by Shelley Divinich
months ago, our Sports Heritage column focused on Ian Allison, and
how he and his wife Jean met at Walkerville Collegiate, where Jean
was a secretary and Ian was a teacher. The couple eventually eloped
to Bayfield, returning to Walkerville to raise their family.
the spirit of St. Valentines Day, we thought wed share
some stories of other romances that began in Walkerville and have
stood the test of time. Mae Moore worked behind the counter of the
Hasty Mart on Wyandotte Street East in 1946. Ron Stewart was a single
father, who delivered the stores bread from Canada Bread on
Walker Road. Rons son, Jim, happened to be in Maes Sunday
school class at Emmanuel United Church on Lincoln Rd.
months later, the two married, and went on to have three more children,
one of whom being my mother. They enjoyed 35 years of marriage,
raising their family in South Walkerville, before Rons death
in March 1984.
United was the starting point for other long-lasting romances. Hazel
Connell and Ron Payne met as teens at Bible School there, and were
involved in several youth groups together. Ron, who lived on Lincoln
Road at the time, was just a few blocks away from Hazels home
on Moy Avenue.
couple married six years after they met, on October 21, 1944, and
went had four children. Their children and grandchildren have continued
to be active in scouting and guiding groups, and every Tuesday morning,
the Senior Social Group at Emmanuel relies on Hazel and Ron to be
there to start the coffee and tea. Theyve been married 56
years and counting.
Adams, a graduate of St. Marys Academy, ran the family-owned
Adams Family Drugstore, at the corner of Windermere and Tecumseh
Rd. One evening in 1937 while she was standing at the counter, Paul
Martin, Liberal M.P. for Essex/Kent came in to buy his cigars. According
to Paul Martin Jr., his father said to another customer, "This
is the girl Im going to marry."
(Nell) wasnt exactly impressed with the young politician at
first, but they began seeing one another soon after. Paul and Nell
were married September 8, 1937. They had two children, and lived
in Walkerville for the rest of their lives.
son, the Hon. Paul Martin, Minister of Finance, also found the girl
of his dreams in Walkerville. "I literally married the girl
next door," he says. Sheila Cowan lived two doors north of
the Martin family on Devonshire Road; Paul and Sheila married in
1965 and have three sons.
A Mini History of the Valentine
Hugh Barrett, Windsor's Community Museum
The history of Valentines
goes back to the time of the Romans with many myths and legends
about a Christian martyr named Valentine. Thought to have been a
priest, he was executed on February 14th in 3rd century Rome.
Another legend speaks
of him as the patron saint of lovers. Some of the earliest greeting
cards were referred to as devotional cards. Produced by priests
and nuns, these cards expressed their love and devotion to the Virgin
Mary and the Sacred Heart.
They were intricately
cut and decorated with beautiful writings and drawings. This image
of the heart has remained with us. An old English custom was the
practice of giving a woman a pair of gloves. February is traditionally
a cold month, so a pair of gloves would be a welcome gift.
The hidden message or
gift inside the gloves was an engagement ring. In the 1800s, as
books and newspapers were more easily produced, so too were valentines.
The early ones began as a sheet of paper with a decorative or romantic
picture surrounded by a floral border and cupids. These would be
hand-coloured with a space left for a hand-written note. These manufactured
cards were expensive though. Mass-produced from a woodcut they were
still individually hand-coloured. Postage was very expensive so
one would not send very many.
Whats your story?
Mail, fax, e.mail
or drop off a copy of how you met
(incl. photos if possible) to: The Walkerville Times,
624 Chilver Rd., Walkerville ON N8Y 2K2