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June 27, 2008

Quintvention Planned for 2009


When the Dionne Quint's 74th birthday took place on May 24 planning for their big  75th birthday was well into the planning stage in North Bay.  Beside local participants and  exhibits there are members of the Dionne Quints Collectors Club(DQC) in the U.S. (they were founded in 1979 and have met regularly over the years).  A Canadian based group the Dionne Collectors Too Club (DQCT) will also attend.  They have members in Canada, the USA, and internationally, have a newsletter and provide buy/sell opportunities for memorabilia collectors.  Their co-ordinator is on the planning committee for the North Bay event.  There are various key Quint players on the committee chaired by Amy Thom the new Director of the Quint Museum in North Bay. The Clarion Resort Pinewood Park is already booked and the Quintvention will run form May 29 to May 31, 2009. 

Attendees will visit the Quint Museum,the Callander Bay Heritage Museum(Dr.Dafoes Office),the North Bay Museum, Nipissing Manor, the Quint birth and grave sites, etc.  There is an effort afoot to have an historical plaque unveiled at the birth site.  There will be speakers and displays, etc.at the Convention.  The public will be invited to the event. 

An Interesting Quint Story 

Speaking of the Quints, Amy Thom and I visited Verna Yarlasky recently to discuss the experience she and her sister Irene had as hairdressers for the Quints in 1945 (see photo).  Their parents Ira and Lydia Dobbs of Golden Valley owned the Sunbeam Bungalow Motel at the south entrance to Callander when the road by the motel was the main highway.They also owned the Callander Hotel  Their mother took a photographer, who was staying at the hotel , to the Quints house when they were born and he took the famous early photo of the 5 identical girls in bed with their mother.The Quints went on to be the darlings of the world in the harsh years of the depression.   

Verna Dobbs (Yarlasky) working on the Quints' hair in 1945.Note the Dionne family portrait in the background. Submitted photo

When the 11-year-old Quints were back with their parents and siblings the Dobbs girls who were trained hairdressers were asked to go to the Quints home (now Nipissing Manor) to do their hair and did so on several occasions.  They also did the hair of the siblings including the boys.  On one occasion a photographer took the picture above of Verna and the 3 Quints and it appeared in the New York Times newspaper.  Verna has a copy of the article.  Verna who played the piano was invited on several other occasions to play for the family to their delight.  She played the famous Gordon V. Thompson Quints Lullaby.Thompson had stayed at the hotel and gave Verna a copy of the music. 

Verna (rt.) & sister Irene in Callander in the 1940s. Submitted photo

Sister Irene, who married and moved to the U.S. and Verna and their families enjoy the fond memories of this unique Quints experience.  This touching but not well known story of their involvement with the Quints adds a fascinating footnote to the incredible Quints history.A file on the story has been set up at the Quints Museum.  Thanks to Verna for sharing it with us. 

Verna today in her early 90s.  D. Mackey photo.

Verna and her late husband Walter Yarlasky,who were successful business people, donated the 50 acre Yarlasky Park  in Callander for recreational use by the people of Callander. 

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