St. Mark's Anglican ChurchMemories: The First Fifty Years
Ministry of Music
but we go forward with great hopes for the future.
First Choir Director, 1955
From the forming of a Mission in 1949 to the early 60s, there are very few 'official' reports on the Choirs and Organists. What is known is that during the years prior to the Church being built, services were led by a pianist, and that Mrs. Turner was one of those pianists. The first recorded Organist and Choirmaster was Major Fred Maskell in February 1955.
Between 1955 and 1965, there were many changes. Mr. Maskell's job took him to Australia for an extended period, forcing him to resign in the summer of 1956. Marjorie Smith, a local music teacher, took over in December 1956. As recalled by Eleanor Foy, the Rector's wife, the reed organ was temperamental, causing Miss Smith to suddenly announce, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, that she would not play the organ again. Mrs. Foy was reluctantly persuaded to take over for a few months, until Bob Middleditch accepted the role in 1957.
In 1959 Fred Maskell took over again, following the resignation of Mr. Middleditch. The January 1962 Vestry Report has Mrs. Foy as Interim Organist and Choirmistress from July 1961. In that Report she stressed the need for a real organist. Several had been interview, but on hearing the organ, withdrew their names. She also stressed the need for a new organ.
Mrs. Foy continued in this 'interim' position until Harry Hill was hired in September 1962, soon after the installation of the new Casavant Memorial Organ.
In September 1963, Aubrey Foy, son of George and Eleanor, became Choirmaster. He had been a chorister under Mr. Maskell, prior to joining Gerald Wheeler's choir at St. Matthew's. Mrs. Foy recalls him rushing from St. Matthew's to St. Mark's to play the voluntaries during her 'tenure' as organist. Chorister Terrence O'Connor was organist from 1963, and took over as Choirmaster from 1964-65.
still growing to this day, all beginning humbly,
singing alto at St. Mark's."
Diane Wiggins Allen
From 1965-1975, with more 'permanent' leaders, the music programme gained stability. Ian Barber arrived from England in 1965, followed by John Gallienne in 1967. This was the beginning of St. Mark's choristers' strongest period, especially with the development of the Boys' Choir. Both Ian and John were professionally trained organists and choir directors, steeped in choral tradition. What was started by them was continued by Fred Graham when he was appointed music director in 1970. All three had trained in Europe and applied this discipline to their work with the Senior and Boys' Choirs.
Following the departure of Fred Graham in 1975, the music programme went through another interim period. Michel Meynaud and James Watson each led the Choir for a year. The Boys' Choir ended and all choristers were now part of the Senior Choir.Momentum picked up again in 1977 with the appointment of John Phair. He put new life back into the Choir and formed the basis of the present Junior Choir for boys and girls. He was a moving force behind the purchase of the present organ. When he left in 1981, the Choirs were 'maintained' by choristers Norma Mellon (director) and Bruce Lodge (organist). John was followed by Don Marjerrison from 1982-88. Under his leadership the Junior Choir grew rapidly. Don also catalogued the complete choral library. In 1988 Brian Cameron led the Choirs and continued the work started by his predecessors. He published 'Canate Domino', musical settings for Eucharist and Matins. Heather Rice took over in 1990 until June 1999, and Harvey Cottrell acted as interim organist until Ariane Dind accepted the position in November 1999.
The first mention of choristers in the archives is in 1954, announcing
the formation of a Sunday School Boys' Choir by Rev.
Allan Rogers, with 17 trebles. Their first Church services
were during Lent 1954. Fr. Rogers was assisted by Mrs.
Waddington and the Ladies Guild donated $150 towards choir
robes.The March 1954 issue of St. Mark's quarterly newsletter
states: "Choir Boys' of the Sunday School have
been training to help us with the singing of our services. A choir
is there to help the congregation to join in the music and sing better,
by giving a lead. The ideal of a parish church should always be congregational
With the arrival of Ian Barber in 1965, the Anglican tradition continued,
and older boys were encouraged to join the Senior Choir as bass or counter
tenors. By 1966, due to the many hours of rehearsals, the boys were paid
a small stipend.
A new Men and Boys' Choir was formed by John Gallienne and presented
the 1968 Advent Carol Service with 150 in attendance.
Also that year the combined Choirs' Christmas Carol Service
was attended by 170. The highlight of this period was the
performance of Britten's 'Ceremony of Carols',
possibly the first performance by a Boys' Choir in Canada.
Unfortunately, after an encouraging start, the Boys' Choir lost many of its members, and became part of a newly formed Senior Choir. In 1962, Harry Hill began another Boys' Choir with 7 members.
When Aubrey Foy and Terry O'Connor took over in September 1963,
the Choir had increased to 20 boys. They sang 4:00pm Evensong and led their
first Carol Service in December. Gerald Wheeler (St.
Matthew's) was organist for the Boys' Choir. By 1964,
they also sang at the 11:15am service. Mr. Wheeler continued
as organist for Evensong and trained the boys for this service.
During this time, the Choir was conferred membership in the Royal
School of Church Music training programme.
Under John's leadership the Choir cut its first record of Christmas Carols, in 45 format, but played at 33.3rpm. A copy is in the archives
St. Mark's Boys' Choir had become one of the most respected choirs
in Ottawa. This recognition continued with Fred Graham,
until he left St. Mark's in 1975.
The Boys' Choir was then disbanded.
In 1956, Mrs. Waddington formed a Girls' Choir. In the Council Minutes of April 18, Mr. Turner, Church School Superintendent, reported on the joint service at Easter attended by 150 children: ". . . the Girls' Choir was in attendance. He praised the Choir for their ability and recommended greater use be made of them in future."
|This Choir started as a Sunday
afternoon choir, with 24 girls aged 8-14 years.
Their first 'official appearance' was for Evensong in the Fall. By November they were 'robed', and at Christmas they sang with the Senior Choir.
