Category Archives: Queens University

August 19, 2017 – Final James Vint Laughland Segment

James, Margaret and the two boys returned to Canada via NY City in 1924. They passed through Ellis Island where the records reflect that they were going to Canada. But first he went on a lecture tour for several months which included speaking at Cooper Union, Ford Hall, Harvard Liberal Club, the House of Commons in Ottawa and several Unitarian Churches in Chicago and Montreal.  These presentations were all set up by the Open Forum Speakers Bureau of Boston.

From one of his letters it appears he had left wife and kids in Ottawa while he was out touring.  He became ill while out touring so at some point decided to engage with the Presbyterian Church in Canada and they sent him to Richmond Ontario to the Presbyterian Church where he served as a fill in pastor for a period of time.   There is a booklet about the Church with pictures of JV and his family. My dad was around 15 then.

A year or so later they moved on to Amherst Island on Lake Ontario near Kingston to again a Presbyterian Church.  This information was why I always thought he was a Presbyterian minister.  Guess he kept evolving depending upon his needs. They were on Amherst Island for four and a half years. During their time on Amherst Island my Dad finished High School at Stella and was accepted to the University of Toronto to study pharmacy.  He did well there, made friends which I am sure he was good at from all that moving around.  He got an internship or placement at Bests Pharmacy in Kingston and at some point met my mom who was at Queen’s University or maybe she was just graduated. She went to University when she was 16 so graduated quite young.

In May of 1930 James Vint and Margaret moved down to Rochester NY.  Their second son ended up going to St. Lawrence University in Canton NY at some time after they moved to Rochester.  In Rochester, James again affiliated with the Presbyterian Church and continued to preach and give lectures in that area.  He also had a radio show during the depression years.  In his letter from 1940 to the Unitarians he leaves out about working for the Townsend Plan during the depression and setting up labour exchanges so people could barter work for food etc

The letters only provide one other picture of his life from the time he was going to leave England and then during the 30s and 40’s.  James Vint wanted to get back into the Universalist Society and start preaching again and there were people determined to prevent him from doing this.  His Unitarian friends in Rochester who had known him for years by 1940 tried very hard to get him reinstated but they resisted passionately to keep him out.  And in the end, he was not accepted back into the fold. Mainly it appears because of his passionate style and lack of acceptance of others who disagreed with his more socialist leanings.  The comments, by those writing to keep him out for actions which occurred when he was in his 20’s, were unforgiving.  They had totally tainted views of his behavior and did not consider he might have matured over time and calmed down.  It would be interesting to find comments about him which reflected how others saw him as he matured.  His Unitarian friend David Rhys Williams gave the eulogy at his funeral and was totally positive about him and by then they had been friends for 30 years or so.

Reading these letters from the Harvard collection have been quite eye opening to me.  As I have said before I wish I had been old enough to find out something about James before he died. What fun it would have been to speak with him about this time in his life.  And my grandmother who was always judged so harshly for her attitude and some of her behavior, I can see how she might have been angry with this man she loved.  He had not made life easy for her.  I was not a youngster when my grandmother died so I could have if I had known anything asked her questions or encouraged her to speak to me about this time in her life. But alas, I knew nothing to ask.  And I never thought to ask my Dad either. In fact, I doubt if anyone of my siblings had a clue about so much of this. Will have to ask them.

Picture of Margaret and James Vint with my dad in front and his brother behind.

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December 22, 2015 -Three days until Christmas

What a fun day we had today.  Not that I was happy waking up early but I did fall back to sleep for a bit.  The first thing I did was offer the girls the opportunity to go this afternoon to the puppet show of the Nutcracker that looked like it would be really fun to see.  They were both an absolute “NO” so I said how about we have our own puppet show.  A discussion followed about how we could do it and what they could use etc.  Sol was really into it.

I found a box that we could turn into a little stage.  Just the right size for her. I used some aluminum foil to cover up where I had cut it out.  And then let them at it. Sol wrote some script for the presentation at 5:30. They each drew a sign to hang on the door.   It was quite the morning.  Then we had some lunch and then walked up the street to the Coop and got me some of “My” milk – Coconut and a few other items I wanted.

