“Loyalist Trails” 2020-28: July 12, 2020

In this issue:
The View from Here: Zoe Louise Jackson, MA Student, UNB Fredericton
2020 Scholarship Challenge Update: Week 7 – We Did It!
A Reality Check for Loyalist Stereotypes, by Stephen Davidson
Webinar on Demand: 1774, The Long Year of Revolution
Unclaimed Runaways and the Power Struggles of Colonial Haiti
JAR: The Fall of Fort Washington: The “Bunker Hill Effect”?
JAR: L’Expédition Particulière crosses the Atlantic: The French Rally to the American Cause
JAR: Did Yellow Fever Save the United States?
Newmarket men stepped up to bravely fight in War of 1812
Hamilton, Ontario
All Things Georgian: 18th Century Stomachers
Where in the World?
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Last Post
      + Wilbert (Bill) Heather
      + Kenneth Gordon Runions, UE


The View from Here: Zoe Louise Jackson, MA Student, UNB Fredericton

It is an unquestionable privilege to be able to attend university. Pursuing higher education is an opportunity to access information that is otherwise difficult to find and to grow from the knowledge you have learned – to be, not only a more enlightened academic, but also an informed citizen, a conscientious friend, and a better human being. However, the financial commitment to a post-graduate education can be daunting.

With the UELAC scholarship, you have allowed me to pursue my post-graduate education in history starting in September 2020: a subject I am deeply passionate about. My Master’s thesis will examine Black migration in the British Atlantic World in the late eighteenth century (1783-1800). My research will encompass the forced trans-Atlantic migrations of enslaved people from the Caribbean to the American colonies and the Loyalist Exodus to Atlantic Canada in 1783, focusing on the lived experience of Black Loyalists in colonial Maritime society and their later migration to Sierra Leone in 1792. My thesis will examine colonial legislation and runaway advertisements in the Caribbean and Maritime colonies to further explore the transoceanic colonial connections between these two British territories.

Thank you so much for your kind and generous contribution towards my studies – you have made my aspiration of becoming a historian attainable by lessening the financial burden of post-graduate education. It is scholarships like the UELAC that allow students to become the best they can be by giving them the financial liberty to focus on their research and produce an outstanding thesis or dissertation.

It is truly appreciated and will always be remembered.

…Zoe Louise Jackson, 2020 Loyalist Scholarship recipient

2020 Scholarship Challenge Update: Week 7 – We Did It!

“Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.” – Minor Myers, Jr., late President Illinois Wesleyan University.

We did it! Donations received to date total $8,353.00. This week we added Grand River to our list of shining examples. Please join me in a 20/20 ‘Standing O’ one more time for these outstanding branches – Assiniboine Branch, Colonel John Butler (Niagara) Branch, Governor Simcoe Branch, Grand River Branch, Kawartha Branch, and Vancouver Branch. And to every single person who donated to this year’s challenge – You did good.

The annual Scholarship Challenge was introduced in 2016. Five years later, the Challenge has accumulated donations of $43,522.00. Pretty amazing. The program is thriving, thanks to you.

Don’t stop! We welcome donations throughout the year. Please follow the links for information on the 20/20 Challenge, the scholarship program, and how to give.

In a difficult year you have certainly risen to the challenge. Until next time, in the words of Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC Provincial Health Officer, “Be Kind. Be Calm. Be Safe.”

…Bonnie Schepers, UE, UELAC Scholarship Chair

A Reality Check for Loyalist Stereotypes

© Stephen Davidson, UE

History has very few sketches from the American Revolution to give posterity a sense of the appearance of a typical Loyalist refugee. Unfortunately, artists during the Victorian era filled this lack of accurate images with misleading paintings that perpetuated myths rather than representing historical truth. Unfortunately, many people actually accept these paintings as authentic representations, believing that the Loyalists disembarked from their evacuation vessels looking like aristocrats in powdered wigs and ballroom gowns.

Besides being a complete misrepresentation, these images have given many people the impression that Loyalists were on a par with the pampered émigrés of the French Revolution. However, the vast majority of Loyalists were from the middle and working classes of colonial America. Their sea voyages were akin to those of the boat people following the war in Viet Nam or to those of 21st century Syrian refugees fleeing a divided country.

