Toronto Optimists: 1965

Photo of: The Toronto Optimists (1965)

1965 Toronto Optimists (the end of "Mandy")

We were off to a great start!

(Memories submitted by Bob Carell)

We had lost many of our corps members after the 1963 season and that meant 1964 was a rebuilding year. As we closed 1964 and began the 1965 season we already had 31 rookies which could have meant that we could have had another challenging year. The 1964 corps dinner changed that. At the corps banquet Barry Bell "gave us hell" and demanded 100% turnout at rehearsals. The corps responded whole-heartedly and that set the tone for 1965. Attendance at rehearsals shot up and all of us worked our butts off to learn the new music.

The year started off with a bang. In late February we headed west on the earliest trip I can remember. We were on our way to perform at the Civic Opera House in Chicago. Some of the other corps performing were Cabs, Cavaliers, Royal Airs, St Kevin's, Kilties and, I believe, Racine Scouts. What a way to start a year! And, to top it off, while we were in Chicago we had an opportunity to spend some time working on our music with Truman Crawford. Truman had arranged the brass scores for all of our music (both the old and the new numbers).

In this show we debuted a new arrangement of our 1964 opener, "Who Will Buy". Instead of last year's slow intro we started of with a double-time bang. We also introduced a couple of new numbers including an extended version of "Alabama Jubilee" (we shortened it for our field show) and "Big Bad Bill".

photo of: the Toronto Optimists Off The Line (1965)

Toronto Optimists Off The Line (Sarnia, 1965)

A few memories of 1965

Photo of: The Toronto Optimists Baritone quintet in Mandy (1965)

Baritone quintet in Mandy (Sarnia, 1965)

Formal Photo of: The Toronto Optimists (1965)

Toronto Optimists formal photo (1965)

Other Material from 1965

Special Notice

We want to add a page of memories for each year of the Toronto Optimists, the Seneca Optimists and the Optimists Alumni. What you see above is an example of what we are trying to create. We hope that these pages will help to rekindle happy memories of years gone by.

Our goal is to gather corps-related memories specific to a particular year, rather than "generic" memories that would apply to all years. These memories could be about such things as performing in the corps, traveling with the corps, watching the corps from the stands, excerpts from articles in old corps mags, etc. It's not necessary to submit a whole year's worth of memories since contributions from different people can be edited and merged together to form the web page. We'll save the memories that people submit and, once we have enough material, we will compile them into a web page for that particular year. We'll probably add photos, recordings, etc then we'll post that page on the website.

If you have other memories of this year, or any other year, that you would like to submit, please send an email to Bob Carell (toronto_optimist at