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A Wedding

Back in the first decade of the 20th century at Saint Dunstan's University some young men came together whose relationship still is meaningful in my life today.

Can you imagine a young man maybe 13 or maybe 18 leaving the rural PEI of the day and going to study and board on SDC campus. They'd likely come by train and they would be committed to that place from September until Christmas and New Years until June. At some point they began to have Thursday afternoons off campus, but I'm not sure when and off campus wasn't a big thing. Saturday nights, are you kidding! Dormitory life, study hall every night and Saturday and Sundays, too, was what their world turn around on: Mass every morning and lots of Benedictions. Oh they played sports, but Latin and Shakespeare, Religion and Philosophy were certainly more important. Their aim in life was - in most cases - to study for the priesthood or to teach, but a few had other ambitions. Some tried their hand at those things and then went onto other goals. Why am I telling you all this? Because my recent visit to Boston started back there. Bill McLellan Class of 1915, Vincent Fisher Class of 1912, Linus Smith Class of 1913 and James Saunders Class of 1912 all were linked. Don't think for a moment that they went in as freshman and came out four years later as seniors. No. Their college years were sporadic. I know my father taught over those years in Stanchel, North Whitshire and one of the Bedeques. I know that the tuition was not high in todays terms and I am sure The Owen Connolly Trust was paying a lot of the tuitions - and some successful uncles who had already made it in the Boston States - but never-the-less it was a sacrifice in the days when few bothered to make it. But back to the links. Bill McLellan went on to study dentistry at Tufts in Boston, Vincent Fisher went to Boston University to study medicine and my father, Linus Smith went to McGill and studied medicine. Jim Saunders, a chemistry whiz, decided to farm. They all remained connected. Their kids did their own thing and never knew one another until the Saunders, the catalyst for many relationships, introduced them all in the early 1950's. We have never looked back. And so I went to Boston - drove by myself with my dog to attend the wedding of Bill McLellan's grand daughter - and quite the grand daughter she is. Needless to say "our links" have all passed on, but when we get together we do them proud. I had the joy of sharing the trip with Jamie Saunders today and relived with pleasure the whole thing. I now know four generations of McLellans and five generations of Fishers. That's a privilege. And think of all those wonderful people who have married into our flock. Next week I have a crew of them arriving on PEI. It will be one of the sons-in-law's first trip to PEI. The responsibility lies heavily on my shoulders. After all his two sons are so deeply rooted on this Island that they are truly coming home. It is now my true determination to get the bride and the groom here - remember that Mary-ann and Dan. [An aside: this man and his friends came to Toronto to watch the Blue Jays play the Red Sox for his "stag" party, not bad eh?]

Written Tuesday, July 10, 2001 at 10:19 PM

(c) 2000 by Catherine Hennessey. Questions or comments? Email me@catherinehennessey.com

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