Ozzie Williams and his Orchestra

By Kes Murray, Registrar

One of my current projects here in the archives is re-organizing our oversize photograph and document boxes. This will make finding photographs and documents much easier. Of course, going through these boxes sometimes brings about mysteries or excitement, especially when I find something that hasn’t been seen in some time.

One such document that made many of us here at the museum stop and look was a poster from the Jubilee Pavilion, advertising Ozzie Williams and his Orchestra. No one had seen the poster in some time, which led to the question, who was Ozzie Williams and his Orchestra, and what was his connection to the Jubilee Pavilion?

Colour, illustrated poster for Ozzie Williams and his Orchestra, performing at the Jubilee Pavilion
Ozzie Williams and his Orchestra poster, Jubilee Pavilion; Oshawa Museum archival collection (AX991.18.1)

Ozzie Williams, writes the website The Toronto Historical Jukebox, started his career all the way back in the early 1930s. Williams made his name as a band leader leading orchestras at popular dance halls in Toronto, like the Kingsway Club and the Embassy.

The 1930s were the time of the “Big Band,” large orchestra-type bands that played jazz music. Big Bands enjoyed wide success through their radio work and public appearances, like in dance halls.

Advertisement for Ozzie Williams performing at the Jubilee Pavilion
Advertisement from the Jubilee Pavilion for Ozzie Williams; Oshawa Museum archival A999.17.1

Thinking of dance halls, the Jubilee Pavilion has a special place amongst many residents of Oshawa. Built in 1927, it has served as the venue for many bands over their almost 100 years in service. Thanks to some sleuthing in the Toronto Star Archives through the Toronto Public Library, I learned that Williams played at the Jube in 1936. In his book, Let’s Dance: A Celebration of Ontario’s Dance Halls and Summer Dance Pavilions, Peter Young writes, “Big Bands were usually hired [at the Jube] for the whole summer, performing six nights per week, and would often stay in cottages very nearby… Some of the popular bands to perform at the Jube included Ozzie Williams, Stan Williams and His Blue Marines, Boyd Valleau, Jack Denton and Pat Riccio.”

Newspaper ad for Ozzie Williams, performing at the Jubilee Pavilion
Toronto Star, July 30, 1936, 37.

From Young’s excerpt, we learn more of Williams’s time here in Oshawa. The fact that bands were hired for an entire summer explains why the poster has June, July, and August on the bottom. Also, that many bands stayed in cottages in Lakeview Park explains why we have a photograph of Williams in our Lowry Collection. The Lowry Lakeview Park Collection contains hundreds of photographs of Lakeview Park, mostly from the 1930s. In this photograph, Williams sitting with an individual named Georgie Robinson. We can assume that this photograph was taken when Williams lived in the Park

Sepia toned photograph of a Caucasian man and Caucasian woman posed for a photograph on the ground. There is a person on a bicycle behind them.
Ozzie Williams on right, Georgie Robinson on left, in Lakeview Park. From the Lowry Lakeview Park Collection, Oshawa Museum archival collection (A996.20.128)

Although Williams’s entire life is still a mystery, his time here in Oshawa seemed rather busy, with many nights played at the Jube. I absolutely loved looking in Williams’s time here in Oshawa. All of this really gives us a snapshot at what nights were like at the Jube and the bands that played there.

Sources consulted:


McNamara, Helen. “Dance bands”. The Canadian Encyclopedia, 13 June 2014, Historica Canada. www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/dance-bands-emc. Accessed 11 May 2023.

Young, Peter. Let’s Dance: A Celebration of Ontario’s Dance Halls and Summer Dance Pavilions. Toronto, National Heritage, 2002.

The Campfire Blanket Legacy

By Jill Passmore, Visitor Experience Coordinator

You may have heard that the Oshawa Museum is gearing up for Be Prepared, a new feature exhibit about local Guiding and Scouting, set to open in the Fall. My family was involved in Guiding and Scouting for many years. I was involved as a child, and my children have participated in the organizations as well.

Colour photograph of a Caucasian woman, standing outside a yellow house, holding a grey blanket. The blanket has various badges sewn onto it.
Jill and her father’s campfire blanket

In previous blog posts, I’ve mentioned my family’s campfire blankets. When the Museum announced this exhibit, my father, Roland Thurn, generously donated his campfire blanket to the Museum. I spent a day or two reexamining the blanket in its glory. Dad always had more patches/badges, and better patches/badges, than we did. In true Thurn fashion, I created a spreadsheet to track what was sewn on. Since patches can be very similar, I needed to add columns as I went along. The final identifiers are type (novelty, uniform, patrol), shape, background colour, text, text colour, trim colour, organization, details, year, thread colour, and notes (See photo).