On the return trip the park was right there and not too wet so off we went for a play time.  It is wonderful to watch the two of them play together all these imaginary games.  They are so creative and can play together for over an hour at a time and not expect any adult involvement. I just love it.

Once home they were back to planning for their show for Mommy and Daddy.  They had a willing audience and were totally excited about doing their little show.  Asta was the stage manager and audience participant along with Mommy, Daddy and Grandpa.  We sang Christmas Carols, and she did a little puppeting and then we closed with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”  I imagine tomorrow will be another play.

Bedtime was a little rough.  I think they were a little over excited and cannot settle down.  One down, one to go. Oh well, not such a bad day.

I am one tired Grandma which all my Grandparents friends know about.  It appears it is normal to get worn out from this role that we don’t participate in every day.  My brother Bill when he was helping his son out with day care would go to bed with the kids.  I can understand that now.

Charles Diary 1906 – Best get on with it now.

January 1 – Town meeting at school. Ellen and Ben Billon here for dinner. Glad to begin new years with callers as George Bracken , Frank Chapman and Albert Bracken all come for a chat after meeting
Jan 10 – Building stable with Mike Slack’s help. Too cold to work only on sunny days.
Jan 23 – Tuesday – Allan Donnelly here and take Madeline to Athens. I went to Griffins camp but found all in order.
Jan 27 – Sat – Great hockey interest this winter. Madeline and I go to Lyndhurst to game. Seeleys Bay and Lyndhurst. Lyndhurst lost by one point. We know all the players.
Jan 29 – Madeline very sick. She does not like to miss school but the teacher, Miss Danby is not good for continuation subjects and we could manage to send her to Business college at …….. Very cold. 20’ below.

February 1 – Very cold 20’ below zero for three days. Madeline so sick. Logging.
Feb 8 – Miss Danby refuses to teach anyone past entrance. The trustees. R Singleton, Jim Townsend meet her and tell her she must teach Sadie Bryan, Florence and Madeline.
Feb 9 – Darley here for a week.
Feb 16 – Took Darley and Madeline to Delta.
Feb 20 – Madeline comes home.
Feb 21 – Get word from Fergus that he is sick. Big thaw.
Feb 22 – Went to Lyndhurst to phone to see how Fergus is. Read mud road. We were so worried about Fergus that I drove to Kingston. Had a good visit and found him better left at 6 am back at 12:30. Long lonely drive.

March 10 – Saturday – Went to a meeting of Agriculture Society in Lyndhurst. I was elected to revise the prize list.
March 30 – Friday – let Sam Cross and Tom O’Grady work sugar bush on shares.

April 3 – had a letter from Col. Barker.
April – 12 – Emily and I left at 5 am for Kingston. Got there at 10 for Convocation and saw Fergus receive his MDCM degrees. A great day for us. Our son a Doctor. Thanks be to God. We go over to Wolfe Island to see Mary McArdle and stay all night. Fergus come home with us.
April 21 – get word of Sarsfield McArdle’s death on warship Kearsage, Electrical accident. A short life but an exciting one.
April 23 – Monday – Fergus returns to Kingston. He tells us he and Miss Scollard are no longer interested in each other. Too bad Sadie Bryan is not a Catholic.
April 29 – went to 2 funerals today. P Kendrick and old Mrs Willis (Weeks)

May 23 – Madeline goes to Kingston by Rideau Steamer to visit Fergus until 28th.

June 5 – Thursday – Fergus home after writing council meeting.
June 8 – Terrific thunderstorm today. Picnic dance tonight.
Fergus and Madeline have a great time visiting everyone. He is tired out after hard study. Emily worried over him. Makes him take egg nogs and using cream etc.
June 21 – Thursday – They visit Maude Webster as she is leaving for west to teach.

