Stories from our past — Week of Nov. 23

Each week, the Gazette looks back on stories from the past. Here is what happened this week, by year…


– The committee behind Picton’s centennial celebration announced it still had a deficit of $2,504 to pay for the mid-summer celebration activities. The entire cost of the events was $11,477.78. Secretary C.S. McGillivray indicated he was confident the remaining money could be raised.

– Earle Purtelle lost a full season’s crop and three cows after fire ripped through his barn in Sophiasburgh. A lantern fell off a nail in the wall and quickly ignited hay and straw. Purtelle did have his barn and its contents insured for $5,000.

– A coroner’s inquest found an excessive rate of speed was the primary factor in an accident that saw a car slam into a tree on West Lake Road, killing two people.


–  Picton finance committee chair Ernest Ward reported the town would have to take more severe measures to collect back taxes owed. He suggested if the town was successful, it could lower its tax rate by six or seven mills.

– Santa Claus was expected to fly into Picton, but he wouldn’t be using his traditional sleigh and reindeer. Grocery store owner Sam Gentile and Mayor H.J. McFarland arranged to have the jolly elf flown into Picton in a helicopter

– The body of a young man who drowned while sailing near Toronto in October washed up in Pleasant Bay, west of Hillier., over 100 miles away. A pair of hunters made the grisly discovery and called police.


– The Ontario Municipal Board gave the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company approval to build a $2-million store on Picton’s Main Street. Four neighbouring property owners spoke against the project, but OMB member Douglas Colbourne felt the benefits outweighed concerns.

– Wellington named Gerry Mattis the newest member of its council. It selected Matthis, a runner up in the 1976 municipal election after councillor Craig Platt was unable to reconcile his time between business interests in Belleville and township affairs.

– Some 30 scientists attended a week-long seminar to discuss efforts to improve the Bay of Quinte. A reduction in the flow of phosphorus was seen as a positive trend.


– After three-and-a-half years at the helm of the Picton BIA, Dan Doyle decided he’d step down at the end of the year. The McDonald’s owner said he felt it was time for new blood to take over and provide leadership for the representative organization.

-There likely wouldn’t be any savings for taxpayers after teachers’ illegal two-week work stoppage. Any money that would have been saved on salaries and benefits would go toward a $40-per-day day care credit the province promised for parents impacted by the strike action.

– The Picton Golf and Country Club had much to celebrate at its annual meeting. It finished in the black and construction on a new nine holes was 85-per-cent complete.