Douglas Ross Hyde Dubhglas de Híde
Síle was born in 1960 in Ottawa to Deirdre (née Mulrennan) and Pádraig Scott. Both of her parents were born in Ireland, Deirdre in Gorey, Co. Wexford, and Pádraig in Farranfore, Co. Kerrry. Her childhood home was a major hub of all aspects of Irish culture. Her father was the Founding President of the Ottawa Irish Society (later renamed the Irish Society of the National Capital Region) and both parents were completely immersed in Irish immigrant assistance, Irish drama, Irish dancing, Irish music, the GAA, the Irish language, and the establishment of a chair of Celtic studies at the University of Ottawa.
She attended French language school at primary, intermediate and secondary levels, acquiring native competence in French. She began Irish dancing with Peggy Kendellen when she was in primary school, giving performances throughout the Ottawa area. By the time she had completed high school, she was already teaching. She established a dance school in Brockville in 1998, and began teaching with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in Ottawa the same year. Her dance teams have taken first place at Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada 4 times since 2011, and have given many performances at other events. As head instructor for the Ottawa Comhaltas branch, she has also been responsible for calling monthly céilís, and acting as “Bean an Tí”. She is frequently engaged to call céilís in other locations (e.g. Kingston, Hamilton, Perth, Brockville), and for special events as weddings. In addition to céilí and set dancing, she also teaches sean nós dancing, and placed first in the open event at Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada in 2012.
Having learned basic Irish language at home, Sile began attending Irish language weekends in 1995, meeting her husband (Aralt Tadhg Mac Giolla Chainnigh} at the second event in Montreal in 1996. A professional linguist, she quickly became fluent and began teaching at immersion events in Toronto, Montreal, and Kingston. By 2003 she was also teaching weekly classes in Ottawa for the Comhaltas branch. She became involved in Caint agus Comhrá, in Ottawa, which established their own immersion weekend in 2000. She was a founding executive member of Cumann na Gaeltachta (2002) the North American Gaeltacht (Gaeltacht Thuaisceart an Oileáin Úir, 2007) and Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada (2011). In 2011 she acted as primary convenor of an Irish language conference at the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute of the University of Ottawa (where she was Assistant Director), concerning a 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language in North America.Her responsibilities in the Gaeltacht project have been far-reaching including not only language instruction, but also volunteer coordination, event planning, coordination and conduct, cooking, and site maintenance. Other events at which she has made critical, ongoing, contributions include the Summer Gaeltacht Immersion Week, Snow Festival (Féile Shneachta), and work days at the Gaeltacht.
Síle also writes in Irish, and took first place in children’s literature in 2013 in Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada. Other Oireachtas awards include 2’nd place in Irish language singing (style other than sean nós) in 2014 and, in 2015, second place in poetry recitation.
Her service to the Irish language has also involved enormous contributions to the North American Association for Celtic Language Teachers. She has been on the executive since 2006, and has been primary convener at conferences in Scotland, the Isle of Man, Ottawa and Ohio. She served as President in 2011/2012. She established a testing center for the Irish language (Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge) at the University of Ottawa in 2012.
Administratively, Síle has served in many capacities in Comhaltas - as Irish language officer for the Ottawa branch from 2006 – 2010, after which she took over as Branch Chair, continuing to 2016 and as regional Irish language officer for Canada East since 2013. She received the Comhaltas North America service award at the Provincial Convention in Parsippany in 2015 and was inducted into the Comhaltas Canada East Hall of Fame in 2016.
Síle has been an inspirational Comhaltas figure in Canada, and in the Irish language and cultural community, for more than 20 years. Her enthusiasm is infectious, and she attracted more participants and volunteers to the movement during that time. Her generosity, patience, and genuine interest in people, are immediately in evidence. Her leadership, intelligence, vision, skills, and talents are legend. To this genius she adds the dynamic energy and fearlessness required to bring ambitious projects to fruition.
Born on a farm on February 26, 1884 in North Adjala Township near Alliston, Ontario, Catherine was the oldest of three daughters of Hugh and Catherine Donnelly. In 1922 teacher Catherine Donnelly founded the first English-speaking Canadian Catholic religious order: the Institute of Sisters of Service to minister to immigrants of rural communities and from many cultures across western Canada They became known as the Grey Nuns for the simple grey dress, cloak & hat they wor rather than the dress and veil of the time.