So how would a Loyalist refugee actually appear as he or she disembarked from an evacuation vessel following a two-week voyage to sanctuary? Thankfully, the Rev. Jacob Bailey has left posterity a vivid description to answer that question.

On June 21, 1779, the Anglican minister’s family arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Before leaving the ship, he stood on its quarterdeck and addressed the curious crowd that had gathered on the wharf where his vessel had tied up.

“Gentlemen, we are a company of fugitives from Kennebec in New England, driven by famine and persecution to take refuge among you, and therefore I must entreat your candor and compassion to excuse the meanness and singularity of our dress.”

The Baileys and their company were terribly embarrassed by their appearance. Despite the fact that he was a clergyman, this New Englander had a very worldly preoccupation with staying in fashion. Fortunately, he also had enough of a sense of humor to appreciate how wretched he and his fellow refugees appeared and left a lengthy description in his journal. His account gives us the reality check we need to correct some false stereotypes of the Loyalist refugees.

The first person that Bailey described was Captain Smith, the man who had piloted their evacuation ship to Halifax. As he disembarked, Smith wore a long, badly beaten, threadbare coat – much like the rest of his clothing which, according to Bailey, “displayed the venerable signatures of antiquity, both in the form and materials. His hat carried a long peak before, exactly perpendicular to the longitude of his aquiline nose.”

Bailey wore scuffed shoes over “a thick pair of blue woolen stockings, which had been so often mended and darned by the fingers of frugality, that scarce an atom of the original remained.” His breeches, which hardly “concealed the shame of {his} nakedness, had formerly been black, but the colour being worn out by age, nothing remained but a rusty grey, bespattered with lint and bedaubed with pitch.”

Bailey’s shirt – made in New England – was a blend of coarse flax and linen. Over this, he wore both a waistcoat and a coat that should have been reddish-brown, but had more of a grey tint to them. To hide “the innumerable rents, holes, and deformities, which time and misfortunes had wrought in these ragged and weather-beaten garments”, Bailey wore a blue overcoat (or frock coat) which had threadbare elbows and worn buttonholes. It was “stained with a variety of tints, so that it might truly be styled a coat of many colours”. The waist of the frock coat descended below his knees, and its skirts dangled around his heels.

Men of every station in life wore wigs during the colonial era – even refugees. When he came ashore from his evacuation ship, Bailey’s own hair was hidden beneath a “jaundiced coloured wig devoid of curls”. Much of the wig was hidden beneath a rusty coloured beaver hat whose brim was “replete with notches and furrows”. The “alternate afflictions of storm and sunshine” had made the brim go limp so that it hung over Bailey’s shoulders, hiding a face that was “meager with famine and wrinkled with solicitude”.

This was especially hard for the Anglican minister as it was a point of pride that in normal circumstances he would “never appear without shaving and clean linen”. Even when he was teaching his congregation’s children, he “never omitted to wear {his clerical} habit”. He once wrote, “Every one of our acquaintance will acknowledge that in dress and hospitality we exceed our circumstances. Our niece and children make as good an appearance as any of their age, and my wife would be offended if represented deficient in point of neatness and elegance.”

As she trudged through Halifax in June of 1779, Mrs. Bailey was anything but elegant. She was wearing a ragged nightgown made of baize – a coarse, felt-like woolen material. This she tied around her waist using a woolen string as a belt.

Bailey’s niece wore the “tattered remains” of a dress made of a fabric called “linsey-woolsey”. This coarse material had a linen or cotton warp and a woolen weft. Both niece and aunt wore black, moth-eaten bonnets and had petticoats that were “jagged at the bottom, distinguished by a multitude of fissures, and curiously drabbled in the mud”.

The New England refugees’ embarrassment only increased as they walked through Halifax on that Monday. Bailey later remembered that their appearance was “singularly contrasted by the elegant dresses of the gentlemen and ladies” whom they met as they trudged through their city of sanctuary.

As Bailey’s journal explains, there were good reasons for his family’s “meanness and singularity of…dress”. They had left Pownalborough (modern day Dresden Maine) with only the clothes on their backs, their two feather beds, one quilt, one old rug, a single sheet and “the shattered remains of our fortune, the whole not worth forty dollars”.

