[Home page] [Who is Past Forward ] [Contact Us] [Publications]

Past Forward is now on Facebook "LIKE" us to keep in touch


April 17, 2014

Joe Mufferaw Lives on as football mascot

I wrote about Joe Montferrand, one of Canada’s most famous real life lumber jacks, athletes and personalities. (See Heritage Perspectives Sept 21, 2001). Joe was permanently established as Canada’s Paul Bunyan in our folk lore when Arnprior’s Bernie Bedore wrote 3 remarkable books about a character Joe Mufferaw based on Joe Monteferrand. Stompin’ Tom Connors added to his fame in the song he wrote that said “Big Joe Mufferaw paddled into Mattawa all the way from Ottawa”

In the early 2000s the Mattawa Forestry Committee for Economic Development and the Chamber of Commerce commissioned a 16 foot carved pine statue of Joe for Explorer’s Point. The statue remains a centre of attention beside the Museum to this day.

The Toronto Star recently announced that the Canadian Football League’s expansion team in Ottawa – the Red-Blacks- has chosen Joe Mufferaw as their mascot and the legend continues.

The Monestime Exhibit Comes to Mattawa

The exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mattawa’s Dr. Firmin Monestime as Canada’s first black mayor featured in Toronto City Hall recently is coming to Mattawa during Voyageur Days in July. The large panels will be located in the Council Chambers where his 100th birthday was celebrated in 2009. There will be some related activity.

I recently wrote an article on the Toronto event that is now online (Google Heritage Perspectives and look at the top of the list of articles #427). My son has added an interesting new item to this article. You will note a couple of blue notes indicating additional information-click on the citation.

MPP Vic Fideli invited the Monestime family and friends to the Ontario Legislature during the recent exhibition and it was recorded as is all legislative activity in the house in Hansard and the Fideli remarks are available for perusal if interested as the first of those blue items

Also I was interviewed on CBC Points North by Jason Turnbull about the exhibit. Click on  the blue citation and you can hear the interview.

New Monestime Book

Mattawas Dr. Monestime fled Haiti in the 1940s because of the unpleasant politics at the time. During the viscious subsequent 30 year Duvalier era some other Monestime relatives were abused and fled to the United States. One of those descendants, Robert Monestime, part of a large Monestime family, has written a book “My Brave Haitian Family” which talks about their life in Haiti and in the US and features the execution of his father in the Haitian struggle. They will have a family reunion outside Boston and the Mattawa Monestimes are invited. The book is available on Amazon in paperback.

Cover of Robert Monestime book

Anahareo’s book republished

Mattawa’s Gertrude Bernard (Anahareo) Grey Owl’s muse and remarkable independent native enigma wrote a best seller Devil in Deerskin  and it has recently  been republished by University of Manitoba Press with an introduction by Professor Sophie McCall with comments by Anahareo’s daughters Katherine Swartile and Anne Gaskel.

Gertrude wrote a book “My Life with Grey Owl" in 1940 shortly after his death and her best seller in 1972.

Cover of republished Devil in Deerskin by Anahareo 2014.

Anahareo has been written about in numerous other publications including Grey Ows remarkable profile of her in his book Pilgrims in the Wild. Anahareo has also been written about in many other publications. 

(see my articles on Dec 27, 2012 and Feb 27, 2012). For details on the Gleeson book and the republished  book by Anahareo Google Kristen Gleeson and go to her blog online for lots of additional information

Heritage Perspective Home Page

Past Forward Heritage Limited: 

330 Sumach St. #41, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5A 3K7   Tel. (416)-925-8412


Copyright © Past Forward Heritage Limited