March On! ...the history of the
Toronto Optimists Drum & Bugle Corps
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Change History for this website
The most recent changes are listed first.
May 13, 2022
April 24, 2022
April 9, 2022
April 6, 2022
March 15, 2022
March 11, 2022
February 26, 2022
- updated the Newsletter page to include GCC Vol 12, #6 (July 1972)
- made some changes to the We Remember page for Vern Johansson
- updated the "Contest Scores " for the Toronto Optimists Acrobat File
- updated Optimists Conquer Rome! about Optimists beating Blessed Sacrament in Rome, NY
- updated the Acrobat version of Vern Johansson's "The Unstoppable Force and The Immovable Object " to include a photo of Vern.
- changed the We Remember page for Al Tierney to include a new photo
February 23, 2022
January 8, 2022
- added the January 2022 issue of the Toronto Optimists History Newsletter (January 2022) to Newsletters
- updated the TOH - Newsletter summary to include the January 2022 issue.
- updated the We Remember page to include Vern Johansson
- added a We Remember page for Vern Johansson
- updated the We Remember Video to include Vern Johansson
- updated the We Remember Acrobat file to include Vern Johansson
January 5, 2022
January 1, 2022
- updated the "Contest Scores Acrobat File" for the Toronto Optimists.
- Updated the article by Alex Barris about the Toronto Optimists (published in the Toronto Telegram on July 12, 1961)
December 23, 2021
December 22, 2021
October 13, 2021
- added the October issue of the Toronto Optimists History Newsletter (October 2021) to Newsletters
- updated the TOH - Newsletter summary to include the October 2021 issue.
- added We Remember pages for Al Taylor, Chris Taylor, Glen Durish and John Coull
- updated the We Remember Acrobat file to include Al Taylor, Bill Thorne, Chris Taylor, Glen Durish and John Coull
- updated the We Remember Video to include Al Taylor, Bill Thorne, Chris Taylor, Glen Durish and John Coull
- updated the We Remember page for Ben Burrage to include a photo showing the telescoping National Flag pole that he created
- updated the 1966 members page to identify as many members as possible
September 15, 2021
September 2, 2021
- Updated the Acrobat file for 1958 group photo to include the name of Wayne Moss, the second Bass drummer.
- Updated the Acrobat file showing the 1961 group photo, the 1962 group photo, the 1963 group photo and the 1964 group photo to change some names. I have also added a second page showing member names organized by section. Big Thanks go to Mike Thys for creating these lists.
- A Myriad of Memories has been updated to include links to these files
- the following pages have also been updated to include the appropriate links: 1964, 1965, 1966
August 5, 2021
July 15, 2021
June 30, 2021
- Updated Memories to include an Acrobat file of a 1965 article about the Toronto Optimists. The article was published in the March 1965 issue of Drum Corps Journal.
- posted two similar slideshows of the 1963 Toronto Optimists on Youtube. The audio was recorded 58 years ago today so this seemed like a good day to post it.
May 31, 2021
April 19, 2021
- updated the April issue of the Toronto Optimists History Newsletter (April 2021) to include the complete version of Colin Hedworth's article about Optimists drumline. What? The article always appeared to be incomplete; however, it perfectly matched what I had been given. After posting the newsletter I obtained another version of the article that included two legal-sized pages that were not in the original version. This version contains all of the text from the missing pages as well as a few additional photos.
April 14, 2021
April 13, 2021
April 3, 2021
March 24, 2021
- I've been playing around with the Photo Gallery software in an attempt to make it more mobile-friendly. I've made changes to the main software to make it work better on mobile devices. In addition, I have added a new theme that is geared exclusively to cell phones. I would appreciate any feedback that you might have (positive or negative).
