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Jefferson, John I

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rank:
status: survived
airforce: RCAF    (no: J24595 )
born: 1921-02-17 Bear River Canada

added by: kurtis
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A survivor who may be equally known for operating Canada's (Ottawa's) and certainly Ottawa's oldest bars (Queens Charter - 1849) , the Chateau Lafeyette, in the Byward market of Ottawa. We are looking for service information (England, Burma, North Africa) as most information available online details his post-war operation of the famous Chateau Lafeyette, which was rough and tumble until the market became an upscale tourist destination.

==== Start .. excerpt from an Ottawa Citizen Article (see right).

Jefferson remained in the military and was in line to fly the Avro Arrow, Canada’s ground-breaking interceptor aircraft. When the project was scrapped abruptly in 1959, Jefferson found himself out of a job and casting about for new work, says Stuart. He found it managing the Wellington Club, a men-only establishment on Frank Street. That led to a job offer to become manager and part owner of The Laff. John, Peggy and their dogs moved into a renovated apartment on the top floor of the building with a deck that overlooked the Market.

It was not the entertainment district it is now, said their oldest daughter, Janet Page Andersen.

“The ByWard Market was still a place where farmers gathered to sell their produce and livestock, like chickens and goats. We witnessed massive change in the time we lived there.”

...

The place sold two things: food and beer. Jefferson set up a kitchen in a tiny space barely bigger than a closet and brought Alphonse, a Paris-trained chef, from the Wellington Club. “The Laff had a five-star chef. His meatballs were to die for,” said Stuart.

Jefferson set up a free lunch stand where Alphonse offered a huge pot of soup with crackers. The sign above it read, “Help yourself, keep it clean,” said Andersen. “Dad believed many of the older patrons were dependent on that soup. Any new customer coming in for a beer couldn’t believe such high-quality soup was free.”

=== end of quote from article (see more from link on right)

One call still visit the Laff today, and, I remember dropping into the Laff after one remembrance day back in the late 1980s, where many a veteran also convened after the service, to sit in some corner in solace, in peace.

In those days, The Laff had urinals the size of bathtubs. Elderly regulars could nurse a beer all afternoon. Shoppers and public servants would stop by for a cheap lunch. Journalists would talk politics over quart bottles of beer. At night, students would drop by to fill up in cheap suds before closing time at midnight, then head for Hull. The place was often standing room-only. Over time, almost all of the Jeffersons’ children would work in the tavern.

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