On August 2, 1924, Sister Catherine Donnelly and Sister Catherine Wymbs became the first Sisters of Service to profess vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Nine days later, dressed in their grey serge, they got off the train at Camp Morton, Manitoba. The SOS mission took off. In 1934 they opened their first Saskatchewan mission in Regina, operating a Correspondence School for Religious Instruction over the winter, and travelling to rural areas to teach catechism in the summer. They also taught in public schools in Marquis (1936–43) and in the Bergfield area (1938–48)
Sinnett was the heart of a district known as the Irish Colony named after Fr. John Sinnett, the missionary priest who founded the settlement in 1905. By 1910, St. Ignatius church was enlarged, St. Patrick’s was built 5 miles down the road and Loyola and Manresa Schools had been built to serve spiritual and educational needs of the wider community.
In 60's, Sister Catherine arrived from Toronto to teach in the new Loyola Continuation School (high school). Other Sisters followed in the early 40s and 50s. They were enthusiastic supporters of drama and oratory as well as Catholic education. For nearly 30 years, the Sisters were an integral part of the Irish Colony. The Sisters left in the late 60's when the school closed due to low enrollment. .
SOS also served in Saskatoon as social workers for the Catholic Welfare Council and its successor, Catholic Family Services (1942–76); and operated a residence for Catholic women students attending St. Thomas More College at the University of Saskatchewan (1946–68). The Sisters were involved in Education and Social Work in La Loche, (1975–79), Green Lake (1979–83) and La Ronge (1983–94), and in pastoral ministries in Regina at Campion College (1976–80) and Holy Rosary Cathedral, as well as in parishes at Milestone (1991–94) and Radville (1997–2002).
In 1907 the Grey Nuns opened hospitals in Regina and Saskatoon (with schools of nursing attached), followed by Biggar (1923-67), Rosthern (1927–35), Gravelbourg (1928–2000), Ile-à-la-Crosse (1927–2001), La Loche (1943–81), Zenon Park(1972–73), and Esterhazy (1987–89) The community left Saskatchewan in 2003.
Mary Jo Leddy, CM (born 1 February 1946) is widely
recognized for her work with refugees at Toronto's
Romero House. She began working for the centre as a night manager in 1991, and has been its director since then. .
In 1973, she was the founding editor of the Catholic New Times. She is author of the books "Say to the Darkness We Beg to Differ" (Lester and Orpen Denys, finalist City of Toronto Book Award), Reweaving Religious Life: Beyond the Liberal Model (Twenty Third Publications, 1990), At the Border Called Hope: Where Refugees are Neighbours (HarperCollins, 1997 and finalist for the Trillium Award, Radical Gratitude (Orbis Books, 2002), "Our Friendly Local Terrorist" (Between the Lines 2010) and "The Other Face of God: When the Stranger Calls Us Home" (Orbis 2011).
Leddy received her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Toronto with a thesis titled "The Event of the Holocaust and the Philosophical Reflections of Hannah Arendt." She studied under the direction of Emil Fackenheim, and she is currently a Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto, and a board member of PEN Canada and Massey College. After thirty years as a member of the Roman Catholic Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, she left the congregation in 1994.
Awarded the Human Relations Award of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews (1987), the Ontario Citizenship Award (1993), she received the Order of Canada (1996). She has received several honorary doctorates:
Mary Sullivan, was seeking "that relationship that I saw within my parents, a real intensity of love and goodness." She found it unexpectedly in religious order.
The Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist is recently formed Order, started in 1973. They served in Vancouver briefly until 1976 and returning now, Sister John Mary is joined by Sr. Angela Marie Castellani, FSE. They have managed the gap between traditional habits and 'ordinary' fashion with a simple brown dress and short black veil.
Members of the order are encouraged to get advanced degrees and to serve in areas for which they have particular skills.
Sister Sullivan is a graduate of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family in Washington, D.C. She has worked as a family therapist for eight years. Arizona-born, the seventh of ten children she learned the value of human life and relationships early on. Her oldest brother, John, was hit by a car and killed when he was 11 years of age. It was hard but the family, pulling together in a positive way, became very cohesive. She now has forty-five nieces and nephews and feels perfectly fitted to the role of programme with the archdiocese's Life, Marriage, and Family Office.
The LMFO runs a number of programmes to do with marriage preparation, fertility awareness and natural family planning, personal formation, marriage enrichment, and parenting.
Sister Sullivan was studying at the John Paul II Institute when she first met a Franciscan Sister of the Eucharist, who worked as the head of admissions. The sisters invited lay people to work outdoors with them on the land, planting or building fences. Sister Sullivan found in that working community the same intensity of love and goodness she experienced in her family and realized it might be a fulfilling life.
