We are sharing the stories that appeared on the front page of the Northland Post 50 years ago.
Two Scouts and Cub honoured for valour
Brothers Patrick O’Connor, 12, a Boy Scout, and Bernard O’Connor, 10, a Cub will receive the Bronze Cross for their part in probably saving the life of Barry Toal, 11.
Scout Robert Hutchinson, 12, will be awarded a Certificate for Meritorious Conduct for his part in the effort. It is believed that this is the first time such awards have gone to Cochrane boys.
On June 14, 1970 the four boys and Teddy Hargrave were playing in a sand pit between the construction site of the new high school and Lady Minto Hospital. The boys were climbing a 70-foot bank of the pit when sand and gravel began to fall, knocking down and burying Barry Toal, who was about half-way up the slope.
He was completely buried under the debris except for the small part of his head, and was complaining of severe plain in his head and back.
Teddy Hargrave, Patrick and Bernard O’Connor began digging him out, while Bobby Hutchinson cycled for assistance. However, by the time he returned, the boys had young Toal dug out and in Lady Minto Hospital, where he spent several days.
The Cochrane detachment of the OPP believes the coolness and alertness of the youngsters avoided a near tragedy.
As a direct result of this incident the OPP issued a warning in the Northland Post, and the engineer of mines declared the pit unsafe. The high bank was cut and a fence installed at the top. Also, other gravel and sandpits in the area are being inspected regularly.
The O’Connor brothers will receive their medals from Chief Scout, Governor-General Roland Michener, in a special ceremony at Government House in Ottawa in November.
Canadian Forces Central Band presents striking entertainment
Cochrane students and adults were treated to an outstanding musical performance on Wednesday, April 21. Some 1500 heard the Canadian Forces Central Band in one of three presentations at the Cochrane High School gym.
The 60-member band which, since its formation in 1968, has preformed several times in West Germany, France, Cyprus and Switzerland as well as many Canadian cities, is unsurpassed in its versatility.
The performances were free. Arrangements for the band to come to Cochrane were made by Ralph Stewart, Cochrane MP and the Cochrane Board of Trade, who were their hosts for the day. The group was given a tour of Cochrane Enterprises Ltd. and entertained with cocktails at the company’s guest house prior to dinner hosted by the Board of Trade.
Files courtesy of the Cochrane Public Library archives