Fred Morris/ From the desk of a gadfly


One of the first residents of Traill Avenue listed in the 1955 Henderson Directory was Harold Wilding, a CN accountant. Harold worked for 50 years at CN. After his retirement, CN gave Harold the pen that he used to sign about 11 million pay cheques. Believe it or not the direct deposit system for paying employees is relatively new. 

Another original resident, Mary Dayment, lived to be 98 years old.

Anthony and Anne Siwicki lived on Traill. Anthony was one of the founders of the Silver Heights Restaurant. By 1964, the Silver Heights Restaurant was completely owned by the Siwicki family. Silver Heights is known for its ribs. 

Between the mid 1950s and the mid 1970s, Albert Zoratti and his brother Gus owned a downtown restaurant called Zorattis. The restaurant featured spaghetti, meatballs, and other Italian food favourites. Albert's wife Florence took an active part in the restaurant.

Walter Oakes worked for 50 years at Wilson Stationery. Walter Ross worked for 40 years at Burns Foods. Rick Shone has owned Wilderness Supply for 22 years. Wilderness Supply, with locations in Central Winnipeg and Thunder Bay, sells and rents supplies for our wilderness adventures. Canoes kayaks, hiking supplies, life jackets, outdoor boots and tents are some of the items that they sell at their stores and online.

Mary Ewasko was a teacher for 35 years. Mary’s last school was Kirkfield Park School. Norval Brown was the vice principal of Acadia Junior High and Chancellor School. Norval headed the science department at Fort Richmond Collegiate. During his career in education, Ryan Miller has served as a teacher and guidance counsellor at Brooklands School, the vice principal of Stevenson Britannia, the principal of Jameswood Alternative School and the principal of Linwood School. Ryan is currently the principal of Athlone School. 

Mildred Maybee, a nurse, was the president of the Greater Winnipeg Women's Auxiliary of the CNIB. In 1975, Robert Docking was awarded a U of W Gold Medal for English. Jean Brown has served for decades on the Altar Guild of the church of St. Stephen and St. Bede. 

In the 1963 Henderson Directory, St. James Place at 2345 Portage right at the corner of Traill and Portage is listed for the first time.

A block of Grey Cup Champions: Norm and Clare Rauhaus were a couple of the original residents. Norm had already won four Grey Cup Championships with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers when they won Grey Cups in 1958, 1959, 1961, and 1962. In the 1990s Father Wilfred Daniels, a Roman Catholic priest, lived in the same block. Wilfred played on the 1941 Winnipeg Blue Bombers Grey Cup Championship team. 

I do not usually go back to the 1800s because it is difficult to figure out the location of certain homes. However, there is one family who cannot be left out. In May 1880, the family of John and Letita Mooney moved from Chatsworth, Ont. to Manitoba's Souris River Valley. John, and his two oldest sons went to Western Manitoba to build the new family home. Letita and the other four children, Jack, Elizabeth, Hannah, and Nellie (the youngest at the age of 6) lived in Silver Heights for about three months. The Mooneys lived in a haunted(?) house next door to Donald Smith's Silver Heights Mansion. The house may have been where Traill Avenue is now located. During the summer, the Mooneys attended St. James Anglican Church. Reverend Cyprian Pinkham and his wife Jean Ann Pinkham provided various family programs as part of their ministry. Robert and Jane Tait lived at Portage and Belvidere. The Mooney children became friends with Herbie, Ellen and Addie Tait, three of the Tait Children. Nellie Letitia Mooney McClung became an author, teacher, and political activist. Nellie became a leader in the suffragette movement. On January 28, 1914, at the Walker Theatre, Nellie, a member of Political Equality League, played Premier Rod Roblin in satire featuring a women's Parliament denying men the right to vote. In 1916, Manitoba became the first province to give most women the right to vote. Nellie is remembered by the Famous 5 monument on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature, and Nellie McClung Park on Wolseley Avenue.

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