After completing her degree and teaching for a year, she moved to live with the sisters in Connecticut. From discernment and formation to final vows takes about nine years. Each sister wears a cross fashioned out of real nails. A metal circle on the symbol reminds the wearer of the Eucharist symbolically drawing all their lives into union with God..
Fr. Joe was born in County Carlow, Ireland, November
24, 1949 . As a young man he was involved in drama and music. He entered the seminary at Wexford. There he met Archbishop Carney who was looking for seminarians to minister in Vancouver. In June, 1980, Fr. Cuddy was missioned to a parish near Vancouver. In 1985 he was assigned to St. Mary’s as chaplain and Archbishop’s Representative to Notre Dame Regional High School.
Fr. Joe was an encourager and pastor. His daily visits to Notre Dame were appreciated by both students and staff. He was enthusiastically supported at St. Mary’s parish where they built a new church.
At the School:, he immediately realized the need for an improved facility, and in his inimitable fashion, he created a three-phase vision of the new Notre Dame. Phase 1 was completed in late 1987 and consisted of the Gymnasium complex and adjoining classrooms. Phase 2 was completed in 1993 and consisted of the Auditorium conversion and the north end extension to the gymnasium.
The Church: Ground was broken for the new church, the old church was closed and services celebrated in the school gymnasium during final construction.Father Cuddy was on the job every day with the workers. The old church and convent were demolished. The current church building was constructed and officially dedicated on Nov. 1, 1995. The mortgage was paid in November 2001.
St. Mary’s Ground-breaking Ceremony took place on Oct. 23. 1994. Fr. Cuddy was on the job every day with the workers. He was diagnosed with cancer and had an operation. He was unable to attend the dedication of the new church.
This was Fr. Joe’s farewell to the new St. Mary’s: “It will be a place of worship and welcome for all people of every race, colour and way of life, a place where people will experience the love of God and the presence of Christ”. Each of his talks ended with – “and that’s all I’ve got to say.”
Father Joe managed to say good-bye to his parishioners and relatives took him to London where he died, sadly unable to make it to his beloved Ireland.
On June 17, 1994 during the International Year of the Family the parish celebrated with about 50 flags reflecting the national origins of the parishioners.. This celebration of national diversity is an annual event, growing to over 80 ethnic
and national identities.
Harold Timothy Kenny
Aralt Tadhg Mac Giolla Chainnigh
Born Sept. 1959, in Ingersoll, Ontario, with roots in and further back in Co. Down, Aralt grew up on a
farm in the Ottawa Valley, and was steeped in the Irish traditions of the area. There he began playing fiddle. Still does, recently with the Kingston Céilí Band and the Wild Canadian Geese in the Bog. He has received many awards including, being one of the very few graduates of Royal Roads, the All Categories Triple Crown, the Governor General’s bronze medal and Best First Year Cadet, and championships in cross-country running, track and field, and debating. Academically he graduated in 1982 with first class honours in Engineering Physics and senior award for achievement in second language training; a Masters in Astrophysics in 1989; his PhD from the University of Calgary in 1995. By correspondence he completed a BA Athabasca University in 2000. Aralt also won numerous Canadian Army Championship medals between 1982 and 1986, skied on provincial teams of Manitoba (1982, 83) & Alberta (1984-5-6) was Head Coach of the Canadian Biathlon Team at the NATO Championships (CISM) in 1986 and served with the First and Second Battalions of the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry. In 2009, as an operational analyst responsible for campaign evaluation in the Southern region of Afghanistan.
Posted as lecturer to the Royal Military College of Canada in 1992, Aralt was subsequently promoted to Assistant, then Associate Professor. His research is the circumstellar envelops of symbiotic stars. His primary observations are taken from international radio interferometers (VLA, MERLIN, AT, VLBI). He has also done observations at optical and x-ray wavelengths. His theoretical work has involved the fluid dynamics of colliding stellar winds, and synthetic mapping their morphology.
