Monday, March 18, 2013

Shall We Dance?

A list of members of the Montreal Local Council of Women 1913, Herbert Ames was a patron. No surprise there!

Well, whistle a happy tune!

I was going through a 1913 list of members of the Montreal Local Council of Women (looking for friends of the Nicholsons)and noticed that there were few French Canadian names, NONE I think, except one Mrs. Isadore Crepeau!

Mrs. Isadore Crepeau would be my grandfather's sister in law!

 Isadore Crepeau was the brother who was V.P. of the motion picture company United Amusement Corporation, the guy who fell out of his office window on St. James Street in 1933, two years after my grandfather, his brother Jules, had been forced out of his post of Director of City Services by Camillien Houde after an awful lot of scandal, part of it associated with fatal Laurier Palace Theatre Fire.

Read my story Milk and Water.

Was she English?

Let's check.

Yes, her name was Mamie Lawes.

How bizarre, because the next year the Montreal Council of Women will make a resolution condemning the Montreal Tramway deal, and Mamie's husband, Isadore, was related to the Forgets, the Tramway People.

I wonder what my grandmother,  her sister-in-law, Maria Roy, daughter of a French Canadian master butcher, thought of Mamie and her "hoity toity" activities with the English Reformer types? Not much I assume.

My grandmother, Maria Roy, who helped the poor in a hands-on way, by feeding tramps and tending sick people with folk medicine potions.

Anyway, another more famous name is on the list of members, or affiliate members. Mrs. Leonowens is President of the Foundling Hospital of Montreal.

I always wondered why Anna Leonowens of Anna and the King of Siam fame was buried in Mount Royal Cemetery, the Protestant Cemetery in Montreal.

Her Wikipedia page says she lived as a youth in Montreal...

Too bad she wasn't on the Executive of the Local Council. Her broad experience living in India and Thailand might have lent them some perspective about their narrow Protestant views especially about sexuality and their fear of immigrants... (I wonder what her views were? I guess the movie is based on an autobiography.) Yes, I checked. Leonowens was half Indian actually, although she hid it and she wrote about  it in An English Governess at the Siamese Court.

Oh yes, Mme. Gerin Lajoie of La Federation Nationale  is listed - but as NOT ASSOCIATED with the Council. I guess she attended the Canadian Council of Women's AGM conference in St. James Methodist, held almost exactly 100 years ago. Hmm. the City Improvement League is not affiliated. I wonder why? (Likely so as not to be associated with a purely English association.)