We normally only publish obituaries of our high school alumnus, but this month an exception was made. Okill Stuart, a St. Lambert icon, passed away on August 28 at 98 years of age. I personally had known Okill for 60 years and, no doubt, like many of you I bought property from him or one of his agents.
Although he did not attend St. Lambert High, he has, over the years, been a presence at the school for Remembrance Day observations and would talk to the students about his war time experiences. He was eccentric, to say the least, and was involved in so many different endeavors, including a term as Mayor of St. Lambert, a founding member of the Curling Club, efforts to restock salmon in Quebec rivers and much, much more as his obituary attests. Although 98, his death was unexpected and he was planning to move to an assisted living facility to be with his ailing wife Sylvia.
Only one person commented on the empathetic lion picture that we published last month. It turns out that, as I suspected, the picture was bogus, a very good photo shop job using three different photographs. Fake news - who can we trust these days?
Next month the newsletter will contain an update about the 2020 Reunion, now in the serious planning stages. What I can tell you is that the event will be held on Victoria Day week-end with a Meet & Greet planned for Friday, May 15. Tickets will go on sale December 1, with reduced prices available to Alumni Association members in good standing on that date. Make sure you are paid up if you want to take advantage of the discount
On a final note, diabolical Dave Erskine, one of our directors, has a mental challenge for you this month. It gave me a massive headache so I thought I would pass it on. Please remember to keep sending pictures, articles, obituaries or other items that might be of interest to the members.
Welcome New and Renewing Alumni Association Members
New Life Member
Class of 1965
From Bayfield, ON
Class of 1970
From Sherwood Park, AB
Please renew now.
Memberships expiring in October
Memberships expiring in November
Thanks to Our Donors
Class of 1970
Robert Wrigley - Class of 1961 Excerpts from his upcoming book - fourth instalment.
Chasing Nature: An Ecologist's Lifetime of Adventures and Observations
Growing up in St. Lambert, Quebec, along the south shore of the St. Lawrence River (long before the St. Lawrence Seaway was constructed), all my friends and I became good swimmers; one had to learn quickly, for the current was strong and fast. In fact, in one area of shallow water, I was able to slide along on my bottom, pushed by the current over the slate bottom, polished by millennia of erosion. I also enjoyed swimming underwater with goggles to watch crayfish, perch and bass going about their foraging activities. It was a magical underwater world, highlighted by crystal-clear water and waving weeds. With a hunting instinct sparked by watching fish pass so close by, I decided to try and spear one, so I returned home and made a fishing spear from the handle of a broken hockey stick, armed with a sharpened piece of steel coat hanger. The next morning, I waded into the water and slipped below the surface, eager and ready for the hunt. Holding my breath as long as possible, I approached a beautiful bass resting off a ledge. A quick thrust lagged a millisecond behind the fish, as it sped off to a safer depth. From then on, other fish would not permit me to swim closely enough to try again.
Undeterred, I gathered a tin-full of giant night-crawlers from my front lawn that night; from experience, I knew just how hard to pull on each slippery worm to extract it from its burrow, instead of breaking it into two pieces. Early the next day I headed to the concrete public-swimming platform with an old fishing pole. After finally succeeding in snagging a slimy, squirming worm on a hook, I cast my line downstream, where I reasoned I would rest if I were a fish. A few nibbles and worm replacements had my excitement raised to a high level, when sudden strong and rapid tugs on the line caused me to jump in response. I had my first fish on the line! Forgetting the appropriate action of reeling in the fish, and giving it a fighting chance, I panicked, turned, and ran back along the concrete pad as fast as my legs would carry me. The poor fish was yanked, flapping wildly, from its aquatic world and onto land. With heart pounding, and no one around to witness my great success, I managed to unhook the 35 cm Largemouth Bass and attach a piece of cord through the gills and out the mouth. I walked home proudly carrying my prize, hoping to catch the eye of every passer-by.
Robert proudly displaying his first fish -- a Largemouth Bass. Notice the lucky rabbit’s foot on his belt.
Now what? I had never seen anyone fillet a fish before, so I started by opening up the white belly with my pocket knife and then removed some of the organs. It was slow going until my sister Jean joined in, and with her help, an hour later found us roasting the fish on a stick over a small fire in the lane behind our home. Potatoes wrapped in tinfoil rested among the coals. Our little meal tasted wonderfully, more so knowing that I was now grown-up enough to capture my own food.
I decided that if I could catch a fish of this size from shore, surely there must be even bigger ones in deeper water, so recruiting the assistance of a couple of buddies, we constructed a flat-bottomed boat out of discarded planks and nails. But how to fill all those cracks? The only material we could think of was window putty, and so we diligently patched every opening, eventually using six packages of putty that we purchased from a local hardware store.
