All posts by Lucy H. Anglin

Miss Lindsay – Part 3

Miss Marguerite Lindsay, working as a summer volunteer teacher, went missing from the Grenfell Mission in Cartwright, Labrador, in August 1922. Her body was finally discovered four months later, in December 1922.

The nearby authorities in Battle Harbour were notified immediately, as was her family in Montreal. When her body was gently pried loose from its frozen grave, they were stunned to discover a bullet wound in Miss Lindsay’s chest.

John Martin, the young trapper who found her body, was unable to provide any more information upon further questioning. When interviewed over 50 years later, he recalled his sad discovery that day by remarking: “Twas a remarkable place where she was found. There was a pool (Salt Water Pond) with two big junipers beside it. It was only about 15 minutes walk from the (Muddy Bay) boarding school.”1

Journalists suddenly had ample new fodder for their newspapers, and the story of Miss Lindsay dramatically bounced back into the headlines. Murder? Suicide? Accidental death?

In no time at all, a bullet wound in her chest evolved into riveting stories of “foul play,” a “love affair gone wrong,” or “shot through the heart” and other sensational headlines that sell newspapers. However, the possibility of a tragic and fatal accident was barely mentioned, as that version wouldn’t satisfy scandal hungry readers.

After three inconclusive investigations, Detective Head Constable Byrne was dispatched to Cartwright nine months later, in September 1923. Twenty-two local Cartwright people were interviewed in an effort to gather more information and rule out the rumours of foul play and murder.

Fifty years later, in 1976, Ida Sheppard recalled that time in another interview “I was workin’ at the Muddy Bay School when Miss Lindsay got lost. We were all cryin’ for her ‘cause we fair loved her, she was such a nice person.” This poignant statement seems to echo the sentiment of the people of Cartwright even to this day.2

Eventually Detective Byrne concluded the following in his statements to the press:

          “The presumption is that Miss Lindsay on her way to take a bath in Salt Water Pond into which the brook flows, stopped to shoot some muskrat which abound in the river, and that she fell on the firearm which she was known to have carried.”3

           “The postmortem examination held at Cartwright showed that a bullet had entered the left side, passed through the heart and out on the other side of the body. From this it is concluded that Miss Lindsay must have fallen on the weapon as it was almost impossible to turn it on herself in the direction.”4

In her coat pocket were a dozen bullets that would fit her Browning pistol, also supporting the accidental death theory.5

Detective Byrne terminated his investigation with the statement: “The postmortem disclosed nothing which would tend to indicate deliberate suicide.”6

Once the sea ice had melted in June 1923, permitting navigaton once again, Miss Lindsay’s body (preserved in salt) was transported to St. John’s, Newfoundland. There a funeral was held for Miss Lindsay before her body was taken by train back to her family in Montreal.

           “As the cortege wound its way to the railway station, citizens stood with uncovered heads evidencing their respect for the departed heroine and sympathy for the sorrowing relatives at home. Marguerite Lindsay will rank with the great women of the world who have given their lives for others”. 7

She was finally laid to rest in the family plot in the Mount Royal cemetery in Montreal where, as it happens, I went to visit her recently.

So whether someone today strolls by “Miss Lindsay’s Marsh,” fingers her name on the local church’s plaque8, listens to a song written in her honour9 or reads a poem written by school children… the Cartwright community continues to honour Marguerite’s memory almost 100 years after her death.

Now that’s a legacy!

The grave of Helen Frances Marguerite Lindsay

1“I found Miss Lindsay,” John Martin, 1976, Cartwright, Labrador. Researcher Doris Saunders.

2“We Fair Loved Her,” Ida Sheppard, 1976, Happy Valley, Labrador. Researcher Doris Saunders.

3Evening Telegram, “Miss Lindsay’s Death Accidental,” September 24,1923.

4Evening Telegram, “Miss Lindsay’s Death Accidental,” September 24,1923.

5Evening Telegram, “Miss Lindsay’s Death Accidental,” September 24,1923.

6Evening Telegram, “Miss Lindsay’s Death Accidental,” September 24,1923.

7Evening Telegram, “Miss Lindsay’s Death Accidental,” September 24,1923.

8St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Cartwright, Labrador

9“Somewhere Beyond the Hills,” words and music by Harry Martin

Notes:

Miss Marguerite Lindsay 

By: Adam Dyson and Brandon Cabot (Grade 4 – Henry Gordon Academy, Cartwright, Labrador)

Once on a summer day in 1922,

A fine young lady died and only a few know.