Friends had given them “some articles of provision” for their voyage to Halifax, including a pot of butter and a salmon. The latter were truly sacrificial gifts as the people along the Kennebec River had been experiencing a famine at the time of the Bailey family’s banishment. Bread, potatoes, vegetables, milk, meat, tea, sugar and molasses were not to be found. People had to be content with “but a little coffee”, clams and boiled alewives (a type of herring).

The loyalist family’s only reading material for their two-week trip were farewell letters from friends. More dangerous than these letters were a number of papers Bailey was carrying that he felt “would have been reckoned highly treasonable against the States” if they fell into the wrong hands. These papers contained the names of more than 120 known Loyalists along the Kennebec River.

The Baileys’ evacuation vessel was a fifteen-ton schooner. It seems to have lacked any cabin space as the family had to sleep below deck in the ship’s hold. They laid out their feather beds, rug and quilt on stones that had been placed in the hold to serve as ballast. Adding to the miserable sleeping conditions was the fact that during rainstorms, water poured through the leaky deck and fell on the family “in streams”. It’s little wonder, then, that the Baileys’ appearance attracted the attention of Haligonians.

Unlike many Loyalist refugees who arrived in Nova Scotia, the Bailey family had good friends waiting for them in Halifax. They would not be complete strangers in a strange land.

Over the next few weeks, Loyalist Trails will feature a series of articles on Jacob and Sarah Baileys’ friendship with Charles and Rebecca Callahan, a bond that helped both couples weather the traumatic events of the American Revolution.

To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.

Webinar on Demand: 1774, The Long Year of Revolution

Mary Beth Norton previews her new book, a narrative history of the “long year” of 1774, or the months from December 1773 to April 1775, which have tended to be overlooked by historians who focus instead on the war for independence. But John Adams, who lived through that era, declared that the true revolution took place in the minds of the people before a shot was fired at Lexington. The year 1774, Norton argues, was when that revolution occurred. The particular thread in this discussion is tea. How many misconceptions do you have?

Listen to the recording; the webinar, hosted by The Massachusetts Historical Society was held on 24 June 2020.

Editorial Review: “Norton does not fundamentally challenge the traditional trajectory of events in that decisive year. What she does do is enrich the narrative, filling in the story with a staggering amount of detail based on prodigious research in an enormous number of archives. . . . She wants to re-create as much as possible the past reality of this momentous year in all of its particularity. Only then, she suggests, will we come to appreciate the complexity of what happened and to understand all of the conflicts, divisions, and confusion that lay behind events, like the Tea Party, that historians highlight and simplify. . . . She seems to have read every newspaper in the period, and she delights in describing the give and take of debates between patriots and loyalists that took place in the press.” – Gordon S. Wood, Wall Street Journal

Unclaimed Runaways and the Power Struggles of Colonial Haiti

In November 1767, King Louis XV issued a comprehensive set of regulations for nègres épaves in colonial Haiti. Article III of the king’s ordinance required publication of lists of the nègres épaves in the Affiches Américaines before their sale.[1] Despite the inconsistency of the information in the advertisements in the Affiches, it is possible to learn significant details about who the unclaimed runaways were. They were young and old, creole or from scattered parts of West and Central Africa and bore marks of their origins and their enslavement. Colonial authorities and colonists who dehumanized them carried out this process of detaining, advertising, and selling these runaways. A careful review of newspaper records, though, reveals other aspects of the humanity of these men, women, and children who attempted to self-liberate in colonial Haiti in the period between the end of the Seven Years’ War in 1763 and the outbreak of the Haitian Revolution in 1791. I provide a small sampling of the contents of the Affiches in this post.

During the first five years after the king’s ordinance, the Affiches Américaines advertised 372 nègres épaves between ages 4 and 66.

Read more.

JAR: The Fall of Fort Washington: The “Bunker Hill Effect”?

by Derrick E. Lapp 7 July 2020

It was the one of the worst defeats suffered by the Americans during the War for Independence, certainly the worst over which George Washington had direct command. Historian David McCullough perhaps characterized the debacle best, writing that after experiencing “one humiliating, costly reverse after another,” during the New York campaign of 1776, “the surrender of Fort Washington on Saturday, November 16, was the most devastating blow of all, an utter catastrophe.” And blame for this catastrophe, with out a doubt, ultimately rested with the American commander-in-chief.

