New Year’s Day Levée

levee

On New Year’s Day my husband and I attended the Lieutenant Governor’s New Year Levée, held at the Manitoba Legislative Building. I knew it was an annual event, one of those things I told myself that we should attend…someday.  Since 2017 is a special year, the celebration of 150 years since Confederation, I decided that this would be the year.

According to news reports, about 1300 people attended this year’s celebration, and judging by the number of cars parked in the area, that seems about right.

I stood in line to shake Lieutenant Governor Janice Filmon’s hand, as well as other dignitaries. Fruitcake, cookies and punch were served.  Musical entertainment was provided. I came away with a Canada 150 flag and pin, as pictured above.

A levée is a reception held “to mark the advent of another year and to provide an opportunity for the public to pay their respects.” You can read more about the levée here.

The tradition of a New Year Levée has a long history in Canada. The first recorded one was hosted in 1646 by the Governor of New France, Charles Huault de Montmagny, in the Château St. Louis in Quebec City.

chateau_saint-louis

Château St. Louis From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

 

We have many ancestors that were in the Quebec City area in 1646 and may have attended the Levée.  There is no way to know for sure, but perhaps these ancestors  paid their respects to the Governor: Abraham Martin, Olivier le Tardif, Jean Guyon , Zacharie Cloutier, Robert Drouin. You’ll notice that these are all men, as women were not ALLOWED to attend until World War II, when female members of the Armed Forces were permitted to join the event!

On the wonderful website Manitobia, I found a description of the Manitoba Levée of 1873.

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Again, we can’t know if any of our ancestors and relations were in attendance.  However, the Mr. Beauchemin, MPP (Member of the Provincial Parliament) who is mentioned, would have been Andre Beauchemin, uncle of Jean Baptiste Beauchemin who was married to my great-grandmother Philomene McMillan’s sister Marguerite.

During the time of the fur trade, a New Year’s celebration was the custom at the various forts. These seem to have been less subdued occasions. In the book Making the Voyageur World: Travelers and Traders in the North American Fur Trade by Carolyn Podruchny, excerpts of which are available on Google Books here, we learn:

“Feasting, drinking, and levees, or paying courtesy calls on masters (particularly on New Year’s Day), were characteristic of celebrations in fur trade society.”

Undoubtedly James McMillan, John Warren Dease and Amable Hogue would have partaken in these festivities.

I seem to remember my Mother mentioning that in La Salle, it was the custom for families to visit the grandfathers on New Year’s Day.

I enjoyed attending the Lieutenant Governor’s New Year Levée of 2017, and it resulted in a brief moment of “fame”.  That evening on Global News as we watched their coverage of the event, my husband and I walked into the frame!

 

A childhood Christmas memory

My Dad was a talented home handyman.  When I was a teenager he made me a gigantic desk which I still used until a few years ago when it was damaged by some basement flooding.  I have in my “office” a fifties style bookcase (probably from a Popular Mechanics plan)  that’s crammed with genealogy and history books.  Someone else in the family has the matching desk.

But the item I remember most is the wooden giraffe he made me for the Christmas I was 4 years old.  I remember that for several weeks before Christmas, I was told NOT to venture into the basement of our house at 411 Marjorie.  Being a perfect, obedient child I did as I was told!

On Christmas Day, beside the tree (it was too big to go beneath) was a wooden giraffe that you could sit on, with a chalkboard in front. It was blue with orange spots. I was delighted, the way only a 4 year old can be.

I don’t have a picture of it, but I found this picture which is very similar.  Perhaps adding the chalkboard was Dad’s own idea.

giraffe

When I outgrew the giraffe it was passed over to some cousins.

Merry Christmas to all relatives, friends and readers who take the time to read my musings.

 

My sister Lorraine, part 2

Previously, I blogged about my sister Lorraine who died at the age of 5 months.  Her death registration erroneously listed her age as 5 years instead of 5 months.  I was able to have Manitoba Vital Statistics correct that information, and I now have both a birth certificate and accurate death certificate for her.

Birth certificate for Lorraine Hogue

Birth certificate for Lorraine Hogue

Death certificate for Lorraine Hogue

Death certificate for Lorraine Hogue

As was the custom of the time, my sister was buried in an unmarked grave in La Salle Cemetery.  My brothers and I had a grave marker made and installed this summer.  Lorraine’s marker is between that of her great-grandparents Thomas Hogue and Philomene Mcmillan, and that of her great-uncle Louis Hogue.

Lorraine Hogue's grave in La Salle Cemetery

Lorraine Hogue’s grave in La Salle Cemetery

Mother’s Day

This blog is about my Dad’s family, but since it’s Mother’s Day, I wanted to post some beautiful pictures of my Mom, Madeleine Hogue, nee Vaillancourt.

The first is of Mom and my three brothers, Don, Moe, and Len.

Madeleine with boys

I think it was taken around 1947 on Parkview Street in Winnipeg.

The second picture is the earliest picture of me and Mom, in 1948.

Jackie and Mom (2)_edited-1

8 1/2 years since Mom died, and I still miss her every day.