The missing Madoc candy canes: a Christmas mystery

I have a flashback-in-time Christmas treat for you tonight, folks. With a dollop of mystery added, just to liven things up. Grab your Sherlock Holmes deerstalker hat and/or your Nancy Drew roadster, and let’s get this thing solved!

Okay, here’s the story: thanks to my Queensborough friend Sally, who drew to my attention the clip that’s at the top of this post, I can share with you a fun feature from good old CHEX-TV (eternally Channel 12) in Peterborough. CHEX is apparently looking back at Christmas-themed news stories from its archives, and the other day aired the one here, set in Madoc (that would be “town,” if you live in Queensborough). It’s from 1990, and while I find the story quite charming, I am utterly alarmed to hear 1990 described as “all those years ago.” Yikes! As I said to Sally: Wasn’t that just yesterday?!?

Anyway, as you’ll see if you watch the video, it’s about a clever idea that the folks at the Centre Hastings Retraining Centre, a workshop for developmentally disabled people, came up with when a work contract dried up. The idea was to make oversize decorative candy canes – and these beautiful candy canes caught on in Madoc (and beyond) like wildfire. The merchants’ association of the time decided that they would be the theme for the town for the Christmas season, and as you can see from the images, they made Madoc look very pretty indeed.

(I have to say I also very much appreciated the images from “all those years ago” of Madoc when more of the downtown businesses that I remember from my childhood in the area were still operating. The biggest treat was to see Stickwood’s dry-goods store once again. Thank goodness for photo and video archives!)

Anyway, here’s the mystery, amateur sleuths: where are those candy canes now, all these years later? As Sally said in her message to me: “How amazing it would be to get those candy canes as a feature of Madoc once again!” To which I heartily concur, and I find it difficult to imagine anyone saying no to the idea.

So now, to find them. Are you ready, local sleuths? Go!

6 thoughts on “The missing Madoc candy canes: a Christmas mystery

  1. Very nice post Katherine. I remember it vividly because I just had my first child. I was one of the merchants at that time owning a business downtown right on film that was shown. We very much supported the local group that is mentioned in all that they inspired. A lot of the candy canes worn from the weather placing them year after year and made of wood the winter elements just got the best of them. The local merchants displayed them proudly each year and you just might see a few around to this day. They even sold them to private homes. It was a very good adventure. They even refurbished old furniture. I had many pieces stripped and given back to me as if they were just made. Beautiful. But as all things times change. Now they supply us in lovely home baking and making sure our vehicles are clean.. What will they think of next?

    • That’s a good question, mk, and I am sure they will come up with something good! Meantime, I do hope that, as you suggest, some of those pretty candy canes might still be around. Hey, maybe the next idea could be to make some new candy canes!

  2. Katherine .I had the privilege of being the director of the agency during that period of time . I still see many of our decorations around town and yes it does seem like yesterday.The local community was very supportive of our activities and remains so till this day.I would also like to commend you on your many articles,having grown up in Madoc,married a local lady in your dad’s church and lived many of the stories ,I would like to say Keep Up the Great work. All the Best. Clint Davidson

    • Clint, I am so very pleased to hear from you! Thank you for your memories of that great community candy-cane campaign, and for your kind words about Meanwhile, at the Manse. I’d love to hear about you and your wife’s wedding – I’m trying to guess whether it was at St. Andrew’s Queensborough, Eldorado United, Hazzard’s Corners or Cooper. I’m going with Eldorado – am I right?

  3. Katherine.The wedding was in fact at your dad church with your dad conducting the service.Many happy memories unfortunately Cheryl and I divorced many years later,but remain good friends today. Keep up the Great Work Clint Davidson

    • Thank you so much, Clint! I’m guessing from your comment that the church of your wedding (with Dad conducting the ceremony) was St. Andrew’s, Queensborough. That is so wonderful! (As is former spouses remaining good friends, let me add.)

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