St. Mark's Anglican Church

Memories: The First Fifty Years

Chapter 1
The Development of the Parish Neighbourhood
The area of our present St. Mark's started life as a rural part of the Township of Nepean. After World War II, it was simply a few farms, a small commercial development at the intersection of what was then the Prescott Highway and Hog's Back Rd, and cottages crammed into the area east of Hog's Back Falls and along the eastern and western shores of the Rideau River. The main streets of the area were the Prescott Highway (Prince of Wales Dr), Baseline Rd, Fisher Ave, Dynes Rd, and the Borden Side Rd. The next development west was City View on Baseline and Merivale. Merivale had a fringe of houses along its length. The predominant farms were the Nesbitt, Moffat, Borden, Stewart, Mulligan, and Leiken farms.

A full early history of this area is contained in the The City Beyond, A History of Nepean, Birthplace of Canada's Capital, 1792-1990, by Bruce Elliott and published by the City of Nepean.

A young fool
diving at Hog's Back.

I first got to know the area in 1948 as a young 18 year old, newly enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and transferred to the RCAF Station Rockcliffe. Hog's Back was our swimming hole. On the weekends or holidays, we took the Eastview bus and then the Ottawa bus to go to Hog's Back for swimming. It was good swimming. Although the beach was really postage stamp size, it never seemed to be too crowded for one more. And yes, in those days we stupidly dove head first into the swirls below the Falls. Other than swimming, the only thing that sticks in my memory is the hamburger places on the Highway. I had no idea at that time that the area would play such an important part in my life in less than five years.

Things were happening in the area. The Canadian Government was worried about returning veterans and how to integrate them back into society. They were also concerned about a depression following the war and the devastation that it would have on the veterans.

The Veterans Land Act (VLA) was passed into law in 1942. Its purpose was "to assist war veterans to settle upon the land." As the Department of Veterans Affairs states, it was one of three pieces of rehabilitative legislation enacted as part of the government's overall program to re-establish veterans into civilian life.

The original intent of the VLA was to assist qualified veterans to become farmers, but provision was made in the Act for settlement on "small holdings," or single family dwelling size lots. Our Carleton Heights VLA development was part of over 140,000 returning veterans who were established under the Act.

The Department of Veterans Affairs decided that they would establish a VLA site just south of the Hog's Back Rd in the Township of Nepean. It was named Carleton Heights. They purchased the Nesbitt and Moffat farms totalling 434 acres, and laid it out in one-half acre lots with enough room for the veterans to have a large garden, raise goats and chickens, and keep bees. This was done so that the veterans could feed themselves in the event of a depression. Cynthia Greer, our present People's Warden, reports that there are still some households keeping chickens in 1999, which is amazing in an urban setting. Carleton Heights was developed in two stages with the part east of Fisher Ave being built mostly between 1945 to 1950 and the part west of Fisher Ave between 1950 to 1955.

The street names of Carleton Heights were chosen to honour battles of World War II (Ortona, Normandy, Falaise, Arnheim, Senio, and Apeldoorn) or in the case of Skeena to honour the RCN and HMCS Skeena. There were other names. Nesbitt was named after the Nesbitt family and according to Bruce Elliott, part of it follows the path of the original farm laneway. Claymor was apparently named for the clay.

The streets in the Carleton Heights area were listed in the Greater Ottawa Directory as: Apeldoorn Ave, Arnheim Ave, Claymor Ave, Falaise Rd, Falls View Rd (north off Hog's Back Rd on the west side) Fisher Ave, Hog's Back Rd, Melfa Cres, Minaki Cres, Nesbitt Ave, Normandy Cres, Ortona Ave, Prince of Wales Dr, Senio Ave, Skeena Ave, Stormont Ave, and Valmarie Ave. Falls View Rd does not exist now.

The VLA houses were all Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) plans. Bruce Elliott records that the first major start was made by Hill-Clark and Francis Contractors who undertook to build 88 houses of the 1-1/2 storey and bungalow designs. They were started in 1945 but they were not completed until 1947 because of a shortage of material. The first families moved-in in 1947. Many of the houses have had additions put on since then as they are very small by today's standards.

The majority of houses, however, were built by the veterans themselves either using their own contractor such as Boyd Brothers, or actually doing the work themselves. Three brothers, George, Alex, and Bill Michie help each other build the shells and close in their houses. When the houses were closed in, the Michie brothers each took over the finishing of their own house.

One area west of Fisher Ave on Argue Dr was built as a co-operative venture by the veterans themselves with the cooperation and help of VLA. They bought enough materials to build or equip 29 homes, such as 29 front doors, 29 furnaces, etc. This way they were able to get much better prices. When the 29 houses were finished, they drew numbers to see which home was theirs. There were only 2 designs, which were only slightly different from each other. Bruce Elliott records that Argue Drive was named for Frank Argue, who died of cancer during the building of the co-operative houses.

