The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

January 27th, 2016

Feb. 10, 1944 Springhill Record Bakery Under New Management

    Back in 1910, Henry Fox, who came to Springhill with his family around sixty years ago, turned back to an old trade he learned in his early years in England – the trade of a Baker; and opened a small business in his home, Junction Road.  The bread was excellent in quality and produced under careful conditions.  It was not long before it made an impression on local housewives, the big loaves, selling at 6 cents, being in great demand.  The business grew, and “Fox’s Bread” became a household word – a reputation which has never failed, and a business equally reputable which has never known a dull year.

    Harry Fox Jr. entered the business with his father and took over the active management twenty-eight years ago.  A modern plant now turns out the same good quality of bread.  Mr. Fox Sr., died in 1921 but he lived to see his little venture prosper.  The years have not been easy years and “Harry” having disposed of the business to Hector Bryan, is now going to enjoy a little leisure; but will continue the grocery business which has developed along with the Bakery.  We wish him many good years.

    Mr. Bryan will continue with the present staff.  We wish him also the best of luck.

Feb. 17, 1944We Hear From Boys Overseas

    Spr. Melvin Vienneau, now in an English Naval Hospital suffering from a broken hip, writes the Record asking us to extend his thanks to the Red Cross for kindness while in hospital.  “I was in hospital only three days” he wrote “when they sent me cigarettes, bars, etc.; and at Christmas there was a pair of lovely socks and other things.  Also on Christmas day I received a Christmas Greeting from the Springhill Branch.  Please thank them for me.”

    Mr. and Mrs. Robert Chapman of the Carleton Hotel, have received a particularly interesting letter from their son Sgt. B.T. Chapman of the R.C.A.F., now on operational flying Overseas.  He tells his father of being to Berlin (again) and of exchanging blows, together with a chum, with a German night fighter.  There is no doubt a thrilling story behind the careful words.  As is the case, as with most of the boys, Bert misses the home cooking and plans to make up for lost time when he is home again – a nice cheery letter and very welcome to those at home.

Feb. 24, 1944 Promoted to Flt. Sgt.

    Mr. George Calder has received word that his son, James Reginald Calder, has been promoted to the rank of Flight Sergeant with effect from January 17, 1943.

    The communication concludes:

    “It is regretted that no further information has been received regarding your son since he was reported missing on July 8th and I wish to extend to you and the members of your family my sincere sympathy in this trying time.”  

    Mr. and Mrs. Calder have also the interest and sympathy of their many friends in this moment of pride during their long and anxious time of waiting.

  1. They Are Not Forgotten – written by Bertha Isabel Scott

  2.     Springhill has an anniversary all its own and memories of a never-to-be-forgotten day – that of February 21, 1891 – when there occurred the tragic events of the Springhill Explosion which claimed the lives of 125 men and boys and left stricken and bereft 54 widows and more than 100 orphans, together with the many broken and sorrowing homes.

  3.     The town was very small, less than eighteen years after its foundation was laid with the opening of the mines and the coming of the first miners and their families.  Wonderful progress has been made and suddenly it seemed as though everything had been swept away with the dread happening; but there was no faltering.  Rescue parties entered the mine at the earliest possible moment to look for loved ones, friends and “buddies”; entering the devastated workings to clear away the debris and above all to “carry on.”  After the first days of shock and horror, and the shadow of a great community sorrow, the men settled down to routine and the daily task was taken up; with what courage who can say!

  4.     There was strangely given to the people a new impetus for living.  Building and general improvement in conditions followed.  Somehow, to the stricken families, life went on.  Through generous gifts and public interest they were helped over a difficult time.  What others are pleased to call the “Springhill” spirit – a disposition to carry through with cheerfulness and friendliness – was even then in evidence, perhaps at its best, for the people suffered together.

  5.     The names of those who went out to their work and were never to return became household words – a tradition sustained by the countless stories of heroism and unselfishness shown in the hour of their testing.  To the little community, the disaster was of colossal proportions.  No one at that time could even envision the conflicts of which we know today, but they stood the test of their day and measured up.  The sorrow has passed with those who bore it.  The anniversary is marked with an intimacy of remembrance. “Oh yes!” one will say “Monday was the day of the Explosion;” but those who suffered will remember with a tender remembrance.


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