Interview with Cathie Vick, September 17, 2010



Interview with Cathie Vick, September 17, 2010


Oral history interview with Cathie Vick (née Murphy), who has lived in Deseronto, Ontario, from the age of eight.


Cathie Vick


Edgar Tumak
Amanda Hill


2010.21 (1)


Edgar Tumak
Amanda Hill


Cathie Vick


Deseronto, Ontario (home of Cathie Vick)


1 hour, 3 minutes, 32 seconds

Bit Rate/Frequency

128 kbit/s

Time Summary

0.0 Family history – grandmother Sarah Purvis was a midwife in Deseronto, father, William Purvis had a shoe-repair shop and worked for the Town's public works department, Walkers' grocery store and others on St. George Street. Some of the family came from Watertown, New York.
3.50 Family lived in Kingston, as her father, Earl Murphy was in the army (1942-1959) – was a quartermaster at Fort Henry and later worked at the penitentiary.
6.20 Grandparents lived on Main Street in Deseronto. Family moved to Wainwright, Alberta for a time.
8.01 The Murphy family moved back to Main Street, had to move when William Purvis died and moved to Dundas Street and later to Centre Street, to a house owned by Art Hill, who owned a bus stop and candy store on the Highway. The Murphys later moved to an apartment over the Quinte Scanner building on Main Street.
12.35 Helena Murphy (Cathie's mother) was a cook at the Arlington Hotel and catered lunches at Ideal Vendors and made pies and doughnuts from home. She also worked at the Lyons' grocery store in Main Street. She was a messy cook: Cathie's job was to clean up after her.
14.45 Memories of Deseronto Public School. Girls were not allowed to wear pants. Trips to Sandbanks. No organized gym classes.
16.20 High School – not many options for studying different subjects. At the Public School Cathie was sent home a few times by Mr Runnalds in Grade 8. In High School she was sent home for smoking and swearing.
18.28 High School gym was on the top floor, so they had to be careful as the building was in poor condition – most gym classes were held outside in good weather.
20.11 Commencements always held at Naylor's Theatre, where they would put on skits, music and gymnastic displays
21.10 The High School did not have a lot of money – hard to get good teachers. Grades 9 and 10 took some classes together. Summer schools for students who didn't get the required marks – so they went to Kingston.
23.13 Cathie took piano and singing lessons from the Cochranes in Deseronto and joined the choir of the churches she went to.
24.30 As youths, Cathie's friends held dances in a garage and hang out in restaurants in the town. Cathie worked at Jackson's restaurant.
25.50 Fires in town: previous Legion building on Mill Street and Ideal Vendors burned down

27.10 Swam at the pump house in the summer, take peas off the back of the trucks at Metcalfe's. Cathie worked at Sweetenham's Motel (now Friendly Manor) for 25 cents an hour. Regular customers from the United States. Thought of as classier than the restaurants in town.
29.30 Cathie had planned to be a nurse, but got married and started a family. At first they lived in an apartment on Stanley Avenue for $75 a month (with an orange and turquoise kitchen), and then bought the house on Thomas and Fourth Street in November 1965. The house was formerly a candy store owned by Mrs Webster.
31.02 Worked at Canada Optical in the gold department and on the inspection line. Then worked at the Post Office for 37 years for Jim McVicker (cousin of Dr McVicker). No-one lived in the apartment above the Post Office when Cathie worked there. The Indian Agent's office was still in operation. There was also a dentist's office there.
36.30 Main Street businesses: butchers (Ray McDonald's, Micky's Meat Market over the Quinte Fuel offices); Moody's clothing store, Jack Therrien's Red and White store (later owned by Jack Layfield); McCullough's drugstore (now Griddle Me This); barber's shop; Chinese restaurant; Chapmans owned the restaurant on Main Street that is now the United Restaurant; Dr McVicker's office was where the Legion now is; Malley's drugstore had a soda bar and telephone operators at the back; Newman's butcher's shop on Dundas Street; Gerry Lott's jewellery store; liquor store was in the Baker Block, next to pool hall and hardware store; Lott's store moved into the liquor store location when it moved to St. George Street.
44.36 Fundraising events: dances, chilli feasts.
47.20 Spare time: bowling alley, Denny Vick was a pin boy, had to set up the pins manually. The bowling alley was very popular. Fundraising for the Arena. Jack Layfield was the original Arena manager. The Vick family helped run the canteen and their sons played hockey there.
50.15 Cathie attended St. Mark's Church in Deseronto, All Saints on the Reserve and the United Church for three years. Discussion about changes in church-going and church management in the last 40 years. Mention of Mark Germaine, minister at St. Marks. Decision to close St. Marks.
55.55 Talk about the way Fourth Street and the United Church used to look – removal of the trees that used to be there. Cathie now attends Christ Church and attended Holy Trinity in Shannonville before that (which was also closed down).
57.30 Discussion about joining the Deseronto Public Library.
58.00 Bad winters: 1977. Heating in the house.
59.40 Cars: first car, bought from Anson Lloyd, didn't have a floor. Bought three rooms of furniture for $99 and a TV for $50 when they got married. Discussion of music technology.
1.02.00 Deseronto a friendly place to live.