The oldest patches date back to the 1960s when Roland was a part of The Life Boys organization. The Life Boys was a Christian organization similar to Scouting. It is an offshoot of the Boys Brigade that was founded in 1883, now known as the Christian Service Brigade. The logos on each are a variation of a blue and gold life preserver and anchor with the motto, ‘Sure and Steadfast.’

Roland re-joined the Scouting movement when his son, my brother, was old enough to join Beavers. In Port Credit, Ontario, they were a part of the 5th Port Credit group. However, after only a year, the family moved to Oshawa where they joined the 24th Oshawa unit.

Side by side colour photographs. On the left is a young boy wearing a scout uniform. On the right is an older man wearing a scout uniform
Roland Thurn wearing different scouting uniforms

There are so many patches that reveal how committed the leaders in this group were, patches representing Apple Day (I still get apples on Apple Day if I happen to be out), Trees Canada, Pinewood Derby Kub Kar races (held at Camp Samac), Winter Activity Days, and Jamborees. The pièce de résistance is a 10-inch cross-stitched wolf Roland’s mother made. He sewed it at the centre of the blanket, where Scouters and Guiders sometimes cut a hole to create a poncho.

Working on this project inspired me to unpack my blanket and start sewing on unattached patches so I could donate it to the OM too. Did you ever have a campfire blanket from Guiding or Scouting? What is your favourite patch or memory associated with it? You can see Roland’s blanket displayed when Be Prepared opens this fall.

The Month That Was – May 1872

Content warning – one article discusses a murder, suicide attempts, and domestic violence.

Canadian Statesman, 2 May 1872, page 2
Mount Vesuvius has again been emitting volumes of fire and lava, and quite a number of lives have been destroyed thereby. Residents in the vicinity who escaped destruction have fled from the Mount, and suffering is widespread.

Whitby Chronicle, 2 May 2, 1872, page 2
Pickering Spring Fair
The Spring Fair of the Agricultural Society of the township of Pickering was held at Brougham on Wednesday last. – The attendance was large, as usual.  The entries were not so numerous as we have seen at former fairs, numbering only 45 altogether.  The quality of the animals, as might be expected, was, however, excellent.  The following is the Prize List:

Draught Stallion – Wm. West, 1st; West & Storey, 2nd; J. Whiteside, 3rd.
Canadian Draught Stallion – Robert Annan, [1st]; B. Stopover, 2nd; J.V. Spears, 3rd.
2-yr old colt, draught – Jas, I. Davidson.
2-yr old colt, Canadian draught – D.S. McFarlane, 1st; R. Fisher, 2nd.
Bull, calved since Jan. ‘71 – John Miller, 1st; John Wilson, 2nd; Thomas Bennet, 3rd.
Bull, calved since Jan. ‘70 – Birrell & Johnston, 1st; J. Thompson, 2nd; Isaac Middleton, 3rd.
Aged bull – John Miller, 1st and 3rd; John Rusnell, 2nd.
Blood Stallion – Wm. Linton, 1st.
Saddle or Carriage Stallion – S. Beattie, 1st; E. Major, 2nd; J. Lehman, 3rd.
General Purpose Stallion – Jas. Paul, 1st; R.S. Wilson, 2nd; J. Hunter [3rd].
2 bushels of Clover Seed – James Whitson, 1st; R. Fuller, 2nd.
2 bushels of Timothy Seed – James Whitson, 1st; D/S/ McFarlane, 2nd. 

Whitby Chronicle, 9 May 1872, page 2
Under Sentence of Death
William Caulfield, cooper, of Oshawa, a man of about 55 years of age, now lies under sentence of death in Whitby gaol, for the murder of his wife. A report of the trail will be found in other columns. This is the first murder trial that has taken place in the County of Ontario since the county was set off, now ninteen (sic) years ago. Caulfield is a native of Ireland; he is the father of a grown up family of four children – two young women, daughters, and two sons. It appears from all the facts that the condemned man and his unfortunate wife led a most unhappy life. Both were given to drink, and violent quarrels frequently took place.  More than once before it is states, the woman attempted to make away with her own life, and the doubt remains, in the face of Caulfield’s protestations of innocence, whether she was not driven to do so in one of her desperate fits of bad temper. A petition is going for the rounds, we understand for signature, praying that the extreme penalty of the law may not be carried out, and there is reason to believe that the parties interesting themselves in the matter will be successful in securing a commutation of the sentence of death.

