Nereda Rehm and myself (Teresa McDougall) chose a bright sunny afternoon to ski over to Gordon MacDonald’s island home. He had agreed to relate to us the story behind his famous snooker table.
Gordie poured us a fine drink and then we were entertained to a most memorable afternoon.
The table was given to what became the Canadian Legion. It was called The Post during the 1st World War.
The Wright House was the original site of the legion. Bill Wright, one of the founders of the Wright Hargeaves Mine donated money to build it on the corner of Government Road and Woods Street. It is now the site of Vic’s Fitness Centre.
Harry Oakes donated the table to this building and there is an engraved brass plaque which reads;
Presented to Kirkland Lake Post Canada Legion
Harry Oakes Esq.
In due course of time and usage the Legion executive decided to make a meeting room from the area which housed the snooker table, so the table was dismantled and shuffled off to storage in various basements for many years.
In the 1960’s the present new legion building was constructed and during the building of it Gordie discovered the snooker table in Ken McGuarrie’s basement. Stored away for all those years, it was badly
deteriorated and so it would have to be completely refurbished.
After seeing the dusty pieces of that grand old table that was once such a vital part of our history, he knew he had to have it! Yes! This table deserved much more than a basement storage room. He would restore it to the former original beauty.
Thereupon ensued many months of careful restoration by a good friend, Reino Maki who shared Gordie’s passion to preserve what was once a thing of magnificence!
It was an expensive venture. The materials that we ordered were of the very best quality. The pockets replaced and the slates redone. The chipped, scratched and worn wood was carefully sanded and then lacquered to bring out the fine grains of the might oak.
Some years later, Gordie decided to build himself an island home here in Sesekinika wherein he could watch the sunrise and sunset. “A bachelors paradise!”
The room in which the table would eventually preside was decided on and it became an immense 18x40 feet with spectacular view of the lake. Some say he built his house around the table.
All was finally ready for the transportation of the table, of which the five slated alone each weighed 350 pounds. It was an exercise of endurance! Bill Righton and George McDonald helped with the move during the winter freeze. Reino Maki came over once again to assemble the table “for the last time.”
And so Nereda and I tried our hand at snooker. Nereda took some pictures. Our afternoon just flew by and it was already quite dark. The homemade bread was baked to perfection. So very good!
Gordie insisted on driving us back with his skidoo and tucked our skiis and both of us into his sleigh.
A true gentleman in the finest sense. Thank you!!
Story & Photo from The Sesekinik BookWorm