Fred Morris
From the desk of a gadfly

Fred Morris
From the desk of a gadfly

There were many small grocery stores on Brooklyn Street.

Thomas Holland was a pioneer businessman who operated a downtown restaurant at 306 Hargrave Street. In the 1916 Henderson Directory, the St. James Buffet is listed under the direction of Mr. Holland at 205 Brooklyn Street. By 1920, the buffet was simply referred to as a restaurant. It eventually evolved into a grocery store. After the January 1929 death of Thomas, his widow Mary continued operating the store for the final four decades of her life. The Hollands were listed as long time Brooklyn Street residents.

In the 1970's, Everett and Hilda West operated the store. The Wests have previously operated Westy's Food Market, Westy's Meats, and Ferry Road Grocery.

After World War 2, Joseph and Caroline Dancho built and operated Dancho Grocertia at Brooklyn and Silver. A couple of generations of Britannia School students have fond memories of the Dancho Groceteria. In 1981, the Danchos, who were married 65 years, retired to the Anola area.

In 1985, the northwest corner of Brooklyn and Ness became the David Johnston Memorial Park. David, a Parkview Street resident, served for 23 years as a St. James School Trustee and St. James Alderman. David was involved in the construction of the Portage Avenue St. James Collegiate and the St. James Civic Centre. The Park is one of three Ness Avenue Parks that remembers the St. James Civic Centre Aldermen.

In the early 1960's, the residential part of Brooklyn on the west side of the street north of Silver began to evolve into a commercial area. Some of the businesses who have operated on this part of Brooklyn include Tasty Minits Foods, Simplex International Time Equipment, Chemwest Cleaning Supplies, Early Bird Courier, and Abar Industries.

Some of the people who have lived part of their lives on Brooklyn Street

There are many Brooklyn Street human interest stories. In the Boxing Day 1925 Winnipeg Free Press, Ella Botten was ine of the winners of the Free Press Colouring Contest. Shirley Warren won a 1929 Winnipeg Free Press Coloring Contest. In 1933, Rex Hugh Sullivan's dog won the Dog Derby at the Isaac Brock Community Club. On December 4, 1943, Eileen and Victor Jonasson (on leave from the War) were married in the home of Eileen's parents, Eva and Charles Dieppe. In 1951, Jennie Mackie won first prize in a knitting competition at Toronto's Canadian National Exhibition.

On February 29, 1952, Stephen Hetherington was born. Both Stephen and his mother Joan were leap year babies. For Mother's Day 1957, the Winnipeg Free Press ran a feature on babies born on the previous Mother's Day. One of the pictured babies was Guyllaume Provencher, son of Lac and Joan Provencher. In 1962, Ruby Hosaki was crowned Miss Valentine at the Japanese Canadian Citizens Association Dance. In 1965/66, Barry Carlson edited the Student Prints a St. James Collegiate Newspaper.

Bill Hobson became an Honorary life Member of the Winnipeg Minor Hockey Association.

Gord Sparkes's first home was on Brooklyn Street. Gord was the Second on Barry Fry's 1979 Manitoba Men's Championship team. Gord is a member of the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame and a Life Member of the Manitoba Curling Association.

In the early 2000's Jennifer Jones lived on Brooklyn Street. In 2005, Jennifer made what is known as the Shot to win the Scotties. Jones was able to score four to defeat Jenn Hanna eight to six. Jones has 11 Manitoba Championships, six Scotties and one Olympic Gold and counting.

Many Brooklyn Street residents distinguished themselves in various professions. Albert Knight worked for 36 years as a delivery driver at Eaton’s. Don McLellan worked for 36 years at the Winnipeg Free Press. Robert Todd worked at CPR for 43 consecutive years. In 1971, Al Price who grew up on Brooklyn became the manager of Canada's first A.& W at 3095 Portage Avenue. Tony Miguez worked for 22 years in the family refuse business and 24 years in a supervisory position with City's Public Works Department. Shirley "Ginger" Miguez worked as a swimming instructor and Lifeguard at the Sherbrook Pool and YMCA.

In the early 1960's the Charleswood Brooklyn Street was renamed Lynbrook Drive.

We have now mentioned over 1,100 St. James Residents in this series. I am sure that we will reach 2,000.

Fred Morris is a Grandfather; Sports Fan and Political Activist.

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