Find a Lecture

National Field of Honour

Speaker: Richard Gratton
When: Thursday, March 21, 2024, 19:30 to 21:00
Where: Centennial Hall,
            288, Beaconsfield Boulevard, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4
Lecture in English (Bilingual Visual), followed by a bilingual question period

In December 1908 two policemen find a homeless man huddled in a doorway of downtown Montreal suffering from hypothermia and malnutrition who had served the Empire for more than 20 years, the man was Trooper Daly.

The head orderly of the Montreal General Hospital, Arthur Hair raised money from friends and colleagues to give the soldier a decent and dignified funeral. This was the catalyst for the creation of the Last Post Fund in Montreal, in April 1909. Trooper Daly was the first of nearly 150,000 servicemen and women for whom the Last Post Fund has provided benefits over the past century.
2024 03 21RichardGratton CroixChampHonneurMore than 22,000 Veterans and their close ones are now resting in our community at the intersection of Beaconsfield, Kirkland and Pointe-Claire in one of the ‘’ British Empire most beautiful cemeteries’’ called the National Field of Honour, a Canadian Historic Site.
Come hear about the history and the important contribution of the Last Post Fund to Canada and beyond its borders.

Major retired Richard Gratton, CD, resident of Beaconsfield, served more than 25 years with the Canadian Armed Forces as an artillery officer and is the instigator of Heroes Park in Beaconsfield and contributed to the Trans-Canada Respect Monument following his service to Afghanistan.



The Great Absquatulator

Speakers: Frank Mackey and Aly Ndiaye, alias Webster
When: Thursday, February 15, 2024, 19:30 to 21:00
Where: Centennial Hall,
            288, Beaconsfield Boulevard, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4
Lecture in English, followed by a bilingual question period

2024 02 15FrankMackey AbsquatulatorCover2024 02 15FrankMackey 18590609MtlGazettep2c7In this presentation, Frank Mackey talks about the genesis of his book “The Great Absquatulator", the combination of accidents that led him to write and publish it.
Alfred Thomas Wood, the subject of this book, was a truly great imposter. In the 19th century, through a multitude of countries: from Halifax, N.S., to New England, Liberia, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Montreal, the U.S. Mid-West and the South, he posed as a preacher, an academic, a carpenter, an architect, a political fundraiser and a medical doctor. In this meticulously-pieced-together biography of A.T. Wood, Frank Mackey wittily casts new light on the momentous mid-19th-century events that shaped the world we live in today.
Aly Ndiaye (Webster), the rapper-historian, author of the preface and other works of a historical nature, agreed to participate in the lecture.

A native Quebecer, Frank Mackey retired from the Montreal Gazette in 2008 after working as a reporter/editor in Alberta, Newfoundland, Montreal, Quebec and London (Eng.). He also taught journalism at Montreal’s Concordia University. He and his wife have three adult children. He has published several books: Steamboat Connections: Montreal to Upper Canada 1816-1843 (2000); Black Then: Blacks and Montreal, 1780s-1880s (2004); Done with Slavery: The Black Fact in Montreal, 1760-1840 (2010), the latter translated into French as L’esclavage et les Noirs à Montréal, 1760-1840 (2013). His latest book, The Great Absquatulator, was published in May 2022.

2024 02 15 FrankMackey Absquatulator Webster 9 Crédit David CannonAly Ndiaye, a.k.a. Webster, hip-hop artist, independent historian, activist and lecturer, was born and raised in the Limoilou district of Québec City. His father is Senegalese and his mother is from Quebec. He has always been proud of his origins and describes himself as a SénéQueb métis pure laine. His passion for history led him to pursue university studies in this field; he holds a bachelor's degree in history from Université Laval. He worked for 10 years as history guide for Parks Canada. He is passionate about the history of the Afro-descendant presence and slavery in Quebec and Canada since the time of New France. Ndiaye is the author, amongst others, of a children's book that follows the journey of Olivier Le Jeune, the first African slave in Canada, Le Grain de Sable (Septentrion, 2019). In February 2023, he was appointed to represent Québec at the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.



The Victoria Bridge: Into A New World

Speakers: Sam Allison and Dr Jon Bradley
When: Thursday, January 18, 2024, 19:30 to 21:00
Where: Centennial Hall,
              288 Beaconsfield Boul., Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4
Lecture in English, followed by a bilingual question period

2024 01 18SamAllison JonBradley VictoriaBridge McCordM15934 1PublicDomain

The Victoria Bridge of 1860 was the longest in the world at that time and was a bridge that led Canada into the new industrialized urbanized and intellectual 19th century world order. The power point uses diagrams, maps and prints to illustrate this story.