Newspaper ad for Bambridge Carriages
Ontario Reformer, 10 May 1872, p. 4

Ontario Reformer, 10 May 1872, page 2
Village Council
Council met on Monday evening last.  Present: the Reeve in the chair, and Mesars. Cowan, Luke, and Cameron.  Minutes of last meeting read and approved.

Moved by Mr. Luke, seconded by Mr. Cameron, – That the Court of Revision be held on the 16th inst. Carried.

The following accounts were read, and ordered to be paid: W. Glennie, services as Assessor, $1.10; drain digging, $20.25; Dulury, for shade trees, $11.50; J.O. Guy gravel, $10.60; indigents, $24.

Mr. McGregor inquired if it was the intention of the Council to enforce the “cow” by-law, and was answered in the affirmative. 

Mr. McGregor also asked if it was the intention of the Council to have shade trees planted on Centre Street, south.  He thought this spring would be a good time to do it, before the street was opened up, as it would save the expense of guards for them.  On being asked if he would plant the trees if furnished to him, he said he would, if the Council would send a man to help him.  Mr. Gurley was ordered to have Delury get another load of trees, and have Mr. McGregor supplied. 

Constable Gurley was authorized to procure a person to assist him in his duties, on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Mr. Cowan made a few remarks in reference to the Sewing Machine Factory.

Council adjourned, subject to call of Reeve. 

Newspaper ad for eyeglasses
Ontario Reformer, May 17, 1872, page 4

Ontario Reformer, 17 May 1872, page 2
Musical Re-union
The programme to be presented at the Re-union this evening, in connection with the Oshawa Lodge I.O. of G.T., is an exceedingly good one, and will be well carried out.  The public are cordially invited to attend.  It has been decided to charge the small admission fee of 15 cents for single tickets, and 25 cents for double tickets – the proceeds to be used in purchasing music books, etc., for use in the Temple.  Doors open at 7:30, to commence at 8 o’clock, precisely. 

The instrument to be used on the occasion, is a Taylor, Farley & Co’s organ, the property of Mr. Geo. Liddell, who has kindly lent it for the occasion, and is a first-class instrument. 

Ontario Reformer, 17 May 1872, page 2,
Serious Accident
On Sunday afternoon, May 12th, while the Rev. John McDouagh in company with his niece, Miss Armstrong, and Miss Frances McCormick, were driving from his Kirby appointment to Orono, a very serious accident occurred to them.  The horse became frightened, ran away and threw them all out of the buggy.  Miss Armstrong was but slightly injured; Miss McCormick received a compound fracture on the left leg, just below the ankle, and the right ankle was severely sprained.- The buggy turned completely over on Mr. McDonagh, and his back and one side were badly bruised, though fortunately no bones were broken.  Miss McCormick was removed to her father’s residence and Drs. Fielding and Renwick as once sent for, who carefully set the fractured limb, and at present the patient is doing well.  Mr. McDouagh and his niece were able to go on to their home in Newcastle the same evening. – Statesman

Whitby Chronicle, 30 May 1872, p. 2
Sentence of Death Commuted
The sentence of death passed on Wm. Caulfield for wife murder, has been commuted by His Excellency the Governor General, to imprisonment for life in the Provincial Penitentiary.

Newspaper ad for a circus
Ontario Reformer, May 17, 1872, page 3

Ontario Reformer, 10 May 1872, page 2
Public School Pupils
The duties of pupils attending the Public Schools of Ontario, have been defined by the Council of Public Instruction, as follows:

The Master, or Teacher of every School is by law a public officer, and, as such shall have power, and it shall be his duty to observe and enforce to following rules:

Pupils must come to school clean, and best in their persons and clothes.  They must avoid idleness, profanity, falsehood and deceit, quarreling and fighting, cruelty to dumb animals; be kind and courteous to each other, obedient to their instructors, diligent to their studies, and conform to the rules of their school.

Tardiness on the part of the pupils shall be considered a violation of the rules of the school, and shall subject the delinquentes to such penalty as the nature of the case may require, at the discretion of the master. 