In 1989 he began attending Irish Language community courses. By 1994 he was teaching and, following an Irish Immersion workshop in New York, Aralt and two friends launched an annual event through the Harp of Tara Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí. Summer immersion weeks, launched in 2002, continued. Connected with other Irish language organizations in Toronto (Cumann na Gaeltachta, Taca na hÉireann) & Montréal (Comhrá), a possibility arose - to purchase land and create a year round centre where people could learn and share the company of Irish speakers. Aralt served as provincial Irish language officer of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and North America Celtic Language Teachers Assoc since 2005.. In 2006 his dream came true: a 70 acre property along the Salmon River, in the Tamworth/ Erinsville area, was purchased by members and officially opened in 2007 by Ambassador Declan Kelly. Minister of Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs Ireland, Éamonn Ó Cuív, recognized the site as the “first Gaeltacht outside of Ireland”. The project won first place in the Global Gaeilge competition 2008, third place 2009 and 2010 and is featured in a TG4 documentary “Gaeltacht Cheanada”. In 2011 Cumann na Gaeltachta ran the first Irish language “Oireachtas” outside of Ireland (“Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada”), for which the organization received an official congratulatory letter from President of Ireland, Máire Mhic Ghiolla Íosa.
Born and raised in Corbyville, Ont. with roots in Monaghan, Fermanagh, Armagh, and Cork. Allyson is
a founding and current member of Ciorcail Chomhrá Thoronto (Toronto Irish Language Circles) and is a founding member and PR Chair for Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada which is Canada’s only outdoor Irish language and cultural festival. She served on Cumann na Gaeltachta (the board that oversees the activities at the North American Gaeltacht in Tamworth, Ontario) for several years and was proud to have shared two “Global Gaeilge” awards from Glór na nGael with her fellow board members during her term.
Through her company, Chockablock Productions, Allyson has covered Irish language events since 2005 and continues to send video footage to Irish news programs welcoming Canadian content.
Her great-great-great-grandfather James died in the quarantine hospital on Grosse Ile and his wife Margaret was buried at sea in the dark summer of 1847 Being a part of the Ireland Canada Monument is an honour felt by her whole family and sends a nod to people who took a chance on a new life in Canada.
Ailísín Ní Mhaoildeirg
The work of religious orders in Saskatchewan:
In 1906 the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception moved from St. John, New Brunswick to Prince Albert, and opened St. Patrick’s Orphanage (1906–73) and Holy Family Hospital (1910–97). In Regina they ran a girls' school from 1921 to 1968.
In 1911 three Franciscan Sisters of St. Elizabeth from Austria went to Humboldt, Sask. where they opened a hospital and a school of nursing (1923-69), and hospitals in Macklin (1922), Scott (1924–32), and Cutworth (1924); they later served in Seniors’ Homes in Saskatoon and Humboldt.
A hospital was opened in Moose Jaw by the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul from Kingston in 1912, and in Estevan by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peterborough in 1937. The Notre Dame Sisters ran hospitals in Ponteix (1918–69), Val Marie, and Zenon Park. Homes for the Aged were founded by the Sisters of Our Lady of the Cross in Whitewood (1920–68), Marcelin (1944–56), Prince Albert (1956–92), and in Weyburn (1953–70).
Other orders engaged in social work. In 1923 the Sisters of Social Service of Hamilton went to Stockholm, Sask., to minister to an Hungarian community, and in 1949 to Regina where they engaged in parish work and teaching. In 1951. Father G.W. Kuckartz, OMI, of Battleford, founded the Sisters of Mission Service to serve in a wide variety of ministries.
Professor of Modern Languages, UNB Co-founder Gaelic League
First President of Ireland Poet
Kathleen McGeer Teacher 1919 - 1927
Born in St-Colomban, Quebec, in 1898. In 1910, he moved with his family to Saskatchewan. He received his law
degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1919. Called to the bar in 1922, became Chief Justice of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench in 1957, Chief Justice of Saskatchewan in 1961 and Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1962. In 1961, Hall was appointed by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to chair a Royal Commission on Health Services, whose task was “to study the existing and projected health needs of and health resources of Canada; and to study methods of ensuring the highest standards of health care for all citizens of Canada” (Malcolm G. Taylor, Health Insurance and Canadian Public Policy: The Seven Decisions That Created the Canadian Health Insurance System and Their Outcomes [Montréal and Kingston: McGill–Queen’s University Press, 1987], p. 335).Mr. Justice Emmett Hall, the Prime Minister’s law school friend and Chief Justice of Saskatchewan, was appointed chair of the Royal Commission on Health Services in 1961.
