The old Victory Restaurant in Burlington was so busy on Canada’s 100th birthday Sandra Andersen had to be called in to wash dishes.
It was there that her brother Paul came to let her know his wife Ruth Ann had given birth to a baby boy.
Archives of The Burlington Gazette show that Paul Napoleon Pendakis first saw the light of day at 6.40 p.m. on July 1, 1967, at Joseph Brant Hospital, one of the first Burlington babies of Canada’s second century.
Today Pendakis is 50 and a physical education teacher at Saltfleet Secondary School, where he has coached the boys rugby team to all-Ontario high school championships in 2005 and 2015.
Andersen’s father Paul Sr., who also was Pendakis’ grandfather, operated The Victory at that time in space partially occupied now by R.C.’s Boardwalk Fries and Ice Cream Parlour on Lakeshore Road across from the Waterfront Hotel.
Deep-dish apple pies, to die for, were the specialty of the house, which was frequented by world-class entertainers like Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong, Guy Lombardo and Xavier Cugat, who were in town to perform at the Brant Inn.
“The Brant Inn would close about 1 a.m.,” Andersen said. “My father would stay open until 2 a.m., so they would come down to eat.”
Nurses at Joseph Brant Hospital wore 19th century uniforms to mark the Centennial.
The Victory, which closed its doors in 1974, also sold Hamilton Tiger-Cat football tickets and was a regular hangout for some of the club’s players like Bernie Custis and Dick Brown.
The Burlington Teen Tour Band, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, set what might be a Canadian record for stamina during the 1967 Centennial celebrations.
In the week leading up to what was then called Dominion Day, the Redcoats performed at Expo ’67 in Montreal, arriving home by bus at 1:30 in the morning on Friday, June 30.
They were able to relax until 5:30 a.m. on July 1 when they took off again in a westerly direction down Hwy. 401 to march in the Detroit Freedom Festival Parade.
But they didn’t forget their roots. After winning the prize for best band in Detroit for the second year in a row and making an appearance at a festival in Leamington, they returned home on Canada Day and paraded on Brant St. at 11:30 on the Saturday night.
The name of the July 1 holiday was not changed to Canada Day until 1982.
A street dance, organized on Brant St. by the Burlington Junior Chamber of Commerce, helped draw about 10,000 people to the downtown area.
Meanwhile, down the QEW in Niagara Falls, Burlington’s Marjorie Schofield officially retired her crown as Miss Dominion of Canada and crowned her successor Donna Barker of Toronto.
Schofield, who also held the titles of Miss Burlington, Miss Hamilton and Miss Ontario, pursued a career in Hollywood.
GO train service was launched in May of 1967, but operated only between Oakville and Pickering, except for rush hour, when trains ran as far west as Hamilton. The Burlington Gazette of the day reported an average of only 36 people boarding in Burlington daily.
The Gazette also reported new Lucalox lights just installed on Brant St. made it the brightest spot in Canada, except perhaps for the grounds of Expo ’67.
Sharp pitching by George Moore and Doug Cholewka led the Burlington Cardinals to a 3-2 win over the Campbellville Merchants to solidify their lead in the Halton County Baseball League.
In the process the Redbirds beat legendary southpaw Jack Roberts, who incredibly had hurled back-to-back no-hitters against the Corunna Giants in the 1966 OBA playoffs, emulating Johnny Van Der Meer of the Cincinnati Reds, who in 1938 became the only pitcher in major league history to record consecutive no-no’s.
Cholewka and Roberts both make their home in Burlington today. Moore, who pitched until the age of 55, resides in Hamilton.
By 1967, the last cash crop farm within the city had been replaced by the Burlington Mall.
Burlington didn’t even exist when Confederation took place in 1867. In 1874, Wellington Square and Port Nelson were incorporated into the Village of Burlington.
However, a major advance in transportation took place 150 years ago when an iron railway bridge was constructed over the Burlington Canal to allow the Hamilton and Northwestern Railway to carry passengers from the Steel City north as far as Barrie and Collingwood.
The station was located on Brock Ave. in Burlington and tickets were available for purchase in a house on the southwest side of Burlington Ave., near Elgin St., just north of the current Spencer Smith Park.
The Teen Tour Band will present its 70th anniversary concert at the Central Park bandshell Sunday, July 9 at 2 p.m. The Redcoats also will march in the 2018 Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, Calif., on New Year’s Day.