If you look on my posting from April you will find the info about the Kearsage explosion which killed Sarsfield McArdle. Son of John McArdle.

https://marglivinglife.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/july-22-2015-the-explosion-on-the-kearsarge-april-13-1906/

December 10, 2015 – Friends are so rare

“A friend is a present you give yourself”

                                           Robert Louis Stevenson

In my life growing up we moved several times.  Not local moves but cross country moves – Buffalo to Seattle to Scarsdale.  It is a good thing that I liked to write letters because from each place I lived I have at least one friend who traveled through the years with me.

Ginny Rozek and I met when we were little things.  We moved two houses away from her family when I was six months old. Our Mom’s became friends so I assume that going back and forth between the houses started pretty early in life.  It was a great neighborhood and even though Ginny and her sisters went to Catholic School and I was in the Public School we were still friends and went to dancing lessons at the same place. I have memories of our times together.  I had other friends but after moving I lost track of them.  It would be fun to find them again but have no idea where they went. Ginny and I have stayed connected through the years and now see each other more than we did from age 10 – 40.

Then in Seattle I had friends in elementary school and then new friends when the schools all came together at Queen Anne for Jr and Sr. High School.  The one person I never lost touch with was Melanie Knight.  She has always been close to me no matter where we were living.

Both these woman have been though thick and thin with me no matter where I have been.  If I needed support I knew I could rely on either of them.

Moving the way we did I am glad I was outgoing. Otherwise I think life might have been much harder on me.  In recent years I have reconnected with various Seattle friends – Dolly Moody, Helen Hubbard, Eunice Stoa and Marjie Snodgrass.  They all played important roles for me while I was growing up.

So I hope you have friends who have traveled through life with you. They are the greatest gifts.

My gr grandfather obviously had wonderful and loyal friends at Long Point. So let’s do another month of his diary. Glad they were happy about Fergus going to Queens.  Starting a tradition that continues today in the family.  Always descendants attending Queens. We should do an updated list one of these days.

July 1902

July 1 – Tuesday – Dominion Day. Judd stays over night. Leases Mrs. Burns mines.
July 2 – Hoed potatoes then Lee and I went up to John McArdles.
July 3 – Wet morn. Afternoon Emily, Madeline go fishing. Lovely at our Point now. We bring home fish and water lilies.
July 4 – Emily and I take Madeline to Lyndhurst to have Dr. Lily fill her teeth.
July 5 – Hoed corn Mosie Leeder here for dinner. Herb McArdle for tea and eve.
July 6 – At home. Joe Warren and Johnson Moorehead here for tea and eve.
July 7 – Hoed potatoes. Bridget brings Lottie and Leo. They will be here for summer.
July 8 – Bridget and Lottie went to Sand Bay for day. Fergus goes to Station for Henry Palmer.
July 9 – Visited with Lottie and Henry most of day. Frank Slack and Joanna here this eve.
July 10 – Hilled up potatoes. Lottie, Henry, Mr and Mrs Plunkett, Ellen spend eve here. Stella (Julia) Sly here all night with Madeline. They tease Leo until Emily stops them.
July 11 – I take Palmers to Jim McDonalds for day. Fergus at McArdles.
July 12 – Worked around place. Henry and I go to Lyndhurst
July 13 – Lots of company today. Mike and Margaret O’Connor from Gan. John and Annie, Margaret McDonald and daughters Annie and Margaret, Ellen and Palmers. Frank and Lena Mc, Kate and Nane Donnelly. All for tea but Emily has lots of good food.
July 14 – Took Palmers to Gan for day. Buy a mower from H Wilson $44.00. 1st payment today. Rest on /08.
July 15 – Fergus and I put mower together. Young cattle all get out and we have time finding them.
July 16 – Mowed most of day. Judd here visited mines. Ellen here for tea and eve.
July 17 – Raked hay and Fergus and I then put it up. Borrowed Moltons wagon.
July 18 – Fergus drives a load of cheese to Lyndhurst station. I work at hay.
July 19 – Drew in hay all day.
July 20 – At home all day. Fergus decided on future. We are pleased he will go to Queens.
July 21 – Wet morn. Go to John Plunkett’s bee. Fishery duties. Fergus home at 6.
July 22 – Cut hay all day. Stringer here.
July 23 – Raked up hay and mowed the orchard. Put up 200 cocks of hay. Fergus, Emily and Madeline go to Lyndhurst.
July 24 – Herb Moulton pays board he owed.
July 25 – Rained in night so we have to shake out hay. Chas C helped.
July 26 – Wallace Connerty comes this eve to stay over.
July 27 – Wallace, Madeline and I go to our Point to fish at lake. I survey for nets with Chris rowing.
July 28 – Monday – Worked at hay.
July 29 – Fergus and I draw 4 loads of hay.
July 30 – We put up a stack of hay. Fishery duties
July 31 – Madeline, Wallace and I go to front water and to Bevins. Wallace goes home tonight. Fine chap.

