We will Remember Them

I travelled out to Clyde River Presbyterian Church yesterday to attend the annual memorial service. Our mother Hazel passed just over two months ago on May 26th, one month before her 92nd birthday. We barely had time to plant some flowers on her and my father’s grave before Charles Frizzell passed. As I sat in the pew beside my Aunt Sadie, I could see there were many of the key folks in the church that were no longer sitting inside for the service.

In Rev. Steven Stead’s message, he told us how he asked the youth group to search around the church and cemetery one day to find all names of people written. They looked inside the covers of hymn books, on the stained glass windows, on plaques and headstones. The kids were surprised to gather such a long list of names. Steven told them that these people had all different abilities, yet they contributed what they could of their time, talents and resources to keep the church going as their ancestors did since 1856. These people were not necessarily known to the larger world, but they were well-known in their community and they would be remembered.

There were family and friends home from away for the service. Likely the biggest homecoming featured friends and old school pals chatting with Elinor MacKinnon, Reggie MacKinnon’s daughter, home from San Francisco area, who they hadn’t seen since their days at Clyde River School. Elinor was there with her first cousin Sylvia MacKinnon, Morrison’s daughter, who now lives in Cornwall.

Sylvia showed us a small photo album about 4″ x 4″ featuring several small tintype photos. The album had Tina MacKinnon’s name on it. She is Kenison MacKinnon’s youngest sister who married Nicholas Gillis. Sylvia noticed that someone must have gone through it one time and written “dead” under the ones that had passed at that time. When the new owners were renovating Reggie’s house, they found this little album inside a wall and passed it on to Sylvia. I could see it was fragile; she had it carefully wrapped in layers of tissue paper along with another single tintype photo. She invited me to visit her one day, so I will take some photos of the album to feature it as a story.

After the service, family visited their loved one’s graves. With the dry summer, it is challenging to keep flowers watered enough to bloom, but our memories of these dear souls will never fade.

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  1. Elinor MacKinnon on August 1, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    I love reading the vignettes. As a note to Vivian, my name is spelled Elinor, not Eleanor! And that lovely book of tintypes that Sylvia recovered had Miss Tina MacKinnon’ s name on it. She was my great aunt, Kenison’s youngest sister, married to Nicholas Gillis and lived in DeSable.

    • Heather MacKinnon Reznechenko on May 8, 2013 at 12:04 am

      I loved reading this story. I am the grand daughter of John Craig MacKinnon who was a brother to both Kenison and Tina. My grandfather, Jphn Craig, came to Saskatchewan in 1922 to help out his aunt and uncle Gillespie on their farm in the Fairholme area (NW Saskatchewan). I would like to get in touch with other family members with the MacKinnon/Gillespie last name….or descendants of Eleanor Gillespie and Neil MacKinnon….would be great to share pictures and stories.

      My email is phrez@sasktel.net


      Heather MacKinnon Reznechenko

  2. clyderiver on August 1, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Thanks, Elinor. I changed the spelling of your name and thanks for the additional information.

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