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The First Nations:  Our Successes and Our Failures


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Guest Speaker: John Ciaccia


When: Thursday, January 19, 2012, from 19:30 to 21:00

Where: Centennial Hall,

              288 Beaconsfield Boulevard, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A7

Lecture in English followed by a bilingual question period



Everyone welcome. Admission free.


Information: Contact us 




Because so little is generally known or understood about the long history or culture of the First Nations who arrived here millennia before the European discovery of the western world, it was decided to explore parts of their story and background as our theme for the year 2012.  Of course, it is only possible to touch on a few areas but we have been lucky to recruit a number of speakers from the local aboriginal community to share their viewpoints and goals with us and also to display some cultural aspects of their arts and crafts.

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A short performance by the

803 Air Cadet Squadron Pipe Band and Highland Dancing group

will pave the way for the lecture



“Scottish on top, Irish underneath and English to the Core”

Speaker: Historian Alexander Reford, great grandson of Elsie Reford
When: Thursday, November 17, 2011, at 19:30

Where: In the Annex to the City Hall, 303 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield (Entrance at the west end of the parking lot)

 Lecture in English followed by a bilingual question period

 Everyone welcome. Admission free.


Elsie Reford was an occasional resident of Beaconsfield. Her husband owned a property on Thompson’s Point in Beaurepaire (1896-1907) and she began her married life enjoying summers on Lake St. Louis until she was given the use and finally title to her uncle’s fishing camp, Estevan Lodge, at Grand-Métis on the Lower St. Lawrence. She later transformed this property into a vast ornamental garden, known today as Les Jardins de Métis and Reford Gardens.

 Like many English Montrealers of her era, Elsie Reford was born of immigrant parents who had made a new life in Canada. With a patrimony that was both Scottish and Irish, she was nonetheless English to the core. A committed Canadian, her world view, influences, cultural references were heavily influenced by her repeated travels to England and the strong pull exerted by England and its imperial ideal. Instilled with the Scottish virtues of hard work and common sense, her taste in clothes, literature, art, music, politics and plants were thoroughly English.


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Historian Alexander Reford, great grandson of Elsie Reford, will present the life and times of Elsie Reford and the ways in which the world view of this English Montrealer was shaped by her Scottish and Irish parentage and how this made her more English, more imperialistic and more Canadian.


 The Cree cultural traditions and the influence of the Scottish fur traders of the Hudson’s Bay Company

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photo by Niels Jensen



Speaker: Louise Abbottlandofthecreelouiseabbott-4

When : Thursday October 20, 2011, from 19:30 to 21:00

Where:  In the Media Room of the Beaconsfield Library,

303 Beaconsfield Boulevard, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A7


The trilingual book by Louise Abbott, “Eeyou Istchee – Land of the Cree - Terre des Cris” will be on sale that evening.


Lecture in English followed by a bilingual question period.



Everyone welcome. Admission free.




 “The Scots influence on the Province of Québec”I 03418z 1



Lecturer: Ray Baillie, author of  “Scottish Imprint in Quebec

When: Thursday, September 15, 2011, from 7 pm to 9 pm


Location: building Centennial Hall, 288 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield H9W 4A4


His book Scottish Imprint in Quebec will be on sale at this conference.


Conference in French followed by a bilingual question period.






In 2011, the selected theme for our lectures is "Scots in Beaconsfield" in order to present a more in depth study of this subject with several guest speakers.

  • October 2010: Pat Coombes, on Beaconsfield Golf Club, meeting held at the Beaconsfield Golf Club
  • November 18, 2010: Clifford Lincoln, on “Can we as individual change our world?”
  • January 20, 2011: Alain Ménard, on Vineyards in Québec (1860-1900), including the one in Beaconsfield
  • February 17, 2011: Virginia Bell, on the 50 years of the Briarwood Church in Beaconsfield
  • April 21, 2011: Allison Irwin, on NOVA Thrift Shops, describing the struggles and the chances they took when opening new stores (4 total) and also innovative ways of what they “do” with unusual items.
  • May 2011: Roy Wright, on the Kingdoms of the St. Lawrence Lawrence visited by Jacques Cartier… and their descendents"; from the writings of Jacques Cartier and the Sieur de Roberval, the history and culture of the indigenous Saint Lawrence Iroquoians, Mohawks and Hurons.