Excitement grew among the crew on launch day as we loaded our handiwork onto a wagon and headed toward the St. Lawrence River. Down the stairs we went, sliding our craft as delicately as possible, and with great hoots, we hoisted it into the water. We had our bathing suits on since we planned to jump aboard for its maiden voyage. But then fate stepped in to dash our hopes and all our hard work. The boat floated alright, just not at the surface. Due to the weight of the thick boards, all those nails, and pounds of putty, our ship slipped underwater and started to leave the dock without us. Startled at this unexpected turn of events, we tried desperately to retrieve our boat from the strong pull of the current, but resistance was futile. We stood there in silence, watching our ship being swept away without us. Walking back home dejectedly, we debated how far the boat would travel; I was sure it would reach the Gaspé. From then on, we fished from the shore.
MUSKIE: As a young teenager in the early 1950s, my Uncle Alex began taking me fishing in his beautiful wooden Peterborough boat on Lake Saint-Louis, at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers. We trolled for pleasant hours with a long line whose drag of the lure, coupled with the strike of a fish, would give a fierce tug, followed by the fish jumping clear out of the water. To say I was excited is such an understatement. Seeing the big fish swept up by my uncle’s net and safely deposited on the bottom of the boat set my heart pounding, my eyes wide open, and sporting the biggest smile.
My uncle’s son had caught a huge Muskellunge the year before, and had given me the mounted head, nailed onto a board. Its sunken eyes in their sockets and multiple rows of white teeth exposed in the gaping jaws were quite scary looking. I could not believe a fish that size existed in our lake, reaching a maximum length of 1.8 m and weighing up to 32 kg. From that time, I fantasized about landing such a monster. In fact, that was all I could think about as I dropped my lure into the water on my next fishing trip. Sure enough, I hooked something really big, and after what seemed like 20 exhaustive minutes of trying to reel in without breaking my line, I peered down into the dark water and saw a massive Muskie head glaring back at me, as it swirled under the boat. With my uncle ready to net my catch, the Muskie once again drifted into view, only this time it was eyeing the bass that was actually caught on my line. The big predator had just been inquisitive, attracted by the bass’ struggles, and hoping for a possible meal.
As the bass was secured in the net, my Muskie turned its silvery, Barracuda-like body and descended back into the depths. My excitement turned instantly into disappointment! My uncle explained that this was not an unusual occurrence for a large Muskie. I somehow knew that I would never again come that close to realizing my great fish story. In late afternoon, on our way back to my uncle’s cottage, he allowed me to don my pair of flippers and to swim for about half an hour until I tired. I kept thinking of that big Muskie, perhaps cruising just below me. Remembering all those sharp teeth made me feel a bit uneasy; I was glad I had my bathing suit on!
In 2014, I learned that excessive faecal coliform bacteria from towns were entering the lake via tributaries, and PCBs were flowing in from a nearby industrial site -- a sad fate for my old swimming and fishing place.
October Photo Gallery
Rich & Beth (Stewart) Dubois, Class of 1960 with daughters Cindi and Andrea at Mendehall glacier near Juneau Alaska
Stewart siblings celebrating Ron’s 80th June 11 in Burlington. Marty, Class of 1965, Ron, Class of 1958 and Beth, Class of 1960
Do you recognize this?
The above statue was commissioned shortly after World War one to honour Canada's war dead and has been in place on the Windsor Station concourse for almost 100 years. Having worked for CP Rail for 32 two years, most of them in Windsor Station I walked by it almost every day. It still evokes tremendous emotions. CP Rail sold the station about fifteen years ago and although the offices are fully leased, the building is considered a heritage sight and must be maintained in its original form. The statue must also be preserved. The large concourse, which can accommodate thousands, is rented out several times a year to host parties and other special events. On a happy note, the annual Beer Festival was moved back to the station two years ago after being held in Palais des Congres.
How about this?
This is a new style of parking lot that was built adjacent to the west wall of the St. Lambert Curling Club as part of the multi million dollar redo of the parking facilities around the arena, curling club and centre de loisirs. I think the grass treatment was a concession to the Oak Street residents who strenuously objected to any parking facility being built. If you were familiar with Oak Street you'll recall that there used to be a Hydro Quebec substation is this area. It was abandoned by Hydro, turned over to the city and used by the Soccer association for many years.
It was torn down and the surrounding soil decontaminated for PCB's before the parking area was developed. Although completed several months ago, the lot remains unopened. I don't no if the city is still in dispute with the Oak street residents or, they are waiting for snow. The curling club can sure use the space.