Sam Allison retired after teaching history in Quebec High schools and the McGill Faculty of Education. He has written several history and economic books for high school students, articles for various magazines. He is also Guest Editor with Dr. Jon Bradley for the London Journal of Canadian Studies and authored Driv’n by Fortune: The Scots March to Modernity in America 1745-1812.

Dr Jon Bradley is Retired Professor from the Faculty of Education of McGill University. He keeps himself busy researching/writing on different subjects including Quebec Education, Canadian History and many more.


Michel Chartier de Lotbinière, ingénieur Canadien

Speaker: Jean-Pierre Raymond
When: Thursday, November 16, 2023, 19:30 to 21:00
Where: Centennial Hall, Annex Herb Linder (Lawn Bowling)
             288 BeaconsfieldBlvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4 303 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield H9W 4A7

Entrance at the West end of the City Hall parking lot

Lecture in French, followed by a bilingual question period

Canadian engineer Michel Chartier de Lotbinière, whose 300th birthday is celebrated in 2023, participated in the War of the Austrian Succession, the French and Indian W2023 11 16JeanPierreRaymonod 300eMCLotbinierear, the American War of Independence and the French Revolution. He became an engineer in 1753 in the wake of the commission of inquiry into the construction of the ramparts of Quebec. In 1763 he owned 7 seigneuries, 5 in the new Province of Quebec: Lotbinière, Vaudreuil, Rigaud, Nouvelle-Beauce and Villechauve and two in the Province of New York. He participated in London in the debate on the Quebec Act where he convinced the British parliament to adopt the French Law (Coutume de Paris), the French language and the Catholic religion, which today makes the Province of Quebec a distinct society.

Retired engineer and history buff Jean-Pierre Raymond personifies this Canadian-born engineer in his King's engineer costume of 1758. He will be accompanied by his wife, Andrée Aubut, a retired teacher, who personifies Lotbinière's wife, Louise-Magdeleine Chaussegros de Léry, the daughter of Canada's chief engineer.



The Lachine Canal and the Gentrification of Montreal’s Sud-Ouest

Speaker: Steven High
When: Thursday, October 19, 2023, 19:30 to 21:00
Where: Centennial Hall,
             288 BeaconsfieldBlvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4
Lecture in English, followed by a bilingual question period

2023 10 19StevenHigh DeindustrializationMtlSudOuestThe Lachine Canal was the birthplace of Canada’s industrial revolution. Once the most heavily industrialized urban area in the country, the area deindustrialized during the 1970s and 1980s. The canal was also closed in 1970. As a result, the debate over the future of the Lachine Canal unfolded at a time of social crisis for the adjoining neighbourhoods. This illustrated talk is drawn from the author’s recently published book “Deindustrializing Montreal: Entangled Histories of Race, Residence and Class”, which was awarded the "Prix de la présidence de l’Assemblée nationale du Québec" 2023, recognizing political books.


2023 10 19StevenHigh portraitSteven High is a professor of history at Concordia University where he co-founded the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling. He is the author of many books and articles about the history of Montreal. 



The Victorian Order of Nurses of Canada 1897

To the present NOVA West Island

Speaker: Gloria Timmins
When: Thursday, September 21, 2023, 19:30 to 21:00
where: Centennial Hall,
             288 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4
Lecture in English, followed by a bilingual question period

2023 09 21GloriaTimmons NovaThe Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) was founded in 1897 by Lady Aberdeen, consort to the then Governor General of Canada, Earl of Aberdeen (1893-1898). We will see how the VON played a part in Canada's history from the Klondike Gold Rush, the Halifax Explosion and two World Wars. In later years, we witnessed VON's decreased importance as a national institution, which gave birth to our own NOVA West Island.


Our speaker, Gloria Timmons, is a graduate of The Jeffery Hale Hospital and Concordia University. She was a clinical nurse with VON Ste. Anne &West Island and NOVA West Island for 28 years. She retired in 2017 and presently is a proud volunteer at the Thrift shop for NOVA, Beaurepaire.



Frédéric Back : une rencontre inusitée

Speaker: Hélène JasminS 17472 1When: Thursday, April 20, 2023, 19h30 à 21h
Where: Centennial Hall,
       288, Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4
Lecture in French, followed by a bilingual question period

2023 04 20HeleneJasmin FredericBackHélène Jasmin introduces Frédéric Back, artist and environmentalist, creator of « Crac » and « The man who planted trees » winner of two Oscars, Chevalier de l’Ordre du Québec and … friend. And a few words on Lina Gagnon, animation artist and resident of Beaconsfield until her death in 2022, and her work with Frédéric Back.

