Memories of Deseronto


Memories of Deseronto


Bob Burkitt


My father, William J. Burkitt, owned and operated a grocery and meat market (1951 -1967), aptly named Burkitt’s Groceteria on Main St., across the street from the Post Office. Next door, to the east, was Ernie Luck’s Plumbing Shop; he also owned the bowling alley, where the Public Library is now, as well as a laundromat. Further south was the 5 and dime store, then the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the Laundromat, and the bowling alley. I spent many a happy time at the bowling alley. There was a little lunch counter in the bowling alley where Mrs. Luck (Gladys) baked the most delicious apple pie I ever tasted. Don Dawson was another name I remember. He owned a marina and a garage. I attended the Deseronto United Church from the time my family arrived til I left in 1966. The Reverend Neelands was the pastor at the time. I went to school with his son, Paul. When we first arrived, there was a Chinese restaurant across the street, which was later purchased by Doug and Martha Chapman. Their son, Chuck was a friend at the time. Another friend was Raymond McDonald, whose father owned McDonald’s Grocery Store west of my Dad’s store.

I remember the Deseronto Jamboree. My Dad provided the hamburgers and hot dogs . Those were fun times. I also remember learning how to swim in the Mill Pond on the Bay of Quinte.

Mr. Lyons' brother-in-law was George Wannamaker. George worked for my father as a butcher. I do know that Mr. Lyons purchased the store from my father.

Jim McVicker was postmaster while my family lived in Deseronto. This was a very simple era. Our postoffice box was #8, and our telephone number was number 8. Back then Deseronto had an operator working out of the back of Malley's Drug Store. I really felt old when I saw the photo of Dorothy McCullough. She was my first grad teacher in the old public school which was torn down to build the new one back in the 50's. I understand from a cousin that she died not that long ago at a very advanced age. God Bless her.

Prior to attending the current Deseronto Public School, and while it was being built, I spent Grade 6 and part of Grade 7 in the old high school.

The remainder of Grade 7 and Grade 8 were in the new school. Peter Roach taught Grade 7 and Mr. Runnalds was Grade 8.