What happened to her is a mystery,

And will every be part of Cartwright’s history.

Harry Martin wrote a song, we really thank him.

They know that the chance she was alive was very slim.

The newspaper says a mystery was found,

The dogs found her body in a snowy mound.

She went for a walk 15 minutes away,

From a land she loved called Muddy Bay.

She never came back, not even the next day,

She was supposed to catch a boat heading far far away.

She was found by the edge of a big marsh,

The winters were violent an her death was harsh.

Miss Lindsay and her life at Muddy Bay,

Is a mystery that is unsolved today.

Somewhere Beyond the Hills 

Words and Music – Harry Martin of Cartwright, Labrador

Have you ever wondered, as you listened to the wind,
What secrets does she carry, what sad things had she seen?
Well, I’ve listened to her stories a thousand times before,
But still, I have to question her once more.

What happened on that summer’s day in 1922?
Has been talked about by many but the truth is known by few;
And those who knew the answer have been silenced by the years,
But suspicion on the wind have reached my ears.

Someone said somebody knew but when he spoke he lied,
Others said they saw them talking on the day she died;
When the darkness found her she was silent, cold and still,
And her body lay somewhere beyond the hill.

Somewhere in some city a grey-haired mother prays,
Please, God, protect my angel in that land so far away;
But tonight her youngest daughter lies asleep beneath the snow,
In a winter land so far away from home.

Then one cold December day a mystery was unveiled;
They found the poor young maiden there beside a trapper’s trail;
Her body, cold and lifeless, had a bullet through the breast,
Now, the reason why won’t let this poor soul rest.

I have often wondered, as I listened to the wind,
What secrets did she carry, what sad things had she seen?

But those who knew the answers are no silent, cold and still,

And the secret lies somewhere beyond the hill.

Miss Lindsay – Part 2

In June 1922, Miss Marguerite Lindsay arrived as a summer volunteer with the Grenfell Mission in Cartwright, Labrador. Two months later she went missing.

When Miss Lindsay didn’t return from her afternoon walk that fateful day, an extensive search took place immediately. All of Cartwright took part and did their utmost to find her.

Indeed, Marguerite was held in such great affection by the local children and their families that a thorough search of the area was made by her boy pupils, who combed the shoreline and nearby woods inch-by-inch.

Reverend Gordon, with several others, took a motorboat and cruised along the Cartwright shore without luck. They concluded that she must have drowned, perhaps by hitting her head while swimming or falling down some cliff into the fast tidal currents, which then carried her away.

It wasn’t long before the news got out. On August 15, 1922, The Evening Telegram in St. John’s, Newfoundland, published the first of many articles about the fate of Miss Marguerite Lindsay with the headline: “Tragedy at Cartwright – Volunteer Teacher Supposed Drowned.” This was the type of sensational story that sold newspapers and, for the next year, the media worldwide went wild with it.

In one extreme case of yellow journalism, several American tabloids published an article which originated in Britain, devoting an entire page to an appalling story with this ridiculous headline:

“Kidnapped by Savage Eskimos – Beautiful Canadian Girl Suffers As Tragic a Fate As Ever Befell a White Woman; Carried Off by the Dreaded “Fish Fang” Tribe Into the Trackless Wastes of Labrador.” 1

IMG_1576

The article described, in horrific fictional detail, Miss Lindsay’s new life as the captive wife of one of the imaginary savages. One can only hope that her family didn’t read these newspapers.

A month after her disappearance, in September 1922, my great uncle Stanley Lindsay, another of Marguerite’s brothers, arrived in Cartwright by ship. Unfortunately, nothing was accomplished by his northern trip except the melancholy satisfaction of learning firsthand that no effort was spared to trace his sister. He simply thanked the good people of Cartwright for all they had done.

Imagine their relief at his kind words.

Upon Stanley’s return, the Lindsay family held a memorial service in Montreal at the Church of St John the Evangelist in October 1922. Reverend and Mrs. Gordon attended the “impressive ceremony” on behalf of The Grenfell Mission and the people of Cartwright.

Helen Frances Marguerite Lindsay 1896-1922
Helen Frances Marguerite Lindsay 1896-1922

On December 13, 1922, four months after her disappearance, Marguerite’s body was discovered by John Martin, one of two trappers whose dogs dug deep into the snow by the shoreline. The frost had heaved her body upward out of the bog.