No pupil shall be allowed to depart before the hour appointed for closing school, except on the account of sickness, or some pressing emergency, and then the master or teacher’s consent must first be obtained. 

A pupil absenting himself from school, except on account of sickness, or other urgent reasons satisfactory to the master or teacher, forfeits his standing in the class, and his right to attend the school for the remainder of the quarter. 

Any pupil not appearing at the regular hour of commencing any class of the school, which he may be attending without a written excuse from his parent or guardian, may be denied admittance to such school for the day, or half day, at the discretion of the teacher. 

Every pupil, once admitted to school, and duty registered, shall attend at the commencement of each term, and continue in punctual attendance until its close, or until he is regularly withdrawn by notice in writing to the teacher to that effect; and no pupil violating this rule shall be outitled to continue in such school, or be admitted to any other, until such violation is certified by the parent or guardian to have been necessary and unavoidable, which shall be done personally or in writing. 

Pupils in cities, towns and villages shall be required to attend any particular school which may be designated for them by the Inspector, with the consent of the trustees.  And the inspector alone, under the same authority, shall have the power to make transfers of pupils from one school to another. 

Any pupil absenting himself from examination, or any portion thereof, without permission of the master, shall not thereafter be admitted to any Public School, except by authority of the Inspector, in writing; and the names of such absentees shall be reported by the master immediately to the trustees; and this rule shall be read to the school just before the days of examination, at the close of each quarter. 

Pupils shall be responsible to the master for any misconduct on the school premises, or in going to or returning from school, except when accompanied by their parents or guardians, or some person appointed by them. 

No pupil shall be allowed to remain in the school unless he is furnished with the books and requirements required to be used by him in the school; but in case of a pupil’s being in danger of losing the advantages of the school, by reason of his inability to obtain the necessary books or requisites, through the poverty of his parent or guardian, the trustees have power to procure and supply such pupil with the books and requisites required. 

The foes for books and stationery, &c., as fixed by the trustees in cities and towns, whether monthly or quarterly, shall be payable in advance; and no upil shall have a right to enter or continue in the school until he shall have paid the appointed fee. 

Any property of the school that may be injured or destroyed by pupils, must be made good forthwith by the parents or guardians, under a penalty of the suspension of the delinquent pupil.

No pupil shall be admitted to, or continue in any of the Public Schools who has not been vaccinated, or who has been afflicted with, or has been exposed to, any contagious disease, until all danger from contagion from such pupil, or from the disease or exposure, shall have passed away, as certified in writing by a medical man.

No pupil shall be admitted to any Public School who has been expelled from any school, unless by the written authority of the Inspector. 

Every pupil entitled thereto shall, when he leaves or removed from a school, receive a certificate of good conduct and standing, in the form prescribed, of deserving of it. 


By Lisa Terech, Community Engagement

Located in central Oshawa, there is a modest park named Sunnyside which features greenspace, a playground, a ball diamond, and a clubhouse. Many parks around the city have their names derived from streets they are located on or local people who are influential with the area development. I had never given much thought to the name of Sunnyside Park until summer 2022 when two instances came across my desk.

Colour photograph of a park in late Fall. There is a sign reading 'Sunnyside Park'
Sunnyside Park, November 2022

While digitizing a collection of glass plate negatives, our Registrar Kes came across references to Sunnyside. This collection was related to the Albert Street Church and the Mission associated with it. Established by Alfred Schofield as early as 1907, the mission was named Sunnyside. In a column that appeared in The Christian Guardian, Rev. Henry H. Manning talked about the mission and the people it served who are “living in a section of the town of Oshawa known as Sunnyside.” One thing that is unclear is if the area was known as Sunnyside before the mission, or if the area became known as Sunnyside due to the mission. There was a house on Stacey Street which was used for mission work and a Sunday School, and it was, reportedly, called Sunnyside Hall. Finally, there is one photograph in that collection of glass plate negatives which is identified as “Mission Park, Sunnyside, May 24.”

Black and white photo of a group of children by a wooden play structure. There is an inscription at the bottom, reading: Mission Park, Sunnyside, May 24
Mission Park, Sunnyside, May 24; Oshawa Museum archival collection (A996.13.51)

Shortly after learning about Sunnyside and the Albert Street Church, I came across the second instance of the name Sunnyside.