The commission’s report, released in 1964, stated: “Health services must not be denied to certain individuals simply because the latter make no contribution to the economic development of Canada or because he cannot pay for such services. Important as economics is we must also take into account the human and spiritual aspects involved” (Walter Stewart, The Life and Political Times of Tommy Douglas [Toronto: McArthur & Company, 2003], p. 232). Tom Kent, Prime Minister Lester Pearson’s Principal Secretary, appreciated the impact of the commission’s report, because it “took much of the wind out of the opponents of medicare” . Hall is widely regarded as a founding father of medicare.in key leadership roles for the majority of these years. During this time, a number of charitable establishments came into existence; schools, boarding schools, orphanages and a hospital.
Lord Selkrik School opened in 1908. The brick building expansion was used as a hospital during the 1918 flu pandemic.
Nurse. Mother. Teacher.
Born 1757 near Omagh (Northern Ireland), son of Andrew
Cochrane, a “respectable farmer”. He married Rebecca
Cuppaidge in 1785. They had seven children.
Classically educated at a private grammar school in County Tyrone, he entered Trinity College, Dublin, in June 1776, was elected a scholar in 1779 and took his degree in 1780. During his later years at the college he developed doubts about divine revelation and renounced his previous intention of ordination in the Church of Ireland. In 1781 he took a position as tutor to the family of a country gentleman in County Galway. However, ideals of the American revolution aroused his strong sympathies, and at the close of the war in 1783, repelled by political conditions in Ireland, a country he still greatly loved, he emigrated to the United States (In the course of passage he changed the spelling of his name from Cochrane to Cochran.)
He had not taken letters of recommendation, nonetheless was quickly appointed chief assistant in the Academy of Philadelphia, a grammar school attached to U. of Pennsylvania. January 1784 he moved to New York to open a grammar school and was, at year end, appointed professor of Green & Latin, Columbia College.
Revolted by the institution of slavery he experienced a revival of religious studies and belief and decided to seek ordination in Church of England, Nova Scotia. He was recommended as a suitable candidate for a mission. Whilst awaiting for the church’s response, he was appointed headmaster of the newly established Halifax Grammar School. With the support of Halifax printer John Howe, he brought out the first volume of the Nova-Scotia Magazine, writing on a variety of subjects. Including the series of articles entitled “A plan of liberal education for the youth of Nova-Scotia, and the sister provinces in North-America” which appeared in the first edition.
His appointment to the presidency of King’s College began an association that was destined to last for more than 40 years. In 1788 the legislature passed an act for the establishment of a college, to bear the name of King’s College in Windsor and to be headed as president by a Church of England clergyman. Cochran agreed to accept the position. 1 July, 1791, he was invested as president of King’s College.
The outbreak of war between France and Britain postponed the Royal Charter that would seal his appointment and as a decade of diifficulties followed Cochran and his family lived in hardship. Enrollments were small, building proceeded slowly, and inflation depreciated his fixed income. His status was enhanced by his appointment to the board of governors in the 1820s. Cochran received two honorary degrees from Columbia in 1788 and a Doctor of Sacred Theology from Trinity College, Dublin, in 1802. In 1821 Cochran, on the advice of physicians, travelled to the US “in the hope of removing a serious complaint in his chest.” The following year, though “far from well,” he returned to Nova Scotia to resumed his duties as professor and clergyman.
In October 1831 he resigned his appointments in the college. He died in Windsor on 4 Aug. 1833, and was buried in the Old Parish Burying Ground.
His son, James Cuppaidge, was a prominent Anglican clergyman in Nova Scotia. Another son, Andrew William, served as civil secretary to three governors of Lower Canada and also sat on the Executive Council of that province
in 1891, Douglas Hyde was invited to teach modern languages at the University of New Brunswick. Settled into his career and a community of friends, he was introduced, and inevitably fascinated, with the language and culture of Canada’s indigenous people. His interest soon became a study of comparing their folklore with the folklore of Gaelic Ireland – it was an interest rooted in his childhood.
Douglas Ross Hyde was born January 17, 1860, the youngest of four brothers born to Elizabeth (Oldfield) and Arthur Hyde. who was a Church of Ireland rector in Co. Sligo. Douglas would spend his first seven formative years in Co. Sligo home- schooled by his father and his aunt due to a childhood illness. Sligo was a county among the worst affected by An Gorta Mór - ‘the Great Hunger’. It would have seemed unlikely for a lad from the Hyde family to mingle with the peasants on his father’s estate. But Douglas was fascinated by their stories and learned as he listened to elders speaking the Roscommon Gaeilge dialect. His ‘best friend’ was the gamekeeper Seamus Hart, an old Gilly (servant) who shared with him the legends of Queen Meadbh (Maeve) and Gaelic royalty. Douglas was 14, deeply saddened when Seamus died. He stopped his study for a time, but not for long. As he visited Dublin and found that he wasn’t alone – there were others who loved the Irish language and legends as he did.