Sadly, Miss Lindsay’s boy pupils had been searching within ten yards of her body but the Indian Tea bushes native to the area had hidden her.2

She was fully clothed, her exposed frozen face was disfigured and… she had a bullet hole in her chest.

1 The Springfield News Leader 10 Dec 1922 – https://newpapers.com/newspaper/39664723

2The Evening Telegram 24 Sept 1923

 

Miss Lindsay – Part 1

In June 1922, young Marguerite Lindsay travelled from Montreal, Quebec to Cartwright, Labrador, for a summer of volunteer work. Two months later she went for an afternoon walk and disappeared.

Marguerite, aged 25, had volunteered as a teacher with The Grenfell Mission in Cartwright. The International Grenfell Mission is a non-profit organization that was formed in 1892 by British medical missionary Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell to provide healthcare, education, religious services, rehabilitation and other social services to the fisherman and coastal communities of northern Newfoundland and Labrador.1

She taught the older girls sports such as swimming and cricket and ran the recreation program at the Labrador Public School at Muddy Bay, 10 km from Cartwright. Miss Annette Stiles, an American and the other summer volunteer, worked as the school’s nutritionist and cook.

Marguerite was my grandfather’s baby sister. The youngest of six children born to Mary Heloise Bagg and Robert Lindsay, she grew up privileged in a prominent English Montreal family. Her brother, my grandfather, was an Anglican priest in Montreal.The Priest

Marguerite Lindsay and her brother Sydenham circa 1922
Marguerite Lindsay and her brother Sydenham – photo taken in Montreal, Quebec – circa 1922

An article in The Montreal Standard newspaper described Marguerite as being “popular in Boston, London and Montreal Society.” She attended a girls’ school near Boston and, in 1918, actively took part in The Sewing Circle (making quilts for charity) and The Vincent Club (supporting women’s health issues). Later she attended St. Andrew’s College in England. Her fine education and choice of social circles were evidence of not only her elite upbringing but her ingrained kindness towards others.

In June 1921, a year before her departure for Labrador, Marguerite returned home by ship after a three month visit to England. She was only 24 years old at that time and most likely already considered a spinster!

Her marriage prospects were not good, since after The Great War, there was an excess of females over males of about 5,500 in English Montreal alone. 2 The women’s rights movement had already made progress for women’s suffrage, education and entry into the workplace. Might these changes in society have encouraged Marguerite’s decision to pursue her teaching? Perhaps she learned about The Grenfell Mission itself during her last trip to England. But how on earth did she convince her protective parents to allow such an adventure? Did her brother (the priest) approve of the idea, support her calling and aid in her plea?

Marguerite Lindsay 1922
The Grenfell Mission photo of volunteer Miss Helen  Frances Marguerite Lindsay

The two young volunteers, Marguerite and Annette, were under the direction of the Reverend Henry Gordon. He and his wife ran the school in Muddy Bay. Annette, perhaps a little homesick, described the area as “a bay surrounded by spruce-clad hills, resembling Lake George (New York), warmly sheltered from the Arctic winds.”3

Annette wrote an article depicting some of her experiences with Marguerite and the local people. It was published in an issue of the journal Among the Deep Sea Fishers. She described food demonstrations held for the adults and nature outings with the children in their collective care noting that “the children’s enthusiasm was very contagious – a great contrast to the boredom of some in more civilized places.” And then she continued:

Miss Lindsay was a very good swimmer and the older children loved her teaching them this as well as loving to work with her in the mornings … even on cold days they would beg to go in (the water) and the little ones would join in the chorus: “O! Miss, take I in swimmin’ too!”

It was a hot day on August 4, 1922, when Marguerite left her fellow teacher and friend in Cartwright possibly to go for a swim somewhere along the Sandwich Bay shores. She often took walks alone and was known to be a young lady very capable of taking care of herself. However, that evening when she hadn’t returned in time for the evening meal, a search party was organized immediately.

Miss Lindsay was missing!

1FindingGrenfell.ca – accessed October 19, 2019

2Westley, Margaret W. Remembrance of Grandeur–The Anglo-Protestant Elite of Montreal 1900-1950, p. 126

3 Stiles, Annette – “The Cartwright Expert Cook” – Among the Deep Sea Fishers, January 1923

The Family Jewels and Other Treasures

Jewelry

My favourite piece of heirloom jewelry belonged to my Aunt Mary (1920- )My Formidable Tante Marie. She wore the delicate turquoise and pearl necklace while posing for one of her promotional photos during her theatre days in Montreal in the late 1940’s. I wore the very same necklace for my wedding day some 50 years later. 