By 1959 the Girls' Choir was singing regularly with the Senior Choir. The numbers were down to 13 girls and stayed in that range until last recorded as a Choir in 1965.
In 1977 a Junior Choir was formed by John Phair. This was for boys and girls. They sang with the Senior Choir but also sang their own motets. In the 80s, the Juniors started leading the early Christmas Eve Service, and singing anthems with the Senior Choir. The RSCM training programme was re-introduced by Don Marjerrison in the mid 80s.
||Many junior choristers also attended
the St. Mark's Choir Camp started by Brian Cameron in 1989.
These activities continue to the present day.
In 1996 two Junior Chorister awards were initiated: the June Armstrong Award, for highest attendance; the Dot Kirby Chorister Achievement Award.
Both June and Dot are fondly remembered for their years as Choir Mothers in the 60s and 70s, and as Choir 'Grandmothers' in the 80s and 90s.
The Senior Choir has continued in various forms since its inception
in 1955. Major Fred Maskell formed a new Choir, composed
of 4 trebles (boys), 5 sopranos, 3 altos, 2 tenors, 3
bass. By the June 1955 newsletter, Major Maskell wrote of
the advancement in this new activity:
"Much progress has now been made since we moved into our new Church. St. Mark's now has a full choir of some 25 men, women and boys, who have learned to sing together in four-part harmony. This is a real achievement, since part singing is not learned overnight. It represents a lot of hard work, especially by some of the men who had no previous experience in choral work. . . . Organization is not yet complete. Our aim is ten men, ten women and 16 Boys . . . . The greatest need is for 3 more tenors; anyone who thinks he can sing tenor should volunteer, because tenors are always hard to find."The 1959 Vestry Report states the Choir had 'learnt to sing psalms confidently'. Choir membership ranged from 12 to 17, singing at either the 9:30am or 11:15am services. By 1964 their repertoire had increased and the Choir presented the 9 Lessons and Carols at Christmas. In the Vestry Report for 1966, it was noted that the Choir was 'more of a unit, not individuals'. Although membership was in decline, by 1968 it was reported that the standard had risen. This standard continued.
In 1974 and 1990 the Choir performed Handel's 'Messiah' and took part in the CBC Choir Festival in the late 70s. During one Advent service, John Phair proudly remembers a profound silence and an un-Anglican round of applause arising from the congregation following Bainton's motet "And I saw a New Heav'n".
The repertoire increased, marked by the influence of each director, with works ranging from very challenging anthems, masses and cantatas by Bach and Britten, Byrd and Handel, Howells and Schuetz, Stanford and Walmisley, Haydn and Mendelssohn, to the more simple and modern music of today, including a motet by former chorister Robert Anderson. Many of these major choral works and special services were recorded by Ray Davidson and Lorne Bowerman and are still listened to today.
|Gradually the choir pews began to fill
again until the early 90s when the major problem was
overcrowding. This was partly due to Senior and Junior
Choirs singing at the one 10:00am service.
Over the years, the structure of the choirs changed; membership fluctuated; choristers and directors came and went, some choristers became stalwarts and stayed!
Also during this time, the mode of 'dress'
for the Choirs changed. Founding parish members relate
of the first Choirs being in 'Sunday Best' including, of
course, hats for the ladies.
This changed in the late 50s to white surplices, with black cassocks for men, made by Dorothy Brigley, and black skirts and mortarboards for ladies.
One former chorister tells of how these mortarboards disappeared from the ladies' uniform: suffering from a headache prior to the service, the other ladies quickly agreed to go 'hatless' with her, much to the chagrin of the Rector, but finally accepted by him! The white albs, being worn today, were introduced in the early 70s. The 'retired' albs were taken to Tanzania by Jim and June Armstrong.
The early Boys' and Girls' Choirs wore white surplices, also made by Mrs. Brigley and Mrs. Waddington: the girls wore red skirts, red bows and black velvet caps; the boys wore black cassocks, made by Mrs. Rump, with enough left over for the Senior men. In 1964, when the traditional Anglican Boys' Choir was formed, the senior boys wore blue cassocks, junior boys wore burgundy cassocks, with white surplices and white ruffs. Red copes were worn for special services. This changed to white albs in 1969/70, and to red cassocks and white surplices in the 80s.
From the first years as a parish, music became a very important part of St. Mark's worship. Through the dedication of its organists and choristers, St. Mark's gained the reputation of being a strong choral parish, especially since the late 60s, while still remaining very much a family church.
This can still be seen today, where the love of music has been passed down through the generations - parents, children and even grandchildren being part of that musical tradition. And as one chorister noted - commitment and loyalty were the keys.
This loyalty and commitment can be seen by the many events, sponsored
by the Choirs, to raise funds for such things as outreach
programs, choir gowns, music, camps, pianos for the
Choir Room and towards the purchase of the Classic organ.
The various fund-raising efforts over the years, run by all the
Choirs and often assisted by their families, included newspaper recycling,
walk-a-thons, hymn- a-thons, coat hangers and Dilys's
Not Just a 'Parish' ChoirSince the mid 60s, the Boys', Junior and Senior Choirs have participated in numerous joint ventures with other choirs, taking their ministry throughout the Diocese, including performances of such classics as Handel's 'Messiah' and Vivaldi's 'Gloria'; taking part in the East Nepean Ministerial Choir Festival, the Diocesan Massed Choirs and the RCCO Children's Choir Festival.
The Choirs sang at many churches throughout the Diocese, Montreal, Kingston and in the US. St. Mark's also played host to visiting Choirs, instrumentalists and organists, including the 1980-81organ recital series with Michael Bloss, William McArton, John Rose, John Tuttle and Wesley Warren. Senior choristers also took part in Choirs in Contact, and in 1986 Joy Bowerman's banner won first prize.
