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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


George M. Brewer and the Music Scene in Montreal 
during the First Half of the 20th Century

Speakers: Lorne Huston and Marie-Thérèse Lefebvre
When: Thursday, November 18, 2021, 19:30 to 21:00
Where: In virtual mode
Lecture mainly in English with an introduction and a short section of the main presentation in French, followed by a bilingual question period.

2021 11 18GeorgeBrewerPortraitParHolgateResizePortrait of George M. Brewer circa 1929-1930, By Edwin Holgate.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Photograph: Christine Guest.

George M. Brewer (1889-1947) was a fascinating, and now long-forgotten, figure on the music scene in Montreal during the first half of the twentieth century. By profession, he was an organist at the Church of the Messiah as the Unitarian Church of Montreal was known at that time. By inclination, he was a theatre producer – of medieval dramas. But above all, he was an educator. He would perform organ adaptations of music rarely heard in Montreal, music which he discovered and collected on his numerous voyages all over Europe and beyond. And he would not just play the music; he would also talk about it and situate it in its historical, philosophical, and musical context.
His story is interesting enough in itself but it is even more so when we try to understand who was listening to him and who supported him. We discover a rich network of clubs, societies, and associations through which Brewer moved -- in English mainly but also in French. From the Pen & Pencil Club to the Société Casavant, from the Masonic Study Club to the Conservatoire de musique du Québec, Lorne Huston and Marie-Thérèse Lefebvre will introduce us to this lively environment of music lovers in Montreal during the interwar years.


2021 11 18LorneHustonLorne Huston holds a PhD in history from Concordia University and a Master's degree in Sociology from the Université de Montréal. He has been doing research on the history of the arts sector in English Montreal since he retired from active teaching at Cégep Édouard-Montpetit in 2010. In addition to the book he co-authored with Marie-Thérèse Lefebvre on the Montreal musicologist, George M. Brewer, he has also written articles on the Art Association, and on Samuel Morgan-Powell, art and drama critic at the Montreal Daily Star (1913-1953).


2021 11 18Marie ThereseLefebvre PDanielCharpentierMarie-Thérèse Lefebvre, holder of a PhD in musicology from the Université de Montréal, was professor there from 1981 to 2010, Vice-Dean of graduate studies between 1993 and 1998 and Interim Dean in 1997–1998. Professor Emeritus of the Faculty of Music of the Université de Montréal and specialist in the history of music-life in Quebec, Marie-Thérèse Lefebvre has published several books and articles on various composers, including Auguste Descarries, Serge Garant, Rodolphe Mathieu, Gilles Tremblay and Jean Vallerand, as well as Chronologie musicale du Québec (1535-2004) (Septentrion, 2009) written in collaboration with Jean-Pierre Pinson.


The book "George M. Brewer et le milieu culturel anglophone montréalais, 1900-1950" written by Lorne Huston and Marie-Thérèse Lefebvre, Éditions Septentrion 2020, can be browsed on the editor’s website:


The history of Dowker Island

Speaker: Guido Socher
When: Thursday, October 21, 2021, 19:30 to 21:00
Where: In virtual mode
Lecture in English, followed by a bilingual question period

This is a presentation about the history of Dowker Island from the early 1800's until today.2021 10 21GuidoSocher Dowker island sunrise2020 09 08

Guido Socher is a resident of Baie-D'Urfé. Dowker Island has always fascinated him. This island is like a little treasure island with some hidden ruins. It's located exactly at the point where the waters from the Ottawa River and the Saint Laurent River meet and he has been exploring this island for many years.

Here is the link to his website:

You could also read the English text by Francine Ranger on Dowker Island, winner of the 2012 Roberta-Angell Prize:

Dowker IslandIllustration 1Illustration 2



Streetcars of Montreal – A History

Speaker: Daniel Laurendeau
When: Thursday, September 16, 2021, 19:30 to 21:30
Where: In virtual mode
Lecture in English, followed by a bilingual question period

Passionate about trams, Daniel Laurendeau brings us a visual time capsule covering the first modes of transit vehicles, from introduction of electric streetcars to their disappearance from the streets of Montreal.

2021 09 16LaurendeauDaniel TramwaysInspectorDaniel Laurendeau was born in Montréal in 1945. As early as 4 years old, he started his collection of City of Montreal transit related items. He is member of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association (CRHA) and volunteer at the Canadian Railway Museum at Delson / Saint-Constant since 1961. In 1985, he became Operator (Motorman) of streetcar tours on the Museum site, thus realizing his childhood dream. He presently sits on Exporail’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee and volunteers as a member of the Collections Committee. Beside his passion for trams, he had a successful career (35 years) at Honeywell Limited.




The Railway Industry: from the Beginning to the Pandemic

Speaker: Paulo Zegarra-Llerena2021 05 20 PauloZegarra Llerena Train0
When: Thursday, May 20, 2021, 19:30 - 21:00
Where: In virtual mode

Lecture in English followed by a bilingual question period. 

2021 05 20 PauloZegarra LlerenaPaulo Zegarra-Llerena will talk on the history of trains:

The Conception : the idea behind the conception of the train
The Development : from the beginning to our present days
The Importance : the railway network in Canada and Quebec
Pandemic : the adaptation through the years and now with Covid 19

The experience of Paulo Zegarra-Llerena goes from automation systems, to machine shop repairs then to the aeronautic and railway industries. He is passionate about technology advancements and new ways of energy generation, especially green energy and bio-developments.