French (Fr)English (United Kingdom)
Past Lectures
Lecture by Jean-Pierre Raymond and Andrée Aubut

Sir Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière

followed by

Les droits des femmes dans le Bas-Canada


Guest SpeakersJean-Pierre Raymond and Andrée Aubut

When:  Thursday, March 15, 2018, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Centennial Hall

            288 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4


Lecture in French with English PowerPoint slides, followed by a bilingual question period.


2018-03-15JPRaymond HenriGustaveLotbiniereLG-CB KCMG2018-03-15JPRaymond HenriGustaveJolyLotbiniere Margaretta enfantsFirst, Jean-Pierre Raymond will talk about "Sir Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière", first leader of the Quebec Liberal Party 150 years ago and first Prime Minister of the Quebec Liberal Party in 1878-79. He is a descendant of the two engineers Michel Chartier de Lotbinière and Gaspard-Joseph Chaussegros de Léry. He is the father of two engineers who will be generals in the First World War and his four daughters married engineers one of which will be general. He is also the father of sustainable development in forestry.











2018-03-15AndreeAubut-Femmes3060Following this, Andrée Aubut will commemorate the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote in Canada with a presentation entitled "Women's Rights in Lower Canada", recalling that women have already had the right to vote in Lower Canada between 1791 and 1849. She will explain how women like Louise-Magdeleine Chaussegros de Léry, her daughter-in-law Mary-Charlotte Munro de Fowlis and her granddaughter Julie-Christine Chartier de Lotbinière benefited from the peculiarities of the French law known as Coutume de Paris enshrined in the Act of Quebec for the second version of the province of Quebec (1774). Julie-Christine is the mother of Henri-Gustave.


Both presentations will be in French and the Power Point in English, allowing for a bilingual presentation.



Jean-Pierre Raymond is a retired engineer, passionate about history who studies the first Canadian engineers.


Andrée Aubut is a retired teacher who is interested in the history of women in Nouvelle-France and under British regime and in particular the laws that applied to property rights.


2018-03-15JPRaymond G-JChaussegrosdeLery M-RLegardeurdeBeauvaisThe two personifies in period costumes historical figures like the couples Gaspard-Joseph Chaussegros de Léry and Marie-Renée Legardeur de Beauvais, Michel Chartier de Lotbinière and Louise-Magdeleine Chaussegros de Léry, Ralph-Henri Bruyère and Janet Dunbar and finally Henri-Gustave Joly and Margharetta-Josepha Gowen.

Lecture by Roy Wright

Pirates of North Atlantic

David Kirke and Elcid Barrett

2018 02 1


Guest SpeakerRoy Wright

When:  Thursday, February 15, 2018, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Centennial Hall

            288 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4


Lecture in English followed by a bilingual question period.

Although less notorious than the Caribbean, the North Atlantic has had its share of romantic swashbucklers.
The Atlantic Provinces and Quebec claim buried treasure and other folklore, but some truly significant historical figures as well. We will focus on one exponent of each tradition: Elcid Barrett, folklorically more famous today than even Captain Kidd, thanks to Stan Rogers, and David Kirke, who was knighted for capturing Québec from Champlain in 1629. Their stories illuminate the role pirates and privateers have played in our history and mythology, and their fate in retirement highlights the societal advances made since then, if not more enlightened political policy. Indeed, we still live in an age of piracy.


Join us for a singalong with Roy Keys.

Lecture by Pierre-F. McDuff

 West Island, 1667-2017

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Guest SpeakerPierre-F. McDuff

When:  Thursday, January 18, 2018, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Centennial Hall

            288 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4


Lecture in English followed by a bilingual question period.

Pierre-F. McDuff has contributed to many important published biographical books including the just released book on the Mayors of Montreal edited by our board member Jacques G. Ruelland.


After a short introduction, we will look at the evolution of the parishes of Lachine, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, St-Laurent, Pointe-Claire, Ste-Geneviève and the Ile-Bizard. These parishes delineated the first municipalities on the island of Montreal, created between 1845 and 1855.


2018-01-18McDuff 1834CarteIleMontrealJobinCrop
2018 01 01

Lecture by Fred Parkinson


St. Lawrence Seaway:

from Procrastination to Realisation




Guest SpeakerFred Parkinson 

When:   Thursday, November 16, 2017, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Where:  Centennial Hall 

             288 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4



Lecture in English followed by a bilingual question period.






























First talks between Canada and the United States were held in 1895 considering a water navigation system from Montreal to Lake Ontario. Commitment was lacking, however the discussions did lead to establishing the International Joint Commission (IJC) in 1909 to deal with questions on rivers shared by both countries. By 1949 the need for the waterway connection had become pressing, so serious negotiations were undertaken with the IJC playing an important part. Progress was hindered by vocal opposition from the railways and various other well established business and political interests, but in the end the economics of the mining, industrial and agricultural sectors out-weighed these negative arguments, so an agreement was in place, and construction of the Seaway began in 1954.
Building the two American locks and 5 Canadian locks as well as the powerhouse at Cornwall-Massena required major modifications in the river and along the shorelines. A total of 11 communities were inundated, with two being removed to locations above the final water level. Highways and railways were re-routed. The overall system was hailed as the largest navigation project ever undertaken in the world.
The Seaway was completed and operational in 1959, and in 190 days that year transited 25.1 million tonnes of cargo. Ship traffic grew steadily until 1979, when 80 million tonnes went through, but since has decreased so it now carries about 40 million tonnes per year. Lock and channel improvements have been gradually extending the navigation season, so that in 2006 ships had access for 283 days.
Annual economic benefits shared by many industries and agriculture in both countries resulting from reliable water transport to the Great Lakes provided by the Seaway have been estimated at more than $ 35 billion US.




Fred Parkinson, Retired Consulting Civil/Hydraulic Engineer, spent a 45-year career working in the fields of hydro-power development and river navigation. He was associated with a number of studies to improve the Seaway lock operations during ice conditions and participated in studies on physical hydraulic models to widen and deepen the navigation channel downstream from Montreal. At the same time, he was retained to develop new operating systems for several locks on the Rideau and Trent Canals and overseas for the Panama Canal.
Working in the hydro-power field, his first project in Québec was Carillon on the Ottawa River. Hydro-Québec was embarking on a major development programme, and Fred worked on hydraulic design studies for projects on the Manicouagan and Outardes Rivers in the Lower St. Lawrence Region and on the La Grande, Eastmain and Caniapiscau Rivers in the James/Hudson Bay Regions. He also did key design and development studies on major hydro-power schemes in British Columbia and Manitoba. This experience led to short term expert consultations overseas: Iraq, Pakistan, Nepal, Madagascar, Philippines, Viet Nam, Nigeria, Sudan, Bolivia, Belize, Venezuela and Columbia. His final consulting work was as an expert witness in court concerning the flooding along the Rivière des Ha Ha in the Saguenay Region in 1996.
Following retirement, he served for eighteen months on an International Joint Commission sub-committee to study and make recommendations on modifying Seaway operations to provide water level control of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River that was more acceptable to the many different stakeholders, in particular, environmental interests.


Last Minute special guest at the lecture:IJC4


Dr. Murray Clamen, retired Secretary of the Canadian Section of the International Joint Commission, will give a short slide presentation describing the operations of the I.J.C. and describe a few typical studies involving rivers and lakes along the boMClarder between Canada and the United States.  Prior to becoming the Secretary, Dr. Clamen was the IJC lead technical advisor for over a decade on all issues related to trans-boundary water management in the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River System.


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