St. Mark's musical reputation has not been just with its Choirs and organists, but also through its encouragement of instrumentalists within the parish and diocese. Concerts became a regular event in the parish, including the teenaged Timothy Hutchins, now the principal flute with the Montreal Symphony. Chamber orchestras, made up of young musicians, frequently accompanied the choirs. The parish has also been fortunate to have had many singing priests, who have given strong support to the music program and even been known to join the choir for special occasions.
The Choirs of St. Mark's also gained the reputation of being 'home'
to many, always welcoming back its former members.
Wesley Warren, former chorister, has been a frequent guest
organist, as has Fred Graham; John Gallienne returned with
the Choir from Kingston Cathedral; many former choristers have
taken up their old places when visiting, especially at Christmas
and Easter. St. Mark's also became 'home' for its clergy even
when they moved to new Churches - the Choirs often being invited
to attend special services such as inductions and evensong in their
The 'Fun' Times
|In 1989, Brian Cameron, formerly
of Trinity Cornwall, successfully introduced the jointly
sponsored St. Mark's - Trinity Choir Camp. St. Mark's took
over full sponsorship in 1991, and these camps have continued
to the present day.
The Choir Camp was founded in 1983 by Trinity, to provide boys and girls with an enjoyable experience of music, the outdoors and making new friends. Many of St. Mark's junior choristers have attended, some returning as counselors. The Senior Choir augmented the campers at the closing services.
St. Mark's choristers, although trained to sing liturgical music, have been known to perform on a more lighter note. In the 60s and 70s, Gregorian chant and plain song frequently had new words written relating to choir directors and fellow choristers. In the 80s we had wallowing hippos, three little maids (?), cats, PDQ Bach and Noah's floating zoo. John Kirby remembers 'western' music being used for a Christmas service in the late 50s.
Many parishioners of the 60s and 70s, who came up through the various music programs, made music a major component of their lives. These include: June Armstrong (soprano); Beverley Anderson Killen (soprano); Robert Anderson (tenor, composer, music teacher); Chris Bolton (guitar, lute); Joy Bowerman (Junior Choir assistant/accompanist); Aubrey Foy (organist); Gail Gillespie Kennedy (choral director/ teacher); Ian Heppell (composer of Merivale High School musical); Fraser Jackson (bassoon); Norma Mellon (mezzo); Terry O'Connor (organist); Wesley Warren (organist/choir director, St. Barnabas). Of major significance is that four of St. Mark's former organists went on to become music directors at Cathedrals: Aubrey Foy at St. James', Toronto; Ian Barber at St. Anne's, Belfast, Ireland; John Gallienne at St. George's, Kingston; Fred Graham at All Saints, Halifax.
In the 1980s, youth members of the parish were also encouraged to participate in special services, including individual instrumentalists and ensembles. Flautist Stephanie Hancock frequently accompanied the Junior Choir; trumpeters Helen Davidson, Chris Dicks and Scott Kirby played for Easter and Remembrance Day services; many Church School members formed a band for the annual Christmas Pageants; Becky Worden now uses her musical training as therapy for special needs programs.
And what of the alumni of the 90s? Only time will tell,
but it is hoped that the love of music started at St.
Mark's will continue, and be a positive influence for their
future. One thing that is certain, St. Mark's music ministry
has touched us all and made us what we are today. We have all played
and training in church music,
which was provided by
St. Mark's in my formative years.
The parish can be
justly proud of its enviable standard of music
and worship over many years."
St. Barnabas, Ottawa
Jubilee Choir Reunion, Thanksgiving 1999
On October 10, St. Mark's Choir held its Thanksgiving Jubilee Choir Reunion. Thirty-one choristers: 14 sopranos, 5 altos, 5 tenors and 7 bass, including one counter tenor, from as far away as Toronto and Nova Scotia, joined together to celebrate fifty golden years of St. Mark's choral history. Choristers represented all five decades, from our youngest member Sarah Kelly to John Kirby, a chorister since 1959. The concert was given in thanksgiving for past and present organists, directors and choristers.
The two-hour concert was planned around the written history of St. Mark's music ministry. This history was partly research from the Diocesan Archives, and partly personal memories from choristers and organists, from the founding of the first choir to the present day. The history was compiled into a new 50th anniversary book called 'Memories: St. Mark's Ministry of Music, 1949-1999'.
Each memory was linked by a choral item, with well-loved hymns and
choral works, including 'St. Mark's Anniversary Theme', by parishioner
Chris Dicks, 'A Small Child' composed by former
chorister Robert Anderson, Duruflé's 'Ubi Caritas',
with St. Mark's first counter tenor, Ian Wiggins, as cantor,
and motets written by Palestrina, Tomkins, Vaughan Williams
The highlight of the evening was the premier performance and dedication of 'St. Mark's Jubilee Hymn' by former choristers Norma Mellon and Wesley Warren.The hymn was commissioned for the Jubilee Choir Reunion, and written for the people of St. Mark's, in recognition of their history. It was dedicated to two very special choristers, Dot Kirby and June Armstrong.
Two golden hours of celebration,
representing fifty golden years
of musical history.
Seeing old friends, making new ones.
A celebration that choristers
for a long time.
People with a common bond -
St. Mark's ministry of music.
serve the Lord with gladness,
and come before his presence with a song."
