Township Services

The Jack Munroe Historical Society of Elk Lake

Lost Legend - The Story of Jack Munroe

A documentary years in the making about the life of Jack Munroe will be screened in Elk Lake, Haileybury and Cobalt later this month. to view the trailer click here.

The first viewing will be in Elk Lake on Friday, May 24 2024, 7:00pm at Legion Branch #310.

Jack Munroe (1877-1942),

In the documentary “Lost Legend: The Story of Jack Munroe” you will dive into the extraordinary life of Jack Munroe, a legend born in the rugged landscapes of Boularderie Island, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. From his humble beginnings in 1873, Munroe's journey unfolds like an epic saga across continents and through history.

In 1885, Munroe embarked on a new chapter, crossing borders to Butte, Montana, alongside his two older brothers. There, he carved his name into the annals of sports history, rising as a football star and seizing the title of amateur boxing champion along the American West Coast. His prowess in the ring echoed far and wide, besting renowned champions like J.J. Jeffries and Peter Maher as well as fighting soon-to-be champ Jack Johnson.

Yet, Munroe's story was far from confined to the realm of sports. His adventurous spirit led him back to Canada, where fate intertwined with destiny in the Northern Ontario wilderness. Discovering silver in 1906, Munroe laid the foundation for the community of Elk Lake, while also assuming the mantle of its inaugural mayor in 1909.

But fate had more in store for this intrepid soul. The Porcupine mining camp beckoned, setting the stage for Munroe's valiant acts amidst the inferno of 1911. As World War I engulfed the globe, Munroe, despite his age and wealth, answered the call to duty, enlisting in the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in August 1914.

Accompanied by his loyal companion, the Scotch Collie "Bobbie Burns," gifted to him by none other than the President of Mexico, Munroe marched into history becoming the first Canadian-born soldier to tread upon French soil on December 21. His bravery knew no bounds, until fate dealt a cruel blow on June 16, 1915, leaving Munroe wounded, his right arm incapacitated.

Yet, from adversity sprung resilience. Returning to Canada with Bobbie Burns by his side, Munroe penned "Mopping Up" with his left hand, crafting a timeless masterpiece that offered a poignant glimpse into the war through the eyes of his faithful companion.

Amidst the chaos of war, love found its place in Munroe's heart. Joined in matrimony with Colina Craine on September 5, 1923, Munroe's final chapter drew near. On February 12, 1942, he bid farewell to the mortal realm, leaving behind a legacy etched in courage, resilience, and unwavering loyalty.

Join us in uncovering the remarkable odyssey of Jack Munroe, a true Canadian hero whose indomitable spirit continues to inspire generations.