VLA authorities installed municipal services for the houses. Three wells on Ortona provided the water and a sewage plant was built on the Rideau River.

While the veterans of Carleton Heights were busy building houses and scraping mud, the City of Ottawa and the Township of Nepean were in annexation negotiations. Since 1890, Ottawa had annexed parts of Nepean nine times and it was not over yet. Indeed, Nepean Township originally extended westward from the Rideau River and Gloucester extended eastward. So all of the area of Ottawa came either from Nepean or Gloucester.

In 1949 the City of Ottawa ended at Western Ave on the West and essentially Carling on the south. Ottawa wanted to annex south to Black Rapids and west to Greenbank. It would have taken the urban core out of Nepean and left it mainly as a rural township, again. After some very bitter fights, Ottawa and Nepean agreed that the area to be annexed would be east of Fisher (except for 120 feet on the west), north of Baseline (except for 120 feet on the south) and west to Greenbank. Essentially these are the borders we have in our area in 1999. The Ontario Legislature passed the City of Ottawa Act in 1949 and it came into effect January 1, 1950.

In 1950, the area just south of Baseline Rd and west of Prince of Wales Drive started to be developed. It was part of the Mulligan farm. It was called Courtland Park. It included Baseline Rd, Wilshire Blvd, Chandler Ave, Sanford Ave, Hudson Ave, north side of Lexington St, and Morley Blvd. The houses, constructed by James More Construction, were 1-1/2 and 2 story houses. A central well was installed at the end of Lexington Ave to provide a source of water. It turned out to be an artesian well with natural fluoridation. The houses were on septic tanks which forced the large lots that still exist today.

After Courtland Park, Fisher Heights was started in 1953. The houses were CMHC new design three bedroom bungalows and a few of the standard 1-1/2 story houses. The land was the Leiken Farm, which had its main farm buildings near Woodrooffe and Baseline. The Leiken Farm was originally owned by J.R. Booth, a prominent businessman in the lumbering days. The lots were 90 by 100 feet and because the development had wells and septic tanks, building was done on every other lot. Real estate agent Jack Aaron is credited by historian Bruce Elliott as finding the loophole which would permit the building on every other lot to meet the regulations for wells and septic tanks. The in-between lots were reserved by the developer for future sale when municipal services became available. In an unusual move, a separate contractor built each interior block, i.e. Lipstan and Oakwood, Lipstan and Kesler, etc.

Lot pattern in Fisher Heights in 1958.
2 Lipstan is the black roof
closest to the centre.

We bought our home and moved into Fisher Heights in 1953. The abiding recollection is mud; sticky, gooey white clay mud. If you walked on the clay when it was wet, it stuck to your rubber boots and you gradually built yourself a pair of elevator shoes. But be that as it may, that clay grew great crops. As an example, we had a 100 foot long raspberry row (Newburg variety) and we continually had over 100 quarts of berries each year. Raspberries came out of our ears! Our "greatly improved" black soil in later years never produced that good a crop.

We were the fourth family to move in. Fisher and Baseline were both two lane gravel roads. We had buses to the city in the morning and at night. The area between us and the Church on the south was a vacant field. The AutoSky drive-in was at the corner of Baseline and Fisher. We picked up our mail at Jack & Ruby Lippett's IGA at the north-east corner of Hog's Back Rd and the Prescott Highway, right next to Monty Montgomery's service station. In 1953, we were thrilled to have the Lancaster Shopping Centre built on Merivale Rd because finally we had a local hardware store.

Basement at 2 Lipstan in 1953
with Courtland Park in the distance.
The closest thing to a tree
was a telephone pole!

The vacant lots were offered for sale for $325 in 1953. We didn't have that kind of money, but we did buy in 1956 for $900. The last lot sold in Fisher Height for $76,000 in the mid-70s. Those lots which were not sold to individuals were alternatively bought by Minto, soon to be the predominant developer in the area.

The Hog's Back area underwent dramatic change. The cottagers who had leased land from the National Capital Commission had their leases ended. The cottages were removed and the area east of the Rideau River was turned into open space. The area to the west of the River was destined to be large apartment buildings, and indeed 1456 Prince of Wales Drive is the largest apartment building in the area. It stands where the old Falls View Road used to run. And of course, swimming was banned at Hog's Back after Mooney's Bay beach was opened. Fences were erected at the Falls so young fools couldn't dive in any more.