Written by Margaret Lodge and Ray Davidson
with a lot of help from our friends, choristers and organists. November 1999
|St. Mark's Choral History - Choir Directors and
Services in Carleton Heights School
1954 Boys’ Choir first mentioned in archives,
1954 Reed organ, Christmas Eve service
1955 Official opening of new Church
1955 - 56 Fred Maskell - Organist/Choirmaster
Senior Choir first mentioned in archives
1956 Girls’ Choir first mentioned in archives
1956 - 57 Marjorie Smith - Organist/Choirmistress
Girls’ Choir - Evensong
Senior Choir & Girls’ Choir
Eleanor Foy - Interim Organist
1957 - 59 Bob Middleditch - Organist/Choirmaster
Junior Choir sang with Senior Choir
1959 - 60 Fred Maskell - Interim
1961 -62 Eleanor Foy - Interim
1962 2-manual Casavant organ installed,
dedicated September 9
1962 - 63 Harry Hill - Organist/Choirmaster
Boys’ Choir started again
1963 - 64 Aubrey Foy - Choirmaster
Boys’ Choir - Evensong
1963 - 65 Terry O’Connor - Organist/Choirmaster
Girls’ Choir - 9:30am service
Senior Choir - 11:15am service
| 1965 - 67
Ian Barber — Organist/Choirmaster
Boys~ Choir -11:15am service
Senior Choir - 9:30am service
1967 - 70 John Gallienne - Organist/Choirmaster
Boys’ Choir expanded
Men & Boys’ Choir
1970- 75 Fred Graham - Organist/Choirmaster
1975 - 76 Michel Meynaud - Organist/Choirmaster
1976 - 77 James Watson - Organist/Choirmaster
1977 - 81 John Phair - Organist/Choirmaster
Junior Choir rebuilt for boys and girls,
Senior & Junior Choir - 10:00am service
1980 Classic electronic organ installed,
dedicated November 23
1981 Norma Mellon & Bruce Lodge - Interim
1982 - 88 Don Marjerrison - Organist/Choirmaster
Senior & Junior Choir
1988 - 90 Brian Cameron - Organist/Choirmaster
Senior & Junior Choir
1989 Junior Choir Camp, St. Mark’s co-sponsor
1990 - 99 Heather Rice - Organist/ Choirmistress
Senior & Junior Choir
From the very beginning there have been organizations associated with St. Mark’s. The first meeting on June 21, 1949 set in motion plans for a Ladies’ Guild, a Men’s Group, and an Anglican Young People’s Association (AYPA), and of course, the Sunday School was there even before the first meeting.
The origins of St. Mark’s is the Sunday School. Even before there were any worship services in the area, a group lead by Maurice Morgan took the initiative in August 1947 to establish a Sunday School at S.S.#14, the Harboard School, at the foot of Dynes Road on Prince of Wales Highway. During the winter of 1947/48, there were six teachers and 25 children who came from all Christian faiths.
In 1948, with the completion of the Carleton Heights Public School, the Sunday School moved to the new School. It was not without its problems. The students knew the School far better than the Sunday School teachers and would frequently disappear in some corner or do some mischief that they had wanted to do during the week, but couldn’t get away with. But the kids and the teachers survived.
Despite the Parish of St. Mark’s being established in 1949, the Sunday School was still being run on a community basis, as indicated in an article in the November 1949 Diocesan Times, probably written by Robert Shannon:
“...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 March 1951 Parish Newsletter reported that they now had over 100 families on the Parish List. "... The Sunday School enrollment was 68 children taught by '6 very keen and efficient teachers.' ”
In April 1953 a St. Mark’s Parish Circular listed Captain Ralph Smith as the Superintendent of the Sunday School. He admonished the parents and godparents with the following:
“The office of Public Baptism of Infants instructs Godparents,
and I think naturally parents, that, for as much as children have
promised, by you their sureties, to renounce the devil, to believe
in God, and to keep the Holy Commandments, you must remember that it
is your duty to see that these children be taught what a solemn vow,
promise, and profession you have made for them. Therefore you are to call
upon your children to hear sermons and chiefly provide that they may learn
the Creed, Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, and all other things
which a Christian ought to know and believe to his soul’s health.
“Next in importance (to attending Church) is the teaching
of our children. I heard on the radio this morning the report of a
professor at Toronto who said that the students at the University were
religious illiterates. In other words, that while they were not without
religion, they were, on the whole ignorant of their faith and the truths
of their religion. We in the Church of England believe that we should,
as St. Peter tells us in his first Epistle, “be able to give a reason
for the hope that is in us,” that is what parents are for - to teach their
children to know and love and serve God.
“Sunday School -10 a.m. Children 6-7-8 yrs. in the Hall, 10 a.m. Children 9 and over in the Church, 11:15 a.m. Children under 6 yrs. in the Hall. Services and Sunday Schools - Later there will be an Evening Service on Sunday but for the moment we will try to establish the portion for the morning - the best time undoubtedly as a general rule for worship. First of all, the Communion Service comes as the foundation of all our worship. The 9 a.m. Service with hymns and a short address is intended to be the family Service of the Church, and to be the complete Service - not just communion - but the full service with the ministry of the word and music and older boys and girls attending as well as communicants. By having the older children's Sunday School at 10 a.m. both children and teachers can attend worship at either 9 or 11:15. By having the youngest Sunday School at 11:15 a.m. the small children can be brought by their parents who can worship at 11:15 - and take the children home. The greatest difficulty is the 6-7-8 age group, some of whom are young too - but at 11:15 there is only the hall available for Sunday School and these children need a different programme from the Infants and you can't have both going on at the same time in the same place. We will adjust little difficulties as we go along but we are trying to avoid going to Sunday afternoon for Sunday School.”The Vestry Report for the year ending December 31, 1958 gave the Church School membership as 268 made up of Kindergarten - 37; Nursery - 18; Primary - 84; Junior - 94; Senior - 24; and Bible Class - 11. The average weekly attendance was 184 for October 1958. There were 19 teachers and 2 teacher assistants. So in less than seven years the Sunday School had grown from 95 to 268. And it was not through growing yet.
The growth put a strain on everything - the building, the teachers, the pupils, and the Rector, George Foy. With one Church and one basement hall, how could possibly 6 different groups be accommodated? George Foy added one more room by offering the use of the Rectory study/office for the Senior Department.
The 1958 Vestry Report also notes that Bud Magee had resigned after four years as treasurer of the Sunday School and was replaced by Dorothea Ostrander, both long time workers in St. Mark’s.