My great grandfather, Dr. J. P. Hanington (1846-1927)Pharmacist then Doctor, gave his bride-to-be, Gertrude Thorpe Davidson (1852-1950)The Matriarch (A Remarkable Memory), an exceptional gold locket when they married in 1874. The back of the locket, engraved with the words “Sapienter Si Sincere” meaning “Wisely if sincerely” is the Davidson Clan Motto. The two photos inside the locket are of Dr. Hanington and their first daughter, Mary Thorpe, who died of diptheria when she was five years old.

Another couple of heirloom pieces, a delicate cameo brooch and a spectacular 89 Seed Pearl Pendant, belonged to my great grandmother, Mary Heloise Bagg Lindsay (1854-1938)Great Granny Bagg (Kittens on the Wedding Dress). However, neither of the pieces were wedding-related to my knowledge.

Furniture

The Gill Cradle was first used by my 4x Great-Grandmother Phoebe Clark Gill (1777-1864). When only three weeks old, Phoebe was taken on horseback by her mother to a place of safety in Philadelphia away from the British in September 1777. The simple mahogany cradle stayed in the family for the next 230 years gently rocking several generations of babies. There are numerous photos taken of us in our christening dresses in that wonderful old cradle. The family donated it to the McCord Museum in 2005 so that it could be preserved for historical purposes and displayed with their collection.

The Gill Cradle - photo

The Carpet Chair was rescued from a fire in 1916 when Rose Cottage, the family home in Shediac, New Brunswick, burned down. It was the family home of my 2x Great-Grandfather Daniel Hanington (1804-1889)“Roaring Dan” and his wife Margaret Ann Peters (1811-1887). It is a useful “catch all” chair as it folds up nicely. I believe the carpet seat is the original one and, for that reason, it is not used as a chair.

Carpet chair - Hanington

The sewing tables of both my grandmothers fit nicely into different corners of the house. One belonged to my paternal grandmother, Josephine Sherron Anglin (1893-1964)Social Media – Then and Now, and it is a pedestal table. The two drawers are partitioned perfectly to hold sewing supplies and the top folds open to double in size. The other one belonged to my maternal grandmother, Millicent Hanington Lindsay (1895-1982)Granny-Lin, and can be found in The Book of Canadian Antiques1. According to the entry, the Anglo-Quebec style mahogany sewing table is from circa 1830. It has two flaps that open up to extend the work surface as well as a couple of drawers without partitions.

China and Silver

The silver tea set requires polishing several times a year. But once polished – oh my – what an impressive sight! My husband likes to put a tea towel over his arm and serve tea to my friends when we host tea parties. Proper tea parties have become popular again and several tearooms around the city have resurrected the tradition. The set belonged to my Great-Aunt who gave it to my Aunt Mary. When my aunt gave up her home she gave it to me. It must be almost 100 years old.

There are two china figurines that are very close to my heart. They belonged to my mother, Ann Lindsay Anglin (1926-1961)The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 1, who died at the young age of 35. They remind me of her. One is a popular Royal Doulton lady figurine kept in the corner glass cabinet in the dining room with some other collectibles. The other figurine is a lovely lady in a spectacular blue gown seated on a loveseat with a blue matching bonnet beside her fanning herself. She is kept on my bedside table. 

China figurine

Kitchware

Another treasure is an old box from Henry Morgan & Co. Limited with “Tins for Wedding Cake” written on the cover in my grandmother’s familiar scrawl. Inside the cardboard box there is an old tin icing canister with five different tin piping tips and a folded tired stained printed paper with a recipe for “Wedding Cake – 3 layers”. My grandmother was a fabulous cook and must have baked this cake for her three wedded daughters. Priceless! 

Wedding Cake Recipe and Tins (2)

Photographs, Letters and Diaries

Photos, letters and diaries may have no particular monetary value but they are invaluable to us genealogists trying to glean whatever we can from the lives of our ancestors. My dusty old boxes Dusty Old Boxes of cherished paper memorabilia contain heaps of pure joy. A treasure indeed!

1The Book of Canadian Antiques, Donald Blake Webster, p. 62.

A Montreal Stockbroker

Early in the 20th century, just before World War I, the city of Montreal was booming!

During this time the population of Montreal grew to half a million people. Immigration surged setting new records. Skilled workers from England found employment in the city’s factories. European immigrants, especially Jews fleeing persecution, made up the biggest group. Many others came escaping the economic misery back home. And people were also migrating from rural areas attracted by the city’s remarkable economic growth and the available opportunities.