Why Washington made such a drastic error has been the subject of debate and conjecture almost since the moment of Fort Washington’s capitulation. Joseph Reed, a colonel and the Continental army’s adjutant general at the time, vented his frustration and disillusionment with Washington in a letter to Maj. Gen. Charles Lee shortly after the fort fell. “Oh! General,” Reed wrote Lee, “an indecisive mind is one of the greatest misfortunes that can befall and army: how often have I lamented it this campaign.” Lee, for his part, chastised Washington directly: “Oh General, why would you be over-perswaded by Men of inferior judgement to your own?” And privately, referring to the surrender as “the ingenious maneuver of Fort Washington,” Lee expressed his disgust to his peer, Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates. “There never was so damned a stroke. Entre Nous, a certain great man is damnably deficient”

On a certain level, Lee had a point. Fort Washington, although seemingly formidable, was hardly impregnable. In fact, it was barely habitable. Alexander Graydon, a captain in the 3rd Pennsylvania Battalion who was captured after the fort fell, notes in his memoirs that the site had “no barracks, or casemates, or fuel, or water within the body of the place.” And although positioned at a strategic point on cliffs about 200 feet high overlooking the Hudson River, it was essentially “an open, earthen construction” intended, along with its counterpart, Fort Constitution (later Fort Lee) to anchor a series of obstructions whose purpose was to deny the British navy free navigation of the river. That purpose failed on November 7, 1776, when three British ships passed beyond the obstructions, proving their “inefficacy.” Graydon’s conclusion about Fort Washington summed the situation in a dismal light. There was nothing “so far as I can judge,” he wrote, that “could entitle it to the name of a fortress, in any degree capable of sustaining a siege.”

Read more.

JAR: L’Expédition Particulière crosses the Atlantic: The French Rally to the American Cause

by Kim Burdick 9 July 2020

Following American success at Saratoga in the autumn of 1777, French King Louis XVI signed the Treaty of Amity and Friendship, establishing open French assistance to the American cause. In May 1780 nearly 6,000 soldiers and sailors left the Port of Brest in northwest France and sailed across the Atlantic, arriving in Rhode Island in July. Code-named l’Expédition Particulière, these adventurers were invaluable in securing America’s independence from Britain. The following eye-witness accounts make their voyage come alive.

French General Rochambeau, the leader of l’Expédition Particulière, found fewer ships than he expected at the Port of Brest. 7,600 soldiers were ready to travel, but there was space for only 5,500. “These poor young men,” exclaimed Rochambeau, “are very much interested. They are in despair. Chevalier Ternay literally does not know where to put them.”

Rochambeau told the French Minister of War, “I have to part company with two battle horses that I can never replace. I do so with the greatest sorrow, but I do not want to have to reproach myself with their having taken up the room of twenty men who could have embarked in their stead.”

All horses, several regiments, and one-third of Légion de Lauzun’s fusilier companies were left behind. Rochambeau’s aide-de-camp, Hans Axel von Ferson, grumbled this was due “to the negligence and incompetency which attend everything in this country.”

Read more.

JAR: Did Yellow Fever Save the United States?

by Geoff Smock 9 July 2020

To Thomas Jefferson, great plagues were within the genus of republican antibodies. Like the occasional popular insurrection that warned rulers “the spirit of resistance” still existed, a few hundred deaths or so before the pathogenic scythe of a virus discouraged “the growth of great cities in our nation, & I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health and the liberties of man.”

In the course of their late-life rapprochement, John Adams would gently chide Jefferson for his blasé outlook towards death and disruption. To him, only those who had read of these types of events from afar could serenely accept, let alone praise them. Jefferson, he admonished, had “never felt the Terrorism” of Shays’ Rebellion, or the Whiskey Rebellion, or, more importantly, the furor stirred up by French Ambassador “Citizen Genet” in 1793, “when ten thousand People in the Streets of Philadelphia, day after day, threatened to drag Washington out of his House, and effect a Revolution in favor of the French Revolution, and against England.”

Barely into Washington’s second term, Edmond-Charles Genet’s brief foray as French ambassador would rock the United States to its political core.

Read more.

