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July 7, 2003
The projection room at the Audion TheatreHarry and Jean Bilsborough

Harry Bilsborough was born in Lancashire England in 1902. Harry left his homeland and came to Canada in 1910. In 1927, Harry worked for the CNR as a painter on the bridge building gang. In 1928, Harry was united with Jean Plexman of Capreol and Father Williams of Our Lady of Peace Church was the presiding priest.

In 1919, William Rossman built the Imperial Theatre which is now the Capreol Pro Hardware. Henry Plexman purchased the Imperial Theatre in 1923. When "talking pictures" came out in the 1930's, the Imperial Theatre was renamed the Audion Theatre. Because of World War ll, the Audion was closed in 1939. In 1943, the Audion was purchased and reopened by Harry and Jean. They operated the Audion Theatre until their retirement in 1972. At one time, the Bilsboroughs also owned and operated the Garson Theatre.

People in waiting inline to see the showOver the years, the Imperial-Audion Theatre was also the home of St. Alban the Martyr Anglican Church, Our Lady of Peace Roman Catholic Church and Trinity United Church for various reasons.

Harry and Jean were extremely active in the affairs of Capreol. Harry was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 179 for over 50 years and was president in 1977-79. In 1954, he was not only the first Grand Knight of The Knights of Columbus Council 3866, he also served as the Grand Knight from 1954-60. He was on Town Council for four terms in the 50's and 60's. The Capreol Lions Club was chartered in April 1964 with Harry as one of the founding members of the Lions serving as president in 1967.

Harry and Jean were instrumental in forming the Senior Citizens Club 240 on February 23,1967. Harry was a member of the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge 928 which was chartered on December 22, 1928. Jean also helped with Moose Lodge community activities. Harry was also a lifetime member of the Sudbury Chapter of the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International.

Jean was very involved with Our Lady of Peace Church. On March 14 1954, Jean was one of the founding members of the Daughters of Isabella and served as their first regent. Jean was also the driving force in the formation of the local Cancer Society. To this day, Jean is still a member of the Catholic Women's League formerly the Daughters of Isabella.

Harry and Jean had two children Henry and Ollie. Henry married Marlene Morrow and they have four children, William, Robert, Elizabeth and Jean. Ollie married and has a son, Patrick Supple. Pat and his wife Gloria now live in Creston British Columbia.

Harry passed away on April 19, 1986 at the age of 83. Jean now resides at the Finlandia Village in Sudbury at the age of 96 and is still in good spirits. Ollie at this time still lives in Capreol where the Bilsborough legacy began.

Alex Nepitt ansports@sympatico.ca