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Scottish Diaspora Tapestry


1968 Halbert Grad Barbecue

If you graduated from Halbert in 1968, chances are pretty good that you're hitting a rather significant "milestone" this year -- won't remind you of the exact number!

So, to celebrate(?), we're having a
on Saturday June 12 at 4:00

Sisters and brothers, significant others and Halbert friends of the Class of '68 are also welcome. But be gentle -- you'll be hitting this milestone soon too (if you haven't already!)

Potluck Style
Please Bring Your Favourite Salad or Dessert
and Beverages
As well as lawn chairs and

Please email Bruce at bea@beamccowan.com or call 416-447-4895 for details of the Toronto location.


The McCowan Collection

Remember the old barn behind Halbert School? (Well, it was really just part of the barn -- the horse stable and one of the driving sheds.) It was full of "old stuff" and some of that stuff will be the subject of an upcoming talk, "10,000 Years of Toronto History"...

Where: The Bluffs Gallery, 1859 Kingston Road (Scarborough Arts Council)
When: May 31 2003, 1:30 pm
Cost: Free
Refreshments: Provided by Bea McCowan, Associate Broker, Executive Editor, "Scarboro Heights Record"

McCowan Society local history publications including Neigh the Front (stories of Halbert School and class photos) will be available for sale. 35% of sales will be donated to the Scarborough Arts Council.

Need More Info? -- Call 416-447-4895
bea@beamccowan.com OR bmccowan@netrover.com

More info here...

The Scarboro Heights Record V11 #5


Learn even more about the Kingston / McCowan Roads community in the pre-Halbert epoch!

What: Scarboro Heights Historic Sites Walking Tour

When: Saturday, May 24 2003, 2:00 PM (Rain date May 25)

Where: For starting location, call 416-447-4895 or send me an email at bea@beamccowan.com

Tour Guides: Bruce and Bea McCowan of the "Scarboro Heights Record".

Cost: For individuals or couples who purchase "Neigh The Front -- Exploring Scarboro Heights" there is no cost. Please order your copy of this 142 page book soon because the size of the tour group is limited. 

How to Order "Neigh the Front" and Register for the Tour: Send $17.00 cheque to the James McCowan Memorial Social History Society, c/o 19 Monarchwood Crescent, Don Mills, Ont., M3A 1H3, 416-447-4895 (Includes postage). An order form is on http://www.mccowan.org/publicat.htm and reviews are at http://www.mccowan.org/reviews.htm.

Want to keep the tour guides busy? -- Pick some questions from "Historic Sites" and "Notable Events"!

Bring your camera and your copy of Neigh the Front! More tour details are here.

The Scarboro Heights Record V11



Most Recent Halbert Stories in
The Scarboro Heights Record
(See also Links at top and Tables toward bottom)

"Front Runner" at H.A. Halbert: An immigrant's experience, by Dieter Huebner V9  #9
When Kindergarten was in the Church... By Judy Carr-Sandham V10 #1
Halbert Ablaze!-- False Alarm! V10 #8
Biology Class... in Kindergarten By Bruce Kosugi V11 #2

Eric Tappenden

Congratulations to Eric Tappenden on his recent appointment as Chairperson of the Markham Board of Trade. A 1966 Halbert graduate, Eric has had a successful career in government, private business and in community building. In Markham for the past 22 years, he has served the Markham-Stouffville Hospital Foundation, Markham Sunrise Rotary Club, Markhaven Home for Seniors, York Region's Bereaved Families of Ontario, Markham Theatre Board and Markham Prayer Breakfast. He volunteers about 40 hours each week to valuable community causes. Eric owns and operates Chapel Ridge Funeral Home. Best wishes for continued success.

The Scarboro Heights Record V10 #7

William Howard (Bill) Funnell

Formerly of Darlington Hydro, suddenly on June 12 2002, his 49th birthday. Bill, beloved father of Dawn and her fiance, Kevin, and Starr. Grandfather of Jayden. Dear brother of Diane (Norm). Loving uncle of Billie and Aprile. Son of the late Howard and Aleda. Resting at the Paul O'Connor Funeral Home, 1939 Lawrence Ave. East, between Warden and Pharmacy, from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 on Sunday. Service and Committal in our Chapel on Monday 11 AM. Cremation.

The Funnel family moved to Cree Avenue in Scarborough in 1965. Bill graduated from H. A. Halbert in 1967.

The Scarboro Heights Record V10 #6

What a great read!  When I started Neigh the Front, I couldn't put it down! This complete and intriguing history of the Scarboro Heights community leaves one hungering for even more. Bruce McCowan is to be commended for undertaking and completing this history in time for the H.A. Halbert Public School 50th year anniversary celebration -- no mean feat! That proceeds from its purchase support the Janet McCowan Memorial Scarborough Community Studies program means that the good work should continue over time. Scarborough students will find this a valuable learning resource, whetting appetites for Scarboro Heights' history. What's next Bruce?

Jean Harper Hilliard, Halbert Graduate, 1958

From The Scarboro Heights Record V10 #1


Place an order for
Neigh the Front -- Exploring Scarboro Heights

Halbert Old Boys Benevolent Club
Holds Inaugural Meeting

The Halbert Old Boys Benevolent Club met for the very first time on Feb. 23 2002. Although there was no written agenda, there was plenty of beer in the fridge. The meeting covered a broad range of topics in the public interest including outdoor ice hockey, beer, the good old days at Halbert, indoor ice hockey, beer...