Test Your Memory
Dave Erskine Class of 1963
It's amazing what you can sometimes find in an old box; in this case a bunch of Quebec High School Exams from the early 60's. I wonder how many of you can still answer these questions.
Draw a circle with centre O, radius 1.5" to touch a given straight line KC at C and having CE its diameter. Draw a chord CB. making the angle KCB = 110 degrees. Draw a tangent to the circle at B. Let it meet KC at D.
Bisect angles KCB, BCD letting the bisectors meet the circle again at P and M respectively. Join PD, MB. PB. Measure angles BPM, BDP. Calculate the size of angles BPD, CDP, ECB, EMB. BOC, BMC.
(a) A force of 120 lbs. exerted on the piston of a hydraulic press moves it 2 ft. in 3 sec. The area of the piston is 10 in. sq. Calculate the pressure in the fluid, the work done and the power.
(b) A force of 600 dynes acts on a mass of 240 grams for 10 sec. What will be the momentum of the mass?
(c) A boy pulls a sled with a rope which makes an angle 0f 30 degrees with the horizontal plane. The tension in the rope is 20 lbs. By means of a diagram drawn to scale, determine the horizontal component and vertical component of this tension.
(d) A string wrapped around the rim of a 3 ft. diameter wheel is pulled with a force of 18 lbs. What is the component of force about the axis of the wheel?
1963 English Literature
Describe the developments in the character of Macbeth that led him to murder King Duncan, and show how these developments indicate the tragedy in Macbeth himself.
What in your opinion was the fatal flaw in Hamlet's character that brought about the tragedy? Justify your opinion by specific references to the text.
Food for Thought
I was going to include this piece as a closing joke but then I started thinking that perhaps this is closer to the truth than most of us realize. The habits of users of Facebook, Google, YouTube, Amazon and other social media platforms are well know to those companies. It has been said that some of them know you better than you know yourself. They know your buying habits, your likes and dislikes, your circle of friends and who you are likely to vote for. The amount of data collected, stored and analyzed by these companies is staggering and the powerful algorithms they have developed give them insight into most of what we care about and are likely to do. Artificial intelligence is upon us and will grow much stronger in the next few years as these algorithms evolve.
If you want to read more about this phenomena pick up a copy of HOMO DEUS by Yuval Noah Harari. Harari is a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and lectures in World History. His insights are informative, profound and all too scary. He predicts that ordinary human beings (like you and me) will become obsolete, replaced by smart robots and other technologies. A new class of super humans will arise - they will be smarter, stronger and be able to live for an extremely long time, perhaps forever. Research labs, funded by the very rich and some governments are already looking at ways of genetically modifying and enhancing the human genome to reach these goals - naturally only the extremely rich will benefit. The book is by no means light reading but well worth the effort.
The Pizza Order
Is this Gordon's Pizza?
No sir, it's Google Pizza.
I must have dialed a wrong number. Sorry.
No sir, Google bought Gordon’s Pizza last month.
OK. I would like to order a pizza.
Do you want your usual, sir?
My usual? You know me?
According to our caller ID data sheet, the last 12 times you called you ordered an extra-large pizza with three cheeses, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms and meatballs on a thick crust.
OK! That’s what I want ...
May I suggest that this time you order a pizza with ricotta, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes and olives on a whole wheat gluten-free thin crust?
What? I detest vegetable!.
Your cholesterol is not good, sir.
How the hell do you know!
Well, we cross-referenced your home phone number with your medical records. We have the result of your blood tests for the last 7 years.
Okay, but I do not want your rotten vegetable pizza! I already take medication for my cholesterol.
GOOGLE: Excuse me sir, but you have not taken your medication regularly. According to our database, you only purchased a box of 30 cholesterol tablets once, at Drug RX Network, 4 months ago.
I bought more from another drugstore.
That doesn’t show on your credit card statement.
I paid in cash.
But you did not withdraw enough cash according to your bank statement.
I have other sources of cash.
That doesn’t show on your last tax return unless you bought them using an undeclared income source, which is against the law.
WHAT THE HELL!!!
I'm sorry, sir, we use such information only with the sole intention of helping you.
Enough already! I'm sick to death of Google, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and all the others. I'm going to an island without internet, cable TV, where there is no cell phone service and no one to watch me or spy on me.
I understand sir, but you need to renew your passport first. It expired 6 weeks ago...
