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2014 Heritage Essay Contest Winners!

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larger_img_2245_0.jpgThe winners of QAHN's 2014 Heritage Essay Contest for elementary students have been announced!

The following six students and essays have been selected:

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Elisa Vitovszki, Grade 5
Gardenview Elementary School
Teacher: Ms. Wong

1st Prize

Ogilvy’s Christmas Display Window

Ogilvy’s department store was opened in 1866 and is located at the corner of St Catherine and de la Montagne Street in downtown Montreal since 1896.

In 1947, the owner asked a German toymaker to create two animated holiday scenes. The display is put up every year in the department store corner window from mid-November to mid-January. It takes one full week to put up the scene. The scenes include hundreds of animated stuffed animals doing a lot of different activities. Every year, the scene is switched form “Mill in the Forest” to the “Enchanted Village”.

In the “Mill in the Forest” scene, there are plenty of animals such as frogs fishing, a porcupine playing the accordion, a rabbit on a swing, and many more. My favourite animal is the monkey shoeing the donkey.

The best part of the display is the feeling I get when I see it because I know that Christmas is coming and lots of Montrealers feel the same way. If you walk by Ogilvy’s during the Holiday season, you will see a lost of people, of all ages, staring at the display. Even now, with all the fast technology and internet, everyone takes a few minutes out of their busy holiday shopping to stop and admire the display.

My mom remembers seeing the display when she was younger and now she has shared this Montreal tradition with me and one day I will bring my children to see it – a Montreal holiday landmark!

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Amanda Lisi, Grade 5
Gardenview School
Teacher : Ms. Wong

2nd Prize

A Life Changing Machine

Have you ever seen the roads covered in snow up to five metres high? Probably not. Well that is because we have our trusty friend the snow blower. The snow blower is an amazing machine. Without this genius machine winter would be a big mess especially in Quebec.

The inventor of the snow blower is Arthur Sicard. Arthur was born in Saint-Leonard-De-Port-Maurice, Quebec on December 17, 1876.

Arthur’s father was a dairy farmer and Arthur would deliver the dairy products. In the winter it would be harder to drive in the roads full of snow. So Arthur thought about a machine that would clear the roads. Arthur saw the machine his neighbour used to cultivate the wheat in the fields. He was fascinated by the fast blades spinning on the machine that was used to cultivate the wheat. He thought he could make a machine very similar to clear the snow off the roads.

It took Arthur about three decades to make this machine he called the “Sicard snow remover snow blower”. This machine was made in 1925. The machine was also modified by Canadian citizens. From then on it was a joy all through Québec for the roads were no longer covered in snow.

Sadly, after inventing such a machine he died on September 13, 1946. Every winter we are reminded of him by his life changing machine.

Amanda Lisi, Grade 5
Gardenview School
Teacher : Ms. Wong

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Grant Anderson, Grade 6
Beacon Hill School
Kirkland
Teacher: Chad Dixon

3rd Prize

CP Holiday Train

One tradition in my community that my family enjoys is the annual CP Holiday Train that rolls in to Beaconsfield train station every November.

My family and I have been going for a few years. The train has 14 train cars beautifully lit up with Christmas lights. It travels across Canada collecting donations of non-perishable food and money for the needy.

In 2012, they collected almost $5 million and 2.3 million pounds of food. The donations collected by CP are given to local food banks, so the donations are helping people in their own communities.

Along with the festive train cars, another reason to enjoy the Holiday Train is the snow. Last year, Santa arrived with the band The Odds. As the band played holiday songs, Santa walked around the huge crowd handing out candy canes. The radio station 92.5 The Beat was also there handing our “Beat Bags”.

As my family and I made our way through the crowd last year to find a place to watch the show, we realized we were standing right behind my grade 5 teacher, Mme. Lafrance, and her family.

Even though the temperature was very cold, it didn’t stop hundreds of people from my community from supporting a good cause and having a good time!

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Aiden Gallagher, Grade 6
Beacon Hill School
Teacher: Chad Dixon

Honourable Mention

My Great Grandfather: George Flewelling Leighton

I am writing to tell you about my great grandfather named George Flewelling Leighton. He was born in Moncton, New Brunswick on March 4, 1920. My grandfather was a great athlete; he still holds the national junior record in front crawl division.

George Leighton moved to Montreal in 1940 to work as a labor with the company Canadian Vicker. He took classes at night to become a mechanist, which allowed him to transfer to their other company called Canadair. My great grandfather made specialized parts for the planes. During war time he specialized on bombers.

George married Eva Carr and they lived in greater Montreal in a 4 bedroom house with 8 kids. They had 5 girls and 3 boys.

After a long good life George Flewelling Leighton passed in June of 2009 from pneumonia. He left behind 7 children, 11 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. He went to heaven to meet his loving wife and son, Wayne who died in a car crash at the age of 19.

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Aydan Guzevicius, Grade 5
Gardenview School
Teacher: Ms. Wong

Honourable Mention

Philippe Couillard

I have chosen Philippe Couillard because I watched as he became the Premiere of Quebec the night of the elections on April 7th 2014 while having dinner. He is a man who promises to help build a better economy, community and future for Quebec. He was born June 26, 1957 in Montreal. He graduated in Neurosurgery at the University of Montreal and became a brain doctor at 21. He had many different jobs; He was chief surgeon at Saint-Luc Hospital; He was co-founder of neurosurgery in Saudi Arabia; He was a member of the Security Intelligence Review Committee; and he was appointed Minister of Health and Social Services during the Jean Charest Government.

Philippe Couillard is a likeable, calm and good-natured person. He gets his nickname “Bear” because of his size and the way he takes strolls in the park.

I find him to be a very interesting person. Here are some other facts about Philippe Couillard. First, when he was young he enjoyed playing hockey outdoors without gloves in very cold weather, and his hands never got cold! This liberal leader still will not wear gloves while making speeches outdoors. He says he only gets cold ears and feet. He is into music, and has a playlist of opera and classical to rock and reggae on his iPad. He says he is not into ‘light’ reading. He refused to read the morning newspapers especially during his campaign. He is a red wine lover, but only drank orange juice and water during his campaign. Lastly, Mr. Couillard is proud of his beard, he has trimmed his beard for the campaign, but he wears his beard proudly.

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Dahlia Capparelli, Grade 6
Beacon Hill School
Teacher: Chad Dixon

Honourable Mention

Thérèse Casgrain

Thérèse Casgrain was born July 10th 1896 in Montréal but sadly died in 1981. Thérèse Casgrain was important to our community, because she spoke out for the women to get the right to vote in provincial election. She was also noticeable for world peace and an end to the nuclear weapons.

In 1961 she founded an organization called the Voice of Women, and was elected president for this organization. After hearing about this organization, women from all over the county started joining this organization, after all the women came together, there was an accumulation of 6000 members.

At the age of 19 Thérèse Casgrain married Pierre Casgrain, who was campaigning for the Charlevoix seat. In the winter he got very ill so she took his place. Thérèse’s father had been a conservative member of parliament for 13 years, but decided not to run for the elections of December 1917.

For almost 20 years Mrs. Casgrain campaigned for women to have the right to vote, this made the Federation of Québec believe that women should have the right to vote in the provincial elections.

All the women in Québec should be grateful for what she did for them, and she will always be remembered in our community.

Thank you Thérèse Casgrain!