He Was an Expert Swimmer, but the Current Was Too strong for Him.
The death of Mr. Joseph P. Belisle, son of Mr. J.F. Belisle of Toronto, formerly of Georgetown, as announced in last issue, was learned with the deepest regret in this locality.
A representative of the Herald called at the deceased's home at 174 Palmerston Ave., on Thursday evening where there were many sympathizing callers. Among them was Prof. Galbraith, principal of the School of Practical Science, who came to add his word of sympathy. Prof. Galbraith regarded Joe Belisle as one of his brightest and most promising students. He had always found him a hard worker, and had every faith in him as being an honourable and capable young man.
The particulars of the drowning are very sad indeed, as are all fatalities connected with the treacherous canoe.
He, with a companion, was paddling on a section of the river where the water ran rapidly, they had become pretty tired and pulled up in front of a willow bush to take a rest, holding themselves by the limb of the willow that projected over the water. The limb broke and the canoe suddenly turned sideways to the current and capsized. Joe was an expert swimmer and made a dash for the shore. He was making good progress, when he struck a sort of whirlpool and went down. He came up all right and again struck out toward the shore when a second caught him, then a third when he went down and disappeared. The other young man, Norris Quantz, of Schomberg, was drowned in his effort to save his companion. An Indian who had just landed at this point with a canoe-load of provisions was standing on the shore and seeing the accident, tipped his boat load on the beach and made for the young men who were drowning. He was a few seconds too late, however.
Mr. Belisle was born at Georgetown, in the year 1881, and attended the Public and High Schools here. He took his senior leaving and matriculation, and taught school for a year and a half in Renfrew. He then went to Toronto and worked in the employ of the Toronto Street Railway Company for nearly two years. During this time he saved money for his college course. Three years ago he began his studies at the School of Practical Science, taking a course in mining engineering. The announcement that he had graduated was telegraphed to New Liskeard on Saturday, but it was never received. He never knew of his success, having left for New Liskeard a week after his examinations. He had engaged to take charge of a surveying party sent out by Messrs. Blair and Sinclair, (formerly of Georgetown), from New Liskeard.
The day before the accident a letter was received from him, announcing that he was leaving for the north, and that no further letters would be received from him for some time. A telegram announcing this death arrived shortly afterwards. He was 25 years of age. His father and mother, three sisters and four brothers survive him.
The shock to the parents and family was very severe indeed. They were naturally grateful for the bright prospects before their boy in his chosen profession and although death has blasted all their earthly hopes on his behalf, they have the consolation that while he lived he established for himself a reputation for faithfulness and honesty of purpose that will live after him.