushing around frantically trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on their list, I thought I would take you back to the 1940’s and let you see how easy it was to find everything that was needed while shopping on one street – Main Street, Springhill.

Looking for clothing for the lady in your life then the places to shop are Bernick’s, Audrey Best Clothing, Louis Saffron’s Women’s Wear and Fred Fisher’s Clothing. Need a hat for the wife go to Osmond’s Hat Shop or Terris’s Hat Shoppe. Need a new pair of shoes or winter boots, for members of the family, for the cold winter ahead? Then go to

Agnew Surpass or John Wilson’s.

John Wilson’s and Charles R. Murray’s are the places to shop for the men in the family or if you want something tailor made than you just have to go up the street to Frederick McLeod’s Tailor Shop.

When taking your children to town don’t forget to take them into the Selrite .05-$1.00

Store so they can do their Christmas shopping for everyone in the family – the salt and pepper shakers or cup and saucer for Mom, the ever popular tie or handkerchief for dad and the little toys for brother or sister. Next take the kids up Main Street so everyone can see how the window at Leo White’s Barbershop is decorated. Then go over to Samuel Russell’s store and watch their eyes light up when they see all the toys. That’s the place where you will find the little doll for Mary and the truck for Johnny or maybe they both would like a pair of skates and don’t forget the toboggan and sled for coasting on the hill when the snow has fallen.

Why not take the family to the Capital Theatre so they could see the new movie called “It’s a Wonderful Life” or the great classic “Scrooge”.

Want to buy something for the house, maybe pots and pans or dishes? Then go to Hyatt’s Hardware or, perhaps, George R. McPherson & Co. General Store. If its furniture you want then the place to go is Morris Saffron Furniture Store.

Go to Margaret Hunt’s Stationary to pick up your Christmas cards or maybe a book. Also the wrapping paper for all those gifts you just bought.

No Christmas would be complete without a stop at Jimmy Demetre’s Candy Kitchen to pick up some of his famous candy like toy candy, ribbon candy and his famous chocolates.

Presents bought for everyone now it is time to buy the groceries – turkey all the trimmings for the Christmas dinner, oranges and apples for the children’s socks that they will hang on Christmas Eve. There are lots of grocery stores to choose from: Fisher’s Market, Hunter’s Store, L.B. Herrett Groceries, Ryan’s Market, M.K. Mills, V.R. Mills, Newman Bros, A.L. Hollis Grocery and Hibbert Rolfe Grocery.

If your tired from all that shopping why not stop at Art Jardine’s Lunch Counter, Rex Café or Hyatt’s Restaurant for a cup of tea or maybe have your meal there so you don’t have to cook when you get home.

Don’t forget to go to Eaton’s and Simpson’s to pick up those orders that were ordered earlier so they would get here before Christmas.

Now, with the shopping done, it is time to head home, get the kids in bed so you can wrap all those gifts and after wrapping don’t forget to find a good hiding place so that prying eyes won’t be able to find them until they are put under the tree on Christmas Eve.

Hope you enjoyed this walk back in time when you didn’t have to go to Amherst or Moncton to do your shopping but could get everything you needed right on our own Main Street.

Other business on Main Street at that time were O.C. Layton, Al’s Taxi, Atlantic Wholesale, A.H. Funeral Service, Cameron Electric, C.I.B.C., C.N. Express, Deluxe Radio Service, Edison Electric Light, Employment and Selective Services, J.O. Fairbanks, Barrister, Graven’s Service Station, A.E. Harris Optometrist, Hatton’s Taxi, Ideal Dry Cleaners, Letcher’s Garage Auto Dealers, Maritime T & T, N.S. Liquor Commission, Pacze’s Beauty Parlor, C.R. Price Radio Service, Reid’s Confectionary, Dr. J.R. Ryan Physician, Dr. H.L. Simpson, Simpson’s Agency, Springhill Auto Accessory, Springhill Club, Springhill Co-op, Springhill Dairy, Springhill Record, Dr. G.A. Sproul Dentist, H.S. Terris, Wardrope’s Drugstore, Weatherbee’s Tin Shop and Dr. R.R. Withrow.

This is the story of two Springhill brothers who became known around the province and beyond. One brother was a sportsman and the other was in the military.

Anthony “Tony” Condy was born in Springhill the son of Italian Immigrants Bonifacio (Boni) and Assunta (Camarra) Condy.

Tony was raised in Springhill and like other young men went into the mines to earn his living and later enlisted in the regular army, the Royal Canadian Regiment in 1932. When the Second World War broke out he went on active duty and served in France, Sicily, Italy and Okenawa, Korea. While in Italy, during heavy shelling, he was hit in the back by shrapnel.

During the time that France had given up and the Germans were heading toward the coast Sgt. Condy’s brigade was also in France and wanted to take over. Sgt. Condy was the non-commissioned officer in charge of transportation and, while his commanding officer was attending other duties, he was responsible for the regiment’s military vehicles which were loaded with ammunitions and supplies. He wanted to move the men and supplies from Brest, France to Paris but while on reconnaissance, he saw the Germans heading toward Brest. This was a complete surprise to the regiment. At first they tried to head to the transport vehicles towards Spain but the roads were so crowded that they decided to return to Brest. Condy ordered the trucks be driven into a field in a circle. He kept enough vehicles for immediate transport needs and then punctured the gas tanks of those in the circle and fired flare pistols to set them on fire so they wouldn’t fall into enemy hands. He saved about six vehicles and three Bren gun carriers. He and his men and equipment were evacuated from France. For his actions while in France he was decorated with the British Empire Medal by King George V1 at Buckingham Palace on June 13, 1940. He was the first Canadian to receive a medal during the Second World War.

Tony went to officer training camp and participated in the Italian Campaign. He was appointed Commanding Officer No.1 Personnel Department following his Korean service. He retired from the military in 1962 with the rank of Major. Later he worked at the Registry of Motor Vehicles as director of Motor Vehicles Inspection Division.

Anthony Condy was married and had two sons David and Donald. He died November 27, 2004 at the age of 80.

William A. (Buddy) Condy was also born in Springhill. One day when he was fifteen, he was at the ball field, to watch the Fencebusters play ball. The Coach “Blondie” Burden was looking for a replacement for one of the players who was late getting off work and the only one he could see was Condy. There were two outs in the second inning and Eddie Cormier was at bat. Cormier got a hit, got on base and with that the bases were loaded. The count was 3-2. The fastball came down the middle and Condy hit a grand slam home run in his very first time at bat in senior baseball. This was in 1938.

Buddy enlisted during the war and served with the RCAF as a pilot and when it was over he again played for the Fencebusters. He also played for a series of teams in the Halifax and District League as he pursued his medical degree at Dalhousie University. In 1947 his Halifax Arrows won the Halifax and District League and Maritime Championships and Condy was voted the Most Valuable Player.

Buddy’s lifetime batting average was .356. He had a great ability to swing the bat and won League batting championship in 1949-1950. He retired from baseball in 1953 but came out of retirement in 1955. After a two year hiatus he faced the top pitcher of the day and in three times at bat walked, singled and drove a fly ball to the warning track in center field. Buddy turned down lucrative Major League offers to practice medicine in Halifax. He was described by all who were fortunate enough to watch him as the most consistent long-ball hitter the province has ever seen. He was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame in 1980.

Anthony married Verna Anderson and they had three daughters: Suzanne, Sheilagh and Patricia. He died Sept. 2, 1993 in Halifax.