A fascination with legends and language would lead to the fullness of Hyde’s poetic avocation. He was a distinguished student, winner of the Gold Medal for Modern Literature in languages, and awarded his B.A. in 1884. He further studied both divinity and law, but his first love would always be languages – especially Irish. His first volume of verse was published under his pen name An Craoibhín Aoibhinn (delightful little branch). Bilingual anthologies and collaborations with Celtic Revival writers including W.B. Yeats who, along with Lady Gregory, persuaded him to join their newly formed Irish Literary Theatre (forerunner of Dublin’s famous Abbey theatre). He was once again successful and added to his awards the first Professor of Modern Irish UCD 1909
Rejecting family pressure to follow generations into a career in the Church, he entered Trinity College. He became fluent in French, Latin, German, Greek and Hebrew, as well as Irish. 1893 proved to be a significant year- he and Lucy Kurtz married that year and his passion for the decling Irish language, led to his becoming Co-founder and First President (1893 – 1915) of the Gaelic League (Conradh na Gaeilge} the national movement for revival of the Irish language.
Hyde cited his father illness as the reason for hi returning to Ireland from New Brunswick, however his diaries and notes that he mailed home, had begun to reflect on the situation political situation Ireland there and then. In 1937, Douglas Hyde was unanimously appointed first President of Ireland, and remained in that office until 1945.
Douglas Hyde’s poetic farewell and yearning for Canada – stanzas 3-4
Mary was born in Westport, County Mayo in 1926. In 1955 Mary and her husband Ben moved to Canada and settled in Ottawa with their children. Very quickly, they became involved in the Irish community through the Irish Society and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.
Mary grew up with English as the language spoken at home, however her great love for Irish was such that she became a ‘near-native’ speaker.and was deeply committed to language, history and culture having learned it first as a student at the Convent of Mercy and Sacred Heart Secondary School .
Throughout this time, Mary’s deep interest in the Irish language never ceased She was a driving force in language instruction, a founding member of an Irish language group in Ottawa and its annual language weekend. She was very often invited to teach Irish classes at other Irish weekends established around Ontario and the Montreal area. She also instructed evening classes through the Ottawa School Board’s Continuing Education programme. Mary has a talent for teaching and over the years she has encouraged and assisted many to learn Irish. Several of her 'students' have continued and instruct at the ongoing, well-established language weekends.
Asked how she was able to maintain and fine-tune her own skills in the language, Mary responded that she was always an avid reader and as such, she read everything she could find in Irish. On trips home to Ireland, she would search out books by her favourite authors, in particular Pádraig Ó’Conaire, the celebrated Irish short story writer, and these treasures of literature served her well. Poetry is another literary passion of Mary’s and here too she has found great works to keep her Irish skills honed.
Mary continues to give Irish language classes in her home and has been the catalyst in the publication of two books in Irish, both composites of pieces scripted by her students.
Mary has also been a strong supporter of the Gaeltacht since its inception and is honoured to be named Uachtarán for Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada in 2012. She was one of the founding members of the Irish Society in Ottawa and would be the first woman president. Also active with the Irish Society bowling league, Tara Players and the Ottawa Gaels Gaelic Football Club. .
The Coffey house was always filled with music at the many fine parties Mary (a fine singer) held in Gatineau and later in the old Coachhouse. 'Mother Coffey', as she was affectionately called, always had a cup of tea and a heart full of kindness for anyone who dropped in.
The ravaging winter is over.
The Wizard of Silence is fled,
And violets peep from their cover,
And daisies are raising their head.
Earth blushes to life like a lover.
And wakes in her emerald bed
And she and the heavens above her
In torrents of sunshine are wed
Forgetting the swoon of the snow.
Mary Jo Leddy
Writer. Theologian. Founder Romero House Order of Canada 1966 129
Father Joseph Cuddy
Chaplain and Archbishop's Repesentative
to Nortre Dame High School
Mr. Justice Emmett Matthew Hall
Chair of the Royal Commission on Health Services
Lawyer. Jurist. Civil Libertarian.
Allyson’s Great Grandmother Emily Haggerty from County Cork, her Grandfather Tom Reid and Great Grandfather Tom Reid Senior from Scotland.
