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About the authorship of this piece

Note by Hugh Kuttner

The text on this page was made available to me in 2007 by Kenneth D. (Doug) Greig and I reproduced it on my website at that time. The author is unknown and was certainly not myself, as Dr. William R. Pellow incorrectly states in his book about Chapleau families. This tribute to Dr. Young was probably first published in a Chapleau newspaper called The Chapleau Sentinel about the time when Dr. Young had recently retired from his medical practice and was running a health club. It might have been written by the owner and editor of that newspaper. I am led to this assumption by the nature of the piece and by the fact that the reference to the health club, near the end of the biography, was originally written in the present tense. I changed that portion to the past tense for this re-publication in the autumn of 2007.


Dr. George Edward (Ted) Young

On December 2nd, 1914 George and Mabel Young, residents of Chapleau, celebrated the birth of their second son. He was named George after his father but in true Chapleau tradition his nickname “Ted” was used most. All the years during his practice and to this day he is always referred to as “Doctor Young.” This lad attended public and high school in town before leaving in 1936 for Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario.

After graduation from medical school in 1942, Ted went to New York City to intern. Dr. Young stated that during his training in New York he was the only Canadian in that class, and as a result he was always placed front and centre when doing operations. All the first hand knowledge paid off for us during the coming years. During that period he had many ring side seats at Madison Square Gardens for boxing events. At that time medical students were sent to be the ring side doctor. In 1944 he got a call from Dr. Crozier in Chapleau asking could he come “and fill in for 6 months.”

The 6 months became a 52 year tenure as a most faithful community physician. Dr. Young practiced medicine daily, and nightly, as he answered the needs of the Chapleau Area.

He often traveled by railroad, by car, airplane, skidoo, dog sled, and even “shank’s mare” to lumber camps as far as Renabie Mines to the west, Franz in the north, and Biscotasing in the east. During World War II he looked after the prisoners of war held in the Sultan Area. As the CPR doctor from 1944-1992 he tended both the dreadful injuries from railway accidents as well as the everyday needs of the employees. As a family doctor he has ministered to as many as 4 generations in some families. Many local citizens began their association with him literally “from day one” as he has delivered over 1,500 babies.

His official record as a physician includes a number of milestones some of which have brought honors from citizens and government. For many years he was chief of staff at Lady Minto Hospital. He served as medical officer of health for 20 years. In addition he was Medical Director of Cedar Grove Lodge until February 1994 where his special rapport with the elderly was so appreciated.

In 1994 the Ontario government awarded him with a plaque from William Davis (premier) in recognition of his tenure as coroner from 1944 until 1982. He was honored by the township of Chapleau at a special open house in 1987, where government ministries and community organizations publicly thanks him for his dedication. Note: Mr. Mancel Robinson was a very capable MC for the occasion. During his presentation he likened Dr. Young to an onion having many layers. Mancel stated with each layer you peeled off another man was presented giving light to all different projects that Dr. Young participated in.

Friends and patients gathered in May 1992 to surprise him on the 50th anniversary of his graduation as G.E. Young MD and finally on March 31, 1994 another surprise party took place as staff and friends congratulated him on his retirement.

Among the old stories enjoyed that evening were tales of Ted Young, private citizen. As a dashing youngster he was fond of athletics, especially swimming. One memorable day he made a marathon swim from the town dock to Mulligan’s Bay and back. Mulligan’s Bay was a favorite of his, and his family had a camp there. Sometimes this community minded fellow would get roped into special events. He reminisced about Art Grout’s Christmas celebration which included costumed characters and Santa arriving by airplane. It seems Santa, alas Ted was scared stiff of flying and experienced a ride he’ll never forget. Dr. Young’s busy workload did not seem to leave much time for personal activities, yet he managed to take some enjoyable trips out of the country.

A boy’s love of building became a life long series of projects tackled with enthusiasm, never really “finished” but always evolving and changing. Sometimes these personal pursuits became part of our life, for example his bringing television to Chapleau in the late 60s and Wawa in the 70s. By his own admission the first cable TV system was called the “clothesline” system as wires were strung wherever.

This system evolved from a series of 250 foot towers (off air system) on “Slaughterhouse Hill” to an array of dishes on his office complex downtown. In the 90s Dr. Young brought the internet to Chapleau through the Cancom Company. It certainly was appreciated by the citizens and the number of it’s subscribers grew rapidly.

Public life included an interest in the Rotary Club which he helped found in Chapleau and of which he is a life member. The town council had the benefit of his services for 8 ½ years, and he has served on the beach committee for 6 years. The beach area was a pet project of Dr. Young. He undertook to have all the garbage hauled away and replaced with fine beach sand. Wading areas were put in for the small children, benches for the parents to watch from and change rooms for the swimmers. No small feat when you find out that the area was the municipal dump for a number of years before it was moved.

His deep love for knowledge and new techniques in medicine benefited Chapleau in lesser known ways. Until Siguard Pearson was trained as a lab technician Dr. Young did service performing laboratory tests. He even prepared his own cultures of penicillin before the drug was commercially available. Modern X-ray equipment was brought in by Dr. Young, and also the first heart monitor. Until the town’s ambulance service was established, Dr. Young’s own ambulance service fulfilled the town’s need.

Chapleau’s isolation calls forth a particular kind of courage from our medical practitioners. How we smile when we see doctors from much less isolated communities complaining on the TV news about their workload and limited facilities. Dr. Young has had his share of midnight phone calls of disastrous events that demanded surgery that should not be attempted in a small centre - yet who can say no to human suffering? Dr. Young is known to many as a physician whose compassion leads him to spend many hours even days dealing with patients’ needs.

Some people have even learned that Dr. Young's desire to heal extended to animals. This dog lover has treated the pets of numerous Chapleau households. In short, most of Chapleau’s families have been touched by this man in one way or another. He was still thinking of the community’s need after his retirement. It seemed that a health club might be a good idea, after all there was all this former office space. That project also became a reality.

Dr. Young did not have children of his own but has cared for his patients as though they were his family. The term “Family Doctor” has a special meaning when applied to Dr. G.E. Young.