Montreal offered all these people hope of a better life.

The Montreal Stock Exchange, founded in 1832, was Canada’s first exchange and grew to be its most prestigious during this time of great expansion. In 1910, the total number of trades was more than double that of The Toronto Stock Exchange. This growth led to the merger of several small companies creating several large corporations such as Dominion Textile and Montreal Light, Heat and Power which in turn traded their shares on the Exchange.

Montreal_Stock_Exchange_1903
The Montreal Stock Exchange – 1903

My great grandfather, Robert Lindsay (1855-1931), was a stockbroker during this exciting period of Montreal history and its prosperous growth. Robert was the son of the successful banker, Robert A. Lindsay (Bank of Montreal), as well as the nephew of the prominent politician, William Burns Lindsay. Wisely, he left banking and politics to his elders and forged his own career in finance.

Robert most likely worked in Old Montreal where many major financial institutions established their Canadian headquarters on and around Saint Jacques Street. The impressive old building on St. Francois-Xavier Street, just off Saint Jacques Street, which housed the Montreal Stock Exchange since 1903 became the home of the Centaur Theatre in 1964 when the Exchange moved to a skyscraper on Victoria Square.

1024px-Centaur_Theatre_in_Montreal
The Montreal Stock Exchange Building now The Centaur Theatre

Robert was born in Montreal in 1855, the oldest of four children, three boys plus a girl who died in infancy. His mother, Henrietta Dyde, passed away in 1864, ten weeks after her baby daughter died. Robert was only nine years old. His father remarried two years later and he and his new wife, Charlotte Anne Vennor, had six more children.

Robert married Mary Heloise Bagg Great Granny Bagg (Kittens on the Wedding Dress), one of the daughters of Stanley Clark Bagg and Catherine Mitcheson, in 1881 at the age of 26. The Baggs, a prominent Montreal family, never before had a stockbroker in the family.

Robert and Mary Heloise Wedding day
Robert and Mary Heloise on their wedding day – 1881

Robert and Mary Heloise named their first daughter “Ada” after his sister. Eventually, even though Mary Heloise was considered “frail”, they had a total of six children.

Their son Sydenham (my grandfather) and their youngest daughter Marguerite both followed their religious callings. Sydenham The Priest became an Anglican priest in Montreal. However, Marguerite died tragically at the age of 26, as a volunteer school teacher and missionary in Labrador.

Sydenham and Marguerite Lindsay
Sydenham and Marguerite Lindsay

Their eldest son Lionel became a well-loved Montreal family physician. Their daughter, Marjorie, was denied dangerous travel to England during the war to be with her one true love and remained a spinster, despite being a real beauty.

Stanley followed in his father’s footsteps and also became a stockbroker. He must have had a dreadful time during the Great Crash of 1929. Robert, although retired by then, probably followed his son’s career closely during that terrible period of panic and chaos.

For some unknown reason Stanley predicted the market’s collapse and withdrew the family money from the stock market prior to the Crash. Lucky him!

Great Danes and Convertibles

The only way that Caneel, Kay’s first Great Dane, could fit in her 1964 candy-red Mustang convertible was to sit facing forward in the middle of the back seat with her paws extending through the gap between the front bucket seats. This meant that she knocked the gear shift from Drive to Neutral from time to time.

Kay thought her first dog was a mixed breed called a “dirty dalmation”. Imagine her surprise when she realized that the dog was in fact a great dane and would grow to be the size of a small pony.

She was passionate about animals, but her first love was horses. As a girl, Kay owned her own: “Kitty,” whom she rescued from the proverbial glue factory. Ironically, “Kitty” was the name by which her mother called her. Kitty boarded in rural Dorval. Kay taught her to jump. She was particularly fond of jumping the grave markers in the cemetery where the Dorval airport now stands.

Kay and Kitty
Kay and her first horse Kitty (rescued horse)

My Aunt, Katharin (Kay) Gertrude Lindsay was born on June 14, 1930, in Montreal, the fourth and last child of my grandparents, Millicent Granny-Lin and Sydenham Lindsay The Priest. According to her eldest sister, Mary Kerr, their mother taught her to introduce herself as “one too many” when company visited.

Like her sisters, Mary My Formidable Tante Marie  and Ann The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 1, she spent the summers as a young teen at Camp Ouareau in St-Donat. But unlike her sisters who were very good at drama and the arts, Kay was quite the tomboy. Perhaps this was where she first developed her love of horses. During her seven years at McGill studying first for her Arts Degree and then her Physical and Occupational Therapy Diploma, she was an active member in the Riding, Swimming and Volleyball Clubs. She graduated in 1954.

