Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
Unapologetically Canadian
Unapologetically Canadian

Episode 41 · 1 year ago

How crafts connect generations with Mary Sutherland

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week, Unapologetically Canadian features an interview with family historian and quilter Mary Sutherland. Mary tells us about the art shows, retreats and charity, all featuring quilts. To read the show notes, refer to https://traceyarial.com/blog/mary-sutherland.

My name is Tracy Ariel and I am unapologetically Canadian, a Tracy Arial here, and this is the first week of October and October four as I record this, and basically this week, you can't help but know that the government definitely politics, definitely matters. This week, the government law just announced that they were changing. There were as Montreal goes into almost lockdown again. We're in the red zone. It's not a hundred percent lockdown, but close enough. All they're still leaving the schools open, they're leaving the gym's open, they're leaving the malls open, but all restaurants have to deliver now, and you're only there's no gatherings allowed anymore. They're giving police special powers to be able to stop gatherings and if they were happening every indoor place. You have to wear masks and they're asking you to eliminate anything that's not necessary. So not a hundred percent confinement, but close. So that's one way that the government definitely affects our lives. The other way the they change the Serb which is the if you're a creator and the business person, like I am, then then you don't fit into any unemployment system. So they have a system where you can actually sign up for a maximum of twenty six weeks. You have to be open to getting any job that's offered to you. You have to be actively looking for a job. They've actually combined the Serb into the unemployment system to try and prevent some of the abuse that I guess they felt was happening in the previous no holds barred Serb. The rules are a little bit tighter, but obviously if you don't have a job because of covid it will still give you a little bit of extra financing. So that is definitely a way that the government is helping us at the moment. The other thing that's happening this week, of course, I have everybody in the family is going off Pumpkin picking and apple picking, and this is a big harvest. Now the markets are moving into the greenhouse this week. We're doing a lot of extra work to try and make them safe for everybody. I'm going to definitely be putting a filter into my mask this week so that I can be protected to and we're just basically, I guess the word of the week is flexible. Be Flexible, because you have to actually respond and keep your business going despite some pretty heavy trauma this time. On the community side, there's a lot of organizations that are doing their annual general meetings by zoom. There's a lot of people who are doing training by zoom. So, depending on what you are looking whether you want to get actively involved in a group in your neighborhood or whether you want to get training or and basically most of the socializing is going to be online now. So I'm pretty lucky because it was my birthday last week and my husband gave me some lights so that on zoom meetings I will no longer have shiny foreheads or be in the dark. He got lights and he installed them for me on my desks and they even can change colors, so I can actually change color, change the color that I am if I want to get someone's attention. I think it's going to be really fun to play and I guess that's kind of world we're in these days. It's everything is online all the time, which is why I'm outside now. I'm giving every opportunity to go outside and I suggest you do the same. Despite the frosty weather here in Montreal. It's well with five degrees when I woke up this morning. It's now up to about nine and I think it's supposed to get up to fifteen today. We still haven't had a frost,...

