Friday, 27 April 2018

A - Z Challenge 2018 - X

The Blogging from A to Z Challenge is to post everyday (except Sunday) in the month of April 2016 starting with the letter A and going all the way to Z. The theme I chose is...
My Family Tree Places.


Time to get creative. 
Since I don't live in China which has the most place names that begin with the letter X, I wondered what I was going to come up with for the letter X. There are still some interesting stories to tell and I went over them to see what would work.  Then it came to me.

X has been the symbol for Christ for hundreds of years. X is the Greek letter chi, the first letter in Χριστός (Christόs) which means Christ. So my place for X is the House of Christ, specifically the Presbyterian Church of Ile Perrot and the Verdun United Church. Ok, maybe I'm stretching, but hey! I could have used X-cago, or X also marks the spot!!

When my Dad, Thomas (Bud) Seale, built our house on Ile Perrot he had no building experience.  He flew by the seat of his pants, doing a lot of reading and asking a lot of questions from professionals. When we moved to Ile Perrot there was no Protestant church on the Island.  We had to go across the bridge to Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue where there were Anglican services. So a group of people got together and decided to have a built the Presbyterian Church in Pincourt, on Ile Perrot. Since my Dad now had experience in building, he was put in charge of overseeing the project. 

There were many fund raisers to finance the building, and one was helicopter rides for $10 a person.  Dad bought tickets for my 2 brothers and I and he said that was the fastest disappearing $30 he ever spent! Then he realized he would see that $30 every time he sat in the church. 

Although Dad was the building committee chairman he didn't do any of the construction, he left that to the experts. But he could contribute in other ways. Dad's workshop was just off the living room and even with the heavy door closed I spent many evenings and weekends hearing the buzz of the electric saw. Having made a good portion of the furniture for our house, Dad was comfortable in his abilities to build the altar, lectern and baptismal font for the new church. They are still in use today, 60 years later!

The only person in our family to be baptized there was my sister, born in July 1961 and baptized on 27 May 1962. Our Mavor grandparents were her godparents.

The Presbyterian Church of Ile Perrot was inaugurated on 1 June 1958. The church served a wide-spread population, right to the Ontario border. My Mom would get us all dressed up and Dad would drive us to church every Sunday. The service always started off with the minister coming down the aisle to the choir and congregation singing "Holy, Holy, Holy", that was my favourite part.

Mom made sure she gave us each a dime for collection (our tithe) and I was always so delighted when the plate came my way and I took my dime out of my little purse and dropped it in with all the other coins, dollars and envelopes. 

For a few years my Mom was a Sunday School teacher, and when I got older I helped look after the babies and toddlers in the nursery. As young teens my brother and I belonged to the Youth Group at our church. 

Sometimes my Mavor grandparents were out from the city for the weekend and came to church with us.  I liked to sit by my Granny as she always had Butter Rum Lifesavers in her purse and would give me one. After church my Grampa would take us kids to the Miss Montreal restaurant in Dorval for his favourite lunch (so of course everyone else's) Chicken in a Basket.

Mom, Grampa (was being put to work), Granny, Dad and me

Granny and Grampa lived in Verdun, Montreal and their families always belonged to the Verdun United Church, formerly the Verdun Methodist. Granny's father, Clement King, was a carpenter and cabinetmaker in Verdun and he often gave his services to do repairs around their church.  In 1922 Clement was repairing the roof when he fell off and sustained injuries that led to his death. 

I don't know how it came about that they decided to add stained glass windows in the church but my King and my Mavor families both sponsored one. The one in the middle was from my great grandmother, Mary Jane Porter King in memory of her husband Clement who died in 1922 and his mother Elizabeth Nichols King, who died in 1925 and also lost her husband at a young age. 

In Loving Memory of Mrs E King and Son Clement by the Family

The one on the right was from my great grandmother Rebecca Campbell Mavor in memory of her husband Alexander who died in 1924 and her son Alexander George who died 1916 at Ypres.

In Loving Memory of Alexander and Alexander George his son, by the Family

The Verdun United Church congregation merged with that of Crawford Park a few years ago.  The Verdun United building was sold and the stained glass windows were removed and installed in the Crawford Park church, which has been renamed Southwest United. 


  1. An X-ceptional contribution to the letter X. I enjoyed seeing the furniture your dad made and the stained glass windows. But most of all, I enjoyed the glimpse into your family. The little detail of your mom giving you a dime for the offering plate and your granddad's favorite lunch -- LOVE THESE STORIES!

    1. Thanks Wendy. My favourite stories are those with maternal my grandparents.

  2. Congratulations on such a creative use of X! Your family has such a personal connection with these churches. To still have the pieces your father built in use after so much time, wonderful. My mother used to give us a dime for the collection too. My grandmother never gave us lifesavers though :)


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