Area in 1959. North is at the top. Locate the Autosky Drive-in near the top centre (looks like a fan).
It is at Fisher and Baseline. To the left is Fisher Heights,
to the right is Courtland Park. Down is Carleton Heights. Baseline, Fisher, Prince of Wales, Merivale (on the left), Dynes, and the Borden Side Rd are the major roads.

RCAF Photo.

Water and sewer came into the entire area in the early 1960s as a result of an initiative of builders and developers lead by Irving Greenberg of Westmore Investments, later known as Minto Development Corporation. Greenberg suggested that developers and contractors contribute the money to build water and sewage facilities. The Township of Nepean met with a group of them and an agreement was reached. With water, sewer, and the land available, major construction of houses could start: These were Parkwood Hills from 1959 to 1972, Borden Farm from 1967 to 1976, and Fisher Glen from 1981 to 1984. On the Ottawa side, Murchison Place (Courtland Park to Dynes) in 1962 to 1968 was a built as a VLA Part B development, although few today use the name Murchison Place. The Part B plan had fewer strings attached and the lots could be smaller in size.

Minto, lead by brothers Irving and Gilbert Greenberg, are a huge part of the next twenty years of development in the area. Minto developed Parkwood Hills and built on the vacant lots in Fisher Heights. Skyline and the apartment buildings on Meadowlands were built, of course after Meadowlands came into existence. Then followed Borden Farm and Stewart Farm, all by Minto. Other major developers were Assaly for the apartment buildings on Dynes and Prince of Wales, Bellcourt for the apartment buildings at Hog's Back Rd and Prince of Wales, and Steenbakkers for the south side of Dynes. The City of Ottawa built rent to income houses in the Prince of Wales and Meadowlands area.

The air photo above shows the four developments in the late 50s. Note that there is no Meadowlands. The area between the developments was farm fields producing crops.

The area in 1949 had about 300 or so permanent houses on about 10 streets. By 1998 the Parish neighbourhood area from Baseline on the north, Merivale on the west, the Rideau River on the east, and the Nepean Creek (just south of Viewmount, Coolspring, and Valley Ridge) had grown to be a small city. There are 140 streets and 7600 or so households. Statistics Canada in 1998 gave the average density as 2.85 person per households to give a total population of about 21,500.

Written by Lorne Bowerman
with help from many

Chapter 2
The Development of the Parish

Major growth in the area started in 1947 with the completion of more VLA houses. As would be expected, there was a good mix of religious backgrounds in the area. The closest church was City View United. The closest Anglican Church was St. Peter's on Merivale Rd, near Carling. Most families who moved out from the City were still going back into the City to attend services. However, things were changing.

S.S. # 14 in 1999, converted to a home and with apartment buildings behind.

In late August of 1947 permission was obtained from the Nepean Township Board of Education to conduct interdenominational Sunday School classes in S.S. #14 (also referred to as the Harboard School), which was located at the intersection of Dynes Rd and Prince of Wales Dr. It was a small red brick building which was later converted to a house. It still exists today.

Mary Mortimer in Make Me An Altar, the History of the Carleton Memorial United Church 1947-1983, recounts the recollections of Maurice Morgan:

"The Nepean School Board ... had given us permission to use the old school. ...On the surface this appeared a satisfactory arrangement, except that no caretaker was provided; he was available only during the regular school days. In order to provide heat for the Sunday School during the winter months of 1947-48, Art Fillman and I went down to the school house before breakfast each Sunday to light the furnace in preparation for the morning session. Then back home to eat, and then back to the school. ... And so was born the humble Sunday School of twenty-five children and six teachers.

As we made our weekly pilgrimages, we would talk of the need for a Church as well as a Sunday School. We agreed that the need should be talked up among our neighbours, but because few families were living in the area at the time, a year rolled around before sufficient support for a Church was forthcoming."

That introduces the two main catalysts in the Church life of the community: Maurice Morgan, the Christian leader in the Community and the force behind the forming of Carleton Memorial United Church, and Art Fillman who later became the first Rector's Warden and then the People's Warden for three years at St. Mark's. However, at that time they were not talking about forming United or Anglican Churches. Their prime purpose was to have religious services in the community. That is not at all surprising since the community was veterans and they were completely used to two types of religious services and padres: Protestant and Roman Catholic. But even the two types were not necessary and when the need arose, or in the absence of a particular padre, any padre would do.

