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The Anglican Church Helen attended as a child and young adult.

The first George and Elizabeth Copping 1., who came to Quebec from London, England, were Anglicans. They moved to Rawdon where they farmed long before the present church on the corner of Metcalfe Street and 3rd Avenue was built.

Church Time
Anglican Church RawdonQc
George was an elder in the congregation and a faithful attendant. His son, Henry, my great grandfather, was one of the many men who helped build this beautiful stone church 2.

It is small enough to be homey and yet impressive with its lovely stained glass windows. Each window depicted a Bible scene and was fascinating to my young eyes. There is a window dedicated to the memory of George and Elizabeth.

1. George Copping and Elizabeth Saggers came to Rawdon about 1820. At that time there was no church built in the Rawdon area. About 1826 a combination church and school was built on the 3rd range and a few years later a wooden church was built on the same lot as this stone church which eventually replaced the wooden structure.  (about 1857)  .

See The Copping Journals at http://rawdonhistoricalsociety.com/rawdon/introdiary.htm

2. This church has been designated a historical building.

Interior Rawdon Anglican Church
The interior of the church as it was in Helen’s early years. Entry to the church was through double doors. For ordinary services only one door was opened. For weddings or funerals both doors were opened.

Upon entering there was a choice of either going down the right aisle or the left.

The pews were wooden seats with wooden kneeling benches hinged to make it easier to move along the pew. Sometimes small fingers would slip and the kneeling bench which was being put into place for prayers, met the floor with a resounding crash. The culprit’s face would turn beet red and smothered giggles from other young people would follow .3.


The church bell was rung by the sexton or beadle who pulled rhythmically on a large rope hanging just inside the entrance. The ringing of the bell was a call to worship and to this day the sound of church bells still calls me. 4.

The regular organist was Dagmar Rothdram. My sister, Edith, filled in for her a few times. I remember a lovely Saturday afternoon going with Edith to practice for the next day. It was a sunny, warm, day but in the church it was cool. It was such a strange feeling to be the only ones in the building. Our footsteps sounded so loud on the wooden floor and echoed into the emptiness. The sunlight coming through the stained glass windows made coloured patterns on the walls and floors. Yes, I felt an awesomeness and a feeling of reverence swept through me. This was the House of God and the faith of generations filled the very air.

The church yard had a peaceful look about it. There were several large maple trees giving a quietness to the last resting place of the Anglicans. The headstones in the graveyard are varied in shape and size, from large ones to small white lambs where a child had been laid to rest. Many inscriptions tell a sad story by the dates and ages written on them. Several young children of the same family had only a few brief years to live. Their stories are written in stone.

There is a very large stone, twin oaks 5. made of concrete commemorating my great-grandfather, his three wives and a daughter, Clara. In my father’s family there are 5 generations 6. buried there including my brother, Reggie (1973), and my sister, Edith (1977) .7

Sunday School was at 9:50 a.m. Miss Kid 8 ran the Sunday School.  There was always a last minute flurry to check our stockings were pulled up properly, that gloves were clean (especially the white gloves worn during the summer months), and that hats were on straight.

The small children sat on little wooden chairs placed in a circle at the front of the church. Some of the classes sat in pews with the teacher standing front of them. The older children had classes in the vestry on either side of the altar. Catechism for the younger children was simplified but the older ones, preparing for confirmation, had a deeper course of study.

If Easter was late enough in spring and the snow was gone on Palm Sunday the Sunday School children had a parade. Each child was given a palm branch and we would march around the church waving our palm branches and then parade back into the church for morning service. We were allowed to keep our palm branches which were usually taken home where they were hung at the back of a picture where they stayed until they were dry and crumbly. It was not until I was much older that I attended evening services. Sometimes my father came with me.

5. Interestingly enough there is another like it in the Catholic graveyard
6. actually 6 generations are buried in the churchyard
7. Helen’s mother and father are also buried there.
8.Miss Kidd was a retired school teacher who roomed just up the street from the  church. She also ran the Girls’ Guild and the spring concerts

Both Edith and I sang in the choir when we were old enough. The choir room was on the left side of the chancel directly behind the choir stalls. Here we put on our robes, our white collars and mortar board. A check was made to be sure we all wore the tassel on the right side.

Lent always brings back memories of the Wednesday night Lenten Services. This was a chance to get out in the evening . Near the end of Lent it was still daylight before the seven o’clock service began, but for the first weeks it was getting dark when we left for church. There was something different about going up the back path through the neighbour’s yard and the Rondeau’s yard and then to the main road (Metcalfe Street) - a feeling that was not there during the daytime. The air was intoxicating with its fresh smell of spring and seemed to lend magic to ordinary things. The snow melting, the water running down the ruts in the road, the last light of day, all made it feel like an exciting time to be alive.