...or we're not a heavy frost anyway. And so yesterday I picked raspberries and lots of raspberries, tomatoes, Kale, yeah, Still Cood Tomatoes, Round Cherries. The Ground Cherries will last even after the frost, I think. Onions. Lots of things still in the garden now and I'm really look and forward to a very busy farmers week this week as well. So I hope that you have a great week as well. Now we'll go on to the interview. This week I'm interviewing a Mary Settherland, who is a genealogist. She's part of the genealogy on some group and if you want to read I'll put the link to the genealogy on some wet website at the base of this video so that you can go and check it out. Also you can see Mary's articles there. Her family's been in Montreal for a long time, so it's really fun reading about the first farmer in Montreal, reading about the history of DG, this story of Westmount the history of the West Island. Mary as a fascinating person and I hope you enjoy the interview. Hi, Tracy. Have you found that the that the quarantine has affected? You? Very much, Mary. Well, just for Grocery shopping, well, this morning I went to lassal to the product go to pick up an order and it was actually only three items I didn't get, which other times I've gone and pick things up and you only got a third of what you ordered. And Yeah, I think most of the grocery stores now have sort of change their ordering so that people can actually get what they need. Yeah, it does seem to be more reliable. Everybody's been it's taken us a while to adopt us. I think all of the businesses we've had a number of our neighbors have volunteered to go and shop for us, but even they, you know, you never know what they're going to buy when you tell them what you want. It's true, because the shelves are a bizarrely empty in some areas and really, really full, like the the tuna was completely gone, but there were tons of cans of Salmon, for example. Apparently, to know as much more. Yeah, so he went. If you actually went in the store, you could see and you could decide what you wanted, but when you're telling somebody and then they don't know what you might want and yeah, yeah, you sort of have to give them a list with a whole bunch of alternative altern it is and we've been doing the farmers market, of course. Now we've just started it, doing it by by virtual orders, and people keep asking me while do I pick up all the order at once? If you're delivering it, is it going to be from all? Because there's a bunch of different because each client, each market vendor, has has a section on our catalog. So they were thinking that maybe they were going to get many different deliveries because everybody just like we're all gonna be said to get it was don't worry. Yeah, it's just new habits. It's really strange. Yeah, about we're all healthy. You're all healthy over there. We are. Tomorrow my husband has an appointment with his GP on the phone at thirty, so we'll see. He's usually an hour and a half late. You go sit in his office. I wonder if you'll be on time when he calls you. That's very bizarre. Yeah, I know. I my daughter did one of those online doctor's appointments to it's it's pretty press of how I I suspect that some things will continue online after this is over. Yeah, just because it does save people a little bit of time. You know, if you can do the initial triage online, you don't actually have to see some yeah, so we'll see that anyway. And so what I wanted to talk to you a little bit about crafts, arts and crafts, because we together our family history writers. We've been together what six years now, I think, with the genealogy on some group. And you're also a famous quilter. Talk a little bit about the to to have talked about a bit about the two and then just tell me you're the most proud elements.

Well, quilting I've done quite a well, not even actually seriously as long as I've been doing genealogy, but I've always sewed, you know, I learned when I was a child and my mother, my mother, taught us to sew and knit and Crochet and embroider and she tried to teach us to tat, but I guess I was the only one that eventually got that. But that was years and years later and we used to have a woman who a dressmaker, would come in twice a year to make clothes for us. She had worked for my grandmother and she come, would come to our house and so so on my mother's little singer featherweight sewing machine. But we wanted to, she would give us the scraps and help us to make dolls, clothes and stuff. So that was where really learned to sew, and for twenty years I made most of my clothes. So, oh my gosh, that's such a great skill. Yeah, well, I've sort of given that up now, but it was around. I made a quilt in the s from just I had these scraps and it took me about three years to finish it and then I quilted it and the actual quilting on it is absolutely terrible light. But because it was my first one, I wouldn't take it apart. But then I joined a quilting guild though, West End quilters in Montreal West, and that made you. Before I used to think, oh, I'd like to make this quilt, I'd like to do that, and when you had other people to bounce ideas off, you suddenly decide. You know, got making them, ment encouragement and whatever and so that's that was about well two thousand and five. So fifteen years I've been doing quilting more seriously. So now that we're not doing anything, everything else is stopped. I've been doing quite a lot of quilting at home. Luckily I have a large dash of fabric, so I'm not going to run out in my lifetime, let alone now. So the quilting group was meeting online, just like genealogy on zombies. Oh well, we have no, we haven't exactly been meeting online, but you know, people post something, post pictures of what they're doing and everybody comments. We've discussed having a meeting online, but then some people are not don't have the all. They say, Oh, they can't do it and they're on this or that or the other things. So that's still up in the air for a bit. Yeah, I guess if this goes on long enough they'll figure it out. Yeah, I think. Yeah, no. So one of the things that I think is really interesting is that you've taken your family history and you've used, you've written quite a few stories about your quilting experiences and quilts that you have in your family, and that's been really I find it really interesting because it shows how generate, you know, crafts can actually connect generations. Well, they just yet crafts that have gone through the generations. Whereas I think my grandmother was not very didn't so very much and was not certainly not crafty. One of them, the other one, did a lot of knitting and crocheting and things like that, but the you know, my my generation, like both my sisters and I, really do lots of crafts and they're we all quilt now. So we're sending each other back pictures back and forth of this is how much I've...