June 2, 2015 – I got a Silver Award and 1945 Zenophobia

Well, I am going to brag – the Board of N-CAP encouraged all the members to submit their volunteer hours to the Points of Light Foundation for the Presidents Volunteer Service Awards.   We sponsor the program here in town and yet most of the Board members never participate. Most of us believe we just do volunteer work and don’t want the recognition for it.  So, we were all loyal to our fearless leader Denise and submitted hours. Some went for the Life Time award and some like me just put down hours from one volunteer job and left it at that. I could have gotten the Life Time but really did not care.  So although I was late getting there – could not leave Tai Chi early – I was earlier enough not to have missed the awards…  So now I have a little silver pin and a certificate.  Also got to see some nice folks and have a chat with some of the young kids..

It was rainy this morning and bone chilling damp… I could not believe how cold I felt. What a pain this weather has been. The lovely bushes out in the yard are suffering from being so cold all winter and then up in the 90’s one week and the 50’s the next.  They all are not flowering normally. Either they had tons of buds and then they all took a dive or they have almost no buds and no blooming wonderful flowers.  It makes me very sad and also the weeds are having a grand time taking over everything. It looks more like August in the garden than early June.  Guess I will have to get out and do some work outside.

Now for Aunt Pat’s letter for this evening.  I almost fell off my chair the first time I read it.  I was like what????  Really???  This woman had just returned from WWII in Northwestern Europe and was on the German boarder and her friends were finding camps where Jews were put to death by the thousands.. Where had she been?  Read her letter and I would be interested in your thoughts about her reaction to a movie..  It threw me for a loop but then maybe there was prejudice from her years growing up – She was convent educated, the nursing school she attended was Catholic. When would she have had the opportunity to have friends who were Jewish?    So much of prejudice is based on lack of knowledge, not actual interaction with those one is afraid of.

November 1, 1945
Van Military
2 a.m.

Hello dears:

Here it is 2 a.m. and rather cold to-nite. The rainy season has started out here and I hear it continues until spring. Very muddy and damp but I always liked the rain so I don’t mind.

I am on the “officers wards” and not at all impressed. A lot of zombies and neurotics and old Colonels suffering from Coronaries. So I don’t pay too much attention to them. One of the nursing sisters died the other day. She was young and strong, just back from overseas – Italy, Holland etc was getting her discharge to be married and had an emergency operation for a ruptured ovarian cyst, she was transferred after the operation and developed anuria and after four days died. Nothing anyone could do. It depressed me a lot. She had lots to live for and she hated dying that way. Now I have a couple more nursing sisters just back from overseas having nervous break-downs so I’m quite busy. Poor gals, they worked hard too long over there. Misty would like these cases. I don’t.

I had a phone call from a Mrs Reid this morning, an aunt of Jean Ellis, who is a friend of mine. She was in the Red Cross overseas, her husband was killed in the Navy and she has just come back and heard I was out here – so Mrs Reid invited me to dinner. I had a lovely time. They have a beautiful home etc. Jean lives in Victoria and was just staying a couple of days. It was good seeing her. She is very vivacious and charming.

