Letter to the Editor Archie’s Rock

On June 10 2014, the Ontario Geographic Names Board met for its 148th meeting and one of the topics of discussion was Archie’s Rock, a glacial deposit located in the vicinity of Little Star Lake. The Board agreed to officially name the rock, Archie’s Rock, after local retired school teacher and world traveler, Archie Chenier who discovered this hidden gem while hiking in the Little Star Lake area back in 1955.

I met Archie in 2010 or so when he dropped by my office to discuss Archie’s Rock and the possible tourism values. To his surprise, I invited Archie to take a seat while I listened attentively to his story. I did not know what to make of this because Archie had confessed that most of the people he had approached to discuss Archie’s Rock had brushed him off. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and I asked Archie to take me hiking to the rock. Archie agreed despite being in his late eighties. What I found was definitely a phenomenon and worthy of being included in our travel guide as a point of interest for hikers, a tourism asset of sorts. Since my first meeting with this incredible man, I’ve gone back to Archie’s Rock with many people and in the company of the best guide ever, Archie Chenier.

Archie is an interesting individual. He has done pretty much everything that you would expect to find on one’s bucket list. He has climbed the tallest mountains, hiked the most dangerous jungles, heli – skied mountains where the descent was greater than 20 miles long, skied with Ted Kennedy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, checked out volcanoes, and the list goes on. You see, Archie is a world traveler, someone who was fascinated by what he discovered in our back yard some 59 years ago. A glacial deposit like no other, a massive pile of boulders the size of a home, haphazardly stacked some 8 stories high in the middle of the Boreal Forest. When a guy with as many travel experiences as Archie Chenier becomes fascinated with and passionate about a natural phenomenon, you had better take notice.

Since exposing Archie’s Rock to our tourism market, hundreds if not thousands have made the trip to discover and enjoy something that is truly unique to our area. Archie, thanks for sharing and to the Ontario Geographic Names Board, thanks for agreeing to officially recognize this glacial deposit as Archie’s Rock.

During my 39 year tenure in the tourism industry, I’ve met many interesting people, none more interesting than my friend Archie Chenier. I only wish I could have met him sooner and joined him on the many adventures and expeditions that he has been fortunate to enjoy. As Archie would say, life is one big adventure. Seize the moment!

Guy Lamarche, BSocSc; CTIS

Manager Tourism, Events & Communications

Corporation of the City of Timmins