Carleton Heights School was completed in 1948 and school classes started in September 1948, although there is some confusion on the actual date. Regardless, on January 31, 1949, fifty persons gathered at Carleton Heights School to form an Interdenominational Congregation. Under the leadership of the Rev. Edward A. Martineau of City View United, plans were made to hold weekly interdenominational services. Because the closest Church was City View, the group decided to be associated with the City View-Merivale Charge. Ministers from other Protestant denominations eventually joined in leading the Services. Mary Mortimer notes the expected problem:

"Ministers from the Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian, Salvation Army, and United Church took turns officiating at the Services. Although the lay people got along very well (after all, they had been building houses and wading through mud together for some months), there were some tense moments when the clergy and the pulpit supply tried to determine what indeed was an Interdenominational Service. Anything not structured tended to be regarded as "United." It did work out eventually, usually on the mode of the armed forces services."

The Interdenominational Church filled the needs for the community. The ministers taking the service performed the duties of a regular church minister in caring for the flock. For example, in the Anglican record of baptisms in the Diocesan Archives, the following two baptisms were recorded as having been performed by the Rev. E.A. Martineau on March 20, 1949:

Donald Wayne Morris, son of John Alfred Morris and Oris Ellen Gurling.
Jacqueline Edna Denise Marier, daughter of Jacques Lucien Marier and Nora Kathleen May Plant.

There were clouds on the horizon for the interdenominational structure. The Anglicans were used to a structured liturgy with the sermon as a short part of the service. The Uniteds were used to a more unstructured service with the sermon being the main focus of the service. Associating with the City View-Merivale United Church charge may have been an irritant to the Anglicans, even though it may have made abundant sense. As well, it is not hard to guess that the United Church lay structure of a Board of Stewards instead of an Anglican Executive Council or Parish Council would not sit too well.

A good guess in 1999 would be that some Anglicans from Carleton Heights went to the Bishop of Ottawa, Robert Jefferson, to ask for help in setting up an Anglican Parish. Marguerite Godin who was as close as we had to a Parish Secretary in those days, wrote in the 1983 St. Mark's Photo Directory:

"In response to Anglicans living in the area who wanted an organized Anglican Church, Bishop Robert Jefferson placed the Rev. Robert Shannon in charge of the area on May 1, 1949. To aid in the work of organizing a church in the new area, two summer students were sent to assist Mr. Shannon; Church Army Cadet Ralph Smith and J. Allan D. Meakin, a divinity student. They conducted a door-to-door survey and found some fifty families who expressed a desire for, and willingness to support, an Anglican church in the community. At a meeting held in Carleton Heights Public School in June of 1949, twenty-four of these families agreed to proceed with plans to form a parish. A building was not erected at this time due to lack of funds, so the ecumenical services continued in the school."

Note the words above, "In response to Anglicans who wanted an organized Anglican Church," which would imply that the community took the initiative and not the Diocese, and at least some members of the community wanted an Anglican and not an Interdenominational Church.

One more interesting fact about the saga from January 31st (formation of the Interdenominational Community) to May 1, 1949 (appointment of Robert Shannon to St. Thomas') was that the Bishop met with Robert Shannon on March 11 and informed him that he was going to be appointed to be Rector of St. Thomas' Ellwood, St. George's Hawthorne, and St. James' Leitrim, and that he was to take responsibility for the Carleton Heights area regarding the formation of a Parish. There is nothing recorded in the Bishop's appointment book at that time about Ralph Smith and Allan Meakin. However, it would not be hard to imagine that a skillful and experienced organizer such as Robert Shannon would ask about resources to do the job. Ralph Smith relates that Robert Shannon told him what to do and how to do it, but that he did all the leg work. Ralph was dropped off in the area in the morning by Robert Shannon, then picked up at noon for lunch, dropped off after lunch and picked up again at quitting time.

Whether the Diocese came because it was invited or just came to find what support existed for a new Anglican parish may never be known. But came it did and the result is St. Mark's.

The Diocesan News of November 1949 picks up the Anglican story and brings St Mark's into the scene. Although an author is not named, a letter exists in the Diocesan Archives tasking Robert Shannon to produce the article. As a former Naval Chaplain, he would have no trouble in writing in the third person as that was the military style.

Extract from lead story of:
The Diocesan News, Ottawa Ontario
Vol.1, No. 9 November 20, 1949

Plan Parish for Carleton Heights
Work in New Housing Areas Full of Promise for Future

Splendid progress has been made in the work of the Church in the new housing areas south of Ottawa, under the direction of Rev. Robert Shannon, who took over his duties on May 1 last. For three months during the summer, Mr. Shannon was very ably assisted by Cadet Ralph W. Smith of the Church Army.
The major portion of the work consisted of making a survey of the district to ascertain the number of Anglican families and to try to find out the extent of their willingness to support a church in their own community. Approximately 600 families have been called on, and information obtained on a couple of hundred others.
It is exceedingly difficult to estimate the value of the work, but Mr. Shannon declares that the money and time are well spent. To call on this number of Anglican families and let them know that the Church is interested in them, especially when it is learned that more than half up to that time were absolutely without any church connection is a task of some magnitude. The other half were glad to know that the old church was willing to follow them into a new community and minister to their spiritual needs. Another encouraging aspect of the work was the baptizing of 24 children and the making of contacts that are leading to a Confirmation class this fall that may exceed 25 in number.