...done and this is this that I've done. And what's interesting about these kinds of crass is they're so useful in daily life. I mean they can actually be part of your routine once they're finished. What have you been done with some of your quotes? Well, some of them are on the bed I made. I made one for my husband and it's it's not we have a king's highe bed, but it's only a single quilt. It's only on his side because I don't need all these extra covers on you. So he has he has his quilt there and we have quilts at the cottage. But people always ask, Oh, well, do you sell quilts? And you say well, no, because people are not willing to pay what they're worth. You know, the time and money and effort in doing one. So we say we don't sell them, we give them away. So I've given quilts to a number of people and you know, all nieces and nephews and grandchildren and whomever have gotten baby quilts and they're fun to make because they're not so big and you can make them much more quickly. Right now I'm working on this one. That's it's at least queen size and it's it's just so awkward. I I hand quilt. Most of the other people in my gail do machine quilting, but I prefer to do hand quilting. And so you quilt and you can watch TV and I do it just on my lap rather than on a frame. Okay, but so it's it's, you know, good when it's cold outside you have this quilt, but it's it's this one is so big. It's just awkward to turn and even to take off you and put in a chair. Just this big jumble pile in the in the chair. You can't nicely fold it up when you're finished. Working on it, but I thought it would take me years to quilt this one, but it's it's getting almost finished good. Is Actually one of my I guess, my mother's best friend's daughter. So, however, that she's like a cousin, because I've seen in my life, my whole life. She made a quilt for my son who was firstborn, which I then used for my daughter and it's one of the treasured artifacts in our family. Because I don't quilte so there's no having a handmade like you say, the cost of actually paying for all of that Labor would be extraordinary because it's it's so, so carefully done and so personal. Hmmm, yeah, but yeah, maybe it. You know, maybe at some point people will appreciate that now you know more people. What made you take up quilting in the first place? Like you you done many other crafts. Would attracted you to quilting? Well, I deitas and there used to be as McCall's Magus, Craft magazine, and it had like all different kinds of things in and a number of times it had quilts and one was a oh it was it? What's it called? It's not addict window. anyways, it's a sort of a complicated pattern and I thought, Oh, this is beautiful, I want to make that. But once I'd made about two squares of that, I decided I didn't really want to make that. So the first one I made was really an easy for patch. And but it's, after sewing, one of the things, even when you're making clothes, it's fun to go shop for fabric. So for quilting you can just go and shop for fabric all times, even if it's nothing in mind to make. You know you can all this is really I love this and I and then you know, years later you find it and you make something out of it, or you know now, when you're not, that there are very many quilt stores in Montreal anyways. Lately we've been doing most of our shopping online anyways. But you can just go upstairs and say, okay, now I need to find something to finish this and I have to use something from my staff. So it's kind of fun to go look through all this fabric and go, well, I have really a lot of...

