Veteran of 2 Conflicts, Early Days Remain Vivid To Mike Swartzenburg
Michael Swartzenburg, Mike to his host of friends in Guelph and down Puslinch way, where he was born, is this week’s “Way back personality”.
Although he lived in
Mr. Michael Swartzenburg
He has a priceless fund of reminiscences of earlier days since coming from his Puslinch home when 17 years of age to take up his life’s activities here, where he became one of the most successful men in the construction field, for 25 years carrying on his business.
In Both Wars
These activities were interrupted by service in World War I, in which he served with the 153rd Battalion, going overseas with it when Lt.-Col. Tom Pritchard of Elora was in command.
He served in World War II as well, but by
that time he had moved from
To go back into early family history, Mike’s
grandfather, Conrad Swartzenburg, came to
Mike’s mother was the former Theresa
Lepard. She was born in
In addition to his skill in construction
work, Mr. Swartzenburg was a great specialist in the removal of buildings
from one site to another, not only in
Following his return from overseas in World
War II, upon being declared physically unfit for continued service, he was
inactive for a time, but, upon recovery, he worked on the
He helped to build new elevators at the big distillery in Walkerville and took on other jobs too numerous to mention here.
Recalling his boyhood days in Puslinch, Mike
says that he attended old No. 10 school, near Corwhin. Associated with him there was one of the
sons of the famous temperance lecturer of those days, John A. Cockburn, who
ran for the
Hallowe’en pranks are clear in Mike’s Puslinch memories and he says that the scene on Landing’s Mountain on the morning after was a sight worth seeing, for up there would be various vehicles, heterogeneous other articles, and not to be mentioned at all, certain small wooden houses.
An unfortunate sequel, in which he figured, following a series of such Hallowe’en displacements, was the time that each of the identified pranksters was arraigned before the local beak and fined a dollar and costs.
He remembers a famous tug-of-war down there when, on a challenge, five men undertook to out draw a team of horses, and they did, thereby winning a keg of beer.
Mike was quite a soccerite in those days and there used to be great rivalry between football teams of Aberfoyle, Morriston, Badenoch, and the Crieff-Killean “Highlanders”.
Of his youthful days in
Referring again to moving jobs, Mike met
Russell Daly while in town on this occasion, and both harked back to the
occasion when Mike moved the old Tom Thumb golf course building from its
position on the site where the
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