I was listening to a recorded interview with a man named Howard Stacey, the nephew of builder and Oshawa Mayor John Stacey. The interviewer asked him many questions about the building of Staceyville (the area around Olive Avenue), about the city’s growth through the years, and about his family.

To get more information about the neighbourhood around Olive, the interviewer asked, “Now was there a park in there called Summerside or Sunnyside?” and Mr. Stacey replied,

“Oh, Sunnyside. Sometimes it was called Sunnyside. After Staceyville some people got kind of fed up with Staceyville and… they elevated the name Sunnyside to get away from Staceyville. It was always some that felt they wanted Sunnyside instead of Staceyville, that’s the way it is.”

These seem to be the only two references to a ‘Sunnyside’ neighbourhood in the archives. There is scant information about the park in the Parks subject files, and there appears to be no information about the Sunnyside Neighbourhood Association.

While it might be unclear exactly when the Sunnyside Park began, in 1922, the Ontario Reformer reported “installation of some playground equipment in the new Sunnyside Park” was addressed at the inaugural meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners in 1922.

During the 1940s, there was talk of new playground equipment, courtesy of the Kinsmen Club and also talk of expanding the park, which was “referred to the Town Planning Commission for consideration” (Daily Times-Gazette, 29 Apr 1947, p 1).

Colour photograph of a park in late Fall. There is a sign reading 'Sunnyside Park'
Sunnyside Park, November 2022

In 1967, the Oshawa Times reported that Sunnyside Park was larger around the turn of the century than it was in the Centennial year as church league baseball was played there. It reportedly “extended both north and east of its present boundaries and included the area that is now Stacey Avenue, James Street and the portion of Drew Street, north of the ‘Olive Avenue Terraces.’”

Recently, the City of Oshawa announced plans to refurbish ten city parks, Sunnyside included, and proposed changes include replacement playground equipment, site furnishings, tree plantings, and naturalization areas.

Colour photograph of a red brick building at dusk. It is late fall as the trees are bare and there are leaves on the ground
Clubhouse at Sunnyside Park, November 2022


Campbell, George H. “King’s Field, Sunnyside, Prospect, Neighborhood Parks Of Their Day.” Oshawa Times, June 24, 1967. 3G.

“Commission Will Ask Council For Half Mill To Improve The Parks.” Ontario Reformer, February 11, 1922. 1.

Manning, H. M. “A Needy Community—South Oshawa Mission.” The Christian Guardian, February 19, 1913. 28.

Pogue, Barry R. The Church With A Challenge: The Story of the South Oshawa Methodist Mission and Albert Street United Church. 1997.


Student Museum Musings: Jay

By Jay M., Co-op Student

Hello all! I’m Jay, the Co-op student for the next couple of months! I’m currently in grade 11, and I’ve definitely been enjoying my time here at the Oshawa Museum.

Growing up with someone who loves photography truly changes your perspective on everyday things. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t really enjoy photography for a little while, and every time my mom stopped to take pictures along our nature adventures, I’d groan and complain a little.

Little did I know, here I am, five years later, taking pictures as if I’ve always loved doing it.

In the later months of 2022, I really fell in love with photography again. Sunrises truly awoken the photography side of me, due to me having to “rise with the sun” to catch my bus to school. Each morning, I’d walk outside and see the beautiful sun and all the colours in the sky. I’d whip out my phone and snap multiple pictures of the sunrise.

Colour photograph of the replica longhouse in Robinson House. There are wood poles and beams, and wood lining the walls
Inside A Carrying Place, Spring 2023

Now, one thing I loved growing up was history. I was the biggest history nerd in my class, and all my friends got to experience my weekly spiel about something new I learned (they still do).

Since I’d been placed at the Oshawa Museum for my co-op class, I’ve gotten to experience things I normally wouldn’t and that includes some amazing picture opportunities. Disregarding the fact that the museum is beside Lake Ontario, it’s a beautiful place with decades of love put into it.

Despite spending most of my time in the Guy House, I saw lots of opportunities to take pictures of the houses and things inside I thought were super cool. Whether it’s while I’m waiting for something or I’m just popping in to put something back, the views at the Oshawa Museum never cease to stun me.

Colour photograph of a two storey house. The bottom storey is surrounded by stone, and the upper storey is teal painted wood. It is winter/spring as there are no leaves on the trees
Henry House, spring 2023

As spring draws near, I’m really looking forward to experiencing the Oshawa Museum surrounded by nature and the lake!

Until next time,

Jay M

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