  • October 2009 - Elizabeth Abbott, "Sir John Abbott"
  • November 2009 - Michel Forest, "Frederick Coburn"
  • January 2010 - Adrian Willison, "Kensington Gardens: World Class Architecture in Beaurepaire"
    • Adrian Willison talked about the Beaconsfield housing development built by his grandfather Darbyson.
  • February 2010 - Valerie Verity, "The role of the Métisse Woman" Valerie came down from Pointe Fortune to speak to us about Magdeleine Poitras the wife of John McDonnell who built the home that is currently known a the McDonnell-Williamson house in Pointe Fortune. They had a total of 12 children, the first six of whom were born out on the land while McDonnell was involved in the western fur trade. A very romantic story.


  • March 2010 - Pauline Faguy-Girard - Based on her years of research in our municipal files, Pauline spoke very informatively about Beaconsfield’s development.
  • April 2010 - Elizabeth Abbott - addressed the society on Reverend Joseph Abbott, who was the author of 'The Emigrant’, published in 1842.
  • May 20, 2010 - Yvonne Cousineau, "Guenet: The Man, The Legend" at Centennial Hall
    • Coinciding with the Beaconsfield 100 celebrations our speaker will reveal her findings about Jean Guenet, who was a very powerful, influential seventeenth century official, the procureur du roi, and the first landowner in Beaurepaire.



  • November 2008, Elizabeth Abbott, Dr. Maude Abbott, our first woman doctor.
  • January 2009, Gilles Perron, “J. Léonide Perron, First Mayor of Beaconsfield, A man destined to be Prime Minister of Quebec", Centennial Hall.
  • February 2009, Jean-Louis Denis in the very atmospheric setting of the restored heritage property currently occupied by the Beaconsfield Yacht Club,  addressed the subject of his ancestor who was granted land in Baie d’Urfé in 1678.
  • March 2009, Gilles Laberge, "The Iroquoians of the St. Lawrence Valley" and showed some very interesting slides.
  • April 2009, Anne Collette, "West Island architects and architecture from the eighteenth century up to the 1950s".



  • November 15th, 2007   Adrian Willison, “The American Revolution on Lake Saint Louis and its Shores”; Centennial Hall
  • January 2008: Pauline Faguy-Girard, Preview of some of her findings in the Minutes of the Beaconsfield City Council meetings 1910-1957
  • February 21st 2008, Mr. Rudolf Okker, “Benedict Arnold in the West Island”,  Centennial Hall
  • March 20th, 2008: Michel Belisle, “Fief Boisbriant - Senneville”, Media Room, Beaconsfield Library
  • April 17th, 2008: Patrick Campbell and Jean-Louis Denis,” Aviation is in the air of Beaconsfield” and Défilé of TCA/Air Canada stewardesses’ uniforms, the Annexe.


  • Mar 15th, 2007    Jean Morrison, “Living the Good Life as an oral history interviewer”


  • May 17th, 2007  Julie Boivin and Jennifer Ouellet, "Heritage Homes"; Herb Linder Annex

    Julie Boivin, architect, Bureau du patrimoine et de la toponymie, Ville de Monreal, introduced the Maisons rurales / Farm Houses project on the island of Montreal. Jennifer Ouellet, completing her M.A. in heritage conservation, made a PowerPoint presentation in French on "Les anciennes maisons de ferme de l’île de Montréal et de l’île Bizard". Also will be the launch of the new edition of our Walking Tour of Beaconsfield booklet.




  • February 15, 2006       The Right Honourable Francis Scarpaleggia
  • November 16, 2006      Mrs Evelyn McOuat (Bremner) speaking about Douglas Bremner, her father: important figure of our city, artist, musician, philanthropist and member of the Order of Canada



  • November 17, 2004     Mme Françoise Duguay, President of the Quebec Archeologists Association, "Excavations at Pointe Caron"
  • May 18, 2005  Douglas Jack, Typonomy of the Native Peoples of this area