A Cultural Moment
Natalie Beauchamp, Class of 1992
Life Member and Former Director of the Alumni Association
Natalie is co-owner at le Balcon d’art and Multi Art Ltd, two companies that have been involved within the art community and the art market for the best part of the last five decades. Le Balcon d’art, located at 650 Notre Dame Ave. in St. Lambert, was founded by Bonnitta Beauchamp and has been a reference in the Quebec art world since 1985. It is now under the direction of Fay Beauchamp. (Class of 1997). Natalie thought many of our members would enjoy a change of pace and exposure to a cultural/artistic side of life. We have included two articles on the subject. Steve Pearson, the author, is a writer and communications specialist who has been in charge of communications at le Balcon d’Art and Multi Art Ltd since 2003.
The global memory of art lovers sometimes tends to forget large parts of the history of some of their favorite artists. We forget how much Pablo Picasso mastered classical painting. We forget what Jackson Pollock did before the “drippings” or how much commercial work influenced Warhol and all of Pop Art From this perspective, it sometimes seems that an artist like André Bertounesque instinctively mastered the light and the colors he showed during the last period of his career but, obviously, such an understanding of art comes decades of research, hard work and patience.
Born May 11, 1937 in Sainte-Livrade (Lot-et-Garonne), France, Bertounesque arrived in Quebec in 1951 where he cumulated various small trades while cultivating a deep love of painting. A hairdresser, he would paint at his workplace and sell his paintings to his customers. A talented amateur, he is quickly recognized for the atmospheres of the intimate scenes he paints. But Bertounesque soon develops the soul of a serious artist…
From the end of the 1960s he started a much more formal pictorial research and his work quickly took on a resolutely contemporary tangent. Indeed, he begins to explore non-figurative/abstract art and quickly garners a solid reputation with a certain intelligentsia of the “serious” art world.His work of the time, as can be seen in the example presented below, is absolutely in tune with what is being done in Quebec and elsewhere in the rapidly expanding world of abstract art.
But Bertounesque is more than a painter, he is a poet. This is why in the mid-1970s he returns to a more figurative approach where he keeps with the economy of means that he had managed to achieve with his non-figurative experiences.
The characters that populate his pictorial world are often reduced to their simplest form: soft geometric shapes are suggested, populating ethereal atmospheres more or less related to reality. In his still lives, fruit and other elements are taken back to the essence of their form. His landscapes and seascapes are often only suggested, the skillfully arranged colors taking the viewer to imagine more than to understand the places represented. And always, the concern for light…
Throughout this period – which will last for nearly two decades – Bertounesque will develop this deep love of light (astonishing for an artist who was blocking the windows of his studio!), which he uses more and more as an omnipresent character in the many paintings he produces and who find takers immediately offered to a clientele already sold on the artist.
From the 1990s on, the artist, perhaps a little nostalgic for the South of his native France, starts painting the southern landscapes he had known in his youth. He then begins to translate his memories into powerfully colored paintings and it is from this moment on that he becomes truly “the master of light” as he will be described for the rest of his career and beyond!
There is a real magic in the light that literally populates his paintings. Many times, a spectator looked at a framed painting to try to discover some subterfuge that could have artificially illuminated the landscapes of the South re-imagined by the artist who had left long before painting them. It is also interesting to note that some observers have sometimes commented how much these landscapes and their light were much more of the imagination of the artist than a servile representation of the colors and light of a region well-known for those same colors and lighting!
Man of great passions – women, collections and, above all, endless conversations, Bertounesque at the end of his career had acquired such a reputation that he was – and still is – considered as one of the modern Masters of figurative painting in Quebec. This giant left us suddenly in September 2005 leaving an artistic legacy of inestimable value for both his fans and the plethora of artists he has influenced.
S.M.Pearson, Le Balcon d’Art
Class Contacts Needed
If you are interested in representing your class year as Class Contact. Please contact Harvey Carter
G.B. Okill Stuart
10 MARCH , 1921 – 28 AUGUST , 2019
Honourary Fellow of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada, Hon. Lt. Col of the re-raised 78th Fraser Highlanders, Heritage Activist, realtor and a Second World War veteran who took part in the 1944 D-Day invasion of Europe, died in St. Lambert on August 28th, 2019. He was 98 years old. Son of the late Douglas Stuart and Lilias Terrill and brother of the late Campbell Stuart.
A proud descendant of United Empire Loyalists, Gordon Bruce Okill Stuart was born in Montreal March 10, 1921. Through the generosity of his uncle, Sir Campbell Stuart, the first Canadian to be appointed to the post in the British Diplomatic Service, Okill was educated at Bishop’s College School , (Quebec) and at Gordonstoun School , Scotland, where H.R.H. Prince Philip was a classmate.
