Monday, July 20, 2009

1911 - A Fork in the Road

It is here that Charles life takes on a whole new dimension and the tale of two families begins. While in Europe in 1910 Charles met a young woman by the name of Gertrude Mabel Morgan. Infatuated with this young lady Charles brings her to Canada.

First family account of the relationship is that the young woman was brought to Canada presumably as a maid since Charles was still married to one Helen Maria Pye. At the time Charles and Helen Maria had 3 children Eva, Arthur and Helen and were living in Haileybury. Charles first family continued to live in Haileybury until the family home was sold. By this time Both Eva and Helen were married and remained in Haileybury for a few years. After the sale of the home Helen Maria took Arthur and moved back to Montreal.

In 1911 Charles and Gertrude Mabel are married in Buffalo, New York. They return to Toronto to live and for the first year of their marriage they occupy a suite in the Prince George Hotel. Later they move to a house on Wolfrey Avenue in Toronto. Together Charles and Gertrude Mabel had 6 children; Sylvia, Charles (Bud), Phyllis, Roy, Ray and Constance.
In conversation with my grandmother Jeanne Taylor the wife of Arthur Havelock, and first born son of Charles and Helen Maria, divorce was never mentioned. What we do know is that he maintained contact with his first family now residing in Montreal and Haileybury while raising a second family in Toronto.

The relationship between Arthur and his father Charles was strained. Arthur was born with a clef lip and pallet and spoke with an impediment. Charles felt that this was a detriment to Arthurs learning ability and decided to send him to boarding school. There were two prefered schools on the list, Feller and Point aux Trembles in Montreal East. Feller in Grande Ligne Quebec was chosen since there was a strong student body of French Canadians at Point aux Trembles. Both the schools were Protestant Missionary schools that emphasized both education and religious teaching.

While at Feller there was a fire and while all the students were on the lawn the principal asked for a volunteer to enter the basement and shut off the gas. Young Arthur took up the challenge and crawled through a basement window, shut off the valve and saved the building from extensive damage.

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