An Introduction to the Interviews
Welcome to our oral history of the Chatham Coloured All-Stars team. Over the summer and fall of 2016, our team of graduate students (Salma Abumeeiz, Gen Chevalier, Josh Deehan, Deirdre McCorquindale, Alastair Staffen) along with project directors Drs. Miriam Wright and Heidi Jacobs, interviewed people connected with the Chatham Coloured All-Stars story. Many of the people we interviewed were sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren of the team members. We asked about their memories of their fathers and uncles, their time with the All-Stars, their lives and families, and how sports affected their lives. We also asked about sports in their families, and in their neighbourhoods and communities, and the challenges that came with living in a racialized world. Finally, we asked people about the Chatham Coloured All-Stars story itself --how they thought about it, what did it mean for people in the 1930s, and what does it mean to them today.
We conducted fifteen interviews in total. They have all been transcribed, so you can read and listen at the same time. We have also provided an index of keywords, so you may navigate through the interviews or search for specific names or places.
Our Interviewers: Salma Abumeeiz, Genevieve Chevalier, Joshua Deehan and Alastair Staffen were all M.A. students in History at the University of Windsor when they took part in this project. Deirdre McCorquindale was a Ph.D. student in History at Queen's University. Salma's MA project was on the Arab-Canadian/American communities in Detroit and Windsor, Josh is working on hockey in early twentieth-century Montreal, Alastair works on British football history, and Gen Chevalier is working on memoirs of Jewish-Americans in early twentieth-century Detroit. Deirdre McCorquindale studies African-Canadian/American history, and has also worked at the Chatham Black Mecca Museum.
Earl Chase Jr. and his wife, Shyla, speak about his father, Earl “Flat” Chase.
Horace Chase speaks about his father, Earl “Flat” Chase.
Fran Dungey speaks about her mother, Wanda Harding Milburn, sister of Andrew, Len, and Wilfred “Boomer” Harding, and an athlete herself. Mrs. Dungey also shares memories of her uncles.
Blake and Pat Harding speak about their father/father-in-law, Wilfred “Boomer” Harding. The first interview is mainly about his time with the Chatham Coloured All-Stars, while the second is about his involvement in other sports including hockey, soccer, track and field, sports officiating, and darts.
Tracey Harding speaks about her father, Andrew Harding.
Ferguson Jenkins Jr. speaks about his father, Ferguson Jenkins Sr.
Andrea Levisy speaks about her father, Andrew Harding.
Jennifer Miss speaks about her father, Carl Harding, an older brother in the Harding family. He did not play with the All-Stars, but he supported his siblings and was active in hockey and baseball in St. Thomas, Ontario and Kirkland Lake.
John Olbey speaks about his older brother, Clifford Olbey. His wife Olive, and Dorothy Wright Wallace also add to the discussion.
Gary Pryor speaks about his grandfather, coach Louis Pryor.
Douglas Talbot speaks about his uncle, Ross Talbot.
Dorothy Wright Wallace grew up in the east end of Chatham, and knew many of the former All-Stars players. She also speaks about growing up in the east end.
Kevin Wallace speaks about his grandfather, coach Louis Pryor.
Pauline Williams and Cleata Morris speak about their relatives Hyle and Stanton Robbins, who were from North Buxton.
We also have an interview with Wilfred “Boomer” Harding, conducted by Chatham resident Dan Kelly c. 1977 for an undergraduate research project in a history course taught by James Walker at the University of Waterloo. We also have a copy of Mr. Kelly’s paper on this site.