Paddy’s Newsletter

February 2021, Vol. 36

A Word from the President

How can we forget Friday, March 13, 2020! St. Pat’s Society was halfway into our annual activities, preparing for our parade when schools were closed, followed by restaurants, bars, gyms and social gatherings. The virus took everyone by surprise and obliged us to abruptly end our March festivities. Again this year, we will not be able to host our traditional events due to health restrictions, but have no fear, the Irish have a plan!
This year we are asking people to help spread the Irish spirit with photos or videos whether they are memories from the past or new ones created at home, and send them to our Facebook page for all to see. I know everyone in Richmond (and vicinity) have a St. Patrick’s party kit, so pull out the festive hats, the pub T-shirts, the funky leprechaun socks and the green wigs! We want glitter, sparkles, lights and music, with dancing and parading. Together let’s keep the Irish festive spirit alive! The Irish Heritage Festival from March 13-20 will take place completely online. There’s something for everyone to enjoy.
A huge thank you to the Richmond Irish Heritage Festival committee for all the hard work and hours of zoom meetings in reinventing a festival that follows today’s health guidelines. Let’s hope we can return to more traditional St. Patrick’s celebrations next year; till then stay safe. Cheers!
Erika Lockwood

Richmond Irish Heritage Festival

The 2021 Festival will be seen through a Richmond Irish Heritage Festival channel at and will be accessible to everyone. All events are free. The Festival will run on March 13, March 17 and March 20.
Celebrating our Heritage with a virtual tour of local historical sites, story-telling and Celtic music by local musicians, will premiere at 7 PM on March 13.
The Kitchen Party “At Home” Concert brings the celebration to your kitchen, with songs, music, dance and the traditional toast to Ireland, Canada, Quebec and our community, starting at 7 PM on March 17.
Sharing our Heritage on March 20 includes a workshop on baking Irish soda bread, story-time for little ones, a telling of the story of Maggie Murphy and her life growing up in Richmond in the 1800s, and a presentation on a historical mural.
While we cannot gather on the streets for the annual St. Patrick's parade this year, we invite everyone to keep alive the tradition by creating parade contributions at home and sharing photos and videos by sending them to Together we can create a virtual parade that everyone can enjoy safely at home. See for more information in the coming days.
The Richmond Irish Heritage Festival is made possible with the support of the Government of Canada, Centre d’art de Richmond, and many more.

What Can We Do to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day This Year?

Call, write or e-mail family and friends, near and far, to invite them to enjoy the virtual Richmond Irish Heritage Festival, presented by the St. Patrick's Society of Richmond and Vicinity. Visit for more information.
Become a member of the St. Patrick's Society of Richmond & Vicinity to support the work of the Society –$10 for a single membership, and $20 for a family.
Wear face masks decorated with shamrocks – shamrocks are a sign of hope. Buy a unique Irish Covid 19 mask made by Missy Johnston from Jacabums at the Quincaillerie Richmond Hardware for $10 or from Missy, (819)826-6348 or through Jacabums facebook page. Missy is making a donation to the Society for each mask sold.

Celtic Cross Plaque

We are all aware that in June 2018, the 2 plaques, with the names of families and supporters of our Celtic cross, were taken from our Celtic cross monument. Since 2019 efforts have been made to replace the plaques. Thanks to Laurent Frey of Evoe, and Normand Pelletier of Usinatech Inc., we now have two new beautiful plaques, pro bono. Mr Frey undertook the setup and design of the engraving. Usinatech Inc. not only donated the material but also took charge of the entire process of surface preparation, engraving, and anodizing of the plaques. A huge thank you to Laurent Frey and Normand Pelletier! The next phase will be to fasten the plaques to the base so that they will be there for an eternity. Hopefully this should be completed at the beginning of this summer.