Members in good standing are: Steve Falkner, Don Morton, Barry Bergerson, Steve Smith, John McCormick and Bruce McCowan.

Associate Members Mary Falkner, Kim Morton, Liz Bergerson and Bea McCowan seemed to enjoy the meeting too... hmm, were they laughing with us or at us?

The next meeting will probably be in a few of months. The agenda will be more of the same -- it still won't be written, but if it were, it will likely be smeared with mustard and relish in the late afternoon summer sun.

PS: These minutes are brought to you by the Chair of the 1968 Halbert Literary Society.

From The Scarboro Heights Record V10 #2

Memorial to a 1966 Grad: Janet McCowan Fincham

Kickoff Meeting:


  • Oct. 22 2001, 7:30 PM


  • Please call 416-447-4895 for the location and other details

What to Bring:

  • Feedback on our Information Processing Program and Educational Resource at www.scarboroughrecord.com
  • Ideas for encouraging and furthering community studies in local schools using Neigh the Front, www.scarboroughrecord.com and other resources
  • Ideas for convincing the milk industry that the Scarborough origins of the milk marketing movement in Ontario on April 18 1892 should be recognized in a meaningful and beneficial fashion
  • A sense of how you would like to help -- what element can you champion?

For Further Information, please contact:

James McCowan Memorial Social History Initiative, c/o 19 Monarchwood Crescent, Don Mills, Ont., M3A 1H3, 416-447-4895, www.mccowan.org, bea@beamccowan.com (A Non-Profit, Non-Charitable Organization Dedicated to Placing the Scottish Experience Within the Wider Context of the Community)

From The Scarboro Heights Record V9 #7

The 50th Anniversary Celebration
At  H.A. Halbert Junior Public School
31 McCowan Rd., Scarborough
on Saturday June 16, 2001
was a huge success!

Following a few speeches and a Halbert-produced video, about 300 former staff, students and parents reminisced and "caught up" on the intervening decades. Over fifty copies of Neigh The Front -- Exploring Scarboro Heights were sold in support of Halbert's current operations and Community Studies.

Those who purchased Neigh the Front at the reunion entered the lucky draw for:

  • Dinner for 2 at the Bo Peep Family Restaurant, 2277 Kingston Road
  • Two lunches for two at the Tara Inn, 2365 Kingston Road
  • Four local history books, courtesy of Natural Heritage Books, Toronto

The prize winners were: Mrs. Natalie French (staff); Ted Hagan ('61), Jon Hagan, Barb McCowan Presunka ('70), Steve Smith ('68), Kim Murphy ('70), Jean Harper Hilliard ('58).


Sponsor a Class Photograph in
Neigh The Front -- Exploring Scarboro Heights

Place an order for
Neigh the Front: Exploring Scarboro Heights

Commemorating Halbert's Fiftieth Anniversary


By 1950 Harold and Ashley McCowan had had full and successful agricultural careers on the homestead at Kingston Road and McCowan Road. It was time for retirement. It was also time for change in the community.

The war was over, the workforce was expanding, jobs were plentiful and more houses -- and schools -- were desperately needed in Scarborough. Subdivision plans were submitted, the necessary parkland was set aside and other municipal conditions were satisfied. H.A. Halbert Public School was officially opened on June 19 1951.

The Fiftieth Anniversary of H.A. Halbert Public School was held on June 16 2001 and all former students and staff were invited.  Many will have fond memories of school days at Halbert and -- let's be honest -- there will be a few not-so-fond memories as well!

Not to worry, let's have fun putting these memories together in an on-line oral history anthology that we can perhaps call "Hangin' at Halbert". Follow the links above for a wander down memory lane. 

In the list below are some stories that either relate specifically to events on the McCowan farm before the construction of the school or are otherwise somehow connected with Halbert or life in the local subdivisions.

Some of these stories -- and many many others  -- were published in Neigh the Front: Exploring Scarboro Heights

Some Related Stories
(Back Issues of Scarboro Heights Record)
(Apart from links at top of page)
Working in the barn Tramping hay; photograph
Bill McCowan Family Neighbours over the School Fence
Harold McCowan Ploughing photo; Halbert Playfield
Drawing Hay on McCowan Road Photograph
First Homework Assignment Energy Conservation
McCowan Farmhouse becomes a triplex Maintenance
Jennie Purdie McCowan A mind of her own; farmhouse photo
Ruth's Rambles McCowans and the Bluffs
Marion Thomson McCowan Mrs. Parkes, the first crossing guard
Primitive First Aid Coal delivery
The Great Depression Mike, the Transient
Horse Stable Making room for the school fence
Storm of '35 Streetcar service disrupted
Memories -- on the Farm Model T
Health in the 20s Nutrition


Related Stories in Volume 9 #2 (May 2001) of
The Scarboro Heights Record

Cliffcrest United Church: The Fifties By Alan Staig
Community Solidarity By Peter Gassyt
Gordonvale Subdivision By Audrey Lyall
Growing Up in the Fifties By Murray Skinner
Halbert in the Fifties By Jean Harper Hilliard
Horticulture By Roger Clarke


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