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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. 


Slavery in Quebec: History jumps the track

Speaker: Frank Mackey
When: Thursday, April 21, 2022, 19:30
Where: TIn virtual mode using ZOOM
Lecture in English, followed by a bilingual question period.

Would you believe someone who told you the Nazi gas chambers were shut down in 1975 at the end of World War II? Of course not, 1975 is 30 years too late. The same goes for slavery in Quebec. The widespread belief that August 1, 1834, marked the end of that tragedy here is 30 years off. Yet Ottawa has decreed that in memory of that 1834 date, the First of August should be “National Emancipation Day.”

2022 04 21FrankMackey 1788SlaveAd

Screenshot 2022 04 11 115107A 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 three 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, is due out May 1, 2022.


Les femmes au Laboratoire de Montréal et à Beaurepaire

Speaker: Gilles Sabourin
When: Thursday, March 17, 2022, 19:30
Were: In virtual mode using ZOOM
Lecture in French, followed by a bilingual question period.

2022 03 17GillesSabourin HouseBeaurepaireDuring the Second World War, a secret laboratory studying nuclear energy was set up at the Université de Montréal, hosting some of the greatest Canadian and European scientists. To mark Women's Day on March 8, Gilles Sabourin will share with us the significant contribution that women were able to make to this project. Alma Chackett, one of the scientists on the project, gave Gilles a photo of a house in Beaurepaire used by the scientists as a resting place.

2022 03 17 082612Gilles Sabourin is a nuclear engineer specialized in the safety of nuclear power plants. He worked for more than twenty years for the Montréal office of Atomic Energy of Canada. "Montréal et la bombe", very well translated under the title “Montreal and the Bomb” is the result of fifteen years of intensive research into the atomic energy adventure in Montreal during the Second World War.

The book "Montréal et la bombe" is the winner of the Hubert Reeves 2021 Award created by the Association of Science Communicators of Quebec (Association des communicateurs scientifiques du Québec).

Here is a link to the English editor:

And to the French editor: 

If you know anything about the house on the photo taken by Ken Chackett, please contact us.


Christ Church Beaurepaire: Mid-20th Century Youth Programs

Speaker: Adrian Willison
When: Thursday, February 17, 2022, 19:30
Where: In virtual mode
Lecture in English, followed by a bilingual question period.

2022 02 17AdrianWillison ChristChurchBeaurepaire New DrawingAdrian Willison will introduce us to the Youth Programs put in place by the Beaurepaire Christ Church from the 1950's till around 1975.2022 02 17AdrianWillison NewsPaper FellowshipArctic

Adrian Willison, loyalist descendant, is member of Heritage Branch of United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada, lifetime member of the Missisquoi History Society and long time member of the Beaurepaire-Beaconsfield Historical Society. He is very interested in Canadian history, including the region of Chelsea near Gatineau where a branch of his ancestors settled. Adrian Willison has always lived in Beaurepaire and been a member of Beaurepaire Christ Church. His sister and he have participated in the youth programs offered by that church.

Adrian Willison, as speaker, already presented the following subjects to our audience:

November 2007: The American Revolution on Lake Saint Louis and its Shores
January 2010 : Kensington Gardens: World Class Architecture in Beaurepaire
February 2014 : The Black Loyalists of the American Revolution, 1775-1783
April 2017 : 1867-Confederation-2017; Honouring its Empire Loyalist Foundations: Sir Charles Tupper, Prime Minister – A History


Aislin’s Favourite COVID Cartoons from Around the World

Speaker: Terry Mosher, alias Aislin
When: Thursday, January 20, 2022, starting at 19:302022 01 20TerryMosher COVID Graphic
Where: In virtual mode
Lecture in English, followed by a bilingual question period.

TN2Terry Mosher has been cartooning since 1967 under the pen name AISLIN. While Aislin’s career has been principally associated with the English-language newspaper The Montreal Gazette, his work has been reproduced far and wide. Many of Aislin’s 14,000 cartoons are now held in the collection of Montreal’s McCord Museum. Over the years, Mosher has written or contributed to 52 books.

In his latest book, he assembled cartoons on the theme of COVID-19 sketched by different cartoonists from around the world. He is now raising funds for community healthcare with this latest book. For more information see