As a result of the school ties ,Philip accepted an invitation to be a guest at a convention of the United Empire Loyalists in Lennoxville. Mr. Stuart enlisted with the 14th Canadian Field Regiment (RCA) in 1940, served as Bombardier, and was awarded the France-Germany Star, the Defence Medal, the War Medal and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and the Legion of Honour France’s Highest Order .
He was founding president of a real estate firm, Okill Stuart Inc. and active in numerous public South Shore Montreal community groups and public service organizations including the Federation of Social Agencies, South Shore Community Services and the St. Lambert curling club.
He was twice honoured by St. Lambert as its citizen of the year. He was an officer of the Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knight of the Military and Hospitaller order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem and was the recipient of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs Award and the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award.
He leaves his wife, Sylvia Fairlie and his two children from his marriage to Ruth Ann Clarke, who predeceased him in 1973, Colin ( Vicki Hinchcliff) of Pigeon Hill and Heather Stuart of Winnipeg.
Sandee Hague - Class of 2001
It is with great sadness that we announce that in the early morning of September 5th, 2019, Sandee Patricia Hague, daughter, sister, mother, and partner died suddenly at the young age of only 35 years old.
Sandee will forever be remembered by her children Charlee Rose Lefebvre (3), Harrison Lefebvre (4), and her partner, their father, Gerald (Gerry) Lefebvre, Patrick Ryan (7), John Ryan (9), and their father Collin Ryan.
She also leaves behind her mother, Sandra Hague, her brothers Johnny, Ronnie, Robert, Daniel, and David (Stephanie), as well as many other family members and dear friends.
Sandee was predeceased by her father Jean Fortin, and brother Mark Fortin.
Linda Daigle Boutet - Class of 1962 September 25 1944 - September 18, 2019
"This is perfect" were among my mom's last words to me earlier this week.
She knew her time had come. 47 years of proactively dealing with various stages of breast cancer had run its course. My mom was happy, full of gratitude, peaceful, knowing she had lived a full and loving life surrounded by those that meant so much.
Thanks to everyone who's been there to make our journey that much more meaningful. Special thanks to the Jewish General Hospital who went above and beyond to care for my mother and make her so comfortable and well cared.
We will be holding a celebration (my mom would say "a party") for her on October 5th at 1:30pm in the garden of our beloved Chateau Ramezay followed by a reception around the corner at Modena Restaurant on St-Paul st at 2pm.
Donations, in lieu of flowers, should also be directed there to support the program that allows for school children to discover Quebec & Canada's beautiful history.
A lesson on how consultants can make a difference in an organization. Very impressive!
Last week, we took some friends to a new restaurant, 'Steve's Place,' and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket. It seemed a little strange.
When the busboy brought our water and utensils, I observed that he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket. Then I looked around and saw that all the staff had spoons in their pockets. When the waiter came back to serve our soup I inquired, 'Why the spoon?'
'Well,' he explained, 'the restaurant's owner hired Andersen Consulting to revamp all of our processes. After several months of analysis, they concluded that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil. It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour.
If our personnel are better prepared, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift.'
As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he replaced it with his spare. 'I'll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now.' I was impressed.
I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of the waiter's fly.
Looking around, I saw that all of the waiters had the same string hanging from their flies. So, before he walked off, I asked the waiter, 'Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?'
Oh, certainly!' Then he lowered his voice. 'Not everyone is so observant. That consulting firm I mentioned also learned that we can save time in the restroom. By tying this string to the tip of our you-know-what, we can pull it out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands, shortening the time spent in the restroom by 76.39%.
I asked quietly, 'After you get it out, how do you put it back?'
'Well,' he whispered, 'I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon.'
Health Alert for Men
If you are taking Viagra, make sure the label says "Made in Canada".
We do not want the Chinese or the Russians meddling with our erections.
A Mafia Godfather finds out that his bookkeeper, Guido, has cheated him out of $10 million dollars.
His bookkeeper is deaf. That was the reason he got the job in the first place.
It was assumed that Guido would hear nothing so he would not have to testify in court.
When the Godfather goes to confront Guido about his missing $10 million, he takes along his lawyer who knows sign language.
The Godfather tells the lawyer, "Ask him where the money is!
The lawyer, using sign language, asks Guido, Where's the money?
Guido signs back, "I don't know what you are talking about." The lawyer tells the Godfather, "He says he doesn't know what you are talking about" The Godfather pulls out a pistol, puts it to Guido's head and says, "Ask him again or I'll kill him!"
The lawyer signs to Guido, "He'll kill you if you don't tell him."
Guido trembles and signs back, "OK! You win! The money is in a brown briefcase, buried behind the shed at my cousin Bruno's house.
The Godfather asks the lawyer, "What did he say?"
The lawyer replies, "He says you don't have the guts to pull the trigger."