Beauchamp, Eric Marcel #520 *


Eric was born May 20th 1986. He truly enjoyed living in North Bay and spending time down at the waterfront area with friends and family. He would be so proud to be supporting the enhancement of the waterfront area through the Leaves of Inspiration Pergola. Eric was a very special and unique young man. He was a kind gentle soul who had a real zest for life. He was athletic, energetic, fun-loving and outgoing. He was the type of person anyone would be proud to have in their corner during good times and bad. People could always count on him to support and encourage them when things got tough.

Continue reading “Beauchamp, Eric Marcel #520 *”

Bale, Dorothy #271 *

Dorothy (nee Charron) Bale

Honoured by Edward Bale (spouse), Lisa Fitzgerald (daughter), and Cody Fitzgerald (grandson).

Dorothy M. A. Charron became a resident of Temiscaming, Quebec on February 9, 1943.  She quickly demonstrated that she would readily accept challenges and failure was not acceptable.  Dorothy described this best when she told us about her first day of school.  She immediately knew that the teacher and her classmates were speaking French, a language that she did not understand.  Despite this, by midterm, she had earned the best grades in her class.

Academically, Dorothy was always the top student in grade school and high school in Temiscaming.  Upon graduation, St. Joseph’s School of Nursing benefited because it was the perfect place for a clever, funny and compassionate person.  In 1963, after graduating, Dorothy worked as a General Duty nurse in her alma mater for two years.  Marriage to Edward Bale resulted in a move to Fredericton while Ed finished his studies.  That year Dorothy worked in pediatrics.

Fellow classmates recently described Dorothy as “full of life”, “a treasure”, “vibrant”, and “could light up a room”.  How could this person not succeed in the helping profession?  For the next ten years, she was head nurse of the Pediatric Unit and the Emergency Unit in Maniwaki, Quebec.  She was not overly ambitious but she never had difficulty finding a job.  She was a good worker, well liked, and very enthusiastic.  Employers sought her out.  One such search occurred in an area where people lacked access to psychiatric assistance.  Dorothy was asked and she agreed to accept a two year post graduate study and upon completion, she worked in a much needed satellite community psychiatric unit.

Nine years later, the Bale family moved to Iroquois Falls.  Again Dorothy gladly accepted another challenge – four years of high school teaching.  Her psychiatric training coupled with her classroom work later made her the leading candidate for a new position – Mental Health Consultant – followed by Program Manager of a residential treatment facility for adolescents.

Changing career paths made this lady a very much appreciated employee.  Dorothy often joked about the large number of parties that were held in her honour when she left for a new position.  Meeting new people was a pleasant experience for her.  It was not unusual for her to make an effort to meet every person in the room before she left.

A new career path for Dorothy proved to be her final position in the “paid” work world.  She was recruited as a Program Supervisor for the Ministry of Community & Social Services.  This position she held for ten years before retiring.  In all, she worked full time for 37 years.  Looking back, she was very proud of her achievements and she often said that she enjoyed every position that she held.

Once retired, cycling, hiking, skiing, and skating became regular activities.  As a Heritage Gardener, Doronthy loved the opportunity to meet visitors and to work in the waterfront gardens.

Upon her passing, Cody described Dorothy as “a grandmother like no other person I have ever met.  Our strong bond could be felt in the many conversations we had and the moments we shared.  There was never a dull moment when she was around.  Her kindness, energy, and sense of humour made her special.”

Baines, Thomas William #243 *

Thomas William Baines:  1926 – 2012

Born in North Bay, where he and wife Mary T. (Dorrie) Axler, raised sons Bill and Bob.  Tom proudly served in the Canadian Forces and after the war, continued to serve with the Algonquin Regiment for many years.  He was later employed with the Ontario Ministry of Transport where he was able to enjoy one of his favourite pastimes travelling the countryside.  Tom and Dorrie were avid bird watchers and founding members of the Nipissing Naturalist Club.  Tom had a passion for history and supported the North Bay Area Museum, serving on the board for many years.  He will be lovingly remembered for his wit and his many stories.

Honoured by the Nipissing Naturalists



Berry, Doreeen & Harvey #242

Honoured by Norm Berry, Janis Reed and Gord Berry.

Thank you for purchasing a Leaf of Inspiration in honour of Doreen and Harvey Berry.  Story to follow.