...really nice fabric, I've got it continue making things out of it, and that's don't one thing about a quilt is it actually looks better if there are more fabrics, you know. Oh yeah, it's not like food or or other things where, you know, three to five is actually or gardening, you know, where three to five is the best. You know, seems to me that if there's not at least five different fabrics that are quilty, it doesn't look like a quilt. Yeah, no, and some of them, you know. I've made one. I made a hexagon, one which every hexagon was a different piece of fabric, except there were two the same in the whole thing and people yet in the whole thing, but they didn't quite look they came from the same fabric and it was actually black on black. I mean it was like gray on black. That a very you could hardly see the pattern. But that was the one that there were two of. And and when it was hanging, we had it was hanging in, well, one of the quilt shows, and I written that there were two and so all these people are standing there trying to figure out which two were the same. Well, that's a fun way. Did you give a prize for the person who got it right or something at Oh no, no, I don't think anyone actually did get it. Well, you said that you participate in quilt shows. What's that about it? Because if you're not selling the quiltes, what are you doing? Well, just for showing, you know, showing what we do. We've had it's, you know, just our guild and it's a small guild. Now we have about twenty members. We've had twenty five. It is probably the greatest number we've had and they of those twenty we probably have twelve or fifteen who come a lot of the time and now Janis, Janis has joined and she's started quilting. But genealog is going to extend to quilting too. Yeah, every three about three years we've had a show and so the fifteen, say about fifteen people, had a hund over a hundred quilts to exhibit. Wow, so it's letting art show. Yeah, it's like an art show and just just to show people what you do and we make a quick quilt that we raffle off during the show. So, Oh, yes, I remember buying raffle tickets. And didn't you give the money to an organization to yeah, we raise money and give it to, you know, some women's shelter. We did one year to Elizabeth House to some different sort of women's charities a little giving back to the community. We also do make quilts for different organizations, like at one time for Elizabeth House we made baby quilt for the babies. We've been doing a fair amount of quilts of valor quilts that they give to soldier, wounded soldiers or any people in the military whom they figure might need a quilt. And this is Canada wide and they at the last Canadian quilt show they started having these red and white with a little yellow quilt squares that everybody one year it was one pattern and everybody made these squares and they put together quilts and they were doing some of them at the show so people could see what was doing. And I don't remember how many they actually made, by the great number. Oh that's good. They were supposed to have another quilt show in Edmonton this July or June, which is canceled, and but people were making another pattern of quilt squares for that and so I had made ten squares and...

I figured that was all I would do. But since I've been home I've been making more and you find, oh, some more red material or white material and I can just cut that up and that'll make another couple of squares and so I just keep making some more squares. So I don't know, I might have enough to make the whole quilt top myself. But Oh, congratulations, that will be cool. Well, that's end. And you're probably not the only one. So they may actually end up making more quilts because of their night make. Yeah, people might make be making more quilts. Is Time and last time, but I hope they hope they put some of them together at the show too, because I know people really love seeing that. And what's interesting about quilts is they're coming back in fashion just for betting as well, because they're yeah, they're really good in terms of in the summer they're not too hot, but in the wintertime they you could actually cuddle on them. That it's yeah, you can make them out, you know, with wool batting or, you know light, very light cotton batting or silk batting or all kinds of batting, which gives you, you know, a different quilt for each season, which you would need actually, depending on I mean then you have an extra quilt so your husband could be warmer. We have many, yes, we have many extra quiltes, that's for sure. And have you found that you've made new friends because of this activity. Well, yes, and one of our favorite things to do as quilters is to go on a retreat and we started with one. It was up from Friday night to Sunday afternoon and we the first ones I went to were at the stables up on Gwand Boulevard. Okay, well, there was a a nunnery and it was you know, you got there, you really got to know that the people in the guild, because normally you go to the meeting every you know, every two weeks, and it's so for an hour and a half and you get to know people, but not that well. And and so on these retreats where you just go and they make the the food for you and you just quilt and quilt and quilt. So did you sleep overnight there or was it one of the things where you went home? No, no, you slept over night. And lately we've been going to IRMATIZE SAINT QUA, which is way at the end of Guam Boulevard at lance alarm. It's beautiful, I mean it's right on the water and they have all the you each have your own little little room, little nun room, with your bed and a chair and a sink, but we have a great big room where we all set up our sewing machines and and so and so, if you're at home, you sew for half an hour and then you go check your computer and then it's time to make lunch and then you need to do this and change the laundry. But when you're at your the retreat, you know, you just from morning to night, you so and even if you take a break, everyone else continue. So you feel you've got to go back and so so, yeah, an awful lot done and we've gone. We've gone extended from a net for another day. So we've started to go from like Thursday to Sunday. But now at at lermatize Saint Qua, there are so there. There are no nuns left. They used to have I don't know how many there, and so it was actually the nuns who, you know, did the cooking and did the cleaning and did everything involved in in running this retreat center. But as they got older and older and there were no nuns. It's not while they were there was one the last time we were there and another woman who is not a nun runs the thing. So she was saying that you know, if they didn't have a big group, they weren't going to be open except for weekend retreats. So we had to we had to cancel. Whence people are traveling again. It sounds like a kind of a cool place to have a bit of a to get out of your life and do some sort of soul searching if you want to.

