- Rotary Club (bursary fundraiser) sponsoring “Broadway Singers” and Julie Rochus; Aylmer Baptist Church; 7:30 pm; $20
- ‘Help Haiti Now’ Concert at Grace United St.Thomas, featuring Don Durkee , Tom Starks; 7:30 pm; $15
-(Next Week: Aylmer Spring Brush pickup – see town web site for details.)
-Aylmer EMMC Church: Cropping and Scrapping Fundraiser; 9:30-4:30; $35.
“THE SURVEY SAYS: “The vote was close – 19-16 in favour of those who felt the Bayham Pilgrims should now give up the Estherville fight.”
‘THE SATURDAY C(S)EREAL” = “INTERVIEW = John Wilson”
(John Wilson of Dufferin St., Aylmer, has lived his whole life in town. His father John L. Wilson founded the Aylmer Steam Laundry, in the building just north of the library.)
1.EARLY LIFE - He was born in 1925 – his parents John and Eva (Peckham) lived on Queen St. North. In 1906 his father and grandmother started a laundry uptown on Talbot St. west. They bought out another new laundry business which was called Aylmer Steam Laundry a few years later and moved both operations into a new building just around the corner on John St. South in 1921. He remembers as a boy playing in the old ‘haunted and abandoned’ Aylmer Pump and Scale Factory across the street from his home behind the present United Church. He recalls the older grades having to attend classes in the Hat Factory on Myrtle St. as the new High School was being built in 1938 – and then has recollection of bricks falling off the classroom walls as the contractors were later sued by the school board for poor workmanship. Boys who snuck down in the basement of the school to smoke were usually caught. He worked at the Steam Laundry during his high school summers. He was a member of the Aylmer Boys Band, practicing in a Bandhouse on the site of the present Bandshell.
2.LATER LIFE: He went to work for the Laundry after High School where his two older brothers and sister also worked but he didn’t like it so moved on to other jobs. He worked several years at White Electric, then Robertons Furnishings uptown servicing appliances, then Robinson Hardware and then McClays Jewellers. He married Phyllis Thomson of Toronto; they met while she was a new teacher at the Aylmer High School. They built the house he still lives in fifty years ago. He also was a Scoutmaster in town for 33 years. Another more recent hobby was his purchase of a 1930 Ford Model A Coupe which he still drives and shows regularly . He has already had a run down to Port Bruce this spring.
3.MEMORIES OF AYLMER: He remembers the Brown House Fire of 1934 as his older siblings hauled him out of bed at 4 am to view the fatal blaze. He watched from his house as smoke poured out of the Capital theatre uptown when it burnt. He visited the Aylmer Train station often as the Aylmer Steam Laundry shipped/received their goods by train before truck freighting became affordable. The Steam Laundry was sold to Ray Shepherd and Bob McEown of Aylmer in 1946 and they renamed it Aylmer Cleaners and relocated it uptown to the north side of Talbot St. west.