Wednesday, July 18, 2012


En route to a second family reunion, that of the “Langlois” clan, Christine’s family, we took time to stop in Smiths Falls. Our son Jeff was born in this town’s St. Joseph’s Hospital in 1970. 

Gina meeting Martin & Jennifer for the 1st time
Driving along Hwy #15 I was not prepared for my own emotional feelings in coming back into this area. The sunny skies enhanced the visual delight of travelling on old highway #15 to Smiths Falls. Christine and I lived in Smiths Falls from 1969 – 1974 when I pastored Calvary Bible Church. So many landmarks, names of towns and roads and so many buildings, houses and farms evoked the memories of our trips up and down this highway to go to and from Toronto or St. Catharines for business functions or family gatherings. 

Robert, Jeff and Cathy
Before arriving at Smiths Falls we took a chance that we might find the cottage where our dear friends, Ken and Frances Maley once lived. We and our children had spent many happy summers with them. They were known to our children and numerous others in town as Uncle Ken and Aunt Frances. We knew that Frances passed away a couple of years ago. Upon locating the cottage, a neighbour lady saw us and she had known the Maleys very well. Her mother was sitting on a dockside deck and she was happy to speak about the past, friends we had in common, and current news. It was a lovely serendipity.

Cathy, Richard & son Arthur & Patty 
We booked into our registered rooms at the Best Western and then drove to the church I once pastored. Cars outside indicated someone was inside even on a Saturday. We gained the attention of Georgina MacIntosh who remembered us from those distant years. She was in her late teens when we were working in that church 40 years ago. She spent time with us rehearsing names and histories of many people we had known. We toured the sanctuary and the rooms downstairs and made the acquaintance of a few people whom we met for the first time. We dropped by our old home at 46 Daniel, looking no better than it had four decades earlier. We popped into Lockwood Electronics looking for Dave Ryan, proprieter, son of Al Ryan the original owner Al Ryan but he was not in on Saturday. Al and Marg Ryan were good friends to us. Marge passed away a couple of years ago. We were told Al and his new bride were on an Alaskan cruise.

The town of 9000 residents doesn’t have a particularly attractive main street and sections of the town look very poor and worn out, but the town still has a character due to some stately stone and brick buildings and largely due to the Rideau river and the Rideau canal that identify it with history and current convenience for pleasure craft that ply the waters between Ottawa and Kingston and other places along the way. They move leisurely through hand-cranked locks.  We noticed that many businesses and landmarks were gone and new businesses and housing had been constructed.

Christine with neices Jennifer and Tara
Jeff and Gina and their children Kale and Kadence arrived a few hours later, joined us for a swim and later for a dinner at Gerbos Greek Restaurant.

O Sunday we drove in tandem to the reunion of the Langlois Family, meeting Christine’s two brothers Robert and David and their wives Gloria and Patty and their children and grandchildren. This was a hot but pleasant time shaped by the discomfiture of updating personal news with people we have not see for 5, 10, 15, 20 years. It was nonetheless a worthwhile idea.

We all went our own ways at the supper hour, with us driving back to Smiths Falls and Jeff and Gina and the children visiting the Parliament buildings and then hurrying back to us for a late night swim on a very warm evening.

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