19 November 2012

Perth Historical Society Meeting: The Early Days at Christie Lake

The next Perth Historical Society meeting  at 7:30 pm, Wednesday November 21, at the Perth Museum, at 11 Gore Street E. in Perth welcomes one of the area’s favourite local historians and presenters, John McKenty.  John will discuss the background to his recently released book 'Arden Blackburn’s Mail Route: The Early Days at Christie Lake'.

Christie Lake, in Tay Valley Township, west of Perth, is the third largest lake in the Tay River Watershed.  From its earliest days, the lake became a community that transcended politics, religion and sometimes, even family – who, over the years, demonstrated a ready willingness to help each other.  This was a bond born in nature and driven by necessity.  So it was that folks at the lake worked and played together and often came together to celebrate the beauty that surrounded them.  While families such as the Marks, the Noonans and the Jordans left an indelible mark on the lake, it was the community’s mailman, Arden Blackburn, who used the North Shore Road to weave an unmistakable thread through this unlikely mix of permanent residents and summer vacationers.
 John McKenty, born in Peterborough, received his B.A. and B.Ed. from Queen’s University and his M.A. from the University of Western Ontario.  He and his wife Zeta live in Drummond/North Elmsley Township; they have three children and four grandchildren.  John retired as a high school principal in 2006 after more than 30 years as an educator.
Author McKenty’s works demonstrate a deep interest in the everyday parts of the lives of community people – service station operators, factory workers, mailmen.  In his words: “It’s not the stuff of which legends are made, but the stuff by which history is made.”  From his interest in these elements, John has written and published three well-known, popular earlier books:  Square Deal Garage: Sixty Years of Service to the Motoring Public; Follow the Crowd: The James Boys of Perth; and Canada Cycle & Motor: The CCM Story.

Thanks to David Taylor for the notice.

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