Carleton Heights Area
The area known as Carleton Heights is a new housing district of 250 homes, all built under the Veterans' Land Act. These, together with the old settlement known as Hog's Back, the homes on the Prescott Highway and other adjoining housing projects comprise the area that is hoped will become a new Anglican parish.
As a result of a house-to-house canvas made during the early summer, the entire work being done by Cadet Smith, it was discovered that there were 44 Anglican families in the new housing area itself. It was found later that 12 other Anglican families in the surrounding areas who expressed the desire to have, and their willingness to support an Anglican Church in the Community.

To Acquire Church Site
Acting on this information, a meeting was called on June 21 to discuss steps that might be taken to provide a church in the near future. The Archdeacon of Ottawa and the Dean of Ottawa were present and spoke briefly on the procedure of forming a new parish. Of the 44 families known to be in the area at that time, 24 were present at this meeting. They showed interest, enthusiasm, and determination to go ahead with plans to provide a church. After much discussion, it was decided that nothing could be done about the erection of a church this year, for two reasons: first, that there were too many difficulties to be overcome, and secondly, it was not thought advisable to breakaway from the Community Congregation until such time as the United Church members were prepared to take a similar move. It was, however, decided unanimously that the church site be secured as soon as possible, that the Anglicans be organized into a parish, an executive committee be appointed to help the work, a Ladies' Guild be organized in the fall, and a Building Fund be instituted and all the money raised be deposited therein.

First Anglican Service
A Ladies' Guild was organized in September and is making great progress, 24 members being present at the last meeting. On the recommendation of the Parish Executive Committee a Communion service was planned for the second Sunday of each month. The first service was held on October 9 at 9:00 a.m. in Carleton Heights School, when 20 members were present. This service will go down in Diocesan Anglican Church history as the first Anglican service in the Carleton Heights area.
It is now arranged that Rev. Mr. Shannon speaks to the Community Congregation on the fourth Sunday of each month.
The Sunday School work up to the present is on a community basis and is expanding rapidly having at present an enrollment of 102 pupils, of whom 41 are Anglican, and of the 11 teachers, five are Anglican.
The Building Fund is organized on the basis of every family giving one dollar per month and 75% of this goes into a building fund and 25% used for current expenses. The Harvest Thanksgiving and Easter collections are being put into a fund to purchase an altar and Communion rail for the new church. It is hoped that in the near future, the men of the parish will be organized into a club known as the Hardwood Floor Club whose job it will be to raise money for the purchase of hardwood floors for the church. It is expected that the Ladies' Guild will have considerable money on hand to purchase church furnishings for the church when it is built.

That gives a good overview of the work that was done in 1949 from the Anglican point of view. One item missing in the above story was the election and appointment of officials for the new Parish. At the June 21, 1949 meeting, Jim Wright was elected People's Warden and Art Fillman was appointed Rector's Warden. At the same meeting, a Building Fund was established with an initial donation of $100 from Mary Rump.

Something that would flesh out the story is the naming of the Anglican Parish. Sheila Vaudrey wrote the following item On The Naming of a Parish for use on The Feast of St. Mark, April 27, 1997. It shows that much was going on in the Diocese and they had no intention of losing a potential congregation. The Diocese was prepared to put time and money to work.