Richmond St. Patrick’s Society and RCHS Mural Project

We been working together on a project to have a mural created in downtown Richmond, on the wall of Quincaillerie Richmond Hardware. The goal of this project is to remind everyone who lives in the area that we all belong here, have a shared history in the area, and have all contributed to the area’s development, regardless of our ethnic roots. With this reminder of what we have achieved together is the promise of what we can continue to build together by working together to achieve common goals.
We are grateful to have received financial backing for this project from the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) and the Secretariat for English-speaking Quebecers as one of their Belonging and Identity projects, as well as the Municipality of the Canton de Melbourne, and Townshippers’ Foundation.
This is an ambitious project, the outcome of which will be ours to enjoy for many years. We would greatly appreciate any and all contributions to the project. Donations of $20 and more will receive a receipt for income tax purposes. Please send your donation to Richmond County Historical Society, attention Mural Project, 1161 Rte 243, Melbourne, QC, J0B 2B0. Contact either Julie O’Donnell at 819-826-2535 or Norma Husk at 819-826-2267 for further information.
Wishing you all well! Slàinte! Norma Husk

Awards & Achievements

In 2019 and 2020, Jim and his son Josh Johnston, owners of Teebrook Farm, won awards for milk quality, from the Quebec Federation of Milk Producers, and Agropur Club of Excellence. For Townships dairy farms, they came 1st out of 480, while on the provincial level, they placed 11th out of 4800.
Nick Fonda, a regular contributor to The Sherbrooke Record, with interesting and well written articles has written 5 books. The latest Murder on the Orford Mountain Railway is an historical "true crime" mystery novel.
Milestone birthdays were recently celebrated. On Jan. 14 Agnes Keenan celebrated her 95th and on Valentine’s Day, Shirley Smith welcomed her 90th!
Last December, Isabelle and Elliana Buckland (12 and 16 years old) redesigned and stained Christmas ornaments, which were sold and they donated $576 to the Richmond Christmas Basket Campaign. They are the daughters of Paul Buckland and Tracey Vidal, and granddaughters of Raymond and Marian Vidal, who are all so proud of them! They are to be commended for this fine care-giving gesture; an example for all of us!
Last June, Ryley Keenan was the recipient of the St. Patrick's Society scholarship awarded to a worthy RRHS student. He is studying psychology at Champlain College in Lennoxville with aspirations to apply to university in Education. Best wishes for the future!
At St. Frances Elementary School, Madison Enright, and Felicia Fredette were awarded the St. Patrick’s Society Award for academic achievement.
The Keenan clan has been well represented on the front lines of the COVID battle. Alanna was called out of retirement to help manage the screening stations at The Ottawa Hospital, Kira (Alanna's daughter) and Alexander (Patricia's son) both work in Emergency, in Vancouver and Toronto respectively. Leigh (Maureen's daughter) and Nicolas (Kathleen's son) are working in Screening/testing centers in Ottawa. And the good news is that no one has contracted the virus - hurrah for PPE!
Last March, Ann-Louise Carson retired from Holstein Canada and is enjoying a well-deserved retirement in her new home in Rock Forest.
If you notice the roads around Richmond this winter are not as well cleared, well that is due to George Lancaster’s retirement from the Dept. of Roads last December! Have a great retirement!
Congratulations to all!

New Residences

Last fall Jeannine Lancaster moved to the Residence Brunswick where her sister, Shirley Benoit resides. Many years ago when the Brunswick was a hotel, Jeanine and Hughie were both part-time workers in the lounge!
Recently Linda Quinn moved to the Wales Home Residence, where she lives in the room next to her Aunt Maureen. They are again neighbors, just like when their houses were next to one another!
Last June, Sister McKenna moved to Bonsecours Residence, Lady of Peace section, 5015 Notre Dame de Grace Ave., Montreal, Qc . (514) 485-1461. She is well, and happy to get news from Richmond. She and Sister Belair were a big part of the every day life in the community. Best wishes and continued good health, Sister McKenna.

In Our Thoughts

Margaret Helen (Adams) Coote passed away on Sunday, January 24, 2021 in Lombard, ON. She had a large family; 3 children, 9 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. Her daughter Grace married James Johnston and her sister was the late Ruth Adams Mountain.
Sister Violet Belair passed away on December 27, 2020. She was in the CND’s Infirmary at the Bonsecour Residence in Montreal. Sister Belair made many contributions to the community for over 50 years as a teacher, musician and a kind, generous person.
Robert Pariseau passed away on December 29, 2020.
Royce Griffith passed away on June 12, 2020.
Elsie Kerr (Vickers) passed away on May 1, 2020.
Our condolences go out to the families and loved ones.