Hélène Jasmin, author and speaker, was educated at UQAM in Sociology; at École de radio-télévision Pierre Dufault in Montréal; and Violin private class with Master Eugène Bastien, member of MSO. Her professional experience includes: freelance journalist for many newspaper, including her collaboration since 2020 to OUR CANADA, magazine by Readers Digest; freelance radio program host, Radio-Canada FM, Montréal; assistant curator for different exhibits; author of books on the history of theatre, arts and gardening.

She is co-owner and Vice-President of the enterprise La Belle Amérique specialized in cultural presentations and historical re-enactments.


Étude sur les conditions de vie des individus asservis au Québec ancien

Speaker: Cathie-Anne Dupuis
When: Thursday, May 18, 2023, 19h30 - 21h
Où: Centennial Hall,
       288, Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4
Lecture in French, followed by a bilingual questions period

2023 05 18CathieAnneDupuis AsservisAuQuébecAround 1690, French Canadians saw an almost constant arrival of Indigenous and African enslaved in the Laurentian Valley until 1833. However, we still know very little about their living conditions. This lecture will present what we currently know about enslaved individuals' living conditions and the conditions that led to early mortality.

Cathie-Anne Dupuis completed her master's degree in historical demography in 2020. Through this master's degree, she focused on questions about enslaved individuals' mortality in ancient Quebec. Having left hanging several important questions about the living conditions of enslaved individuals, Cathie-Anne began a doctorate in history in 2021 to return to the archives and find answers to her questions. She is a doctoral candidate in history, a research assistant in the history department of UdeM and a consultant on the Native Bound Unbound project.

You can read the text of her master (in French) at: Dupuis Cathie-Anne Mémoire de maîtrise 2020



The Black Watch Window of The Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul

Speaker: Donna George
When: Thursday, March 16, 2023, 19:30 to 21:00
Where: Centennial Hall,
       288 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4
Lecture in English, followed by a bilingual question period

2023 03 16DonnaGeorge Black Watch Window credit Merritt
The Black Watch Window which dominates the whole sanctuary of The Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul was unveiled by General Sir Arthur Currie more than 100 years ago on Remembrance Sunday 1921. Even before the Armistice, there were plans for a massive memorial window to honour the staggering losses during the Great War of the church's two founding congregations as well as the unimaginable casualties of the church's Regiment, the Royal Highlanders of Canada.
Now known as The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, the Regiment’s Colonel-in-Chief is King Charles III.
Find out why the most famous element of the design, a Star of David, was not in the original approved “cartoon” for the Window and the story of the heroic Jewish officer who inspired the addition.
2023 03 17 150551z 1Learn more about the modest McLennan family who gifted the Window to the Church and so much more to Montreal and Canada.
Finally, discover why the “centenarian” Window seems forever young.

Donna George was educated at Sir George Williams and McGill Universities. She spent her career as an elementary and high school teacher in Montreal and then was the English Department Head at West Island College. Since 2018, she has been involved in historical research and writing projects for the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, including several published articles on the Black Watch Window.


The Lost and Found Z(S)amenhofs of Montreal ... and Beaconsfield

Speaker: Yevgeniya Amis
When: Thursday, February 16, 2023, 19:30 - 21:00
Where: Centennial Hall,
             288 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4
Lecture in English followed by a bilingual question period

2023 02 16YevgeniyaAmis ZamenhofIn 1910 L.L. Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto, had his first and only trip outside Europe: to visit the International Congress of Esperanto in Washington, DC. But what very few people know also is that not only did he visit Washington, DC, but also Montreal and -- yes! -- Beaconsfield! Why Beaconsfield? Because some of his close relatives immigrated to Montreal in the 1880s and also had their summer residence in Beaurepaire - Beaconsfield. Yevgeniya will tell us all that is to know about the lost -- and found -- Zamenhofs of Canada.

Q 01360zYevgeniya Amis speaks Esperanto every day with her husband Joel. She is a former editor of a socio-cultural magazine in Esperanto (Kontakto). She premiered recently as a playwright and producer of the play "1910" -- a "firsthand" story about Zamenhof's visit to Montreal that was put on stage during the World Esperanto Congress 2022 in Montreal. She and her husband, the Rev. Joel Amis (the incumbent of Christ Church Beaurepaire) were on the organizing committee of this World Congress (the second one in this part of the world... after the one in 1910 in Washington). Yevgeniys is working on a historical research into Zamenhof's family in Montreal that is planned to appear in a book form. She does many other Esperanto activities in her spare time (writing, editing, singing, etc.). She works for the National Film Board.

You can view the play in Esperanto at 1910 on YouTube with English subtitles.