Dave McLaren died peacefully at the Tri-Town Extendicare Nursing Home on November 9, 2011, in his ninety-seventh year.
He was born January 9, 1915, in Notre Dame du Nord, Quebec, to James McLaren and Elizabeth Polson.
Staying with his grandparents, he attended school in Haileybury until Grade 5, then joined his mother who was teaching school to First Nation children at Lac du Quinze in Quebec. As a young man, Mr. McLaren and his three brothers became part of the work force in their early teens. One year he and his brother Henry spent the entire winter by themselves at the Old Mission on Lake Temiskaming. Their job was to cut and deliver cord wood to pay for property their father had purchased. Dave was 12 and Henry was 14.
During the depression, he worked in the bush at various logging camps and at Noranda Mines. In 1940 he joined the army, spending four years in Scotland serving in the Forestry Corp. Upon his return from World War II, he resumed working in the mining and forestry fields.
In 1949 he married Jessie Margaret McDonald, whom he met in Noranda. Together, they moved from Timmins to Lorrain Valley, where they purchased a small farm and settled down to raise their family.
Mr. McLaren worked at a variety of occupations during his lifetime. He did bush contracting, mined underground, farmed, worked on the hydroelectric project at Matabitchewan and in later years operated his own sawmill. Mr.
McLaren enjoyed the outdoors, whether it was fishing or hunting and in his retirement he took up writing.
He published five books of poetry and three volumes of local history. He was always ready to provide a poem or story for every occasion and much of his work is published in those books.
He was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 54 and was a lifetime member of the Haileybury Heritage Museum. He spent countless hours helping to restore both the Haileybury Streetcar and the Beauchesne Tug Boat.
Reprinted from The Temiskaming Speaker.