Transcript: People of Ontario: Bert and Joe - The Naming of Thunder Bay | Mar 26, 1990

(music plays)

The screen shows the view of a city from the top. A caption reads “People of Ontario. What ever happened to Port Arthur and Fort William.”

Two men sit down in a garden on a sunny day.

The caption changes to “Bert Sitch. Hymers, Ontario” and then to “Joe Webb. Hymers, Ontario.”

Joe is in his late seventies, with short white hair. He’s clean-shaven and wears glasses, a beige jacket over a green plaid shirt and a black cap. Bert is in his seventies. He’s bald and clean-shaven. He wears glasses, a patterned white cardigan with details in brown. Matching brown trousers and a dark green shirt.

Bert says THAT SMELLS LIKE
TORONTO POLITICS.

Joe giggles.

Bert continues
AND THAT'S RIGHT.
THAT'S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.
POLITICS DID IT.
THEY ASKED FOR NAMES,
THEY WANTED TO JOIN
THE TWO CITIES TOGETHER AND I
FORGET WHO THE MINISTER WAS.
JOE, CAN YOU REMEMBER?

Joe giggles and says NO, I CAN'T.

Bert continues
THEY WERE GOING TO
PUT V, I DOUBLE L, E
ON THE END OF HIS NAME AND
CALL IT THAT AT ONE TIME.
ANYWAY, HE WAS A FELLA
THAT WAS BRINGING TOWNS
TOGETHER AND WAS GOING TO
SAVE A LOT OF MONEY
BY MAKING ONE OPERATION.
AND THEY PUT THREE
NAMES ON THE BALLOT
WHERE THERE SHOULD'VE
ONLY BEEN TWO.
AND THEY TOOK A
VOTE ON IT HERE.
AND THAT SPLIT IT SO BAD
THAT THUNDER BAY GOT IT.

Joe says THEY HAD
LAKEHEAD WAS ONE.

Bert says THEY HAD
LAKEHEAD, UH, HMM.
I FORGET WHAT THE
THREE NAMES WERE.
LAKEHEAD AND
THUNDER BAY BUT ANYWAY.
THE THIRD NAME WAS PUT
ON THE BALLOT BY THE
POLITICIANS IN TORONTO.
BECAUSE THEY KNEW THAT
THAT WOULD SPLIT THE VOTE
AND THEY HAD A CHANCE OF
HAVING IT CALLED THUNDER BAY.
WHICH NOBODY WANTED.
ALL THE PEOPLE
HERE WANTED.
OH, YEAH. THEY HAD LAKEHEAD
AND THE LAKEHEAD.
AND THUNDER BAY.

Joe says YEAH.

Bert continues
BUT THAT SPLIT THE VOTE
SO BAD THAT FROM LAKEHEAD,
THAT'S WHAT IT SHOULD'VE
BEEN, LAKEHEAD,
BECAUSE IT IS THE
HEAD OF THE LAKE.
AND IT'S BEEN CALLED
THAT FOR YEARS
BY THE LOCAL
PEOPLE HERE.
“WHERE DO YOU
COME FROM?”
“I COME FROM THE
HEAD OF THE LAKE.”
I HAD ONE FELLOW,
WHEN I WAS AT
THE UNIVERSITY
OF GUELPH TAKING SOME
EXAMINATIONS ONE TIME,
I HAD ONE YOUNG LAD
THAT WAS FROM TORONTO
AND HE ASKED ME
WHERE I WAS FROM AND I SAID,
UP AT THE LAKEHEAD.
HE SAID, “WHAT LAKE?”
I SAID, SUPERIOR.
HE STOPPED FOR A
WHILE AND HE SAID,
“THAT'S NORTH A
HERE, ISN'T IT?”
I SAID, YUP.
WHERE'D YOU FROM,
CHUM, TORONTO?
HE SAID, “YEAH,
HOW'D YOU GUESS?”
NO, I SAID, NO
PROBLEM AT ALL
I SAID, IT'S PRINTED
ALL OVER YOU.

(music plays)

The end credits roll.

Editors, Jim Crewe.

Producer and director, Inge Johnson.

A production of TV Ontario.

Copyright. The Ontario Authority. 1990.

Watch: People of Ontario: Bert and Joe - The Naming of Thunder Bay