"From whence does the name of a new Church come? Who decides just what that verbal identity should be? Why are we not St. Joseph's, All Saints, or anything else?
The creation of a parish is less of a puzzle; there is no end to the trail of administrative records and bureaucratic evidence such a project requires. The need for a parish arose from the end of World War II, when veterans poured into the Ottawa/Carleton/Nepean area. The Veterans Land Act started building houses and streets left and right; hence the naming of many new streets in the Carleton Heights after famous European battlefields. As a result, not only did St. Peter's, Merivale Road, soon find its membership swelling towards the capacity limits of its structure, but Carleton Heights had no Anglican (Church of England) parish at all.
By late 1948, an ecumenical service was being held every Sunday in the kindergarten room of Carleton Heights Public School. ... Anticipating the birth of a new mission, Fr. Shannon was officially assigned to the area on May 1, 1949. He and a committee of volunteers, including Cadet Ralph Smith of the Canadian Church Army, conducted a survey of the Carleton Heights area for families who might be interested in supporting their own Anglican Church.
In November of 1948, Rural Dean Serson Clarke had been asked by the Diocese to look into a site for a new parish in Carleton Heights. On May 13, 1949, he reported on several possible locations, the most favourable in his mind being on Falaise Road, Carleton Heights.
On May 17, the Diocesan Executive Council authorized the Church Extension Committee to purchase a building lot in that region, and Fr. Shannon went to view the final selected site May 20.
On June 21, Anglicans in the region met to form a new parish, to acquire land and to start a building fund. That July the organization of the new parish had been established, and arrangements were made to formally rent the room at Carleton Heights School as a place to worship until the new Church was finished.....
... At a Regular Congregational Meeting, the assembled parishioners voted upon a name for their new branch of the House of God. The following suggestions put forth included St. Paul's (a sound British tradition; remember that Canada felt a much closer bond to England in those days), St. George's (ditto; also, at that time this new Church was in Nepean, not Ottawa, and therefore believed to be far enough removed from St. George's, Metcalfe Street and St. George's Hawthorne), the Church of the Good Shepherd (incidentally, the same name as the small mission from where the white marble Baptismal Font came), and one more . . .
.... I have failed to locate anyone who actually attended that meeting; however, it seems that the attendees offered their suggestions, and then held a vote upon the majority's preference. On the 28th, Fr. Shannon wrote to the Bishop of Ottawa, Robert Jefferson, reporting upon the large number of communicants Christmas Day, and informing him of that vote's results, which decided upon the name of St. Mark the Evangelist and Martyr. The Bishop wrote back the same day to say he would be "glad to approve the name of St. Mark," feeling sure that this was "the beginning of what one day will be a grand parish." I like to think that was an accurate prophecy."

The results were close with 8 votes for St. Mark's and 6 votes for St. Paul's. In his hand-written letter to the Bishop on December 28, Robert Shannon noted the closeness with the words " ... so it seemed St. Mark's was the one favoured by the majority of those present." Notice he did not say "the majority of the Congregation."

There is some doubt as to when the name was chosen. The Dedication Leaflet in 1955 and a 25th Anniversary planning document in 1974 states that the first Vestry was held on Friday, November 25, 1949 and perhaps the name was chosen then. There are no notes surviving about that Vestry meeting although Marguerite Godin took the minutes at the First Annual Vestry held on February 1, 1950, two months later. The February 1950 Vestry made no mention of the Friday, November 25, 1949 Vestry, which is unusual because the minutes of the previous Vestry are usually accepted.

The 8 plus 6 vote gives some clue as to the date because there were 14 who attended the Communion Service on November 13, 1949. With such a close vote, Robert Shannon may have held another meeting. Perhaps that Friday November 25th meeting was not well attended. A good guess in 1999 would be that he waited until after the Christmas Communion Service at which 50 attended - a sign-in sheet exists today in St. Mark's Archives. It was not in Robert Shannon's character to sit on anything, but with such a close vote, it would be natural for him to make sure the subject was well discussed and well accepted before going to the Bishop. That would account for the delay.

For the record, the Parish (which was nameless at that time) officially came into existence on Sunday October 9, 1949 with a Communion Service held at Carleton Heights School at 9:00 A.M. It is recorded in the Diocesan Times as the first Anglican Service. The service was conducted by the Rev. Robert Shannon. A list of attendees is in St. Mark's archives on the back of the September 1949 to May 1950 Service schedule for Mr. Shannon. They were, in the order recorded, Mrs. A.H. Barnett, Mrs. E. Kempsey, Miss A.J. Kempsey, F.G. Shipman, J.D. Wright, Mrs. J.D. Wright, Mrs. D. Danielson, Mrs. E.W. Montgomery, Mrs. L.P. Albert, Mrs. Lester Nelson, Audrey Curran, Mrs. E. Godin, Mrs. W. Makinson, W.L Wright, Nora Marier, Freda L. and Nora K.M. Plant (relatives of Nora Marier visiting from England), Mr. & Mrs. Jack Zoubie, and Mr J.D. Barnes.

The February 1, 1950 Vestry Report notes the Rector's Report of Robert Shannon which stated that a lot costing $2,425.64 had been bought by Synod and donated to the Parish. Note the singular "lot". That may have been a mistake and it should have been "lots" - Lot 92 in Ottawa and 232 in Nepean because the going rate was $1,200 per lot.

Ralph Smith returned to Toronto in the Fall of 1949 to resume his studies. He completed these and in the Spring of 1950, he returned to the area as a Church Army officer.