Family Happenings

On July 11, 2020 Marc-Alexandre Fonda and Amanda Boerson were married with a drive-by wedding in the farm’s back field! It was an unforgettable and very happy day. Amanda and Marc have purchased a new home in Melbourne, and are expecting a new addition in August. Best wishes and congratulations!
Last September, Colleen and Philip Boerson became first time grandparents, when Andrew and Kierstten welcomed Jack, their precious baby boy into their home.
Norma Morin is getting the hang of her new I-Pad. She now can keep a closer eye on the goings-on of her families, and in touch with friends. She was very happy to attend Amanda and Marc’s wedding. There was more joy, when she became a great-grandmother in September.
In early March, Charlotte and Peter Griffith will welcome two new granddaughters to the family. Amber Griffith and Eamonn Waters of Calgary are expecting a baby girl, as are Erin Griffith and Matthew Toth of Montreal. Elizabeth, Liam and Olivia, the children of Kyle Griffith and Marie-Pierre Begin of Sherbrooke are ectastic to have 2 new girl cousins!
Loretta and Gordon Irwin welcomed 2 more great-grandchildren this past year. Lindsay’s son, Marshall and Pamela Paquette were pleased with the arrival of Jake in May. Krista’s son, Mike Roberge and Catherine Blanchette, and big sister Melodie welcomed Penelope to their home. Lindsay’s daughter Amanda graduated from the RCMP last February and is stationed in Happy Valley, NL for 4 years She and her partner, Jeremy Guerin are engaged to be married in the near future after COVID times.
Ron and Bev Jones celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on January 14th. Their families have recently increased with 2 new great-grandsons. The proud parents are Sarah Jones and Brian Smith, and Nadia Boissonneau and Colton Cleary. Ron and Bev certainly have a large expanded family, with 12 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren; makes for a hectic Christmas dinner! The Jones family often do walks together so 13 of them did the Terry Fox Walk.
Agnes Keenan’s newest great granddaughter, her sixth, Hanna Rose, was born last September to Katriana Keenan-Pelletier and Jamie Trepanier. She is a sister to Nora and Patrick.
Layla Linda Cait arrived in the world on October 27, 2020 in Toronto. She is the daughter of Megan McDevitt of Richmond and Jacob Cait of Toronto. Norma Husk is a very delighted Grandma!
Ryan Murphy and Caroline are expecting a baby this July. This will be their third; a sibling for Anna and Lily.
Congratulations, good health and best wishes are sent out to all!

Community News

The Richmond 4-H

The Richmond 4-H club is keeping busy online! The executive has been challenging their members to online activities and competitions since last March. Members have been looking for the 4-H logo in photo scavenger hunts, celebrating the annual Ice Cream Social by posting photos of their families enjoying strawberries and ice-cream and making posters for Remembrance Day. December was a busy month as members were asked to build a snow animal which reflected their 4-H project, dress up in their Christmas Spirit clothing, and make Christmas cards to be distributed to the residents at the Wales Home. The club also donated funds towards the Christmas Basket campaign.

Richmond County Historical Society News

Covid has not slowed down the work of the RCHS! We are currently working on the Mural Project; a student is continuing the documentation of Covid in the region; another student and volunteer are working to get our archives reclassified, safely stored, and digitalized; we are working with the Centre d’Art and the Centre d’interpretation d’ardoise trying to find a permanent home for the Antonio Montour painting that once hung in the hall above the old Town Hall at the corner of Craig and College Streets; and working closely with St. Pat’s Society in putting together the Irish Heritage Festival.
Though the museum has remained closed since the beginning of the pandemic, we are looking forward to seeing you all before too long! Memberships (still $20/year) can now also be paid via e-transfer, with your email sent to using membership as your response. As always, donations of $20 or more are eligible for an income tax receipt; be sure to include your contact information in the message section.
Nick Fonda’s latest book and first novel Murder on the Orford Mountain Railway is available through the RCHS. Ordering through us supports RCHS; the book sells for $26.26 (add $8.00 if shipping is required). Support the RCHS and have a great read!