Once in the church we were brought back to sober thoughts as the story of Christ’s trial, crucifixion and resurrection were told. The visual aids were lantern slides. The pictures were painted on glass squares. The lantern projector had a light bulb in it which shone through the glass slide . A magnifying lens enlarged the picture. There was no way to adjust the size so the projector had to be set up at a precise distance from the screen to get the correct focus. The minister read the story and made a tapping sound for the operator of the slide show to show another picture. A special collection was made to pay for the slides.

When we reached the age of 13 or 14, we went to Confirmation Classes. The minister often held these at the rectory . There we reviewed the catechism we had learned in Sunday School. The coming of the bishop for the Confirmation Service was a special event and many parents were in attendance. The girls were dressed in white and the boys in white shirts and pants or in suits if they could afford one. Afterwards we were allowed to take communion.

If I remember correctly it was Reverend Addie who was the minister at the time of my confirmation.


Other ministers through the years were Reverend Kenneth Naylor who baptised us at home. Mother told of how he helped when the flu epidemic swept through Rawdon. He went around to the homes where there was sickness and helped in every way he could. He went to the farms and did the chores when farmers were stricken. He was very well liked and highly thought of. I was too small at the time to remember him.
pastor- rawdon
The Reverend Mr. Naylor in his office in the manse..

Reverend Baker , an Englishman and a bachelor , started a Young Peoples’ group. He was a young man who related to the young folks. Reverend Gordon Addie had a very deep voice. He preached so loudly you would think everyone was deaf. Mrs. Addie was a very retiring type and did not readily join in the women’s group . The Addies’ had a little girl, Cherie.

Reverend Ellis was an older man. Mrs. Ellis was a small women who felt the cold so much. She, too, was a retiring person. One time, in the winter, when I was at Miss Mary Copping’s they came to visit. Mrs. Ellis kept her fur coat wrapped tightly around herself to keep warm - while sitting next to the stove.

The minister that I remember the most was the Reverend Stone and his wife who came to Rawdon when I was in my mid-teens. He was more the stern type, she was a people person. They had no children. They formed a Literary Club for Young People. We met one night a week during the winter. The books, The Thirty-nine Steps and Green Mantle by John Buchan were read to us. Green Mantle was a war adventure story. I went to every meeting as it was something to do.

One time, at night, a ski trip was organized. Our principal, Kenneth Hall, was one of the chaperones. I remember that it was a clear, frosty, moonlit night. We went on a long hike. When we got back to the rectory for refreshments, my toes began to hurt. My stiff leather ski boots did not provide protection from the cold and they were frost bitten.

One time a group of us were invited to the rectory for supper. Mrs. Stone had Eleanor Blagrave to help prepare for it. It was the first time I had seen a stuffed tomato and did not know how to eat it. I held back to see how someone else did it before I proceeded.

Nina Finlayson, owner of the Heather Lodge, spearheaded the spring choir concerts. The first time I took part was in March 1939. The concert had a St. Patrick’s Day theme and took place in the Anglican Hall. A white banner was stretched across the back of the stage with “Erin Go Bragh” written in large green letters. Aunt Kathleen sang “When Irish Eyes are Smiing” with us joining in the chorus. She also sang other favourites in her rich Irish voice. Elsie Hanna did a monologue on the Irish washerwoman. I do not remember what else was on the program.

12. Certainly Helen would not have remembered Reverend Kenneth Naylor as he was minister in the parish from 1912 to 1925. She would have been a year old when he left.

13. “The chores” on a farm include watering and feeding the animals, cleaning the stalls and milking.

14. Possibly Helen is referring to Rev. Frank Ford who was in the parish from 1939 to 32.

15. Helen notes he was a bachelor as this was not usual, married men were considered better candidates by the parish.

16. This lack of participation, of course, was very much frowned upon. Ministers wives were expected to take an active part, if not lead in parish activities. L M Montgomery soon found this out when she married her minister husband. Although, initially she resented this expectation of a minister’s wife, she soon became very involved with parish life and was a favourite among the leading parishioners.

17. See Helen’s story  “Miss Mary Copping”.

18. Although Eleanor was still relatively young, in her mid twenties at this time, her reputation in the kitchen was well established. She remained in demand all her life often going to as many as 5 homes on Christmas Day to “put the turkey in the oven” as well as catering to various dinner parties throughout the year. She was a cook for Nina Finlayson at the Heather Lodge and later at Thistle Manor.

19. Kathleen McKenna Copping was the wife of Helen‘s uncle, Wilfrid. She was a native of Belfast, Ireland and had a lovely voice which was much in demand at community events

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