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This letter is from the collection of Christine WRIGHT and generously shared with me for the purposes of family history.
The footnotes are largely informed by information on the Web Site of Amy MENARY - tracking Canadian MENARY links.
Sharon Oddie BROWN, August 1, 2005

Toronto Nov 20 1940
Mrs. James Wright
Gilford
Co. Down
N/ Ireland 

Dear Cousin Mollie [1] ,

            I hope you are escaping the blackouts, bombings and nerve wracking ordeals that they are having in other parts of the Empire, we who are so protected here marvel at your bravery and courage. I often wonder how Dr. John Menary [2] and his wife are as they must be quite near the devastated parts. I think if I were they I would go to S. Ireland, here is hoping that Mr. deValera [3] will decide to unite with the Empire and let us have the war bases.
            Well the army and airmen of Canada are all mobilized and in training, factories are turning out supplies, and shipyards building boats, and there is a tax on everything the women are busy sewing and knitting, one unit to which I belong “The Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire” made a coast to coast appeal among its members for funds to purchase a Boslingbrooke (sic) Bomber for England. They cost $100,000. We raised $163,000 so could send $63,000 to war victims fund.
            Of course we do not feel much of the effects of war, as we have more food than we can use and living has only gone up about 5%, but the government is putting taxes on everything.
            I suppose you will be surprised to hear Edna [4] has a son born May 10 six months old weighs 21 lbs. He was baptized John Frank [5] but she will call him John. Needless to say they are delighted. I had a nice holiday in St. John’s N.B. and Halifax N.S. early in summer. Our summer was not as warm as usual, but we are having a mild autumn.
            We had a cousin Ellen Menary [6] pass away in September from heart trouble. Uncle David Menary’s [7] daughter a sweet lovable woman [8] .
            My brother John [9] has not been well and brother Fred [10] had an attack of pleurisy. Hope Mr. Wright and yourself are well.

                                                 Cousin Elizabeth [11] .


[1] Mary (née MENARY) WRIGHT (1872-1946) of Gilford Castle, Co. Down.

[2] Dr. John MENARY, likely the son of James MENARY, also grandson of Alexander MENARY (1849-1899, husband of Agnes Menary SHANKS) NOTE: There is a good dose of guesswork in this link and it may prove to be incorrect.

[3] Prime Minister of The Republic of Ireland

[4] Edna (née MENARY) SHERK (1907-2001), wife of Frank T. SHERK (-1972)and daughter of Ernest Alfred MENARY (1876-1955) of Orangeville and then Toronto, Ontario

[5] John Frank Sherk (1940-) son of Frank T. SHERK & Edna MENARY (1907-2001)

[6] Ellen Jane MENARY. Also from Amy MENARY's site: Ellen Jane Menary was born on 12 Mar 1872 in Bowling Green, Wellington Co., On, Canada. She died on 11 Sep 1940 in Grand Valley, Dufferin Co, Ontario, Canada. She was buried 1, 2 in Sep 1940 in Orangeville, Dufferin Co, Ontario, Canada.

[7] David MENARY – probably a brother of William MENARY (1844-1912) and son of  John MENARY and Phoebe Elizabeth Rebecca KILPATRICK. From Amy MENARY's site: David McLean MENARY was born on 10 Apr 1842 in Armagh Co, Ulster, Ireland. He died 1 on 27 Sep 1912 in Amaranth Twp, Dufferin County, Ontario, Canada. The cause of death was Pnetonitis. He was buried 2, 3, 4, 5 on 28 Sep 1912 in Orangeville, Dufferin County, Ontario, Canada.

[8] Probably a reference to Ellen MENARY.

[9] John Alexander MENARY (1865-1956) of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Brother of Elizabeth Cotton MENARY (1864-1943).

[10] Frederick Charles MENARY (1876-1951) of Toronto, brother of Elizabeth Cotton MENARY (1864-1943)

[11] Elizabeth Cotton MENARY of Toronto, daughter of William MENARY and Sarah Jane COTTON

 

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