In a stroke of luck, agreement was reach with the Separate School Board for the use of St. Rita’s. Without St. Rita’s the situation would have been impossible as the Sunday School grew to a peak of 330 in 1963. Starting in 1962 Sunday School was conducted at St. Rita’s School until the numbers reduced sufficiently to be accommodated in the Church halls.
The 1975 Vestry Report gave a brief outline of the new curriculum adopted by the Education Committee. The resource materials for the instruction were taken from the Readiness for Religion series by Dr. Ronald J. Goldman. The curriculum used theme topics such as caring, the world around us, bread, sheep and shepherds, light, water, what is the Bible, and symbols. The Church School operated on a four semester system.
Although not part of the Sunday School, a Baptism course was introduced in 1975 by David Bolton. The course was given to parents and sponsors to prepare them for the responsibilities they were making for the children to be baptized. It was the first in the Diocese and was quickly used by other Churches.
In 1981 the Church School introduced the Living the Good News curriculum, produced by the Diocese of Colorado. Joe Savill organized the Church School picnic that year in Vincent Massey Park. In September 1989 the curriculum was changed to the Whole People of God.
A women’s organization was formed at the very first meeting of the Parish on June 21, 1949 along with a men’s organization, and a young people’s organization. The main difference of the women’s organizations from the other two is that they have survived to the present day.
The Ladies’ Guild started as one group called a circle, and grew from there into six circles, as the Parish expanded. Membership in a particular circle was initially based on the geographic location of the homes of the members. As soon as two circles had been established, there was co-ordination into a larger organization called the Ladies’ Guild. Early in the life of the parish, a Women’s Auxiliary (WA) group was also formed, which carried out the missionary work, such as collecting items for the bales; this group changed its name to Anglican Church Women (ACW) in the late sixties. In 1985, all of the women’s groups in the parish (the Circles, the missionary ACW group, the Altar Guild and the Mother’s Union) agreed to come under the ACW umbrella, while keeping their unique identities. This structure has continued to the present, although some of the initial groups have since disbanded. The system works well.
The Diocesan News in November 1949, most likely in an article written by Robert Shannon, stated clearly the task of the Ladies’ Guild of St. Mark’s:
“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 statement set the tone for the circles of the Ladies’ Guild. They were money raisers and they still carry out this activity. In the trying financial times of 1966 to 1982, the Ladies’ Guild was the one thing constant in finances. For many of those years they made the difference between success and failure, but that is ahead of the story.
The minutes of the First Annual Vestry Meeting on February 1, 1950 record the following:
“Mrs, J.D. Langley presented a very interesting report on the activities of the Ladies’ Guild, stating they had donated $100 to the Church Building Fund. Mrs. Langley moved the adoption of her report and it was seconded by Mrs. Nelson. Carried.”The money-raising activities were, and still are, traditional at St. Mark’s: teas, bazaars, auctions, craft sales, dinners, and in the early years, catering. The Strawberry Festival was the main money raiser in the early years and it was hosted by both the Ladies’ Guild and the Mens’ Club. As soon as a Church Building was available, the Bazaar, run by the Guild, became the number-one raiser of funds.
The March 1951 Parish News Letter asked the question:
“Did you know that so far this year the Ladies’ Guild has raised over $250.00 and the Men’s Club over $75.00?”This 1951 question was probably intended to highlight both the Ladies’ Guild and the Mens’ Club, but in 1999 it reads like the women were outpacing the men by a factor of over three.
The June 1952 Parish Circular comments on the Strawberry Festival:
“The St. Mark’s Strawberry Festival is being held on Saturday, June 21st from 3:00 to 6:00 P.M. at the Carleton Heights School. Make it a point to attend yourself and bring your friends to this popular annual event where you can enjoy the luscious strawberry along with ice cream, cake, tea, etc. In addition to the fine food, you will find many bargains at the Ladies’ Guild work table and at the Project Table sponsored by the Mens’ Club. The youngsters will find entertainment at the Fish Pond and the ice cream and pop stand.”In 1956, a note in a weekly leaflet sums up the Ladies’ Guild organization at that time:
“The Ladies’ Guild is the oldest organization and it is the one
through which a great deal of the health and wealth of the Parish
is effected. New membership is always a happy occasion. There are
five groups or Circles who have their identity as separate working groups
responsible through their conveners to the main Guild. The latter meets
the fourth Tuesday of the month in the Church and the President is Mrs.
ACW Report 1989
The Mother’s Union (MU) was another women’s organization that began early in the life of the Parish. It was started in 1953 or 1954 by Mrs. A.E.O. Anderson. Unfortunately, however, it had a short life in most parts of Canada because of internal conflicts of who could or could not belong. The conflict centred around whether divorced and/or separated women could be members of the MU, and not whether someone was a mother or not. This would likely be a non-issue in 1999, a time where there are hot debates over same sex couples being considered married.
The MU was started again in 1983 and continues strong in 1999.
As was the case with the Guild and ACW, the Vestry Report in 1989 will serve to provide the flavour of the work done.
Mothers’ Union Report 1989 The Mothers' Union is a world-wide
sisterhood, within the Anglican Communion, whose members uphold each
other in prayer, and in our case offer support as we bring up our children
in Christian homes and in the Church. In Africa the MU is a very important
support system in villages, helping women become literate, learn child
and health care, and work together to become more self-sufficient.
Just as the Ladies’ Guild was devoted to raising money, the Altar Guild was devoted to service. The official formation of an Altar Guild in St. Mark’s Parish took place at a meeting on April 21, 1955 at the home of Elsie Kempsey. Elsie was chosen as the first President. One of the first things arranged was a training session by Lena Jackman on the whys and hows of Altar Guild duties. The September 10, 1955 Parish Newsletter updated the news since the spring and confirmed the formation of the Altar Guild and its role:
“Under the presidency of Mrs. Kempsey the Altar Guild was formed in the spring. The care of the Altar and Sanctuary is the highest honour that can be given to women workers in the physical framework of the Church. It is a dedicated service that is being fulfilled pleasantly at St. Mark's. (Because of the dry season, the floral demonstration they had hoped to sponsor has been cancelled.)”You will note above that the Altar Guild in the ACW 1989 Vestry Report got one sentence. In 1990 they did much better with Betty Gillham making sure that the work of this dedicated group was highlighted.
