Parrywinkle March 15, 2018


PHOTO BY JAMES PARRY

Hudson War Memorial Library President Donna Seaman is shown here at the reception desk with the book, Beads in a Necklace, which will be one of two copies offered in a draw to participants in the library’s upcoming free workshops in April.

It has been dubbed Canada's - indeed, North America's - fastest growing hobby. And no, I'm not talking about Scrabble, gardening, or Twitching which, to the uninitiated, simply means bird watching.

But rather Genealogy, the study of family ancestry which is literally booming right now, what with Baby Boomers checking out their heritage, the availability of DNA testing kits, and an ever-expanding arsenal of genealogy websites and software to draw from being blasted incessantly on TV. Enabling one, or so they claim, to trace one's family tree back hundreds of years. Of course, go back a few millenniums or so and we were all related. But that's another story!

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GREAT GENEALOGY WORKSHOP - As the old maxim goes, everyone's Irish - if only in spirit - on St. Patrick's Day and this will surely be the case this Saturday, March 17, when the Hudson St. Patrick's Day Parade starting at 1 p.m. rolls down Main Road. But could we be related to royalty, a movie star, military hero, or even Jack the Ripper? Ah, what fun to pursue. There again, in the case of Jack, perhaps not. And would one ever want to admit it in our little hamlet by the lake should it prove to be the case?

All of which brings me to the Hudson War Memorial Library, 60 Elm Street which, I just learned from its President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Donna Seaman, will be offering two free genealogy workshops in April. Both geared to helping you to delve into your own ancestry and perhaps write your personal family history with the help of a group known as Genealogy Ensemble comprising nine Montreal-area women who met once a month for the past five years to share tips and critiques about researching and writing their family stories and who recently released their first book, Beads in a Necklace: Family Stories, currently available at May's Studio, 459 Main.

Three of them will actually be in attendance at the workshops. Namely, Claire Lindell who is well known in Whitlock Golf & Country Club circles, local writer Dorothy Nixon, and Mary Bulford who never thought she would become a published author but whose stories have proven to be a hit in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K.

The book by the way - two copies of which will be given away in a draw for participants - contains 50 compelling short stories portraying the lives of cooks, farmworkers, landowners, reverends, medical men, merchants, and some of Quebec's first female colonists, each of whom was somehow related to one of the book's authors.

The workshop dates are Saturday, April 14, at 2 p.m. and Wednesday. April 18, at 7 p.m. and registration forms are available at the front desk of the library (which can trace its own roots back to 1849) or you can e-mail warmemoriallibrary@gmail.com. Sure promises to be a most enlightening event and I'm definitely going to attend to check out whether, as I have long claimed, I can trace my roots back to fellow wordsmith, William Shakespeare! Nay, just made that up. I really think it's James Joyce!

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NAUGHTY NUDE - Meanwhile, and with Hudson going green this weekend, this just in from The Journal's Dublin Desk. Evidently, a painter by the name of Seamus Murphy, while not a brilliant scholar, is a gifted portrait artist. Over a short number of years, his fame has grown and now people from all over Ireland have been flocking to the little village of Courtmacsherry in County Cork to get him to paint their likenesses.

Last week, a beautiful young English woman arrived at his humble abode in a stretch limo and asked if he would paint her in the nude. This being the first time anyone had made such a request he was a bit perturbed, particularly when the lady told him that money was no object and, in fact, she was willing to pay up to £10,000.

Not wanting to get into any marital strife and end up in the dog house, apparently Seamus asked her to wait while he went to confer with his wife, Miriam. They talked much about the Rightness and Wrongness of it. It was hard to make the decision but finally his wife agreed, on one condition.

In a few minutes he returned. “T'would be me pleasure to paint yer portrait, missus,” he said “The wife says it's okay. I'll paint you in the nude all right. But I have to at least leave me socks on, so I have a place to wipe me brushes.”

Ah, true or false, you gotta love the Irish. Erin go Bragh!

And that's a wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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