Becksted, Robert (Bob) #529 *

Robert (Bob) Becksted

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”

–          Vincent Van Gogh

The calm of the woods. A majestic mountainside. A lakeside retreat. These are places to get to know ones-self and build bonds with family, friends and neighbours. Such is the life of our father/friend/neighbour Robert (Bob) Becksted.

While Bob’s career was dedicated to the built form, Bob also marvels at the sculptural aesthetic in nature – the intricate design of a single leaf, a barren tree, a snow drift, a rock face, or a crashing wave.

A man of integrity and wisdom, Bob’s joie de vivre and love of his surroundings will be his legacies.

 Bob Becksted was born in St. John’s, Quebec in 1928 and raised in Montreal where he grew up with his parents Walter and Violet and his sister Norma. Bob first came to North Bay in 1945 when his father was transferred as official Signals Supervisor of the CPR, beginning a life-long association with the community. Bob attended North Bay Collegiate and Vocational Institute for his final year of high school where he was a star on the football team. It was then that he met the love of his life and his future bride, Shirley Marguerite Ethyl Willoughby, the daughter of Bryce (Doc) Willoughby and Mildred (Sally) of North Bay.

Following high school, Bob was accepted into the School of Architecture at U of T and moved to Toronto. Combining his love of aesthetics, history and mathematics, Bob obtained his degree and graduated in 1951. Bob and Shirley were married in North Bay in 1952, and raised two children, Karen and Scott.

Bob built his architecture practice in Toronto where his first noteworthy design was the award-winning Seaway Hotel on the west Toronto lakeshore, one of the first truly Modernist motor hotels in Canada, earning a 1955 Massey Silver Medal. The iconic Seaway Towers Motor Hotel, also by partners Elken and Becksted, was added on a neighbouring site in 1963. Perhaps one of his most satisfying projects was the preservation and restoration of the historic buildings at Upper Canada Village near Morrisburg where the Becksted ancestors originally settled from New England. One of his most complex and demanding projects was the design of the world-class Etobicoke Olympium, acclaimed as one of the best aquatic facilities in Canada.

Bob’s strongly-held theory of design is that structures should relate to their surroundings. “The built form should complement the environment, not compete with it,” is a favourite phrase and a guiding principle.

When Walter retired in 1963 Bob’s parents built a cottage on Trout Lake which then became the first home that they owned. Violet named it Stoneclough. Bob and Shirley eventually purchased their own adjoining lot and cabin which they expanded and re-modelled in the late 1970’s. In 1990 Bob renovated and expanded what was previously his parents’ home, moving into his own beloved Stoneclough when he retired in 1992.

During retirement Bob has given back to the community through volunteer efforts with the North Bay Municipal Heritage Committee, identifying and protecting heritage properties, including the historic CPR station where his father had worked.

Becksted, Walter Frederick #220 *

Honoured by Robert Becksted.

Walter Frederick Becksted

Herewith is his story commemorating his affiliation with the heritage of North Bay’s CPR Station.

Walter was transferred to North Bay from Montreal in the early 1940’s as official Signals Supervisor of the CPR, covering a principal territory of the east/west rail line between the Ontario provincial borders of Quebec and Manitoba.

This was the evolution of the Becksted family history which began in St. John’s (now St. Jean) Quebec.  At that time, all four brothers administered the signals territory of the CPR in the eastern half of this first coast to coast railway in Canada.

They formed a significant component of our national heritage that centered in the City of North Bay.  The youngest brother, Russell, became the signals foreman in St. John’s, Quebec, responsible to the signals engineer Ted who administered the Quebec territory through Montreal.  In Ontario another brother, Bob, served as the signals engineer head quartered in Toronto, to whom Walter responded as signals supervisor from North Bay.

As it occurred across the nation, diesel replaced steam engines, which enlarged the space between divisional points of equipment service.  This resulted in the transfer of all staff from North Bay to Sudbury, including Walter in his position.

This occurred in 1960 when he was 62 years of age, which consequently resulted in his return to North Bay when he reached the company specification of retirement at 65.

During the lives of Walter and his wife Violet they had two children, me and my sister Norma, two grandchildren Karen and Scott and five great grandchildren subsequently.

Until he deceased in 1987, Walter was a constant personage of this City’s heritage era.  In all of the years of his employment here he occupied a second floor office of our historic CPR Station; it was actually the birthplace of the City of North Bay.