Canada Atlantic Railroaders At End Of Long Run, Published 18 April 1960
By Austin F. Cross Citizen Staff Writer
The Canada Atlantic Railway Old Boys are heading for the last round house.
Coincident with the death of steam around Ottawa, these seventy-plus veterans of wood burners and the link and pin, after highballing down Memory Lane for a quarter century, with annual stops at Nostalgia Junction, have come to the end of the run. Steam is dead and so are the CAR Old Boys.
J. H. (Peg) MacLeod. 117 Glenora, now a rugged 82, as he surveyed the registration list of 12 o'd boys of 57 still alive, shook his head sadly over the 1935 list of 612 who showed up, sighed and said, "I am pulling the pin."
In railway parlance this means the end of the run. Historically this Old Boys alumni came together in 1935 in the spontaneous combustion of a happy memory which had glowed long snd warmly in so many Old Boys (and Old Girls') hearts.
The CAR Old Boys Association will cease to function as an organization after tonight's annual banquet at the Chateau.
Its patron saint was the late J. R. Booth, first last and only president this gallant railway ever had. His memory is always kept alive in the CAR old boys' hearts, and it is a solemn ritual annually observed, when the veterans march to his grave at Beechwood.
This year, heavy hearts will be heavier as they march past the mausoleum containing the remains, of Rowley Booth, grandson of the immortal J.R. Booth. Rowley Booth died suddenly in his prime this year. He had been the angel, the guiding spirit, the stimulus of all those who had worked for his grandad.
Such great traditionalists are the CARists, that you could have sat down any year, and you could have written what had happened the year before, and as easily predict what would happen the coming year.
There is always the picnic to the Experimental Farm - it happened yesterday, under the auspices of the Ladies' Auxiliary, for the last time. Mrs. James Connolly and Mrs. T. H. Olmstead were in charge this year. Then there is the pilgrimage to the J. R. Booth grave. That took place today. Finally, after two days of "fraternizing," of talking over old times, the "boys" and "girls" all meet tonight for dinner in the Chateau Laurier dining room.
Most solemn for years has been what might be called the breakup benediction, when as the solemn, words are said with the thin and reedy voices of the very old, each slyly surveys his neighbor and wonders if he or she will be back next year. In 1960, they will take their long look. For this side of eternity, most will never see each other again.
Before "Peg" MacLeod "pulls the pin" on this nostalgic convention, the octogenarians and nonagenarians, with the convention youth, Rug. H. Eddy, aged 70, looked over old pictures, studied old clippings, surveyed a treasure trove of memories heaped upon a table. In their mind's eye they lived over the gay nineties, the high wheelers of 1903, they remembered the birth of their son, now himself a grev headed man. Through these nch memories travelled The Train to Yesterday.
The railroad valedictorians who say their last prayer in the Chateau tonight will include George Holtby, Vancouver, and the last of 15 railroading Holtbys; Cecil Elliott, also from Vancouver; and from Ottawa Val C. Sear, J. H. P. (Peg) MacLeod, George Wallace, Eddie Aust, R. H. Eddy; and W. E. Latimer, Aylmer, Que.