The Altar Guild continues its ministry in the sanctuary, preparing
and arranging the vessels, linens and floral decoration for services.
Our membership has increased to the point (19 members) that we can
now have 3 persons on each 2-week rotation. Regretfully due to illness
Buddy Provost found it necessary to resign last year. We thank her for
her contribution to this ministry. The floral arrangements are the gifted
ministry of Joan Knight, assisted by Joy Bowerman. New purificators
and 2 wedding bows were made by Diann May, and the alms basin cover
by Buddy Provost.
Gloria Acheson, Phyllis Archambeaut, Thelma Armstrong, Joan Barbier, Marjorie Bender, Dorothy Brigley, Olive Bunting, Doreen Craig, Donna Cundell, Jenny Emmerson, Chris Genn, Betty Gillham, Marguerite Godin, Lillian Gray, Cynthia Greer, Irene Hiles, Eileen Holt, Peggy Johnson, Helen Kelly, Elsie Kempsey, Joan Knight, Kay Lapointe, Ann Little, Pat Longsworth, Vera Mackin, Rose Magee, Penny Miller, Gillian Morris, Elaine Myers, Connie Peake, Kay Peever, Janis Perkin, Sheila Pitt, Celia Proudfoot, Eileen Raymond, Georgia Roberts, Ellen Robertson, May Rump, Nora Sparling, Libby Stanzel, Winnie Sully, Peggy Taylor, Jean Wilcox, Anne Wilkinson, Brooksie Wright, and Pam Zoubie.
Kay Whitfield has been making candles for the Church for many years.
Joan Knight, Joy Bowerman, and Penny Miller have been the “Flower Ladies” for many years as well.
The Present in 1999
There are now many fewer groups under the ACW Umbrella than what existed in the 70s and 80s. And, due to a change in lifestyles, younger parishioners have not tended to join the formal women’s organizations. However, these groups still are important for many longer-standing members, and are a vital part of the fabric of St. Mark’s.
The men’s organizations have been known by various names, however, the name "Marksmen’ has stuck the longest. In 1999 the Marksmen are considered a Chapter of the Brotherhood of Anglican Churchmen (BAC).
The one characteristic of St. Mark’s many different men’s organizations is that they hate meetings. They will come out to a work party, put on a Pancake Supper, a Strawberry Social, a barbecue, a square dance, or organize something different, but if you call a meeting, the response with be practically zero. Once someone understands that aspect, then it is smooth going in trying to hold a function or get a job done. Tell them what to do, and they will do it. And the leadership rotates around.
The first mention of a men’s group was in the November 1949 Diocesan News, most likely written by Robert Shannon. It records:
"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."The Hardwood Floor Club name didn’t seem to survive because the term "Men’s Club" appeared very quickly. The Vestry Meeting of February 1, 1951 records the Men’s Club with receipts of $185.29 and disbursements $170.05 leaving a balance on hand of $15.24. The Financial Statement notes the Men’s Club contributed $80 to the Church.
Robert Shannon in the May 1952 Newsletter notes:
"The Men’s Club will hold their monthly meeting at the home of Mr. Jack Reid, 979 Falaise Road on Wednesday evening, May 7. A good attendance is requested as one of the items of business is the arranging of the Annual Spring Fishing Trip."The term "The Men’s Fellowship" came into being in the late 50s. The following notice appears in a leaflet:
"This organization has its function to stimulate Church identity and to foster fellowship among the men of the Parish. We meet the first Wednesday of the month in the Parish Hall at 8:30 p.m. New members are always welcomed by the President, Mr. Joe Savill, PA2-5619. Plan now for your season's identity and contribution in this group, if you are a man."In January 1965, a Chapter of the Brotherhood of Anglican Churchmen was formed with George Wilcox as President.
In 1967 the men’s group was resurrected again under the name of the "Marksmen". Cliff Davis was the first chair, followed by Ray Kempster. Despite some excellent programs, only the Pancake Supper lasted.
The first Pancake Supper put on by the Marksmen was held in 1969. Aided by a group of men, Murray Cobb has been the organizer since day 1. St. Mark’s was a pioneer of pancake suppers put on by men, and has published a howto manual to help other churches. Murray’s recipe for the pancakes is in use in many churches in the area. Murray recalls that the women used to put on the pancake suppers in the lower hall, but it was very hard work with the facilities they had.
In 1993 Lorne Bowerman decided there was room for a corporate breakfast for the men. With the aid of Cliff Davis, Don Porter, Murray Cobb, and Tom Wilkinson, the breakfasts were started on October 17, 1993. They were scheduled four times a year in September, October, January, and March. Within a year however, the breakfasts were extended to all as it didn’t make sense to have the ladies excluded. Connie Bowerman, Jean Porter, Jean Cobb, and Gladys Scharfe became regular workers. A regular program of guest speakers and good food has been a feature of the Marksmen’s Breakfast. In 1997 Laurie Baker was honoured for his work in building the Church and Rectory. In 1999, Elsie Kempsey was honoured for her founding role in the Church.
Written by Lorne Bowerman.
Throughout the years there has always been a youth group although the names have changed from time to time. The group has never been large, like the Sunday School in the mid-60s.
A Junior AYPA (Anglican Young Peoples’ Association) was formed at the initial meeting of the Parish on June 21, 1949 with Joan Kempsey listed as the President. Shortly after, the AYPA was given its charter on November 28, 1950.