I went all over trying to find shirts for Bill but had no luck. Don’t they make shirts anymore or what?

I had my charm bracelet in Birks decided to use the chain of my identification bracelet Marye gave me because it was so strong and had a lock catch, so they put my charms on it and dipped it all in silver and it looks glorious. Mona F my room–mate got me a charm in Portland Oregon and Dillon got me a couple before he left so it’s really a wonderful thing. I got a silver jeep and tin-hat reminds me of my war days. I had my picture taken by the price of buying a war-bond. Supposed to be for some advertisement. Will send you a paper if I can find what it’s in. Also my P.O.W.’s were taken. A couple of the latter gave me cartons of American cigarettes to send Sheila for Christmas. They thought it quite marvelous to think of her still overseas. So I packed them and sent them off.

I see where old MacKenzie King got out of Canada when they (the x-P.O.W.’s from Hong-Kong) returned. They will have a lot to say to him if they get the opportunity. It seems right from the start they got a bad deal. No food on the boat going over. Their supplies and ammunition were in another boat and went on down to the Philippines and in three weeks after landing they were fighting with nothing. Talk about Dieppe!! This was just a walk away for the Japs. I listen by the hour to the stories they tell and they are not fairy-tales. I go and visit them every nite. I’d trade this Ward any day for them.

I have a pt called Lt Boxall who is a doctor. Graduated in 1944 from Queen’s. He said to say hello to Dad and thought maybe Dad would remember him. He is short and fair and nondescript looking.

This letter is mostly “shop” but I haven’t much else to say so ramble on about this and that. Saw “Rhapsody in Blue “ one day this week. The life of George Gershwin. The music was good but the picture phony and all the cast were Jews.

Do hope you are all well and happy. I will be home in another month probably on leave for a couple of weeks. Being around Christmas it may be hard to get but then being Irish I usually get what I want. We get two wks after we are home three months. Rather nice eh. Then I will see how Mother is. I feel I would like to do more for you dear.

love for tonite.
Pat

PIcture of a Canadian Red Cross Volunteer

Red Cross Corps Volunteer
Here is some history from WWII about the Canadian Red Cross’ role in the war.

http://www.redcross.ca/who-we-are/about-the-canadian-red-cross/historical-highlights/the-second-world-war-1939-1945

the memorial page for Henry Ellis, Jean Ellis’ husband..   http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/2438412

Dr. Boxall established a Bursary at Queens University. this is what he said about it.  He died in 2010 in British Columbia.

The Dr. Ernest A. Boxall Bursary

Established by Ernest A. Boxall, Meds ’45. I was a son of a single mother. I had found out about the Susan Near scholarships for provinces, applied and was accepted for 3 years. At the end of this time (medicine was a seven year course), I was faced with leaving Queen’s. The Dean recruited Kingston citizens to finance my continuation. Fortunately, the Canadian Army conscripted us as privates (in 1942) at privates pay and I was able to continue without help from Kingston citizens. I owe everything to Queen’s and this is why I have kept a bursary to 4th year med students so they don’t have to quit medicine at Queen’s.

in 10 canadians were contributing to the canadian red cross relief ...

April 20, 2015 – Q is for Queens University, Kingston Ontario

You may wonder why I picked Queens University for Q.  Queens is one of the best universities in Canada.  In the early 1900 my Grandfather rode his bike the 26 miles into Kingston from the farm to see if he could register for medical school at Queens. He had completed teacher training and was teaching but wanted to go to Medical School.   He was accepted into the program and found a way to rent a room and moved into Kingston to attend Queens.  He graduated in 1906 and opened a practice in Gananoque Ontario and married my Grandmother, Frances Keating, in 1907.

Fergus and Frances moved to Kingston in 1918 so that their children could attend Queens University if they wanted without going through the hardships he experienced as a young student.   He survived in Medical School due to the kindness of others.  Sometimes a meal was hard to come by or the ability to purchase the books he needed for his courses.   He was a poor farmers son. During his years in Kingston later in life he often helped out struggling students and after his death a bursary was founded by the family so that needy students could get some assistance to help them stay in medical school.

