• Stephanie O’Hanley

The musical Weinmeisters and their ties to the Ste. Anne’s Legion


PHOTO BY STEPHANIE O’HANLEY

Morgan Weinmeister sings O Canada at the 58th annual Remembrance Dinner November 4 at the Royal Canadian Legion in Ste. Anne's. She represents the third generation of Weinmeisters who've performed at the legion.

On Friday, November 4, St. Lazare resident Morgan Weinmeister sang O Canada before 100 people at the Royal Canadian Legion Churchill Branch #91 in Ste. Anne de Bellevue. The occasion? The legion’s 58th annual Remembrance Dinner, an event attended by the likes of Ste. Anne de Bellevue Mayor Paola Hawa and guest speaker Dominion Command First Vice-President Comrade Thomas D. Irvine.

It’s likely that few in the room knew 19-year-old Morgan represents the third generation of Weinmeisters connected to the Ste. Anne’s Legion. Her grandfather, Rudolph “Rudy” Waldemar Weinmeister, was a sergeant pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. “My dad was fondly affiliated with the legion in Ste. Anne de Bellevue up until his death in 1991,” said Morgan’s uncle, Ian Weinmeister.

While Ian never joined the legion as a direct member, “I have a letter that he (Rudy Weinmeister) sent me should I ever want to join the legion,” he said. “They wouldn’t hesitate to let any family members of former veterans join the legion. They’re certainly looking to increase the legion membership these days.”

It seems a love of music and of helping others runs in the Weinmeister family. Guitar was just one instrument Rudy Weinmeister played. “He played music for the veterans at the (Ste. Anne’s) Veterans’ Hospital, as well” Ian said, “I think he donated an organ that he had in his home to the legion. It might even still sit there.” “Myself as well, I also play music for senior citizens,” said Ian, who’s the drummer and vocalist for Ottawa-based The Original Trillium Dixieland Jazz Band.

“My brother Kim does charity work as well.” Morgan’s dad, Kim Weinmeister, is a drummer and vocalist with long-running, community-minded, local band The Black Cadillacs, which has performed at the legion. “My brother’s a drummer, I’m a drummer, Morgan sings, I sing, my brother sings,” Ian said. “We have lots of cousins and nephews and many of them are involved in music to some degree, from the lineage of my mother and father down through to myself, to my brother on into Morgan.”

“My dad introduced me to the legion and I became a member because I started seeing what Remembrance dinners were about and what Remembrance ceremonies were about, my father being in World War II, flying Spitfires,” Kim said. “But I’m not a member anymore per se,” adding that he drops in from time to time to say hi to people and see what’s going on.

He was on a walk with Morgan one afternoon when Morgan announced she’d never seen the legion. “I brought her in to experience the legion where her grandfather hung out.” After introducing Morgan to people he knew, Morgan mentioned being profiled in a recent newspaper article about her dream to have a career in the music industry. Then somebody asked if she’d be interested in singing O Canada for the Remembrance Dinner. “That’s how that came down,” Kim said. “She said, ‘Sure’. When asked what she would charge she replied “Of course, I would charge nothing.’”

“We’re so honoured to have Morgan sing for us,” said Terence Shaw, chairman of the Remembrance Dinner and the legion’s treasurer. Shaw said Morgan has been invited to sing O Canada for the Grand Master at a Remembrance ceremony for the Freemasons on November 16.

“I’m really excited to support someone like Morgan, what a lovely young lady,” he said.

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