Reflections: Montreal Life
When I started my career as an English language arts teacher, I had been a speaker of the language for barely a decade myself, and still had trouble with idioms or the use of correct prepositions in a sentence. I was, nevertheless, the bright-eyed, opinionated, naive young woman ready to teach English literature and composition to secondary four and five students, most of whom were barely half a decade younger than myself.
Most Montrealers believe that all of the Irish immigrants to our city arrived at the time of the Irish Famine in 1847, when in reality the ancestors of many of our present day Quebec citizens of Irish descent likely arrived decades before this terrible event.
Around 2005, Peggie Hopkins, a real estate agent in Point St. Charles, was offered an opportunity to act in a play at Westmount’s community theatre. She had no previous acting experience, but thought that the chance to act might be a new and interesting adventure.
Before long, she was infected with the “theatre bug” and was thinking about starting a local English-language community theatre in Point St. Charles. Of course, the big question was, “how do you start a community theatre?”
Do you remember what you were doing at 2.00 p.m. on Thursday, February 12, 1959? I do. I was standing in the arrival area at Windsor Station in Montreal -- head high, eyes wide open, senses tingling, and feet on Canadian soil (well ok, so it was really concrete). The other boat-train passengers had all gone their various ways, and now I was alone. For one brief moment of panic, I wondered what on earth I had done.