HMM, that's neat. And do you find? I mean, because we've you're you've been doing writing family history. Where you wading before the the genealogy on some group got together? Yeah, I will, I'm a little bit. I mean I started, I started writing and I started because I started really doing geneology around one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine. And when the I mean I belong to the Family Quebec Family History Society before that for a few years and I go out there and look through there, you know, microfiche, birth marriages and deaths and print all this stuff out and and then at that time writing two different societies asking my answer. Sisters were from Bruce County and going getting in touch with the Bruce County historical society and whatnot, getting information. But it was in two thousand beginning of two thousand, when the Internet was more active and at I had access at work that you started getting. I was on roots webcom that I first posted some queries about my family and a couple of days later, and this is like January two thousand, this woman answered and she she's about a third cousin, once removed or something, and she had all the family history. Oh Wow, and you said Bruce County. Where is Bruce County in Ontario? Or Yeah, in Ontario, like not. They north into like Allen Sound, also near Toberctober Morey type, that peninsula. Yeah, up in that peninsula, and so a lot of the the family had had been there and she had grown this woman, Carol, had grown up there and so she had knew all some of the family stories and whatnot. So she was source of a great amount of information that I originally knew. But then you started, through through her and other cousins, to gather a whole lot of information and I started to write stuff down and I started. I started a book called let's to book about they. Well, it's they chose Canada by Oh okay, well, I gotta you know, I gotta an introduction and I got all into the sort of the first paragraphs and deciding what I was going to do. And then when I I saw that they had a writing group at they stick just had started it at the family history society, but I was still working. So when I retired in I was retired January two thousand and thirteen. So that's when I joined the the writing group at the Family History Society and have been writing ever since. And know some of the stories that you do are just hilarious. Like you have one story about chickens. Is it chickens? Are Turkeys? Chokes Ure Turkeys, of course, for Thanksgiving. So can you tell can you say a little bit of what inspired you, because the interesting thing about you is you've got quite a dry wit about you, so your stories always have some sort of humorous anecdotes. Yeah, well, it was I found it. I had these carol just cousin had some of the letters that my relatives had written to her relatives and they my my family had moved back from Bruce County back to Toronto where they'd originally been when they first arrived in Toronto and Canada, and so they were writing and asking for Turkeys and saying, Oh how good the Turkeys had been the last time and send them, send them to the store and how much they would pay.