Fergus and Frances had eight children.  Of those my mother Norah was the first and she went to Queens at age 16 and majored in History and Economics and graduated in 1929 – right at the start of the depression.  Following her was her sister Margaret who studied to be a librarian and eventually taught school after she had her seven children.  My mothers two brothers went to Queens in Medicine and today I was looking through some records on line from Queens and they noted that my uncle Ferg set up the first pediatric practice in Kingston.  Interesting because his father was the first intern at the Hotel Dieu Hospital.

Uncle Maurice also graduated in Medicine and became a psychiatrist. Aunt Mary also went to Queens and became a librarian at the Staff College in Kingston.

Now you might think that is a lot of people attending one university but it goes on and on. Many of my cousins and their spouses attended Queens. We have some reunion pictures where there is a decent group of cousins and spouses who attended Queens.  Then it goes on to the next generation where my daughter is one of the graduates as well as many of her second cousins.  At the time she was there I believe there were 4 or 5 of them and they occasionally had dinner with my Uncle Ferg and Aunt Jean.

In addition to those who are in our direct line there are other cousins of my Grandfathers who went to Queens as well. Leo Palmer graduated in Medicine and then came to the United States and practiced in psychiatry and also was involved in setting up the woman’s prison system in NY State.  In the Flood line the Roney’s graduated in Engineering. And I am sure there are others that I just don’t know about.

I grew up with my mother teaching me the Queens fight song, longing to attend football games and I wanted to go there. Mom’s friend Jean Royce was the head of admissions at that time.  She told me they would not accept me because my grades were not good enough.  I was totally devastated and felt so rejected. It was probably a good thing in retrospect since I was not a great student and my health was not great so I probably would have dropped out anyway.  But I always loved Queens and what it meant to my mother and her family.

So that is the story of why I chose Queens for Q.

the main site for Queens University    http://queensu.ca/

pediatricsatqueens.ca/timeline.html    time line of pediatrics department at Queens.

pictures – the O’Connor physicians, the siblings four of those five graduated from Queens, The children of Fergus who attended Queens.

meds_grad_34_Maurice__JF_O_C_sr._Joe_Bevins__unk__FJ_Jr.O_Connor_siblings The_O_Connor_s

April 7, 2015 – F is for Fergus

F is a very popular name in my family tree on my mom’s side. There are or were a whole bunch of men named Fergus and several Frances’ and Franks. I would love to write something about each of them.  I have my mom to thank for the love I have for them. She was very good about talking about her family and her cousins. She did not have first cousins but did have a ton of second and third cousins many of whom she knew very well.

But I am going to write here about my grandfather – Fergus J O’Connor Sr. MD.  He was not a man of large stature. He was probably about 5’4″ and very few of his children got to be much taller. But in character he was huge.  He was born on April 1, 1879 at the Long Point farm of Charles and Emily O’Connor.  He was an only child for about 11 years.  There were children but they did not live long after birth if they made it that far.

He grew up living next door to his grandfather and several aunts who had not married.  He also had cousins who lived down the road and neighbors who’s children became life long friends of his. He attended the Long Point School SS #5 across the road from the farm house.  Often the teacher would live with his parents so he had access to many of them during the off hours.  His parents did not want him to work on the farm so they made sure he went to High School – in Watertown NY and Athens Secondary School in Athens Ontario.  When in Athens he boarded with his Stevens cousins which must have been grand fun since there were many children in that family.

After graduating from High School Fergus went to Ottawa Normal School to become a teacher.  I have a diary from that year which I have not transcribed but he did well there and after graduating started teaching in Cornwall Ontario.  At one point it is said that he taught at the Long Point School. But that was not his dream job. He wanted to become a physician.