Mary Mortimer records that when St. Mark's was formed, their numbers were cut in half. The Uniteds met on September 6, 1950 to discuss the formation of a United Church Congregation. They were very successful and on October 1, 1950, the Rev. E.A. Martineau declared that by the authority of Ottawa Presbytery, the Congregation of Carleton Heights and district was duly organized. In the search for a name, the Congregation chose Carleton Memorial United Church, a name suggested by Alex Michie seemed so obvious that it was quickly accepted. Plans were made to build a Church and work commenced in 1954 on the building. The last service at Carleton Heights School was October 10, 1954. The first service in their new Church on Melfa Cres was October 17, 1954.

Now lest one thinks that the Roman Catholics were not active, they followed the same path as tread by the Interdenominational Community. They met at Carleton Heights School until finally St. Augustine's on Baseline Rd was built. Bill Michie from Carleton Memorial remembers that the Roman Catholics set up the classroom first, held their Service, and left things set up for the Interdenominational Community who met later. One of Bill's jobs was to put the chairs away and return the room to the regular classroom configuration.

A fundraising Card Party for St. Mark's was held on April 13, 1950 at St. Matthew's Church attended by over 300. There were 61 tables and a total of $109.18 was raised.

The Financial Statement for 1950 presented at the Vestry in 1951 showed Open and Envelope of $417.19 givings and total revenue of $2,787.68 for the Church. Add to that a revenue item marked "Alfred Church" of $1,500.00, the Ladies' Guild revenue of $209.21, the Men's Club of $185.29, and the Sunday School of $74.40, the total given and raised was $3,297.88. The Church expenditure totalled $367.58 including a Stipend of $60.00 and School rent of $94.75. The report showed a bank balance of $2,828.98, which included a $41.30 carryover from 1949. All in all, an excellent year. The $1,500 from the closed St. Peter's Church in Alfred was a windfall. It was from the sale of the furnishings which as Bishop Jefferson noted in a May 19, 1950 letter to Archdeacon Clarke that "...Of course, the understanding is that the money goes to help them in their building at Carleton Heights."

The Anglican Young People's Association was granted a charter on November 28, 1950.

A leaflet cover from 1951 lists the Rector as the Rev. Robert Shannon, Captain Ralph Smith C.A. as Assistant. Services were Morning Prayer on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays at 9:30 A.M., Holy Communion on the 2nd Sunday at 9:30 A.M., and Evening Prayer at 8:00 P.M. on the 1st Sunday. Sunday School was 9:30 A.M. every Sunday.

The same leaflet cover lists Ewart Forde and Art Fillman as the Wardens. The Vestry Clerk was Marguerite Godin. The Treasurer was Fred Sorfleet. The other Committee Chairs were: Jim Wright of the Advisory Board, Bert Rump of the Building Fund Campaign Committee, Charles M. Goodwin for the Church Building Committee, and Lyall (Les) McCrum for the Church Grounds Committee.

The March 1951 Parish Newsletter reported that now they had over 100 families on the Parish List and that 41 had signed pledge cards to give a definite amount every week to the Church. The Sunday School enrollment was 68 children taught by "6 very keen and efficient teachers."

The first confirmations for St. Mark's took place at St. Thomas' on December 18, 1949. There were five youths and 5 adults confirmed by Bishop Jefferson. That indicates the amount of work that was being done for the new Parish. From a beginning in June to a confirmation class in December was excellent by any standard.

With the Anglicans and Uniteds both holding their own services, events had overtaken the Interdenominational Church which had been set up in January 1949. A report in St. Mark's archives gives the details of the final meeting.

"Report on the Interdenominational Church. The final meeting of the executive members of Carleton Heights Interdenominational Church was held on Tuesday night, September 19th, (1951) at Laurie Baker's house, and, after directing the disposal of the assets of the church, it voted itself out of existence with the following very appropriate motion:
"Moved that, in view of the fact that the Anglican Church has formed a Parish, and that the United Church has formed a Congregation to look after the spiritual needs of the Carleton Heights community, the existence of the Carleton Heights Interdenominational Church has become superfluous and should therefore be dissolved."
Following was the disposal of the assets of the church:
One set of Offering Plates given to the church by Dudley Barnes to go to the Anglican Church.
One set of Offering Plates given to the church by Rev. Martineau to go to the United Church.
The Baptismal Record Book given to Rev. Shannon for the use of the Anglican Church.
The Vestry Book given to the United Church.
In recognition of the members of other denominations who worshiped with us" - a donation of $10.00 will be made to the British Foreign Missions Society."

Brass cross in 1999.

