In 1955, one of Walt Disney’s most famous and beloved cartoon characters of all time came to Sherbrooke and caused a frenzy amongst his young fans. He’s best known for his distinctive speech, his big yellow bill, his sailor uniform, and for getting frustrated pretty easily. He was the one and only Donald Duck. On September 23rd, 1955, Clarence Nash, known as the original voice of Donald Duck, made his way to the area as part of a tour of Quebec and brought Donald along in puppet form. They were brought to tour the province by the Wonder Bread Company who were promoting their Donald Duck Wonder Bread at the time. Coming all the way from Hollywood, over 500 children gathered on the field behind what was the old Central School property to see their favorite Disney Character arrive. Nash, who was described as an exceptional ventriloquist, and Donald Duck quickly visited the mayor of Sherbrooke, Armand Nadeau, before putting on a live performance, free of charge, at the school for his fans. As part of his performance, Donald Duck sang and spoke in both French and English, he imitated other animals, and got the crowd giggling with 15 minutes of quacking. Published in the Tuesday, Dec. 10 edition of The Record.
By Taylor McClure, Special to The Record