And so there were three letters and all of them and amongst other things they say, mentioned Turkey. So funny. So I mean, you know, you thought this was really quite amusing. And my my siblings continue, you know, I so I like wrote to them for something and said, you know, mentioned Turkeys, and even this path Easter, two of my sister said, well, they were cooking Turkeys and they were publicly saying, you know, we got to keep this Turkey multio theme going through our our letters and emails. So it's brought it. You've brought this family tradition into the digital age. Let's continue. Oh, that's funny, because we could. We continue to like Turkey to Oh yeah, it's one of those meals that's very sort of cut classic Canadian traditions for holidays. So it is. I mean it's amazing what you can put together for Turkeys. I'll put a link to that story and in the show notes as well so people can read it. Is it is quite a humorous little anecdote. Can you talk a little bit about some of your favorite stories that you've well, a lot of a lot of my stories there. They start with some little thing and I like I you know, I've written stories about my great grandmother's quilt that we had and I've written stories about my you know, tatting and my mother tatting and actually my great grandmother tattered also. All we should say what tatting is, because some people won't know. Well, patting is a form of lace making made with a little shuttle and through your fingers. I mean some people think it's crocheting, but but it's much finer. And what do you use to tech with sial? Is it? It's well, you use a cotton thread and the you some people use much heavier now they make jewelry and stuff out of it and you quite heavy stuff, but a very fine thread that you know, makes very delicate little lace. Well, they probably tatted for forever, but in the late or early eighteen hundreds it became fashionable and they had, you know, very fancy shuttles and all the shuttle is it's something that you've wrapped the thread around and you it's basically not also not sing. You're making nots a slip on the thread and that makes all the all the little motifs. Yeah, and so then that way you can use it for decoration or for children's clothes or for yeah, yeah, you know, people used it well, a lot on making handkerchiefs, edgings, and my mother, which is in one of one of my stories, she made little pay hasty note cards sheet while she made the tatting and they just cut these little flower, little flowers and things include them on to note cards and they made them for the Catherine Booth Hospital Auxiliary. And she did this for years. I mean I think it's, you know, seventy or Eightyzero cards she was involved in. Wow, wow, and this is it. These were just cards for the patients that people could get at the at the little truck shop, right. Yeah, they were sold that. They at the in the little shop and you know, people they were, you know, thank you notes and whatever, and people would would buy, would buy these cards in a little package of five of them. They made these four years and it was first it was my mother and another lady who did it until she was well...

...into her s and then she'd say, Oh, it's too bad, I can't see very well anymore. But then ladies who worked on it afterwards were never as good as as this woman, even when she couldn't see very well. Wow, isn't that amazing? Just because, I guess the manual dexterity she managed to hold onto it. Yeah, and she made templates and she just to do the drawing and whatever. And so she had these templates, she did the drawing and then the little pasting and and she'd set up a table in her apartment and her husband wasn't well, so she was often home and she just do this. And isn't that great? and My mother would come over with about, you know, this envelope full of all the tadding she'd done and give it to her. And it's really a different kind of time at when people are giving hand, hand, creating, creating basically pieces of art to give to each other. HMM. But you're you're keeping the tradition going a little bit, a little bit, yes, and you're not to. Can you talk a little bit about some of the challenges that you've had and trying to write some of your stories? You have a particular I articular time that was difficult. Um, not really. Those are the ones I haven't written yet. I've I get set some little idea or, you know, I have a letter or have a picture or have something from the people and sort of, you know, work the story on that some of the more lately I've sort of moved on to some of my relatives who came to Canada here in one thousand six hundred thirty eight, my eight time great grandparents, and because it's so easy to do their research in Quebec. You know their names and and whatnot, but it's a little more work trying to find more about them. But that's I don't have any letters or pictures from them right. So now you're going to have to actually find some sort of going downs or directories or historical what happened with with one of these? It was a Pierre Goudoir and Louise Monger and there's a statue outside March a Mason Neuve down in the east end of Lafemiere and it is was modeled not on but sort of for Louise Monger. Oh, yes, I remember that story. That's it, wonderful one. Well, mean, she has, you know. So there's this eight times great grandmother who there's a statue in honor of her. It's interesting that you have a and you can always you know, I mean it's I think I'm in lucky. You could sort of find some little thing about people. Yeah, well, and the interesting thing about that is to have a statue of a woman is so unusual that, you know, you really get a sense of the kind of leader that she must have been to to get that kind of yeah, and you know really well. I mean now I want to try and find out more about about her, if there is anything. I mean there's a bit more about her husband, but she lived to be I think ninety two. Oh Wow, and you know, one of the first. She wasn't. She's not on this the statue of their first citizens of Montreal, but they were living in Quebec City at the time. But she was, you know, was here since the yearly eight, Sixteen S. and what was special about her? Why...

