Changes are afoot

Eventually I should be able to keep my promise to write more often. The realities of life and volunteer activities are keeping me from fulfilling my promise.

On March 18, 2018 the 195th Consecutive St. Patrick’s Parade will progress through the streets of Montreal. However there will be some distinct differences to previous years.

For over 55 years the Parade has progressed west to east along St. Catherine Street, either lining up on deMaisonneuve or on Rene-Levesque. Owing to much needed infrastructure work along Ste Catherine Street the Parade is obliged to leave this venerable beauty for boul. deMaisonneuve.

We are always hesitant to change. It is human nature. We know Patty McCann and her team are working their hardest to mitigate any issues related to this change. We know Patty will do her best.

Stay tuned to social media for further information


Michael Collins Finishes Irish Diaspora Run to Raise Awareness and Funds to Commemorate Famine Irish at Ireland Park in Toronto — IrishCanadianFamineResearch

Robert G. Kearns, the Chairman of Ireland Park Foundation and founder of Ireland Park, welcomed Michael Collins at the end of his run, along with members of Michael’s family, William Peat, Executive Director of Ireland Park Foundation, Fergus Keyes and Victor Boyle who are directors of the Montreal Irish Memorial Park Foundation, and members of the public. […]

via Michael Collins Finishes Irish Diaspora Run to Raise Awareness and Funds to Commemorate Famine Irish at Ireland Park in Toronto — IrishCanadianFamineResearch

The Year the UIS Almost Participated in the St. Jean Baptiste Parade

The Year the UIS Almost Participated in the St. Jean Baptist Parade #montreal #irish #history

United Irish Societies of Montreal Historian's Corner

1934 was a big year in two of Montreal’s founding communities. Both the the St. Patrick’s Society and the Société St. Jean Baptiste were celebrating their centennial anniversaries. The United Irish Societies of Montreal was led by John Loye, a man involved in numerous organizations both within and without the Irish community. Along the way it is likely Loye developed many friendships.

One of these friendships was developed with Dr. Victor Morin, a Past President of the Société St. Jean Baptiste, a fellow member of the Antiquarian Society, and a future president of the Royal Society of Canada. Clearly the Société St. Jean Baptiste of yesteryear had different aims and objectives than today’s.

On April 15th, 1934 Loye writes to Morin explaining that the long established custom is to extend an invitation to the annual parade in June to the St. Patrick’s Society and trying to convince the Société St…

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Who is Don Pidgeon?

Today we lost our good friend Don following a courageous battle with cancer. Here is a blog I wrote in June 2015 that will shed some light on who Don Pidgeon was. I will compose a new blog soon

United Irish Societies of Montreal Historian's Corner

IMG_7133Some people may be wondering who is this Don Pidgeon that I have mentioned the last little while. So here is a short blog on what I know about him. 

Donald Pidgeon was born the youngest child of William James Pidgeon and Marjorie Black 1. Growing up, family was important to Don and his siblings Thelma, Rita, and Bill, and is equally important today. Although his children are spread across the globe, Don and his wife Nadia (Ewasiechko) are always in touch with their children James and Jennifer (Emile) and their granddaughter Romy.

Don grew up in Griffintown, living there from 1940 to 1966, and has resided in Dorval since 1973. He had a 35 year career in retail before retiring in 1996.

Don joined the United Irish Societies of Montreal in 1968, where he quickly became involved with the organization’s activities, moving up the ladder from year to year…

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St. Patrick’s Day parade, Montreal, 1836

A media account of the parade from 1836

Gilliandr's Blog

This is how the St. Patrick’s Day parade looked in the nineteenth-century.  There were no clowns, no animals, no drinking, etc.  A lot more sedate, but quite a large crowd anyway.


Montreal Gazette

17 March 1836


The pleasing anticipations which have been formed of a propitious morning for the festival of St. Patrick, were most woefully disappointed by a fall of snow which commenced at about six o’clock, and at the time, we are writing, it continues with unabated vigour.  This did not dampen the ardour of the sons of the Emerald Isle (what can?) to do justice and honor to the patron saint, and long before the time appointed, a large concourse had assembled at the Albion Hotel.  The other National Societies met at their separate apartments and proceeded to the place of meeting and when united, formed a most imposing and numerous procession.  At about twenty…

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St Patrick’s Day, Montreal, 1867

Taken from Ottawa Citizen, 18 March 1867, page 2.

Gilliandr's Blog

Ottawa Citizen, 18 March 1867, page 2.

From Montreal.

Montreal, 18th – The celebration of St Patrick’s Day so far has passed by quietly.  The turn-out has not been so large as in former years, the coldness of the weather probably deterring many from paying their tribute to the memory of their patron Saint.  After high mass the Rev Mr O’Brien, of Brockville, preached a most able discourse. The procession then reformed, and after marching through the principal streets of the city and through Griffintown, along the streets of which numerous arches had been erected, proceeded to the site of the new St Patrick’s Hall.  Here speeches were delivered by the President of the Society, B Devlin. His worship the Mayor, Dr Hingston and Father Dowd, after which Father Dowd proceeded to lay the corner stone.  After this was completed three cheers were given by Father Dowd, three for…

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