St. Francis School

During these COVID times, the teachers and students are coping well with classes in the school. In January the school had a Winter Carnival day in which all classes took part. We had Hooked on School Week in February as does RRHS. Many activities designed to keep kids in school and engaged in their learning were carried out. February 19th was St. Francis Literacy Day, filled with fun reading activities to encourage reading and literacy.

Ste. Bibiane Parish

As you can imagine, COVID19 has adversely affected our parish, with the cancellation of Sunday masses, the lost spiritual support, and loss of income. Fortunately, Les Trésors du Partage has re-opened and from the sale of used clothing and other items, much needed revenues are raised. The store is open on Tues. from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Wed. from 9:00 AM to noon. You are encouraged to support the parish, by mailing your contributions to the parish office: 970 rue Principale N. Richmond, QC, J0B 2H0. The office has moved to the back of the sacristy. For any parish information, please leave a message at 819-826-2390.

Terry Fox

Last September’s Terry Fox Walk was another victim of COVID 19 and was cancelled for the first time in 36 years! However, in the Richmond area, Terry’s spirit was alive and well; numerous people did their own walk. The sale of T-shirts and donations continued to be strong locally. Pat Henderson certainly has motivated citizens in keeping up support of the Terry Fox Foundation.

Cans and Bottles Fundraising

Nancy Davey has volunteered to help Joe Kelly in raising funds for various local organizations. Last year over $1000 was raised for the Richmond Boy Scouts, Terry Fox Foundation, and Les Tabliers en Folie (Christmas Baskets). Currently, she is collecting returnable bottles and cans for Les Tabliers en Folie where needs are not only at Christmas. $352 was recently donated to them. Empties can be dropped off at Nancy’s place, 588 Gouin St. Richmond or call her at 819-826-2930 to make arrangements. Nancy thanks everyone for their support. Commendable job, Nancy!

Top of the Mornin’ to ya’ from the Wales Home

Everyone at the Wales Home has remained healthy and safe. Employees and residents have received their vaccinations and hopefully this means that all are on a journey to a more enjoyable destination. A number of safety measures have been put in place in order to ensure the health and well-being of not only residents, but employees. Activities, exercise and cognitive stimulation continue to be offered in alternate ways as we know this is essential to resident’s health. At the present time it is difficult to determine what activities will be taking place for St. Patrick’s Celebrations at the Wales Home. Recently an online Knitter’s Sale raised over $800 with the proceeds going toward the purchase of an adapted swing for the outside garden. Thank you to all who supported this sale. Everyone at the Wales Home is sending warm thoughts to this wonderful community.

Opportunities to Contribute and Support the Community

Become a member of the St. Patrick’s Society/Renew your membership.
Support the work of the Society as a Patron.
Donate to support the Irish Heritage Festival or sponsor an event.
Spread the word to your family, friends, and neighbors.
Join the planning committee for next year’s Festival!
You could pick up the torch from Joe Kelly, and carry on the Paddy’s Newsletter as a source of information for our Community!


Thanks to all those who have helped make the Irish Heritage Festival possible! It could not be done without dedicated volunteers and the support of our partners and sponsors. In particular, we acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada and local sponsors. Also, thanks to all who have contributed information, and time towards this newsletter.


Join the St. Patrick’s Society and help to honour and celebrate the rich heritage our ancestors have given us. Membership rates are the best deal in town; $10 for an annual single membership! Family memberships for parents and their children living at home are only $20. Memberships also make great birthday presents for your children and grandchildren!
New last year, is a $50 Patron membership if you wish to provide more generous support for the work done by the Society. If you wish, your contribution as a Patron will be recognized on the St. Patrick’s Society website, in your name, or in the name of someone you wish to honour.
If you wish to receive a tax receipt for your contribution to the St. Patrick’s Society, you may make your donation of $20 or more to the Townshippers Research & Cultural Foundation (TRCF), indicating on the memo line that it is for the Richmond St. Patrick’s Society. The Foundation will forward the money to the St. Patrick’s Society and send a tax receipt. You can make an online donation through Canada Helps; the link is on the TRCF website at
Memberships may be purchased by sending in the form on the next page with payment to: Richmond St. Patrick’s Society, 220 Principale N., Richmond, Qc Canada J0B 2H0, online at, or by contacting a member of the St. Pat’s society executive. Please advise of changes in your contact information, especially your email address. Thanks for your continued support.