...does she have a test statue? Um, well, I think her her husband was known as the first farmer. He was the first one to receive land grant from de Maisonneuve in the on in Montreal for Montreal, and so he was somebody later called him the first farmer, and so she was the first farmer's wife. Well, yeah, but he did. There's no such to him. Well, he has. He has a little granite block in plast you Ville, which is I thought it was much bigger than it was, but it's only maybe I haven't haven't actually gone to see it, I've only googled it, but it's only maybe three feet high and it looks more like a concrete block that blocks a road or you know, rather than and she's got this beautiful statue. Yeah, that says something about their characters anyway. Yeah, but you don't know. You haven't found any any documents about what she did or why people appreciated her. So No, I haven't. I haven't found anything about her. Know that it's amazing how a hidden women are in some of the historical document but then her daughter, who married Louis Prudem and that was her daughter, is so one of their children who I descend from. She she owned property where her husband, who who was a brewer and in the army and whatnot, never did what's a brewer? A brewer be brewer. Okay, okay, he made you know, so, I mean he was a business a man and whatnot. And but the property is that. I guess she inherited some from her father, but it went to her and not to wear husband. Oh, that's interesting. So she listed all feel owner of property and he never he was not. That's interesting too. And that was in the also, in the sixteen hundreds, or by them? was that seventeen hundred? Yeah, no, well, still into the sixteen in into th sixteen hundred. Yeah, and so that was would have been under new France rules then. So French, yeah, rules had tend to be more more feminist oriented when it comes to women owned property. They were the one place that that what allowed women to own property. Yeah, it's interesting. That what's interesting about writing these stories. You get to know about historical norms to and and how much they have actually changed over time and by country by country. HMM, that's that's an interesting part too. But you know now, I mean I I'm sure we studied something about the history of Montreal, but now you know, you're trying to really research because you have, you really a connection. I mean you would have been so much more interested in school to know that, hey, you know Russe Pierre, that's supposedly him. You know, Oh really, that is from your your ancestry. Yeah, well, that's what they I mean they suggest. So have you finished your book? Yet or are you still working on it? No, no, well, I sort of. I mean all the stories will be added into the book, but I wanted to you know, had started with the sutherlands and like my great great grandfather. So I wrote something about him and then my great grandfather and then I sort of branched out to other people. And so no, it's not it's not finished, but it does lead on to the sort of naturalisque Christian yea, when you...