Newmarket men stepped up to bravely fight in War of 1812

In this week’s Remember This, Newmarket Ontario’s History Hound, Richard MacLeod, highlights how local figures were involved in the war between Great Britain and the United States.

We step back in time to the period around the War of 1812 in this first of a two-part series. I hope to convey a sense of local life, observe how the war affected the fledgling hamlet of Newmarket and examine its lasting impact here. Along the way, we will meet a few individuals who became known for their contributions during the period.

By 1812, it was clear to everyone that the U.S. was threatening to declare war against Great Britain with the Canadian colonies destined to be the battleground. Domestic questions were set aside, and local defence was declared the priority.

The government was anxious concerning a potential lack of interest among the diverse local population for a war with the U.S. Many settlers in Oak Ridges and Aurora were French, in Markham, a large German contingent, and a generous collection of other nationalities around Newmarket.

Many settlers were still Americans, having come north for business reasons, and of course, the Quakers, who had declared their loyalty but were refusing to bear arms. In Newmarket and area, there were many descendants of United Empire Loyalists who still recalled tales of suffering during the time of the American Revolution and still unfulfilled promises of restitution.

The common belief locally was that the perceived causes for this war were not the actual ones. Governor John Graves Simcoe warned the real cause was the lingering bitterness stemming from the Revolution and the American desire to add to the Republic with the acquisition of Canada.

The Americans believed that the Canadas could be taken without soldiers as Britain at that point was in a life and death struggle with Napoleon.

Their intentions were well known, and on June 18, 1812, the American government officially declared war on England.

Read more.

Hamilton, Ontario

Hamilton is a port city in the Canadian province of Ontario. A developed city in the Golden Horseshoe at the west end of Lake Ontario, Hamilton has a population of 536,917.

In pre-colonial times, the Neutral First Nation occupied much of the land.

Following the American Revolutionary War, in 1784, about 10,000 United Empire Loyalists settled in Upper Canada (now called southern Ontario), mainly in Niagara, around the Bay of Quinte, and along the St. Lawrence River between Lake Ontario and Montreal. At the same time, significant numbers of Iroquois who had allied with Britain arrived from the United States and settled on reserves west of Lake Ontario as compensation for lands they lost in what was now the United States. During the War of 1812, British regulars and Canadian militia defeated attacking American soldiers at the Battle of Stoney Creek, in what is now a park in eastern Hamilton.

The town of Hamilton was developed by George Hamilton (a boy of a Queenston business owner and creator, Robert Hamilton) when he bought farm holdings of James Durand, the regional Member of the British Legislative Assembly, soon after the War of 1812.

Read more.

All Things Georgian: 18th Century Stomachers

Like everything in fashion, stomachers came in and out of vogue, but during the 18th century they were very much statement pieces especially those made for the wealthier members of society and the newspapers always deemed elaborate stomachers worthy of mention when describing the outfits worn by the nobility.

A stomacher is a triangular shaped panel that fills the front of a woman’s gown and was worn from around the 15th century, but of course today we’re going to take a look at some of the ones worn in the 18th century.

Read more.

UE Loyalist Certificates Issued Recently

The list of UE Certificates issued since late in 2012 – showing the Loyalist ancestor, name of descendant (when permission is granted), branch and date – has been updated with the certificates issued in November and December of last year. The same updates have been applied to the Loyalist Directory.

Where in the World?

Where is ?

To participate, submit a photo of yourself in UELAC promotional gear at a place of some note and tell us where it is (if you are a member of a branch, please indicate that as well). Send your submission to the editor at loyalist.trails@uelac.org.

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:

  • William Casey – contributed from Branch records by Jo Ann Tuskin
  • William Lawson – contributed from Branch records by Jo Ann Tuskin
  • Patrick McIntee – contributed by John Haynes
  • Michael Pillar – two records merged, information researched by Jo Ann Tuskin

