Moseley-Williams, Derry & Stella #492

Honoured by Donald, John and Peter Moseley-Williams and their families.

On behalf of Derry and Stella’s three sons, their spouses, 10 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, we would like to tell the story of their lives and how they were involved with the North Bay Waterfront.

Thurston Derrick   (Derry)  Moseley-Williams was born on May17th, 1915 in Latchford, Ontario, the son of Thurston Moseley-Williams (1888-1959) of Manchester, England and Mabel Foot (1887-1976) of Parry Sound, Ontario.

Derry was the eldest brother to Mary-1916, Walter-1918, Edward (Ted)-1919, Barbara-1923, Gerald-1925 and Elizabeth-1931. The Moseley-Williams family moved from Latchford   to spend the twenties in New Liskeard and Hailebury, including the Great Hailebury  Fire of 1922. With the advent of the “great depression” the family moved to Timmins and then North Bay in the mid- thirties.

Derry finished his education in Hailebury and worked for a short time in Timmins before joining Silverwood’s Dairy in North Bay in the mid 1930’s. Derry played baseball, cards (cribbage) and enjoyed fishing-especially on Lake Temagami, where he would spend wonderful times with his brothers, family and friends for the rest of his life.

Stella Marie Lydford was born on March 1st, 1920 in Bournemouth, England, the daughter of Harold O. Lydford (1888-1969) of Bournemouth, England and Emily Hyde (1887-1964) of Northants, England.

Stella was the third child, with older sisters   Muriel -1915 and Gwen -1917 and younger brother Jack -1922. The Lydford’s immigrated to Canada in 1923 and lived in Toronto, Niagara-on the Lake and Pembroke before moving to North Bay in 1934.

Stella completed her education at North Bay CI&VS and joined the office staff of Richardson’s Hardware in 1937.  She later worked for the CNR and Mr. J.W. Trussler.  Stella enjoyed photography, sewing and helping her father with the Boy Scout program at Trinity United Church.

Derry and Stella were married at Trinity United Church in North Bay on September 13th, 1941.

The couple have three sons, Donald James- 1944, John Walter- 1946 and Peter Harold- 1948.

From 1946 to 1959 Derry and Stella owned and operated “Derry’s Lunch” at 382 Algonquin Ave. The restaurant was a favorite spot for business people and students from the local high schools.  They were both involved in many social and fund raising events in the community.

Derry was an active member of the North Bay Kinsmen Club. He also coached the Bourke Street playground Bantam Fastball team (10-12 year olds) for several   years. The team enjoyed a pop at the restaurant after every win.

Stella was an active member of the Kinette Club and especially enjoyed making dolls clothes to be sold at the Christmas Tea as a fundraiser for her club.

During these years Derry and Stella rented cottages on Trout Lake for the month of August. Sullivan’s Cabins at Anita Avenue and Highway 63 and the Bona Vista Cabins on Dugas Bay.

In June 1959 they sold the restaurant and bought their first home at 492 Greenwood Avenue.

Derry took over the bait business, snack bar and long term parking (for French River summer residents who used the Chief Commanda to get to their cottages) at the government dock.  This was a time when the waterfront was a sandy parking lot and some storage sheds for Young’s Marine.   He later added the Dickie Dee ice cream carts to his summer businesses.

In the winter he was Manager of the North Bay Granite Curling Club, where he was known to serve “spicy” chili at many bonspiels.  Derry enjoyed curling in many bonspiels for the competitiveness and fellowship.

He was a member of the Association Canadian Travellers and the North Bay Legion Branch 23.

Derry died in September 1975 at the age of 60.

After selling the restaurant in 1959 Stella went to work as a secretary. In the spring of 1963 Mr. Bishop, Principal of Chippewa Secondary School, asked Stella to start teaching a Girls Two Year Occupational Program.  This program involved teaching hairdressing, cooking, baby care, retailing and personal finances. This was to give the students a better opportunity to find meaningful employment after graduation.    Stella attended night and summer  school through Nipissing University and received her BA in Geography in 1979. Stella took a sabbatical in 1978/79 and attended the University Of Syracuse, New York and the University of Canberra, in Australia, to further her education with “challenged students”.

Over the next three decades she was able to travel extensively and saw much of the world. In all Stella did 48 trips, 42 outside of Canada, including India, Russia, China and Australia three times.  In Canada she saw every province and the Yukon and Northwest Territories. She also enjoyed gardening, painting in oils and water colours, golfing, curling, sewing her own clothes and re-decorating her home.

Stella retired in June 1984 after completing 21 years of teaching at Chippewa Secondary School.

In 1986 Stella moved to the Woodland Condos on Lindsay Street.  She lived there until 2009 when she moved into the Empire Living Centre.

Stella was an active member of the North Bay Literacy Council (President for 3 terms) and in 2006 she received the Ontario Volunteer Service Award for 25 years of active participation. She was also a member of North Bay Living Fit and enjoyed the activities and outings.  She participated on her condo board and the Board of TrinityUnited Church.

In 1997 Stella joined the North Bay Heritage Gardeners and became a “Master Gardener”.  For the next decade she and her team cared for the flower gardens behind the park bench dedicated to Derry at the waterfront. The bench is situated in the area where he had had his businesses for 16 years.

On the bench the inscription reads –

“If only you could see the waterfront now.”