James’ Brand New Blog

Homage to Londoners Remember: Some things never change*

- January 5th, 2012

orlo1947

orlo1987

Two views, a little more than 40 years apart of the great Londoner Orlo Miller. The top image is from February, 1947. The credit is to something like Bill Barratt London. Maybe if somebody can zoom on it, that will be clearer. The Sept. 26, 1987 photo is by my former Free Press colleague George Blumson Says the cutline: “People have been Orlo Miller’s profession. ‘What’s a view of history without people? History is people.’ “

“711 Richmond St. is my old homestead beside the CPR tracks. That is where I grew up in the 1900s. My dad had a tailor shop there.”

– Orlo Miller

Chapter XIV of Londoners Remember is devoted to Orlo . . . Orlo Miller Remembers. As you would expect, it’s filled with extraordinary recollections ranging from his schooldays at St. George’s and Talbot public schools  to the radio “saving us mentally” during the Depression to the booing he heard as Sir Adam Beck’s funeral cortege passed by. There were cheers, too — Beck was either loved or hated, no in-between, Miller says.

For some reason, a good image of Orlo isn’t readily available. But The Free Press files turned up many gems, including the two seen here.

JNBlog bows to the memory of Orlo Miller as a great Londoner & iconic teller of our saga.

*An occasional series celebrating the oral history Londoners Remember A Collection of Reminiscences, a terrific 1989 publication by London historian & educator Fred Israels. Londoners Remember made its long overdue appearance in JBNBlog’s life as a 59th birthday present from a neighbour whose late father-in-law was among those sharing their reminiscences. Most of the memories are about London from 1900-1950. The recollections repeated here will probably reflect JBNBlog’s belief some things don’t change much in London. Whatever the decade or millennium.

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5 comments

  1. IMAGE OF ORLO says:

    Try your ‘Gargoyles and Gentlemen’, if it still has its wrapper. Done
    for the Cathedral c 1966. Cleric collar, heavy tortoiseshell (?) specs.
    - The Forward contains his famous goof “…Canadian Thames whose
    waters bore her vice-regal sponsor to the site of the city nearly two
    centuries ago..” Littlehales must have rolled in his grave…

    Now, Mr. M is proponent of Peter and Lovinia as First Londoners,
    isn’t he? Who does Mr. B back?
    Who else was in ‘Londoners Remember” – offshoot of Reunion ’88
    wasn’t it? Col Lawson unveiled the updated OHF Garrison plaque -
    the previous one apparently missing for ages before anyone figured
    out how where to report it according to a Parks worker. Back in the
    days when plaque pinching pranks were student amusement.

  2. IMAGE OF ORLO says:

    A quick side trip to LPL catalogue shows some things do change -
    Londoners remember, part two : a collection of reminiscences / Fred Israels.
    London, Ont. : Ad Ventures in History Inc., c1993

  3. james.reaney says:

    Yes, the G&G photo is a good one indeed. Still, there were so many at The Free Press. the only difficulty was stopping at two . . . the catch Orlo Miller in at least two of his many moods & I love the credo accompanying the George Blumson photo.

  4. greg simpson says:

    Noting, just above Orlo’s right ear in the Blumson photo, a complete set of Encyclopaedia Canadiana…purchased for me by my folks, one volume at a time, through a local grocery store. Glad they did, too, because when i was about to head to London Ontario and looked it up, I found out that there was still regular passenger service by rail from London to St. Thomas…oh well…despite its inaccuracies, I did learn more about Canada from Mel’s tomes than I ever learned in school.

  5. james.reaney says:

    We have mighty ECanadiana too . . . Mel Hurtig, JBNBlog salutes you for believing in Canada.

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