Elliott, Shirley & Dinty #667 *

Honoured by:

Sandy & Barry Elliott; Lynne & Tim Williams; Karen, Misha, Cassidy & Chris Williams, Beth, Sara, Ryan &Mike Williams; Jason Williams; Kerri Williams; Cora & Richard Hudebine; Jennifer, Emily, Kaylee & Richard Derstroff; Kristen, Christopher, Brooke & Jeff Hudebine; Elenore & Ken Grozelle; Norma & Gord Elliott; Shirley & Garry Hartwick; Jennifer, Avery, Harrison & John Harwick; Tracy, Sam, Elliott & Andy Hartwick; Jane & Bob Graham; Deb Elliott and Thomas Elliott; Mary Elliott; Louise Sargent; David, Katie & Ben Sargent; Dee & Dennis Risk; Kathy & Jim Elliott; Bob & Deb Elliott; Nora & Don Coutts.

Shirley W. (Caley) & J.C. Dinty Elliott

This leaf was presented to Shirley and “Dinty”Elliott on 20th February 2013 by a number of the Elliott family, to commemorate their 70th Wedding Anniversary, at a dinner held in their honour, at Churchill’s Restaurant in North Bay.  By way of thanks for this gift, we would like to present a story of our 70 years of happily married life—

Shirley Windsor Caley, the eldest daughter of Gordon Caley and Muriel Caley (Windsor), was born in the Civic Hospital in North Bay, ON, on 11th September, 1923, and lived at 236 Second Avenue, East.  She graduated from McIntyre Street Elementary (King Edward) School, and went on to Secondary School at North Bay Collegiate Institute and Vocational School, graduating as an honour student in Jr. Matriculation and Special Commercial.  She participated in the school’s activities and was a member of the Literary Society and the Students Council.  She was a member of St. Andrew’s United Church, and active in the C.G.I.T. She was an avid reader and enjoyed writing stories.

Johnston Clayton “Dinty” Elliott, the second son of Chrles and Edna Elliott (deGuehery) was born in Chalk River, ON, on 23rd September, 1920 and the family moved to North Bay, ON in 1921, where Charles was the General Yardmaster for the C.P.R.  After graduating from Worthington Street Elementary (Queen Victoria) School, he attended N.B.C.I. & V.S., graduating with Sr. Matriculation.  Dinty was very active in Cubs, Scouts, the school Cadet Corps, photography, swimming, skiing and an active member of the 1st Baptist Church youth groups.

Our story is like the traditional romantic novel – boy meets girl, they fall in love, boy goes off to war, girl goes to work, boy returns to his home town, they get married, have a family, enjoy grandchildren, travel, retire, happily celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary with family!!

Back in the pre World War II years, the country had just come out of a severe depression, and most teen-agers were in high school, enjoying sports, dances, school activities, and life was good.  One summer, Dinty and several of his Boy Scout friends volunteered as Counselors at the North Bay Rotary Club’s Camp Tillicum for Disabled children, located on the South Shore of Lake Nipissing.  It happened that one of the Counselors received a letter from a classmate, Shirley Caley, and with some “persuasion” shared it with the rest of the Counselors.  Dinty was impressed by the letter and told another Counselor, Bruce Book, who knew Shirley,  that he would like to meet the girl.  About a month later, the two boys cycled down to Second Avenue East and Dinty was introduced to Shirley – under a lamp-post in the rain!  Thus started a beautiful and lasting romance!

After graduating high school, World War II was raging, life changed quickly.  Shirley was the first girl hired by the T7NO Railway General Office to replace men who had enlisted; in 1940 Dinty joined the 16th Field Ambulance, R.C.A.M.C., training in North Bay, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Debert, NS until 1942 when he was posted to the North Bay Military Hospital as administrator.  On 20th February, 1943 Shirley and Dinty were married in the St. Andrew’s U.C. Manse, and the couple moved to an apartment off Base.

Shirley resigned from the railway and on 14 April, 1944 their son Barry was born.  Life changes to a family story.

Dinty, now with the rank of Sgt., was discharged from the Medical Corps in December, 1945 after five and a half years of service.  He was offered the position as Office Manager for the Ontario Northland Boat Lines, a subsidiary of the Ontario Northland Railway, in Temagami, located about 60 miles north of North Bay.  In the spring of 1946 the family moved to a company cabin in Temagami, a very busy tourist, mining and lumbering community situated on beautiful Lake Temagami.  The ONBL was an important employer and business in the community, operating 26 boats to provide several thousand cottagers, tourists, camps with passenger and freight services.  Temagami and its people became very dear to our hearts, and we made many close friends whom are cherished to this day.

In the winter of 1948, Shirley became ill, and Temagami having no resident doctor, she had to spend several months living with her parents in North Bay.  She prematurely gave birth to our twin daughters, Karen and Lynne on 19 February, but unfortunately Karen lived only one day.  Lynne survived and grew up healthy and strong.  Temagami was a great place to raise our children, particularly with a love of nature and travel.

1955 was a year of change.  Dinty was appointed Temagami’s Postmaster, a position he held for 17 years, and thoroughly enjoyed his work serving its people.  It was also the year the family moved into their newly built home; bought their first car; and Shirley began work as a bookkeeper for Lorne Pacey’s Insurance Company.  All the family were deeply involved in community activities and organizations.  Dinty built a darkroom in our basement, and revived his long-time interest in photography – he became known as the town’s photographer, recording a variety of activities.

It seemed like no time, but actually 10 years flew by, and the children had finished school, and were out on their own. Shirley and Dinty felt it was time for another change, and in 1974 Dinty was promoted to Postmaster in Bracebridge, ON, then to North Bay to the Personnel Department of Canada Post’s Northern District Office, where he eventually became its Personnel Manager.  On moving to North Bay, the couple bought Dinty’s parents’ home on Lakeshore Drive on the shores of Lake Nipissing, did some major renovations and landscaping.  Ten years later, Dinty and Shirley spent a year in Ottawa where Dinty was on assignment with the Rideau Division of Canada Post before retirement to North Bay in 1984, ending a working career of some 38 years.

During all our married life our family loved to travel – our vacations always included travel to explore our country near and far.  When the children were school-age, we camped from coast to coast in Canada and the U.S.A. Our children still carry on the travel tradition, and have travelled the world over.  Shirley and Dinty have made excursions to the British Isles and Europe – our preferred mode of travel is by train, having crossed both Canada and the U.S.A. several times on lengthy trips each year.

Now, after over 70 years of happily married life together, and in our senior years, we find ourselves in a retirement residence, getting our travel enjoyment from viewing videos taken years ago, and watching travel films.  We still like to motor around this beautiful part of Ontario and enjoy our lives to the full, with the hope of more pleasant years together.