...have all the pictures, you want to put pictures in and do stuff. Yeah, yeah, well, and now that you can do self publishing. Me and you have experience because we all did a book together genealogy or beads in a necklace. So you know the effort that it might take to put the book together. Yes, it's making you less more reluctant to get it done, I guess. Well, not really. I mean I would like to do get something, to get all these stories together and because my you know, when I was interested in genealogy, and I tell my siblings, you know, Oh, did you know? You know so and so lived here and it died there and whatever, and their eyes glaze over. But when they had the stories and they'd say, Oh, that's really interested. How did you know that, and stuff like that. So they read the stories, but certainly the facts were not interesting to them at all. Right, yeah, no, I will. That's the advantage of writing an to a story because it reads, especially because we're working so hard on making nonfiction read like fiction. Yeah, that it's a natural flow from one from one portion of the story to the next, and so that the story has a theme. That's that anybody would appreciate, whether or not that was their ancestor yeah, it doesn't really matter. Yeah, who it is. I mean like this woman, you know, a woman leader in the sixteen hundreds who was so admired that she had a statue. Anybody who walked by that statue would probably appreciate knowing a little bit about that woman. Hmmm, like. So we will have to find out what she will have to find out what her role was that made her so appreciated. I'm sure there's a good story there. Yeah, there must be something. I mean the statue was just bit was just downe in one thousand nine hundred and twelve or something. So I mean it was it was from stories of her. I mean she'd been remembered back through the you know, through the centuries. So well, that implies that there are documents to be found. Must be something there. Yeah, yeah, yeah, there's definitely documents to be found. If if it wasn't done till one thousand nine hundred and twelve. MMM. So that's good. That will give us a role for and perhaps we'll have to do a genealogy on some restreet to. Yeah, we could finally get some of our work done. So because it is hard to sit down and write. It's not hard to have written, but sitting down and actually getting the story done is hard. Yeah, at least I find it hard. Yeah, but yeah, know that. The the fact that you're actually making about they chose Canada is sort of a goes right into the final question as do you consider yourself a Canadian and what does that mean to you? Well, absolutely, and why? And what does it mean? What would you how do you define Canadian? Well, I mean I'm certainly, you know, of of Canada. I was born and raised, and not only you know, a Canadian quebecer and a Montreal or. I was born and raised here. Both my parents were born in Montreal and you know some of one of my grandparents came from Switzerland and so lately was actually one of my aunts used to with her children, celebrate Swiss Day, but the last few years my sister and I and my cousin's have celebrated Swiss Day. So, but that's are always when is this August first? Okay, they, you know, supposedly have a parade and Bang Bang pots and pants. But all my ancestors were here, or many of them, before eight hundred and fifty. So they were here before confederation. They came from Scotland and Ireland and and then I had...

...these French Canadians who came from France in the sixteen hundreds. But they never, like all my let southerland ancestors, never seem to talk that much about, you know, the old country that they were Scots and whatever. They came here. You know, it's not like, Oh, this is you know, this came from Scotland or are Ireland or we always celebrate St Patrick's Day, because we didn't because we were Protestant and they wouldn't have celebrated Saint Padrick's Day, but they did. So I think they embrace Canada, embrace the new country and a new a new way of life because it was a different life than they had where they had come from, and so I think that, you know, you sort of proud of the people they were to have left everything and come here and proud of what they've made of the country. That's interesting because you've you've had to actually consider that a couple of times in Quebec to because Quebec is actually had referendum since in your lifetime, several yes, and so you talk a little bit about how you see your rule here. Well, I see my role as an Anglo in Quebec. Like Quebec is not just the French Canadians. And even though, no, I do have French Canadian ancestors and my my family who were originally in Quebec and were French, sort of all became English, like my my grandmother generation mostly married. She married a French man from Switzerland, but most of her siblings married English people and that family kind of flipped over and became English, but they were still the deep roots in Quebec and it's not I mean, the French language certainly is important, but so are the English and you know that we didn't we didn't leave when the separs and you know, renny LAVEC and the separatist came in, we stayed in Montreal and we probably planned to stay forever. So it's true. It's true. So, and it's what's interesting about being Canadian and Quebec is that it does feel a little bit like being a rebel. Yeah, because the general discussion is not necessarily about Canada. Tends to be more about Montreal, all or Im Bout Quebec. there. You know, can it? Canada tends to be an easy crush, for crutch, for people to blame on things. But, and I mean as you look into your ancestors and as you develop an improve a craft that has been in your family through generations, it must give you a little bit of a connection to some of your for for bear. Yeah, for bears, I never understand what that yeah, and, and I mean another thing that you've done is you've really put an accent on some of the women in your family, which is also more difficult to do than finding things about the men. So yeah, I think that's worth while to HMM. Is there anything that I didn't ask you about that you were hoping to talk about? No, not really. Well, thank you very much. I really appreciate your time. Oh, you're welcome. Thank you. Thank you for listening to unapologetically Canadian. This episode was brought to you by profile, your ancestors dot...

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (58)