Sunday, 1 December 2019

Orange Pop With Pepere Walter

Today I am thinking of my Grandpa Walter, who left us 36 years ago today.

On what was also his birthday.

He was a man who always had an easy smile and laugh.

Who never tired of bouncing me and/or my sister Jacquie on his knee when we all would visit him and Grandma Lucille in St. Paul.

And I remember one visit in the late summer or early fall in 1980 or so, when he and I went to the Donald Hotel.

For an Orange Crush.

Just us guys.

Shooting the breeze (as much as a nine-year-old and a senior can anyway).

I think he might have told me to be nicer to my sister.

And to listen more to my mom and dad (he was Mom's dad).

I'll admit I was sweet but could be stubborn, even at nine.

But I sure knew he loved me.

And I him.

But mostly we just sat there.

Enjoying that Orange Crush.

You'll be happy to know that I'm much nicer to my sister now, Pepere Walter.

Tell Mom I miss her and think of her often, would you?

And I go listen to my dad's stories when I can.

Sometimes I even go hang out with your crazy sons.

Otherwise known as my crazy uncles.

They are just as funny, loyal and good to me and Jacquie as you remember.

I'm sure you know she now has two beautiful daughters named Penelope and Mikaela!

In closing, I have to ask you...

Is mon oncle Guy as funny up there as he was down here?

I love you Pepere!

And Happy Birthday!

Monday, 30 July 2018

July 30, 2013: Goodbyes

After some breakfast in the morning we bid him goodbye with a promise to return and headed for Ontario. When we had travelled several hours, we spotted a big sign that read "The Big Apple", near the town of Cobourg, Ontario. We decided to stop there, as our appetites built up in anticipation and ended up buying several delicious apple pies on the way home. A few hours later we were finally back in Mississauga and made our way to Jacquie and Jason's 25th floor condo. After enlisting Jason to help us bring up our many bags and supplies, we were just happy to sit down and relax after the day- long drive back home, just having to plan supper and anticipating a wonderful apple pie dessert. After a wonderful evening I thought of how great it was that I would still have until the following Wednesday morning to visit with my daughter's family before my plane trip back home. What a gift to have this precious time with them.
This trip has come to an end but the memories will be long-lasting and most precious to my daughter and I. We will be forever grateful to all the wonderful people who made this happen for us, Lee Roy, Marcel, Wayne, Fern, Wayne and Alan. It is my wish that we will see all of them again, as this is just the beginning of the unfolding of our history. Much is yet to come. 

Alas, more was not to come, as our wonderful mother passed away on September 4, 2015. But I can tell you that in her remaining years, she never tired of telling me and my sister what this very special trip meant to her. We again thank everyone involved for all that was done to make this incredible trip happen. We love you all! And personally, organizing and publishing these blogs has brought a bit of my mom back to me. And isn't that what history's all about? Take care, one and all!


Jacquie and Michel

Sunday, 29 July 2018

July 29, 2013: Return to Montreal

The continuing journey home...

The next morning, Sunday, we headed back to Montreal to again spend the night at Gabriel's home. 

July 28, 2013: Return To Frederiction

On the road again, with Mom and Jacquie...

Our trip back to Fredericton went without a hitch: great weather, good food and a refreshing swim in the Best Western Hotel pool and a good night's sleep.

And just for the heck of it...a song.

Photos courtesy

Friday, 27 July 2018

Grand Pre Historical Video

A wonderful video by Mr. Jim Cyr, offering a tour of the Grand Pre area. Thank you Jim for posting!

The video that Mom and Jacquie saw before their tour of Grand Pre. Twenty-two minutes well spent as we see what a heartbreaking event the deportation was in 1755. Thanks to Robin Lee for posting.

July 27, 2013: Emotional Grand Pre

Emotions ran high on this day in Grand Pre:

On Saturday the 27th, our last day in Nova Scotia we left for Grand Pre, our last stop before heading for Fredericton to spend the night. We went into their large cultural centre and watched a 20-minute re-enactment of the Grand-Pre deportation, visited their gift store, bought several postcards and other memorable items to bring back home. Next, we went outdoors on a well-manicured path, following it until we came upon the statue of Evangeline, as well as the bust of William Wordsworth Longfellow, who wrote the Evangeline story. At the end of the path we came upon a beautiful, little church in which were the books with the names of all the Grand Pre deportees. We then followed a map that directed us to a place now called Horton Landing to the famous Deportation Cross erected in honour of the deportees. We stood at the cross, reflecting on the horror that had taken place and glanced at the landing below where thousands had been separated from their families and herded onto ships to be taken to various countries against their will. This was definitely one of the most emotional parts of our trip and a touching conclusion to our ancestral pilgrimage.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

July 26, 2013: Acadian Finds on Last Day in Parker's Cove

Acadian discoveries on this day five years ago, and an imminent farewell to Parker's Cove. Mom, you may continue:

On Friday, we headed west and came upon a hamlet called Belleisle looking for an old cemetery where we had been told some Acadians had been buried there. We spotted an extremely old hall with an inscription dating back to early Acadian times. We quickly headed to Church Point and saw many churches. Later, we rushed back to Annapolis Royal to take in the walking tour guided by Alan Melanson and his wife Durline. We even learned a dance at the end of the tour. There were still a couple of hours to visit shops before we planned to have dinner once again at the Restaurant Compose, where we met up with Lee Roy. That evening was to be the last one in Parker's Cove. We went back to our cottage, got all our baggage ready, tidying up the cottage so that we could leave early in the morning.