March 12, 2021
- Removed the page for members of the Optimists Hall of Fame
- added a page dedicated to the drum majors during the competitive years
March 3, 2021
- Posted a video slideshow of the 1978 Seneca Optimists on YouTube. Here's the link
- Add the beginnings of a page for members of the Optimists Hall of Fame (this page has been removed)
February 18, 2021
- In an effort to free up space I've begun migrating videos from the website to YouTube. In the process some videos have changed and, over time, some others might change.
January 27, 2021
January 14, 2021
- renamed "GCC Archives" to "Newsletters". I did this because we have identified our new publication as a Newsletter instead of a GCC.
- added the first issue of the Toronto Optimists History Newsletter (January 2021) to Newsletters
- added a photo and the corps' crest to the Optimist Cadets page.
- added an MP3 of the 2006 Optimists Alumni performing in Waterloo at a show sponsored by the Scout House Alumni Band
December 22, 2020
- Updated the We Remember page for Ronn Prokop to include a memory from John Arksey.
- added a 1960 photo of the main corps and Bantams to the Bantam Optimists page
- changed the 1969 photo of the Optimist Cadets in Batavia that was on the Optimist Cadets page
- added 1971 GCC, Volume 11, #2 (March – April) to GCC Archives
December 17, 2020
December 4, 2020
November 27, 2020
November 24, 2020
November 20, 2020
- updated the "Contest Scores File" for the Toronto Optimists. This file now includes competition scores from 1958 through 1975. The list of contests and scores is not complete and should be viewed as a work-in-progress. In fact, identifying contests and gathering scores is close to impossible so this project might never be 100% complete! Having said that, there is a lot of information in these fifty-seven pages. You will find the dates, locations, names of competing corps, placings and scores for as many competitions as I have, so far, been able to find. Updates will be posted as I obtain new scores, identify errors or find additional information.
- updated the We Remember page for Mr. Baggs. It now includes links to an acrobat file with his obituary from the Toronto Star as well as a biography of Mr. Baggs by Sadie Mau-Mau (from GCC).
- updated the page for the Bantam Optimists to include a history that had been published in an old issue of Green Capsule Comments.
- updated GCC Archives to include some historical information regarding the beginnings of GCC.
- added 1961 GCC, Volume 1, #6 (May – June), to GCC Archives
November 12, 2020
- Added an acrobat file showing scores and other information for competitions that included the Seneca Optimists. There is a link to this file in A Myriad of Memories. The 15 pages of information cover the years 1976 through 1978, the competitive life of the Seneca Optimists. The file contains the dates, locations, names of competing corps and scores from as many contests that included the Seneca Optimists as I could find. This document may not be complete and should be viewed as a work-in-progress.
- updated the Seneca Optimists page to link to an acrobat file from Drum Corps World about the merger.
- Added video footage from the 1955 Waterloo Band Festival. The video shows the Davenport Trumpet Band (part of the Optimists family), Preston Scout House, the Western Tech Band, Niagara Militaires and others.
- added 1964 GCC, Volume 4, #2 (March – April) to GCC Archives
November 5, 2020
- Updated A Myriad of Memories to include an acrobat file that includes information for competitions that included the Toronto Optimists. The 33 pages of information includes the dates, locations, names of competing corps and scores. This is a draft version of the file and it only covers the years 1958 through 1970. Please note that the listing, even for these years, is not complete. Gathering all of this information takes a lot of time and I decided that it was best to post something now rather than wait until the project is complete. Updates will be posted as I add scores for new years, identify errors or find additional information.
- added 1970 GCC, Volume 10, #4 (April) to GCC Archives
October 31, 2020
- updated GCC Archives to includes some photos
October 28, 2020
October 20, 2020
- Added video footage of the 1960 Toronto Optimists at Toronto's City Hall.
- Added a link to a video that I recently posted on YouTube. The video shows the 2006 Optimists Alumni performing at Scout House's show in Waterloo, Ontario.