Please help us build the directory by contributing information. Contact loyalist.trails@uelac.org for guidance.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • This installment of “Revolutionary King’s Chapel” explores the experience of the church’s last Anglican minister, Reverend Henry Caner, as he evacuated Boston in 1776 as a Loyalist refugee. What happened to Caner, to the Church silver and to the Church and its congregation? Watch the 4-minute recording.
  • In Digby’s Forest Hill Cemetery, gravestone at left of Charles Budd (1795 – 1881), elected for Digby in Nova Scotia Legislature & son of Ensign Elisha Budd, Kings American Reg’t in American Revolution, & beside one of wife Mary Wiswall. Brian McConnell UE
  • Opening of the Lower Selma Museum and Heritage Cemetery in Nova Scotia, Canada by Captain Robert Redden of the 2nd Battalion, 84th Regiment of Foot. Brian McConnell UE (catch the historical ditty Robert sings at the end)
  • Recently announced “Finding Fortune“, the story of Black Loyalist Rose Fortune of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, makes top 5 of historical non-fiction books.
  • This Week in History
    • 9 July 1770, Henry Barnes of Marlborough complained to the Massachusetts Council that “he has been greatly injurd in his business by certain Votes and Advertisements, declaring him an Enemy to his Country for importing of English Goods.”
    • 9 July 1770, Henry Barnes of Marlborough complained to the Massachusetts Council about being “greatly injurd in his business by certain Votes and Advertisements, declaring him an Enemy to his Country for importing of English Goods.”
    • 5 Jul 1775, Congress offers Crown the “Olive Branch Petition,” appealing for reconciliation with Colonies.
    • 6 July 1775, Connecticut commissary general Joseph Trumbull (1737-1778, also oldest son of the colony’s governor) gave up on trying to become Gen. George Washington’s secretary and instead asked the Congress to make him its commissary general.
    • 8 July 1775, the Boston Neck was the site of a skirmish between British Redcoats and colonist volunteers. Colonists circled the guardhouse through the marshes on either side of the Neck before firing a cannon, forcing Redcoats to retreat, and burning down the guardhouse.
    • 4 Jul 1776, Congress approves the text of the Declaration of Independence, two days after voting for independence.
    • 6 July 1776, Bostonians heard a rumor #OnThisDay that their exiled loyalists had been “ordered to dig in the coal mines at Nova Scotia, where we hope they may remain during life – a proper shelter for all the Tories in America.”
    • 8 Jul 1776, Liberty Bell is rung to announce public reading of Declaration of Independence.
    • 6 Jul 1777, Ft. Ticonderoga retaken by British, with great loss of critical military supplies, light casualties.
    • 7 Jul 1777, The only battle of the Revolution fought in Vermont, Battle of Hubbardton, ends in Patriot defeat.
    • 7 July 1777, The Battle of Hubbardton (VT territory) Post Ticonderoiga, pre saratoga: Simon Fraser’s British are slowed by gathering New England militias under leaders such as Seth Warner & Ebeneezer Francis.
    • 9 Jul 1777, NY elects 1st governor as independent state; George Clinton is later VP to Jefferson and Madison.
    • 10 Jul 1777, British General Prescott captured by rebels for the second time, this time in Rhode-Island
    • 11 Jul 1779, British burn most buildings in Norwalk, Conn. in reprisal for privateering & espionage based there
  • Townsend’s
  • Clothing and Related:
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Instead of standing there watching, roll up your sleeves and help! The Camp Laundry, 1782.
    • The English experimented with a lot of potential money-making crops at Jamestown, trying to find what worked in the Va climate. One of those experiments was growing pineapples in 1612, which thrived all spring and summer until “the cold winter and the weedes had choaked yt.”

Last Post

Wilbert (Bill) Heather

Bill passed away peacefully at home, on the farm he loved, on Monday, June 15, 2020.

Bill is survived by his wife Diane, son Burke and his husband Daniel Varela, son Wil and his wife Michelle Stewart, and grandsons, Stewart and Alexander. He had a special lifelong relationship with Harry Peril, was a special uncle to Karen, Sheryl, Barry and Larissa, and was a mentor and special person to Sean Black. He was dear to all our hearts and we will all miss his infinite love and guidance.

He was predeceased by his parents, his first wife Margaret Chongva, and Diane’s son Brad.

Bill had a long career in the field of education starting at the age of 17 in the one-room Uppingham School at Ostenfeld and progressing to teacher, consultant and principal in the Transcona Springfield School Division. No matter what role or which school, Bill always stood up for his staff and students and tried to make the education fit the person rather than the person fit the education.

