Letter: Haweater reflects on growing up on Manitoulin, 82 years later

‘I am very proud to have been born in such a beautiful place’

To the Expositor:

I was born on the Manitoulin Island in the Red Cross Hospital on January 16, 1938. My father, Stanley MacInnis, and his brother Frank MacInnis went to school in the Old School in Mindemoya. I have photographs of their class and it must have been the early 1900s. They looked to be only seven and nine years old. Later they moved to Meaford, Ontario. Their dad had a fishing business in Meaford. 

One night their tug burnt down and not having any insurance for the boat, they were wiped out. They decided to go back to the Manitoulin and start a fishing business there. My mother and dad were married at that time and had one son. My mom got pregnant with her second child and she went into labour and on a cold winter night she was put in a boat and taken to, I believe, Parry Sound where she gave birth to a son who was stillborn. I was born after that and my sis June was born after that. 

I am enjoying reading about the Island. My cousin and his family own the island near the top of the Island. It is the Fielding Island. I was taken to Toronto when I was six weeks old. When my mom turned 80 and dad had passed, our family went up to the Island to see it. I had never seen it. I loved it and we stayed in some cabins on a little lake.

Bye for now and thank you for reading my story. I am very proud to have been born in such a beautiful place.

Jo Waites (nee MacInnis)

Toronto