My favourite photo of her has her posing in her first convertible, a 1955 Ford Fairlane Sunliner. She was 25 years old. She drove my parents, Ann and Tom, to Provincetown, Massachusetts, for a holiday. Her McGill Yearbook quote was “Live! Above all things live! Don’t simply exist!” and so she did.

1955-07 Kay convertible Provincetown (3)
Kay in her first convertible, Provincetown – July 1955

Kay married a fellow McGill student, an American named Gene Armour Welch, on May 31, 1956, after he graduated in Medicine. To pay off his medical school bills, he volunteered for a “hardship post” as a captain in the US Airforce at a Strategic Air Command base in Turkey. Their first son was born there. Two years later, in August 1959, Kay and Gene and their young son settled in Ithaca, New York, where he worked as a Doctor. Two more sons followed in 1960 and 1963.

They separated sometime during the late 60’s. Gene was working at Cornell University Health Services when he died suddenly in December 1969.

Kay moved her three sons back to Canada in 1971. They settled in Ottawa—close to her family, but safely clear of the sovereigntist upheavals then afflicting Quebec. Two more Great Danes followed: Chico and Mandy. So did one more Mustang Convertible. And she took up horseback riding once again.

This story is dedicated to my Aunt Kay who passed away February 19, 2018.

The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 3

Wedding bells at last! The long awaited marriage of Ann and Tom took place at The Church of the Advent, in Westmount. on May 31, 1947. They were married by Ann’s father, Canon Sydenham Lindsay, after a passionate four year courtship.

1947 May Wedding - Ann and her Tommy
1947 May Wedding – Ann and her Tommy

After their honeymoon in Bermuda, the newlyweds lived briefly with both sets of parents as there was a shortage of apartments at that time. Lucky for them, however, a friend had to vacate his place on Prince Albert Avenue (only blocks away from their families) and offered it to them. Finally, Ann and Tom had a place of their own, albeit quite small. Two years after they married my brother Bill was born and the apartment was suddenly very crowded.

Ann’s parents gave them a piece of land just up the hill from them on St. Sulpice Road in October 1951. Tom designed the house himself to fit the lot and to this day it remains an original and sophisticated design.

3170 St Sulpice - 2010
3170 St Sulpice (2010) – built by Ann and Tom in 1952

In order to proceed with building the house, Tom needed a loan, which was difficult to obtain at that time. Eventually, Standard Life approved the loan and the house was built for about $18,000. According to the financial records, the loan was paid off in five years.

The interior of the house was completed, with Ann’s help, only as needed and in between children.

Their first son Bill was not an easy child, according to my father, and my mother found herself consumed by his needs. No small wonder it took five years before they had my sister Margaret. After Margaret was born, they really had their hands full and before they knew it my brother John was on the way. My father said the doctors were concerned but Ann seemed to thrive on motherhood. And three years later, in 1957, I was born.

Somehow during this busy time Ann wrote a short story which described a night in their life with small children:

“…Another wail woke them up. Then another, then tears. John was crying, so was Margaret, yelling hard and Bill was coughing and in tears. They both moaned, hopped out of bed and started laughing. Pandemonium had broken loose! ‘There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep’ she mused. ‘The advantages of bachelorhood are extremely obvious at a time like this’ he chuckled and then each picked up an unhappy child.”  (Ann Lindsay Anglin – March 17, 1955)

1959 - The Anglin Children
1959 – The Anglin Children

As the family grew and thrived during the first twelve years of their marriage so did Tom’s engineering business. Sometimes Ann was able to join him on the odd business trip. It was during one of these trips in March 1960 that she felt ill.

The devastating diagnosis was cancer.

During the year and a half that followed, my father did his best to juggle children and career with taking care of his beloved Ann. He wrote long desperate prayers and took up yoga in an effort to cope. It must have been heart-wrenching for him to watch my mother endure the effects of experimental chemotherapy. Advertisements were submitted to the local newspapers in search of “a capable woman willing to do her best to look after a home and four children”. Both families scrambled to assist in any possible way.

In November 1961, my dear mother and Tommy’s Ann, passed away at the age of thirty-five.

Their love lives on in each and every one of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

I feel very fortunate to have been part of their extraordinary love story.