His main love, after his family, was farming and cattle. He and Diane worked side by side with their sons to expand the family farm and build a Charolais herd. A very proud moment was receiving a Heritage Farm designation in 2014 in recognition of the family having owned and operated the same parcel of land for 125 years.

After selling the purebred herd, Bill took a turn as councillor for Ward 5, R.M. of Tache. In his nearly 10 years in this role he felt the most important thing was to listen to residents and to help them in whatever way he could. He never believed in hiding behind policy and always looked for a solution.

In keeping with Bill’s wishes and due to Covid-19 restrictions, a private burial will be held at Prairie Grove Cemetery.

If friends and family wish they may donate to Bibliotèque Tache Library, 1082 Dawson Road, Lorette, MB R5K 0S8. A tax receipt will be issued.

The family would like to express their gratitude to everyone for their support and generous offers of help over the last year and to Dr. David Dawe, Dr. A. Bissonnette and Brigitte Remillard of the Palliative Care program who together made it easier for Bill to remain at home as he wished.

He did it his way and we didn’t expect anything else.

(As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Jun 20, 2020.)

Kenneth Gordon Runions, UE

Born in Morse, Saskatchewan, February 11, 1925. Passed away February 22, 2020 in Calgary, Alberta.

When Ken was nine, his parents tragically passed away. Ken and his two younger sisters went to other family members. Barbara (six) and Vivien (eight) were raised by their Aunt Eva and Uncle Edwin Fry. Ken, was separated from his sisters, and homed by his grandparents in Antler, Saskatchewan. They made it very clear that having Ken in their home was an inconvenience. Their expectation was that he move out after completing Grade VIII. In collaboration with his teacher, Ken “failed” Grade VIII and sat through Grade IX in his one room prairie school.

In the Second World War he enlisted in the army, saw action in Holland and at war’s end managed an excellent posting in Berlin. On his return to Canada in 1947 his army savings paid for a truck, and he established his first business; hauling grain in the United States and Canada as well as seasonal road contracts.

He met Sarah Moen. They married and bought the Antler International Harvester dealership in 1949. He volunteered for numerous organizations (usually as treasurer) in village and church life.

Four children, Valerie, Gordon (deceased 2010), Neil and Ivan were born in Antler. In 1960, Ken sold his Antler dealership, and purchased the Virden, Manitoba IH dealership. For the next three years the Runions family lived in the house that is now the Virden Pioneer Home Museum. He achieved both his private glider and pilot’s licence. His true learning passion, however, was Advanced Bookkeeping, with Elizabeth Dryden’s tutelage.

After selling his business in the late 1960s, he became Controller of the growing Virden founded TransX trucking business. In 1979, Ken became the accountant for Restaurant Dubrovnik in Winnipeg which had been co-founded by Valerie.

Sarah passed away in 1994 after a lengthy battle with cancer. During her illness Ken was her dedicated caregiver. A man who previously had done no housework now cooked, cleaned and had a spreadsheet for medications and doctors’ appointments.

Ken retired and thrived in his senior’s life: travel, regular exercise walking, square dancing, round dancing, computer clubs, and a deep dive into the family’s genealogy.

His active senior years were shared with Ann Neufeld. Diagnosed with Vascular Dementia in 2017, his children moved him closer to their families in Alberta and BC. “Team Ken”; his three surviving children, Catherine Emrick, Caryl Malcolm, Peter Stone and Brian Owen tag-teamed support in his final years.

His personal commitment to “doing things well” was deeply honed into his children and grandchildren, Milana, Leanne, Adam, Cale, Jeff and Derek. When we think of Ken and everything that made him the man he was, we are proud of his resilience and highly developed code of independence, hard work, honesty and respect for others, that he remained true to through his life’s many challenges.

Grateful thanks to the many people in different retirement homes father resided in. Also, Kudos to the Canadian Government and the staff at Veterans Affairs Canada for their support of veterans.

Please consider a donation to the Virden Pioneer Home or any of your own choice.

Celebration of Life will be planned post Covid-19. To write a condolence visit Carscadden Funeral Chapel online.

Manitoba Branch UELAC: Ken was our treasurer from the time he joined the branch, and was also a member of the Education Committee. He received his UE certificate for ancestor John Everson in 2005.

…Robert Campbell, Manitoba Branch