Norm Phee and Friends

L-R   Norm Phee, age four, with two friends. Courtesy of Antigonish Heritage Museum. Restoration: Betty Cameron

B3 - Norm Phee

Dr. Pat Walsh included this photo in his 1989 The History of Antigonish (p. 133).   In email correspondence of May 29, 2014 with Dorothy, he expanded on this photo and its significance:

The photo of the three boys is of special interest to me. Back in Antigonish, we used to have a Saturday Senate, of “very important people” [at least in their own terms], Antigonishers, that met every Saturday, initially at Farmer Brown’s at the East End, and gradually moving at various times when that place closed, to Tim Horton’s and the Dairy Queen on James Street. The VIPs included Doctor Cecil MacLean, Clarence Chadwick, Donald Gillis, Huntley MacIsaac, Blaise Cameron, Ralph Schurman, Archie MacLean, Dave Moeller, [and sons], Jake MacIsaac when in town, and your humble correspondent. Each week we would solve all the problems of Antigonish [town and gown], and Nova Scotia, Canada, the USA, the Church and the World! There was only one problem—no one was listening to us—so you see the state of the world today as a result!

Being a slow learner, I started a ‘Senate West’ out here in Calgary—with, I must say, similar results. But the pizzas at “CocoBrooks” are not only good, but reasonably priced. In our western Senate [53 members, with an average of about 8 or 10 attending weekly] we have representatives from the East: myself, as convener and CAPO: Jack Nearing of Cape Breton, who taught education at X before becoming CEO of the Separate School board here]; Pat Hanlon from Havre Boucher [and son Gabriel 3]who was a student in my film course at St. F.X.; teachers Donna (MacEachern) Machowski and Jean (Corsten) Crawford, my former Antigonisher-X Students; Tyler Hellard, former editor of the Xaverian Weekly; and Antigonisher who took my film course, Brad MacPherson, before he left to become a successful filmmaker in Hollywood; Andrew Hanley, son of Joy and Ray, a teacher in Calgary—and now to the photo of the three boys—Bobby Phee, son of Norm Phee, the littlest boy in the photo. Bobby after retiring from the US Marine Seals, is now foreman of the high-construction cranes for the new skyscrapers in Calgary, as well as in such places as Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Dubai, among other far lands. It’s a great tradition, this Senate, but one of our Senators, Dave Fenton, from Halifax and a grad of St. Mary’s, often finds the Antigonish blather hard to take and goes out for a smoke to take a break.



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