The Priest

The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 1

The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 2

The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 2

My father Tom was already a McGill Engineering graduate and employed in his field when he met my mother Ann, who had just begun her college studies. This meant he got to enjoy the McGill “scene” and social life for a second time around! He happily escorted Ann to all the school’s social functions. According to Dad, he was a really good dancer and they made a handsome pair dressed in their evening finery.

Ann’s 1946 diary describes these dances, parties and charity balls in detail with most entries closing with a rather ecstatic declaration of affection for her “Tommy”: What a man, what a love, what a darling! I love him so! What a passion I have for him! Tommy is more wonderful every day. The more I see you, the more I love you, Tommy. What a darling you are-Tommy-the loveliest things are part of you. The happiest days are always with Tommy.

Whew!

The diary entry for May 12, 1946, refers to “the best letter ever!” from her Tommy. They wrote each other almost daily during her summer breaks from college when her parents kept her “busy” and out-of-town visiting family and friends. What a thrill it was to find this very letter in my “dusty old boxes” of family memorabilia! And, yes, it is pretty special. It is a profound and lengthy letter analyzing love in different relationships such as a mother’s love, Christian love and love between a man and a woman. Tom wrote to Ann “…but all these things seemed outside forces and not within myself”. He continued to describe himself as “naturally a little cold emotionally and that his character and training encouraged reason.” The letter closes with “but since I’ve known you my darling, I’ve experienced love from my own heart responding to yours.” Good for you, Dad!

Clearly, their letter writing was not all romantic fluff!

At one time, they discussed buying a piece of property together – “Would you like a lake shore place rather than a place at the bay?” wrote Tom and included some rough number crunching for her opinion. Another lengthy letter summarized his fundamental thoughts on the universe: “…we can conceive of the universe finite in mass and energy yet with no boundaries and no centre.”

But what speaks volumes is that he consulted Ann in the planning stages of his own engineering company – the company name, his percent interest, his monthly salary and other essential decisions. Shortly before their wedding in May 1947, there was a letter to Ann written on the company letterhead – T. G. Anglin Engineering Company Limited.

I can only imagine Tom’s emotional state when he began dating Ann in the summer of 1943. In May of that year, his only brother went missing in action with his RCAF crew during WWII. I like to think his brother was watching over them and paving their way to a life together.

Ann always seemed so positive, happy and full of life. Her diary was filled with daily exclamations of Fun Galore! Swell! Wonderful! Simply Perfect! What a garden/view/weekend! It wasn’t long before my father, mesmerized by her optimism, gaily signed a letter with his initials made up of x’s and o’s.

It was not all that surprising to find Ann’s hand-scrawled note on a scrap of paper, hidden amongst their numerous letters and photos, promising not to have children for the first two years of marriage thus protecting their time alone after a passionate four-year courtship.

1946-04-08

The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 1

Before my father, Tom Anglin (1919-1995) began his four-year courtship of my mother, Ann Lindsay (1926-1961), he went out with her older sister. It must have been awkward when he showed up on the Lindsay doorstep the first time asking for their younger daughter Ann instead of her sister Mary! Tom was 24 years old and Ann was only 17.

Who was this Ann Lindsay who would become Tom’s wife and my dear mother?

Her best childhood friend, Jean, wrote: “She had a beautiful inner soul that shone out through her eyes. A kind of pure innocence, a kind of angelic aura that surrounded her and there wasn’t a mean or selfish streak in her.”

Ann 1945
Ann Lindsay (1945) – 19 years old

Ann was affectionately described in the “Netherwood School for Girls” magazine in 1943:

Someone giggles ingratiatingly – it is Ann Lindsay … “Look at my hair!” she cries, and all behold her golden locks standling up  on end, a memorable sight! … What would we do without her? What would we do without the dependable giggler who sees that every joke gets a laugh? Whose sense of humour appears unexpectedly in the middle of the staidest lesson? …We may wonder how Ann will enjoy McGill, but we know McGill is going to enjoy her!

Her sister, Kay, wrote: “…your mom wrote the entrance scholarship exam to Dalhousie University (although already accepted to McGill) on a dare from her maritime roommates. She just did it for a lark never dreaming she would win!”

The Anglins and the Lindsays lived right across the street from each other which enabled their relationship to flourish. Her friend Jean recalled “… your mom was lucky to find your dad when she was so young … all I remember was how HOT this romance was and they both wore their hearts on their sleeves.”

Ann’s parents insisted that she finish her college degree before she married Tom. Consequently, Ann was kept “busy” and out-of-town during the summer breaks in her schooling.

