When Ellen (O’Regan) Labelle learned she had stage-four lung cancer, she asked if some treasured furniture could be returned to the school. (She had bought the pieces at a St.Raphael’s auction in the 1980s.) So after her death in January, Sharon, Peter and Neil brought Ellen’s china cabinet and dining room table “home”. The pine cabinet is back in its original space, the sisters’ dining room, while the table is adjacent to where it had been—in the refectory, the boarders’ dining room.
In this June photo taken in the Bishop’s parlour, we had a much-appreciated visit from Scott Young, the heritage stonemason who oversaw the stone wall’s restoration.
Besides moving heavy pieces with us, he helped hang these old Scottish prints, given to us by Ginny Winn of Martintown. They beautifully complement the parlour’s own furniture, just recently out of storage. This elegant piece is featured in the early photo (above) from the 1930s.
Dane Lanken’s family asked us to host a Lively Garden Party
On June 10, our Board was honoured to oblige.
That beautiful Saturday afternoon, 150 people came to celebrate Dane’s memory, and support his cherished wife, Anna, and their children, Lily and Sylvan.
Dane passed away on March 3, 2023. Though he was raised in Montreal, he grew to be an adopted son of Glengarry, having moved to a farm south of Alexandria over 50 years ago.
His insightful mind and wide-ranging curiosity allowed him to pursue various fascinating roles: feature writer for The Montreal Gazette (1967-1977), editor of Canadian Geographic, and author of the book, Kate and Anna McGarrigle: Songs and Stories (2007). Given his fine speaking skills and keen interest, he became a formidable advocate for Glengarry’s forgotten stories and vulnerable heritage buildings.
Thus it was appropriate that we gathered here, that Dane’s old sleigh decorated the 1826 drystone wall; his eclectic musical choices— from Kate and Anna, to Handel, and Jimi Hendrix—were played on the Bishop’s House steps; and his memorabilia was lovingly displayed, in the 1808 rooms he fought to save.
Upcoming Events for 2024
Friday, April 26 at 1:00pm
Saturday, May 25
Recreation Centre, Williamstown
Doors Open at 6:00
Dinner at 7:00
Bishop’s House Tours
July 7 to August 31
What Projects Are Next?
Work was expected to begin on the back veranda early this fall, but design and permit delays pushed it back until next spring (2024).
In addition, the back lawn will be graded, and interlocking brick will link the back driveway to both the steps and the lift, as seen in the drawing.
There will also be a gate built into the trelliswork so that workers can readily gain access beneath.
Thanks to your wonderful generosity, and grants from Trillium ($73,000) and SD&G Regional Incentives ($21,627), funds are already in place for the Accessible Entrance/Lift Project above.
This work will take at least two months in early spring, as it begins with permanently closing an old basement entrance, and consolidating the adjacent foundation so that the basement continues to be dry.
After that, our focus becomes the west wing (the area on your left in photo below) with its 14’ ceilings, wonderful light, and beautiful views. The Board has frequently been approached about having a space where visitors to the Ruins could savour local foods, and access washrooms. Given the proportion of these rooms, this area could provide those amenities.
To prepare for such public use, there is much to do: update the heating and plumbing, install a new septic system, consolidate the masonry on the east wall (as has already been done to all the north walls), restore the front windows/replicate those on the west, and renovate the interior, retaining as many of the original features as we can.
What can you do to help?
- send a donation by mail or PayPal
- suggest your children donate on your behalf, in lieu of gifts
- host a Glengarry gathering, and inspire guests to contribute
- talk to your lawyer about a future bequest
- volunteer your time and expertise (613 931-2022 or 613 525-5410)