- added 1964 GCC, Volume 4, #1 (January – February) to GCC Archives
- updated the Memories of 1966 to include the cover of Optimists 1966 record album
October 14, 2020
October 7, 2020
- changed some on the images on the Toronto Optimists page
- added an article by Alex Barris about the Toronto Optimists published in the Toronto Telegram on July 12, 1961
- added 1966 GCC, Volume 6, #4 (October – November) to GCC Archives
September 30, 2020
September 22, 2020
- added an Acrobat article about the 1964 Toronto Optimists from "Marche et Manoeuvres" (in French)
September 16, 2020
- Added photos to the acrobat version of Vern Johansson's "History of The Optimists".
- added a "We Remember" page for Tom May
- updated "We Remember" Video and Acrobat file to include Tom May
- Added Acrobat versions of all 3 issues of GCC (Geriatric Capsule Comments) – the first newsletter of the Optimists Alumni. In case you are wondering, "Geriatric Capsule Comments" is the name Vern Johansson used in his draft versions.
September 8, 2020
- Most of the changes have been cosmetic as I've worked to finalize the way the website looks.
- Updated the story of the 1962 Optimists in Rome to include a few color photos taken at the show. I also replaced the photo of the Baritones with an image of them holding their shakos so that it would be easier to see their faces.
September 1, 2020
- Added a "Lightbox" option to the Photo Gallery. What is this and how does it work?
- A Lightbox is basically just a big image that is framed and given a backdrop to make it look nicer. In this case I have hidden the photo gallery behind a black backdrop. This allows one to focus on the image. When one exits this feature the regular photo gallery reappears.
- In most cases the website contains 3 sizes of images: thumbnail, mid-size and full-size. The thumbnails are the smallest size and you will find them in the black film strip. A mid-sized image will be in the white space above the film strip. When one clicks on a Thumbnail it will display the mid-size image in the white space.
- The "Lightbox" gets activated when one clicks on a mid-size image.
- I have implemented the Lightbox as a dual-function: It shows a large image with a border and a description of the image in the border, below the image. If you do nothing, it then begins a slideshow. (Some of the images in the gallery do not have large versions so do not be surprised if there are a few small images.)
- To return to the "normal" view, click in the black area outside the image or click on the "X" to the right of the caption. This will return you to the mid-size image that you clicked.
- By the way, implementing this feature means that it takes a bit longer to display a full-size image and its info. If users find it too slow I can remove the feature.
August 25, 2020
- My focus is on improving the website before I start posting new material.
- The most recent changes are designed to make the website more "mobile-friendly". Material on the main website should now be readable on everything from a cell phone up to a desktop computer.
- Changing the Photo Gallery so that it can easily be viewed in Portrait (normal) mode is a major challenge and, I dare say, counter-productive. I suggest that you turn your phone sideways when visiting the Photo Gallery.
August 19, 2020
This site went live on August 19, 2020. The focus of this site is the Toronto Optimists Drum and Bugle Corps. It is a repository of historical information relating to The Toronto Optimists, it's precursors and successors. While this site is based on the old version of the Optimists Alumni website (with Alumni Corps specific material removed) every page has been changed in some way.
All of the images in the old Photo Gallery as well as all historical material have been preserved.
Some changes include:
- The menu system has been redesigned and is locked at the top of the page.
- The "Search" option in the Photo Gallery has been augmented with a list of Years for keyword searches (look for the blue links at the bottom of the page). Clicking on a Year will show all of the images for that year.
- in addition to what you see below, every pages has been redesigned.
- clicking an image on a webpage will display a large version of that image.
- Interview added: Gene Chepswick interviews Richard Robida, Ronn Prokop, Fred Lombard and Joe Palanica for a 1963 issue of GCC.
- Added a new article from 1968: "A Day in the Life of a Corps" (subtitled "The unusual account of how a junior corps primes itself to win the Canadian Nationals". The article was written by Douglas McPhail.
- On the Memories of 1958 page I've included scores for all of Optimists' competitions in their first year of competition.