Giving Back to the Community

It has been some time since I have shared my thoughts via this blog. Life gets hectic on occasion. I will make more of an effort to write more regularly.

The United Irish Societies of Montreal has a tradition of giving back to the community and advocating when necessary. In September 1937 President John Loye interceded on behalf of the Grey Nuns when two of their Sisters were ordered off the premises of the CNR Fruit Terminal warehouse on des Seigneurs Street for soliciting fruits and vegetables from the traders, which was apparently a common practice.

On October 19th, 1967 Robert Larkin wrote a letter to Brother Vincent of the Catholic Men’s Hostel expressing an interest on behalf of the United Irish Societies in organizing a Christmas show to the benefit of the Hostel’s residents. He subsequently wrote to tobacco and soft drink suppliers soliciting donations.

On December 15, 1967 the United Irish Societies of Montreal promoted a Christmas Drawing at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Cavendish Boulevard, the proceeds going to welfare and social services. Mr. Austin Wilson was the Chairman. A cheque in the amount of 154$ was donated to the Montreal Children’s Hospital for the purchase of a special wheelchair.

The Christmas Draw was held  in the Oak Room of the Windsor Hotel the following year. The tickets were sold for a modest sum of 5 for $1.00 or $.25 per ticket. In 1979 prizes of alcohol were eliminated, replaced by cash prizes. In 1981, the price of tickets increased to $1.00, which remains in effect today. In 1992, total prizes increased to $2,000

The tradition of giving back to the community continues today with the next generation of members assuming positions of responsibility within the organization. While we have to look no further than Janson Quessy and the work he is doing with the Christmas Draw, we can also look to members such as Kevin Murphy, Leigh-Ann Killin, Kim Provost, Danny Doyle jr., and Shawn Doyle who are all playing their part in ensuring this organization continues successfully for generations to come, giving back to the community and advocating when necessary. With the next generation, the Societies has a bright future for years to come.

Ken Quinn, Historian

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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

Remembering Aloysius “Al” Darbyson

pmc10 0314 pats parade 0192 (2)The first recollection I have of Al Darbyson was an encounter at Hurley’s Irish Pub one evening in March in the mid to late 1990s. In those days, the Marshals’ pre parade meeting took place in one of the many downtown pubs, quite probably Cheers! on Mackay Street in this case. I can’t recall the meeting, not for any reason of over consumption but because they all followed the same format. The Parade Director gets up, introduces everyone of special note in attendance, and goes over final details of the upcoming parade.  Questions are asked of the Parade Director, many the same by the same marshals year in year out. Although fantastic social occasions, it was easy for one meeting to blend into the next in my memory over time. Continue reading Remembering Aloysius “Al” Darbyson

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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Michael Collins Pays Tribute to Grey Nuns and Famine Irish in Montreal on Celtic Trail of Tears — IrishCanadianFamineResearch

From the Irish Times: http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/generation-emigration/why-are-6-000-irish-buried-under-a-montreal-traffic-island-1.2696681 Why are 6,000 Irish buried under a Montreal traffic island? Michael Collins finds an unusual Famine memorial during his 900km run about 20 hours ago Michael Collins in Canada The second day’s run begins under dark skies for Michael Collins. Photograph: Anne Petersen The Black Rock in Montreal marks the […]

via Michael Collins Pays Tribute to Grey Nuns and Famine Irish in Montreal on Celtic Trail of Tears — IrishCanadianFamineResearch

Thomas D’Arcy McGee

It has been two months since my last blog. Life gets busy at times and that has to take priority. Since we last met activities in the community are taking place. Notably, the annual Walk to the Stone took place on the usual date, the last Sunday of May. By all accounts it was well attended. Bloomsday Montreal recently wrapped up another festival.

With life getting busy things are status quo concerning the Historian portfolio but I’d like to share with you developments from the last few days. D’Arcy Quinn, great great grandson of Thomas D’Arcy McGee, contacted the St. Patrick’s Society in an effort to be able to enter the crypt where McGee’s remains. I got involved in my capacity as a Society vice president along with its Historian, Peter Shea. I wanted to make sure a connection was made between Mr. Quinn and the cemetery. In the end he was able to make a connection on his own. But as a result of our correspondence we agreed to meet last evening. He had to be a good guy; he’s a Quinn afterall. Continue reading Thomas D’Arcy McGee

Saving the Famine Irish exhibit comes to Montreal — IrishCanadianFamineResearch

The Saving the Famine Irish exhibit is at the Centaur Theatre in Old Montreal this week and it will cost you nothing to see it. It’s well worth the price of admission. Don’t delay.

Ken Quinn, Historian

 

Saving the Famine Irish exhibit comes to Montreal By Gloria Henriquez A special opening reception at the Centaur Theatre for the “Saving the Famine Irish” Exhibition, Monday, April 11, 2016. MONTREAL – It is a story of survival and compassion. The exhibit comes from Connecticut’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, which hosted the exhibition from March 17, […]

via Saving the Famine Irish exhibit comes to Montreal — IrishCanadianFamineResearch