When his parents finally agreed to it one day he took off on his bicycle and rode into Kingston Ontario, a distance of about 20 miles. As he came into town he missed his turn and ended up on the wrong street and approached a group of young girls who were out in a side yard, He asked them the directions to Queens University  and they were happy to give them to him.  They also asked him what he was doing and after chatting a bit they sent him on his way.  One of those girls a few years later would become his wife.

He went to the University and spoke with the admissions folks and they agreed that he could enter into the Medical School. I am sure he brought with him a “resume’ of his course work and jobs etc.  Fergus started at Queens University in 1902.  He roomed with a Mrs Loque during the school sessions and went home to help on the farm in the summers. At one point the family sent for him to come home and he had to put his studies on hold since Charles was ill and needed help on the farm. He was able to return to college at a later point and finished his internship in 1907.  He was the first intern at the Hotel Dieu Hospital and did a fine job there so that all the doctors on staff were impressed enough to give him responsibilities across the board so that he was able to learn about every aspect of medicine of that day.   In looking at my Uncle Fergs book, “because you asked for it” which is a family history – it appears that there are letters from Grandfather to his parents that someone has in the family from all those years when he was away from home. I hope they will take them and transcribe them. What a wonderful gift it would be to have those to read.

Anyway, Fergus and Frances Keating were married on Sept 3,  1907 and moved to Gananoque Ontario where he opened his practice.  Frances had been a teacher so when she started having children she did a lot of what would be called home schooling.  My mother being the eldest child was left handed and Frances taught her to do everything with both hands so she would never be at a disadvantage.  My mom was ready to enter grade 1 when she was 4 years old and did.  I don’t know if the other followed suit but my mom graduated from High School at age 16 and went straight into college. Pretty good for the 1920’s.

Ferg and Frank, as Frances was called, had a good life in Gananoque, Ferg became Mayor in 1916 and was the first Catholic elected official. When the day came for the Orangeman’s day parade his Catholic friends suggested that he not lead the parade, he told them that when he was mayor religious affiliation did not exist. As the mayor it was his job to lead the parade and he did.  That was a first in that area.

In 1918 they decided to move to Kingston as their children were getting older and he wanted them all to be able to attend University if they wanted without going through the issues he faced each year of finances, renting rooms etc. So they purchased 193 Earl Street several blocks from the University and two blocks from the Cathedral and a short walk to the Notre Dame Convent.  Ferg was able to join the staff of the Hotel Dieu Hospital and build a practice as an obstetrician in Kingston and surrounding areas.  My mom remembers going out on his rounds with him as he visited various families.  They would chat the whole time and she learned a great deal as they went around. Eventually he was delivering about 1/3 of the babies in the Kingston area according to my Uncle who was a Pediatrician.

Fergus was active in the community in many ways and looked up to by many.  Recently I heard from a letter my uncle Maurice wrote to his girlfriend Jean who later became his wife about what happened when my parents wanted to get married.   The Bishop summoned my grandfather and told him that he had to stop the marriage of his daughter Norah to that son of a protestant minister. That is was not a good thing to have happen. My Grandfather did not back down in his belief that this was a good marriage and that his daughter was set on raising the children catholic so that would be no issue. And if the bishop would not allow the marriage then they would just get married somewhere else and my grandfather probably also told him his support would no longer be there or some such thing.  After much going around over the weeks the Bishop sort of gave in. My parents could be married but only in the chapel, early in the morning and there would be no flowers or music.  I am so proud that my grandfather stood up to this man who felt his authority gave him such rights.  That is good role modeling that I believe we all received from my mom’s family as we grew up and has been passed on to the next generations – acceptance of all no matter what their flaws and doing the right thing.

So, that is probably too many words but this was a wonderful man who gave his children wonderful opportunities and his grandchildren much love.

Picture  of Ferg Sr, with his sons Maurice and Fergus, and his friend Joe Bevins. Picture of Ferg on his front porch, picture of article when he received a medal from the Pope.

meds_grad_34_Maurice__JF_O_C_sr._Joe_Bevins__unk__FJ_Jr. Fergus_Joseph_O_Connor

FJOConnor medal from Pope