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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.



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


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.



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.


Grandad's Montreal, 1901

Spealer: Robert N. Wilkins
When: Thursday, January 19, 2023, 19:30 - 21:00
Where: Centennial Hall,
             288 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4
Lecture in English, followed by a bilingual question period

2023 01 19RobertNWilkins GrandfatherGrandmotherWilkinsc.1901After explaining the reason he wrote this book and the title of the book, Mr Wilkins will make reference to just a few of the events that took place during the first year of the twentieth century: The death of Queen Victoria and how that news was received in Montreal; the massive Board of Trade fire of late January; the Redpath deaths in June of 1901, which were the result of one of the strangest shooting stories ever in this city’s history; the Royal Visit of September 1901; etc, etc.

2023 01 19RobertNWilkins robertnwilkinsBorn in Montreal in 1947, Robert N. Wilkins was educated at Concordia University, Carleton University, and McGill University. High school teacher in the Montreal area for some 35 years, he was also a contributor to the Quebec Family History Society quarterly ‘Connections’, The Westmount Examiner, The Suburban, The Montreal Gazette, and, occasionally, other national newspapers as well. He published two books, 'Montreal, 1909' (Shoreline Press, in 2017) and 'Montreal Recorder’s Court', 1906 (in 2020) before his more recent book 'Grandad’s Montreal, 1901' (in 2022).


Macdonald College, the Great War and Commemoration

Speaker: Wes Cross
When: Thursday, November 17, 2022, 19:30 to 21:00
Where: Centennial Hall,
       288 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4
Lecture in English, followed by a bilingual question period

2022 11 17WesCross MacdonaldWWI McGillReporter2018 42022 11 17WesCross MacdonaldWWI RichardsonJuliusFromMacdonaldCollegeMagazineSpring1915

By 1914 Macdonald College was in its seventh year of existence but like many institutions found itself swept up into the worldwide conflict that would become known as the Great War. The impact on the College was significant. Of 354 students and staff who enlisted, 34 lost their lives. What are their stories and how were they remembered then and in the century that followed? This presentation examines the impact and legacy of that time.



2022 11 17WesCross MacdonaldWWI PictureOfHimWes Cross is a co-founder of the McGill Remembers Roundtable formed in 2005 to raise awareness of and to utilize historical material found in institutional archives. In this role he has spoken on a range of topics, developed course material for educational institutions and served as an advisor on a number of initiatives.
A graduate of Concordia University, Wes was a recipient of the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation in 2014 for his work on developing historical material and public awareness.


History of Centennial Hall

Speaker: Pauline Faguy-Girard
When: Thursday, October 20, 2022, 19:30 - 21:00
Where: Centennial Hall,
             288 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4
Lecture in English followed by a bilingual question period

F 02777azCentennial Hall, now the city’s cultural centre, was once home to a lawyer, a Montreal sports magnate, dozens of delinquent girls and Beaconsfield’s city hall. This lecture will tell the history of Centennial Hall, its owners and what was there before. 


S 22833 1Pauline Faguy-Girard is interested in history and more specifically to Beaconsfield’s history since 2004 when she joined the historical society. Through the years, she has been Secretary, Treasurer and, since 2018, President of our historical society.


Where was Blue Bonnets in 1897?

Speaker: Fred Parkinson
When: Thursday, September 15, 2022, 19:30 - 21:00
Where: Centennial Hall,
             288 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4
Lecture in English followed by a bilingual question period

2022 09 15FredParkinson BlueBonnet IMG 0889Crop2022 09 15FredParkinson BlueBonnet IMG 0913Crop


Growing up in the 1940’s in Alberta, each school year began by filling out a registration form that included one entry asking where my mother was born. She had told me the answer was Blue Bonnets, Québec. I never gave it much thought, but the name seemed mysterious, even exotic, and it would pop up in my memory from time to time. However, recently it has been coming to mind so often that it has become an obsession. In an effort to learn where Blue Bonnets was, and hopefully to locate mother’s birthplace, I joined the Quebec Family History Society. With their guidance, as well from other experts in the field, I have spent the last two years researching information that could provide the missing details.

This illustrated lecture leads us through the local Montreal history, beginning with the Blue Bonnets Racetrack, the only locality still bearing the name in 2003, back to where the community of Blue Bonnets was located, and even to the farm home where my mother was born.


 2022 Fred Parkinson


Fred (Evans) Parkinson, retired Consulting Civil/Hydraulic Engineer, spent a 45-year career working in the fields of hydro-power development and river navigation. He was associated with a number of studies to improve the Seaway lock operations during ice conditions and participated in studies on physical hydraulic models to widen and deepen the navigation channel downstream from Montreal. At the same time, he was retained to develop new operating systems for several locks on the Rideau and Trent Canals and overseas for the Panama Canal. He gave a lecture on the St. Lawrence Seaway in November 2017 to the Société historique Beaurepaire-Beaconsfield members.




F. Moyra Allen (OC) and her Legacy to Nursing:
An Innovative Approach to Health Care in Beaconsfield-Pointe-Claire (1976-1979)

Speaker: Margaret Purden, RN, PhD
When: Thursday, May 19, 2022, 19:30
Where: In virtual mode using ZOOM
Lecture in English, followed by a bilingual question period.

2022 05 19MoyraAllen McGillOn the heels of National Nurses Day celebrated on May 12th, this talk will feature the accomplishments of Dr. F. Moyra Allen (1921-1996), renowned nursing professor and researcher, and Officer of the Order of Canada. Dr. Allen was a long time resident of Beaconsfield.
The 1974 report, A New Perspective on the Health of Canadians by Marc Lalonde, former Minister of National Health and Welfare sparked a call for innovative projects to promote health and advance health care. Dr. Allen rose to the occasion and was one of the first nurses in Canada to be awarded significant infrastructure and research funding from the National Health Research and Development Program (NHRDP) to establish a nursing centre, The Workshop: A Health Resource in her hometown of Beaconsfield. At the start of her career in 1977, 16 1487001Margaret Purden was one of the first nurses appointed by Dr. Moyra Allen to advance an expanded role for nursing in health care. Although the centre had a limited run from 1977 to 1979, many important advances in nursing education and practice can be traced back to this influential work.


Professor Margaret Purden completed her undergraduate and doctoral studies in Nursing at McGill University. She has been the Scientific Director of the Jewish General Hospital's Centre for Nursing Research since 1999, the Director of the Office of Interprofessional Education at McGill University's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences since 2016, an Associate Professor at the Ingram School of Nursing, and a Senior Investigator at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research.