I had a dilemma this week
as I was never allowed by my parents
to join the Scouts or any sport or cultural organisation,
as a matter of fact,
as my mom wanted to keep me "safely" at home.
Little did she know...
Alan's prompt this week has to do with the centennial of the Scout Organisation.
I actually know someone very much involved with the organisation
and I could have possibly ask for her help,
but given all she's been through lately,
I didn't think it would be appropriate,
I opted to focus on another kind of organisation that used to be popular,
once upon a time:
Back to colonial times,
religious orders used to be prominent in our society,
responsible for education and hospital cares and so many other aspects of the daily life of those colons,
something that endured until the 1960s.
the notion of separating the secular from the spiritual made its way,
and the power of the Church waned [rather quickly].
But they did enjoy power for a few centuries on the new continent.
they had dominion over body and soul for a [way too long] time.
One good thing was that they provided higher education,
for the gifted and the decently rich people,
some of those men meant to become leaders in our society,
and others destined to become part of the Order,
and serve God.
Since Quebeckers had huge families,
to avoid assimilation by the Anglos since the French colony was integrated with the British one,
it was normal that a kid or two in the lot became priests and nuns.
You see here above the seminar in Quebec City in 1880.
there was a seminar in the city to train new priests and
to educate the mass [who could afford it or were smart enough].
Jesuits were in charge.
Let it be known that in 1852,
Queen Victoria granted it a university chart,
thanks to the Abbot Louis-Jacques Casault's persistence,
and it was to eventually become Laval University,
the first french language university in America;
nothing to do with the municipality of Laval,
just north of Montreal...
but rather with Monsignor Francois de Laval,
the original fonder of the Seminar,
which in turn branched out in Montreal,
but this project failed somewhat,
and the University of Montreal became totally independent from its Quebec City sister.
The picture you see above was taken in 1880.
you'll see a rendition dating back to 1688.
The Seminar can be seen on the right.
fire damaged the structure
but the Order went on its mission to educate
and it was eventually repaired.
as demographics increased,
and the need for higher education was required to meet the need of modern age,
it became part of a university campus encompassing many buildings
to better serve the various disciplines.
I found this picture on the web,
showing the Seminar in the winter of 2007.
I found it so charming that I decided to share it with you here.
I find this captures the spirit of the old city.
Possibly from the Petit Seminaire,
given the average age of the students,
this would be a high school.
The original mission,
training new priests to serve the population in the various dioceses,
or on foreign missions.
This is where confusion starts for me.
I thought much of my uncle's life happened in Ottawa
but I found nothing to substantiate that.
Perhaps he was recruted by the Oblats in his hometown
to go study at the Rimouski Seminar.
Is that it?
Is this really in Rimouski?
I am not familiar with the place at all.
I think I went [briefly] twice to Rimouski,
when I was just a kid.
But one thing I just found out today,
thanks to the web,
is that there was a major fire in 1950,
taking down a third of the city,
including the seminar...
So what I'm seeing here in these pics was no longer as is
by the time I came into this world.
My maternal grandma in the Seminar's garden,
in the 1940s.
Mom and Grandma!!
My mom and her brother,
the "other" Uncle G.
He didn't become a priest!!
He did graduate and went on to work for the federal government.
His heyday may have been at the Universal Expo in Belgium in 1958,
and I showed you a picture HERE;
his miserable marriage and adoption,
and his eventual estrangement from his ex-wife and adopted son,
and possibly his blossoming as a gay man despite the prejudice back in those days,
made for a tortuous journey.
But his downfall was when...
he pulled the fire alarm at the parliament in Ottawa,
just to see what would happen...
I can't remember when but it could be in the late 1970s?
and he ended up in the loony bin for that.
It just goes to show there is a thin line between genius and downright crazy!!
A recurring theme in my family...
Let's just say I am sometimes worried about my own sanity when I look back at my family history.
But I haven't [yet] chopped off one of my ears or set anything on fire...
For more conventional fun,
please visit other contributors at
And you know how I like to bring in some other stuff.
it involves Alan's theme,
fire and a bit of humor...
I may not have been on theme,
but I do try!!
(something I posted in 2009 that I felt was worth a repost here)
Fire is a recurring theme this week
as I witnessed one this week,
right next to MY place!!
See it HERE.