Marguerite Godin records in the 1983 Photo Directory the following:

"Regular Anglican services were held in the school until the church was erected. Elsie Kempsey and Audrey Curran took on the altar guild duties and transformed the teacher's desk into an altar. Fr. Shannon donated a brass cross and candlesticks. Storage space at the school was non-existent so Mrs. Kempsey took the cross and candlesticks home each week and Mrs. Curran looked after the Communion vessels. Emile Godin made a carrying case for these items from a wooden orange crate and lined it with green felt, complete with carrying handle. One fond memory of St. Mark's early days is that of Elsie Kempsey coming up the highway carrying the cross when it was nearly nine for the service to begin. Joan and Louis Albert and Brooksie and Jim Wright made Communion kneelers."

In the April 1952 issue of The Diocesan Times, the Diocese outlined plans to raise $150,000 for Church Extension. The Bishop had named George Nelms (a member of St. Mark's in 1999) to head the fund raising Committee. The need for a central fund for church extension was outlined. St. Mark's was noted as one of the five Churches that was in need of help:

"Carleton Heights (St. Mark's) - A new Mission only two years old. Families now number 110. Sunday School pupils - 90. No Hall is available for Church Service or Sunday School. Three rooms rented in a Public School for these purposes. A building site has been purchased in a central area. In addition, there are several articles of furniture, but no Church. The people have raised $4,000 towards a Building Fund, and have also given $100 to Missions. A fine record for a two-year old child."

In 1952 Mr. Shannon left the area for Chicago, Illinois, to do further studies. The Mission came under the charge of the Rev. A.E.O. Anderson. Captain Ralph Smith was ordained in 1952 and was appointed Assistant to Mr. Anderson, a position he held until 1953 when he was sent to Iroquois, Ontario. Mr. Smith was replaced by the Rev. Allan Rogers.

The purchase of additional lots was the subject of discussion. In October 1952, the Rector, A.E.O. Anderson, reported the following to a Special Vestry:

"The D.V.A. Headquarters in Toronto are unwilling to part to the Church any frontage on Fisher Avenue, even in exchange for our own frontage. They are reserving it (the Fisher Avenue frontage) for business firms. They will sell us lots behind, but besides our Church being hidden, the cost would be $4,000 plus our own property, plus legal fees for the transfer of our land back to them. I believe the frontage on Fisher is important. I understand D.V.A. are willing to sell us two lots on Normandy Crescent adjoining our property, this would double our area, would involve no legal fees for conveying back our land to D.V.A., and would cost $2,400 instead of $4,000. We would still have frontage on Fisher Avenue. This I would recommend."

Two additional lots, 109 and 110, were purchased in 1953 after considerably more discussion with VLA. A deposit of $250 was paid on March 18, 1953 and the balance of $2,150 was paid on May 11, 1953. Lot 109 eventually would be used to build the Rectory.

Just to restate the Lots: we owned 92 and 93 in Ottawa, both fronting on Fisher; and 232, 110, and 109 in Nepean, fronting on Normandy (in that order from Fisher). No explanation has been found of why "232" was a lot number instead of "111". A good guess would be that 232 was part of 110 originally and was split off because the 110 with 232 would be considerably larger than the other lots. DVA were trying for one-half acre lots, and if a lot was considerably larger, then it would cost more and many veterans could not afford it. If someone got a larger lot for the same price, then it would be unfair.

As an Appendix to this Chapter, there is a reconstructed Parish List of November 1951 in the style of 1999. Most of the names came from a reconstructed list by Marguerite Godin. The original 44 families noted in the report of Ralph Smith are indicated with a "44". This list of 44 came from a carbon copy of the list in our Parish archives. The Diocesan Times notes that there were 12 other families, but as other documents show, these were 12 families living in the area but not part of the Carleton Heights Veteran's development. Bert & Mary Rump, Monty & Alta Montgomery, Ted & Norma Grand would be some of these extra twelve.

One interesting fact is the absence of Art Fillman from Ralph Smith's list of 44. On June 17, 1949 Robert Shannon wrote to the families and any others interested about the meeting on June 21st to discuss the establishment of an Anglican Parish. Shannon mentions only the 44 families. So from the 17th to the 21st, something occurred because the Rev. Shannon chose Art Fillman as his Warden on the 21st.

Written by Lorne Bowerman with help from
Dorothy Brigley, Brooksie Wright, Mary Mortimer,
Audrey Morgan, Bill Michie, and many friends

50ch3 The Parish in a Parish Church
50ch4 The Parish in a Parish Church and a New Hall
50ch5 The Clergy of St. Mark's
50ch6 The Ministry of Music
50ch7 The Organizations Sunday School; Women's, Men's & Youth Organizations
50appnd Appendices Anniversary Activities; 1951 Parish List; Veterans' List