A Very Short Story about Miss Mary Frances Agnes O’Neill

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A Very Short Story about Miss Mary Frances Agnes O’Neill

Years ago a drive was made by the pupils of St. Mary’s School to send food to the needy people in Europe during World War II. The plan was that each boy and girl would bring as many canned goods as the family household could spare. It all was sent over in a general hamper.

One of the students, Miss Mary France Agnes O’Neill wondered where her donation might end up— so she put her name and address on one of the cans. Months later she received a reply from one of the families in France.

Dear Mademoiselle O’Neill,

We have received a box of ‘conserves’ from your town and thank you very much. I have three children, Pierre, Colette and Joel. It is very hard in France to get food. I would be happy to get a letter from you.

Madame DeBitault

When Mary Frances Agnes O’Neill was born on July 13, 1931, in Almonte, Ontario, her father, Daniel, was 29, and her mother, Mary, was 28. She had two brothers and one sister. She died on December 2, 2018, in Carleton Place, Ontario, at the age of 87, and was buried in her hometown.

Did you know?

More than a year after World War II concluded in Europe, the residents of Le Havre, France, continued to struggle for survival. Their homes remained leveled, their stomachs chronically empty.

On May 11, 1946, relief arrived from across the ocean as the cargo ship American Traveler steamed into the war-torn city’s harbor with a shipment of food—and hope. Aboard were 15,000 brown cardboard boxes paid for by the Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe (CARE), which had been founded the previous year to bring humanitarian aid to millions starving in post-war Europe. These first “CARE Packages” contained everything from whole-milk powder and liver loaf to margarine and coffee. The contents of CARE Packages soon expanded to include soap, diapers, school supplies and medicine as well as fabric, thread and needles to allow recipients to make and mend clothes.

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“Dominique, nique, nique s’en allait tout simplement”–The Pembroke Grey Nuns

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About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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