Douglas Hyde died on July 12, 1949. His gift to Ireland, Canada and all was 89 years of wisdom, poetry and adventure. At the unveiling of the Bronze Sculpture of Dr. Douglas Hyde, Ireland’s past president Mary McAleese said of him, “When we think of Douglas Hyde today we often think of him as just the first President of Ireland, but that is surely to put the cart before the horse. He was chosen as President because of his giant contribution to our cultural history.”
2014 RTE Ireland's national radio and television
broadcaster launched news in Irish.
Danny Doyle was born in Bellville, Ontario, and encouraged to explore his interests and
accomplishments far and wide. His paternal great-grandparents were from Wicklow and Antrim. His maternal family emigrated to Canada in the 18th c Danny began learning the Irish language at St. Michael's College, UT. Introduced to the Canadian Gaeltacht project in it's early stages and has been an active member and a teacher of the language for many years. Through his involvement in the Gaeltacht project, eawar a lack of published research concerning the history of the language in the global diaspora, Danny began researching the heritage of the Irish language in Canada. This research found a continuous Irish-Gaelic presence in Canada from the time of John Cabot through to the present day, and challenged many historical ideas about the persistence and usage of Irish within Canadian communities. The body of research grew with the rediscovery of Canadian poetry fragments and folklore recorded in the Irish Folklore Commission and Danny began presenting the material through university lectures, including in Irish at Magee College, University of Ulster. The culmination of his research was the publication of Míle i gCéin: The Irish Language in Canada, which went on to win the 2015 Literary Award at Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada. This book is one of the first to explore the fate of the Gaelic emigrants and their language and culture within the global diaspora, bringing together scholars’ census data and historic accounts to show the prevalence of the language in Canada, spoken from Newfoundland through to the Yukon at one point, and the reasons for its abandonment and near-total exclusion from the folk memory. With a Masters in Arts Conservation, he now works as an archaeological conservator for Parks Canada, overseeing the nation'’s 30 million historical artifacts and more than 160 national heritage sites, including Grosse Île. Danny has worked actively on archaeological sites, including the Pharonic cemetery of Abydos, Egypt, conserving human burials from 2000 BC, and at the Iron-age ring fortress of Caherconnell, Co. Clare.
Danny comes from a strongly musical tradition. His grandparents were fiddlers and his great- and great-great-grandfathers played the tin whistle. Danny is keeping up the tradition as he is actively involved with the sean-nós singing and he is an accomplished uilleann piper. 218
Dónall Ó Duḃġaıll L Linguist. Conservator. Musician.
Education & Healthcare
Much is owed to those women and men whose vocations established the pillars that significantly shaped the compassionate, mutually respectful and welcoming culture that Canadians are known for.
Sister John Mary Sullivan Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist ..
On April Fool's Day 1897, Kathleen McGeer was born in the McGeer family home, at 18th east of Main, the 8th of 11 children born to James and Emily McGeer. Her father, from County Kildare, ran a dairy farm at 15th & Fraser.
In 1891 the East Vancouver forest (known only as D.L. 301) was being pushed back by development and Cedar Cottage Drive (now Commercial.) would be a thriving business stop along the interurban line between Vancouver and New Westminster.
Lord Selkirk School opened its doors in 1908 with two storey wooden buildings. It was then expanded to include a larger brick building next door. During the 1918 flu pandemic, the building was turned into a hospital: a men's ward on one floor, women's ward on another, a morgue in the basement. 22 patients passed away.
Timmie (as she was known) arrived the following year to take up her teaching at Lord Selkirk from 1919–1927. She was hardworking and passionate. She could hardly believe that some teachers thought they could not teach more than 20 children. She'd handle twice as many!
She married a mining engineer, Roy Priest, and moved with him to north-western B.C. for a short time. Roy died young. They had no children of their own. Timmie had many students she would see grown up under her influence. But it was her great extended family - brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews were her family and she supported and assisted them generously. Her 100th birthday was a great celebration at a nephew’s home where she was the centre of all attention, enjoying life to the fullest. Kathleen McGeer Priest died aged 101.
Equipped with snowshoes for winter in New Brunswick
Bridget Grealis Guglich
Bridget was born in Ballycroy, Co Mayo, a remote area of
Ireland, which is now a National Park. She attended
Drumgallagh National School and then St. Dympna’s Secondary School, Achill Sound where she mastered the Irish language with the help of the school’s founder, Padráig Mac Suibhne.