Her friend Jean wrote: “One summer, Ann and I went to a camp for underprivileged children as volunteer counsellors. Your dad spent his weekends visiting your mom. The air fairly crackled with fireworks when those two got down to smooching.”

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Letter from Ann – July 1st, 1945

During these summers they wrote letters to each other almost daily. He always signed his letters lovingly with “Tom” and she invariably always addressed hers with “Dear Tommy” or “Darling Tommy”. In fact, all through her diaries she refers to him as “Tommy”. As far as I know, no one else ever called him anything but “Tom”.

After a bit of practice, my father got the hang romantic letter writing and on July 3, 1946, he wrote:

“You are lovely in every way – beautiful, charm, wit, kind, companionable are all yours plus many things too spiritual, for me anyway, to put into words. I love you with all my heart and mind and may we always be happy together throughout both calms and storms of life.”

Ann’s 1947 McGill Yearbook entry summed up her recent years nicely:

To laugh, to love, to live.”

Attended Trafalgar and Netherwood Schools- for girls only.

So went to McGill in 1943 to study the “Arts” of men. This proved to be successful!

Ann and her “Tommy” were married just weeks after her graduation keeping their promise to her parents.

Uncle Paul to All

The headline read: “Bachelor awaiting his 11th child”. The 1969 newspaper article covered my Uncle Paul’s month-long trip to Korea, Hong Kong and the Philippines to visit “all his children”[1]. He sponsored his first foster child in 1961 and, only eight years later, he had 11 foster children.

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1969 – Uncle Paul travels internationally to visit his foster children.

My uncle, Paul Lindsay (1923-1987), was my mother’s only brother. He was interested in how the money raised by the Foster Parents Plan[2] was spent helping children and their families in developing countries. So, in 1969, he booked the first of several trips at his own expense and visited all his foster children in person. He was greeted like a hero everywhere – sometimes with a banner across the main street reading “Welcome Uncle Paul”.

Foster Kids 1969
Uncle Paul with some of his foster children and their family.

He served for 20 years as a director of both the Canadian and international organizations of Foster Parents Plan. His ultimate dream was to have two children, a boy and a girl, in each of the areas served by the organization.

Uncle Paul was a stockbroker most of his working life with the Montreal brokerage firm MacDougall, MacDougall, MacTier.  Every weekday afternoon, he left work early and volunteered two hours of his time at The Montreal Children’s Hospital, playing with the kids in the orthopaedic ward. He was much appreciated and recognized as one of their principal volunteers during that time. Years later, I wrote and dedicated a children’s book to him called Bonnie – The Car with a Heart.[3] All proceeds from the sale of the book were donated to the Montreal Children’s Hospital in his memory. But not even “Bonnie” had a heart bigger than Uncle Paul!

After his retirement in 1983, he moved from Montreal to Amberwood, a small community just west of Ottawa. He settled quickly into his new neighbourhood and before long he became a well-known member of the community. One of his proudest moments was being approved as a block parent – Uncle Paul to all – with a sign to post in his window. Only four short years later, after his death, the local park he helped develop for the neighborhood children was named after him.

Paul Lindsay memorial
Paul Lindsay Park Dedication

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Uncle Paul’s Nieces, Nephews and Family – May 2018

Another of his passions in life was music, listening to a high-end audio system in his own home and singing as a member of the Montreal Elgar Choir for 30 Years[4]. When I was very little, he would cup my ear and say my pet name, “Little Lou”, in his deep baritone voice. The vibration tickled and made me shiver with delight.

Uncle Paul loved games! Perhaps it was the child in him. All kinds of games: golf, bowling, cards, Scrabble … and betting games at racetracks and casinos! He had a holiday apartment in the French Riviera (possibly purchased with his casino winnings?) When in town, the French children would gather at the local café waiting for “Oncle Paul,” eager for the promised coin or two. I stayed there one night in 1974 while backpacking around Europe with a high school friend. The next day, he bid us “au revoir” each with a bottle of French perfume.

My cousins and siblings all have fond memories of our Uncle Paul.  We never minded sharing him though; after all, he was Uncle Paul to all!

[1] The Province, Vancouver, BC – August 12, 1969

[2] https://wiki2.org/en/Plan_Canada – as referenced August 12, 2018

[3] Bonnie – The Car with a Heart, written and published by Lucy H. Anglin – September 2010

[4] https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/montreal-elgar-choirchorale-elgar-de-montreal-emc/ – as referenced August 12, 2018