The AYPA at the time was very active at the diocesan, provincial, and national levels. Many of the leaders in the Church received their training in the AYPA. The motto of the AYPA was worship, work, fellowship, and edification. The AYPA organization did not survive the tremendous social changes of the 60s.
In 1964 the Vestry Report tells of the formation of of an another AYPA group with Lucy Foy as President and John Poser as the adult adviser.
However, with the AYPA no longer a force, there were still many youths interested in the Church and social life within the Church. Records are very scant during the period because very few reports were carried in the Vestry Report.
In 1968, the "Young Generation Youth Group" was formed with a program of helping and fellowship.
There was a write-up in the 1981 Vestry Report submitted by David Griffiths. It noted participating in the 24-Hour Dance-a-thon at St. John’s Elgin St to raise money for projects. They also sold Hasti-notes and had a car wash. The meetings were bi-monthly. Rob & Julie Beadle were the advisors for the Group.
Chris Kelly, the current President of the Youth Group, contributed the following summary of the group in 1999.
Everything starts out with an idea and from there it grows.
This is the best way to describe how the youth group became what we are.
Let me start off by telling you how we began.
Written by Lorne Bowerman and Chris Kelly.
72nd St. Mark’s Scout Group, Ottawa
The Scout movement started in the area with the formation of the 50th Scout Group in Carleton Heights School. It started as soon as there were young boys old enough to form a cub pack. With the numbers of boys in the area, it soon became apparent that the pack had to be split. George May was recruited by George Foy to lead the formation of a new pack with Cubs transferred from the 50th. There were four "Sixes" and three leaders, George, Bill Archambault, and Milfred Chapman. George recalls that he tried for the number "70" but it was gone so he was allocated "72." The charter date for the 72nd was 1957.
The colours in the 72nd Scout Troop kerchief were chosen from the veteran’s background who lived in the Carleton Heights area. The colours were RED for the Army, GREY for the Air Force, and BLUE for the Navy.
Among the earliest leaders of area scouting was Joe Savill, an association he retained as long as he was a member of St. Mark’s. Joe was honoured in 1997 by Scouts Canada for his contribution over the years.
It didn’t take long for the numbers to increase. A 1957 report stated that the Hall in the Church Basement was used every night of the week by Scouts, Guides, Brownies, or Cubs. The times were:
Monday - Scouts from 7 to 8:30
Tuesday - Guides from 7 to 8:30
Wednesday - Brownies from 6:30 to 8
Thursday - Cubs from 6:30 to 8
Friday - Cubs from 6:30 to 8
Bill Archambault took over the Cub pack after George May was transferred to Montreal in 1957. Bill was the Akela until 1963, when he was transferred to Smiths Falls.
The September 28, 1958 leaflet notes the following contacts: Ted Dale for the Scouts, Mrs. Lyle Gillespie for the Guides. The Akelas for the cub packs were Bill Archambault and Les Rule. The Brown Owls for the Brownies were Mrs. Earl Charlebois, Mrs. Joseph Burns, and Mrs. John Samson.
Long before recycling became a daily word, the Scouts were in the business under the leadership of Joe Savill. He was the pioneer of paper recycling in our area. A notice in the November 30, 1958 leaflet from the Group Committee thanks all the men who helped out in their recent very successful paper drive. And a word of thanks was given as well to those who saved the paper. They planned to conduct another paper drive in January.
The Scout Group Committee in 1958 was composed of 14 members with Joe Savill as Chairman and G.J. Groleau as Secretary-Treasurer. The scout leaders and cub leaders attended the majority of the meetings which were held monthly. The committee arranged a father and son banquet and two paper drives during the year. It also helped in procuring the service of leaders for other scout and cub groups.
The same Vestry Report for the year 1958 gave this brief report by Doug Baker:
"Twenty-five boys, grouped into four patrols, attend meetings
regularly. During '58 the boys showed a greater interest in hiking and
outdoor cooking. Some of the boys attended swimming at the Plant Bath
to achieve their swimming badge. Assistant Scouters: Mr. Dale, Mr. Fleck,
Mr. Howieson and Mr. Ellacott, none of whom have boys in the troop demonstrated
a real interest in Scouting and in the Church's youth programme. We offer
our thanks to Rev. Foy, the troop chaplain, for his keen interest and leadership.
The dues collected in 1958 totaled $60.50 and expenditures were $53.74."
72nd St Mark's Cubs and Scouts in 1962
The 1972 Vestry Report gave the number of Venturers as 5, Scouts as 17, and Cubs as 51. The leaders were Bruce Crowther, Joe Farley, Zem Colynuck, and Jim Gilmour. Brian Reid headed the Group Committee.
The 1986 Vestry Report noted proudly that St. Mark’s sponsored a Rover group for ages 18-26. The Rovers were open to young men and women. The Scout program at St. Mark’s covered ages then from 5 to 26.
The 1991 Vestry Report details the Group as: Beavers - 35; Cubs - 26; Scouts - 13; Venturers - 5 and Rovers - 2.
Baden-Powell Sunday in February has become an established part of the connection between the 72nd and St. Mark’s.
A dramatic change took place in 1994 with the introduction of co-ed Beavers. When the female Beavers were ready to move to the Cubs, some hard decisions were required. In a voting process that involved the members and their parents, the decision was made to make the 72nd co-ed.
In 1997, the 72nd had dropped particularly at the older youth end to 21 Beavers, 19 Cubs, 3 Scouts, and no Venturers or Rovers.
In March 1999, Joe Savill accompanied his wife Dorothy to a care facility in Mitchell ON, close to a daughter. Joe and the Scouts were synonymous at St. Mark’s. He was the hardest working and most faithful of the Scout leaders in the area. Joe’s major problem from the Wardens’ viewpoint was that he was a pack-rat. The Scouts were always looking for more space at the Church. The Wardens were always unwilling to yield up more just for what they considered to be junk. And so life went on.