Having obtained her High School Leaving Certificate, Brigid taught in the national school in Innisbiggle for a year but, without certification, she was not qualified to continue. A lack of opportunities in Ireland meant tough decisions. In 1953 she began the three year training program at the Whittington Hospital in Highgate, London, to become a State Registered Nurse in England and Wales and, embarking on another year, became a State Registered Midwife. However, life in London had lost its appeal. Canada beckoned.
She found herself in a vibrant, lively city when she arrived in Montreal the Springtime of 1961. The Montreal General Hospital was very modern and there she encountered many interesting situations and personalities. She married in Montreal in 1964. They moved on to Sudbury in 1967 and then to Ottawa which is still home. Bridget worked part time in various nursing positions while their two children were young. She then turned to the mental health and addictions field, where she worked full time until retirement.
With two teenagers and full time work, Briget embarked on an external degree program at the University of Waterloo and obtained a Bachelor of Arts (History) followed soon by a Bachelor of Science Nursing from the University of the State of New York, Albany. With so much accomplished, Bridget herself would say the absence of the Irish Language in daily life left a big void. Retirement opened the door. She started to attend classes and was soon fluent again. The contacts she made allowed her to associate with other groups sha interest.
She attended weekends in Montreal, Kingston and Ottawa and was a member of the Ottawa Group attending the “Twenty Year Strategy for the Irish Language in North America” in New York City. Elected Irish Officer in the Ottawa Branch of CCE she worked with Aralt Mac Giolla Chainnigh to promote the Irish language.
She successfully reorganized the group which had previously arranged Irish Language Weekends in Ottawa and brought it under the auspices of CCE. This new group “Caint is Comhrá” continues with the primary aim of arranging the annual Irish language weekend, Irish language days, Conversation groups and supplying teachers for the weekly CCE Irish classes and at the Gaeltacht in Tamworth, where she is usually in demand. Now, with time to immerse herself in her native culture, she eagerly shares her knowledge with learners and feels at ease in the familiar community. Reading Irish Language publications and listening to Radio na Gaeltachta and TG4 are part of her daily routine.
Rev. William (Cochrane) Cochran, D.D.B.A. Educator. Writer.
Church of England Clergyman 183
Catherine Donnelly, Founder and the Sisters of Service
Irish (Gaeilge), also referred to as Gaelic or Irish Gaelic, originated in Ireland and was historically spoken by the Irish people. By the end of British rule it was spoken by fewer than 15%. In 1893 Douglas Hyde was elected first president of Ireland and co-founded the Gaelic League (Conradh na Gaeilge} the national movement for the revival of the Irish language. Today Irish enjoys constitutional status as the national and first official language of the Republic of Ireland. The 2011 census indicated 94,000 people reported using Irish as a daily language outside of the school system, and 1.3 million reported occasional use in or out of school. Irish has the oldest vernacular literature in Western Europe. .
By the pole slope that Canada faces
The ice giants hurtle and reel,
For her seven months winter she cases
her land in a casket of steel.
Yet I pine for her mighty embraces
In the home of the moose and the seal,
And I pine for her beautiful places
And sad is the feeling I feel
When snowflakes remind me of her.
Sheila Scott, Ph.D.
Directrice adjointe/ Assistant Director
Professeure de langue /Language Professor
Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI/
Institut des langues officielles et du bilinguisme (ILOB)
Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa 171
Susan Mellett Bowen
In 1893 the first woman Anglican Missionary in Canada
Born 1870, Galway, Ireland, to John and Elizabeth (Conway) Mellett,, Susan was sent to the Canadian Yukon mission. When she arrived from Ireland she went directly to Forty Mile Creek, Yukon ... where no unmarried woman missionary had dared to venture.
Happily the Reverend R.J. Bowen arrived in the Yukon in 1895. They met and married. They had one son. In 1897 the couple was called from Alaska to go to Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Here they built the 1st log church, St. Paul’s. In 1899 Rev. Bowen became ill with typhoid fever and had to return to England to recover.
On August 1, 1900 he was back, this time serving in Whitehorse, Yukon. He held services in a tent until a new log church was built in October. When you visit Whitehorse you can visit the original log church which is now a museum, and walk into history with Susan Mellett Bowen and her husband..
By May 1903 Rev. Bowen became ill again, forcing the couple to leave the far north, serving instead in Nanaimo and Ladysmith, British Columbia. On a journey to visit family in 1908, Susan's sister Henrietta accompanied them and made her home with them in London, Ontario. Susan died in 1962.