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Clarence (Hoot) Gibson was a well-known Strathroy resident for those old and young.  On Monday November 15th 2010, he passed away at the age of 92.

Hoot onboard the HMCS Port Arthur

Just this year Hoot and his family donated a number of pieces to the museum. During WWII, he was a torpedo coxswain onboard the HMCS Port Arthur and the museum received Navy uniforms, photographs and other archival material related to the Hoot’s time during the War.  The museum was able to exhibit some of these items in time for Remembrance Day and he was able to come see the display.

Other items from his collection include Minstrel Show pieces, tambourines and bones, that were used during the theatrical productions.

He was also well known in Strathroy as the arena manager at the West Middlesex Memorial Centre  from 1953 to 1978 and as Santa.  To read more on this wonderful story see  Santa Hoot, by John Grogan and Michael Grogan.

Other items included a cape and cap from Strathroy General Hospital (now Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital) from his wife Amy (nee Handy), who graduated from the School of Nursing 1943.

Hoot will be missed.


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below. 

After reading this poem by Lieu-Col. John McCrae, Moina Michael, an American professor, was inspired and took action to make the poppy an international symbol of Remembrance Day.  Along with Madame Anna E Guérin, who was part of the the American and French Children’s League, the act of wearing poppies on Remembrance Day spread throughout the world and by 1923 poppies were being massed produced.

Memorial Poppy

Cloth Poppy with Sir Arthur Currie

The Museum is proud to have a donation of an early representation of a ceremonial poppy with a local hero attached to it.  This cloth poppy with the image of Sir Arthur Currie is accompanied by a calendar dated 1919 with Currie also pictured.  Currie played a prominent role in the First World War becoming the first full Canadian General.  He has been commemorated in a number of ways within the community; including naming of the Royal Canadian Legion, a marker at his home, murals at the site of the Armoury and this is just to name a few.  To find out more about Sir Arthur Currie and other tributes to him visit the Currie Memorial Project.

Other sites of interest
The Remembrance Poppy 
John McCrae

About the Museum

Museum Strathroy-Caradoc opened to the public in 1972. As a community museum we strive to preserve and tell the story of Strathroy-Caradoc, and inspire residents to explore and understand the community around them.

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