The March 1999 Edition of the Hogs Back News gives a short description of the present program:
"Scouts Canada, First Canada Region - St. Mark’s Scouts.
Written by Lorne Bowerman, Don Wagman,
Sharon Walter and Michael Perkin.
The Girl Guides of Canada’s association with St. Mark’s began with the 18th Guide company in the late 1950s and continues to this day with the 60th Pathfinders.
A 1957 report states that the Church basement was used by the Guides on Tuesdays and the Brownies on Wednesdays. The September 28, 1958 leaflet cites Mrs. Lyle Gillespie as a contact for the Guides, while the Brown Owls for the Brownies were Mrs. Earl Charlebois, Mrs. Joseph Burns and Mrs. John Samson. The 1958 Vestry Report gives the following two reports:
"18th Girl Guide Company - Mrs. Peggy Gillespie, Captain. During
the year 1958 we had two enrollments of six Tenderfoot Guides, Madame
Commissioner being present for both these occasions. During the year the
Company held a variety of activities which included Company hikes, corn
roasts, a candy sale, and a Christmas party. Eighteen girls qualified
on the Preliminary St. John Course in First Aid, our own Mr. Elworthy being
the St. John trainer. During the year 13 Second Class badges, 7 Religion
and Life Emblems, 4 Skater’s Badges, 12 Hostess Badges, 12 Nurse Badges,
7 Cook Badges, ten first year Service Stars, seven second year Service
Stars and one third year Service Star were won and presented.
18th Girl Guides Company in 1962
Irene Pidgeon, who took over the 88th Brownie Pack from Mrs. Bird in 1965, was the leader until 1970. One of her humorous remembrances was of her girls collecting books for the newly opened Riverside Hospital. Invariably the books came to the curb in beer cartons, so she was left going up and down the street in full uniform with a stack of beer cartons. Another fond memory is that of the devotion and dedication of Rev. George Foy, always available to help and encourage the girls. She also remembers the girls selling fudge at St. Mark’s bazaar every year. In 1966, after construction of the Hall, the Guides donated a small table, inscribed "Presented by the 18th Guides and 88th Brownies," for the minister’s office.
In November 1966, the All Round Cord, the second highest award at the time for Guides, was presented to 60th Guide Susan Zoubie by her mother Pam, Captain of the 60th. Mrs. W. Gibbons was also enrolled as Lieutenant. The Fire Brigade and Laundress Badges and Little House Emblem were awarded to Susan Zoubie, and the Fire Brigade Badge to Pat Mortimer. The Gold Cord, the highest Guiding award, was presented to Jean Willis and Elaine Marier in 1960 and to Gail Gillespie in 1961.
Through the years, other badges were awarded to deserving girls: the 2nd Class Proficiency Badge to Lucy Foy, Elaine Marier and Jean Willis in March 1958 and to Diane Savill in 1962; the 1st Class Proficiency Badge to Lucy Foy in November 1960; the Religion and Life Emblem to Carolyn Sorfleet in 1961 and to Diane Savill the following year; and miscellaneous badges to Jean Willis, Gail Gillespie, Elaine Marier, and Frances Tripp.
By 1960, the 60th Guides Company was resident at St. Mark’s with Pam Zoubie serving as Captain until the early 1970s.
The 60th Guides returned to St. Mark’s in 1986 with Leslie Worden as Guider-in-Charge. During Leslie’s leadership, the Carleton Heights District Girl Guides held their annual spring bazaar in Bishop Reed Hall. The girls learned community service, a major element of the guiding movement, while serving tea, sandwiches and sweets in the tea room. The 60th Guides set up a Haunted House in the basement hallway at a couple of bazaars... "Awesome!" The girls served St. Mark’s and the surrounding area by helping to carry up items from the basement for the spring and fall rummage sales and by participating in neighbourhood litter chases.
One year the girls participated in the Great Storm Drain Fish Stencilling Project by painting yellow fishes on Carleton Heights’ storm drains to make people aware that what they put down the drain affects our wildlife. The Guides always remembered the Food Bank with donations at District events and assisted at the Garage Sale concession at the Community Centre.
1989 - Leslie Worden
welcoming a new guide
Besides community service, the girls had fun earning various badges such as the Keep Fit Badge, which Debbie Ford, a high school teacher and former parishioner, helped the girls earn in 1992. Some girls of our parish in the 60th Guides earned their All Round Cord, now the highest award for a Guide: Emily Worden in 1987, Sarah Sheehan and Stephanie Bowman in 1988, and Deirdre Sheehan in 1992.
The 60th Guides do not meet at St. Mark’s at present, but the 60th Pathfinders, led by Colette Gibney , Rosalie Awad and Julie Sinclair, meet every Thursday in the basement.
In addition to those mentioned in this brief history, other parishioners have served as leaders of the Guide Companies at St. Mark’s: Alice Mulligan, Nan Stonehouse, Mrs. R. Drinkwater, and Coralie Sheehan.
Written by Coralie Sheehan and Lorne Bowerman.
January 1 - December 31 1999
Departed Ministers Service - Jan.
24, 10 am
David Bolton Return - June 27, 8
& 10 am
St. Mark's Anglican Church, Ottawa
Reconstructed Parish List -1951
44 Joan Albert (Mrs Louis) 1044
Geoffrey & Mary Leech 210 Baseline
bold face part of the Parish in December
|ST. MARKS' VETERANS AND
Lillian Bowden - WAC S, in
nursing corps in United Kingdom.
Donald Samsom - Army, then RCAF,
bomber command, attached to 12th Squadron RAF, prisoner of war for
13 months in Stalaag 3,. 1940-45.
We also salute the many members of St. Mark's who served in the Armed Forces and who are now with the Lord.
These lists include all the veterans our memories allowed us to be aware of, and for those still with us, that could be contacted. We apologize to anyone we have excluded