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Life Interrupted — Linda Knight Seccaspina

Life Interrupted — Linda Knight Seccaspina

Our new editor at The Townships Sun, Rachel Garber thought it would be a great idea if I wrote about our late editor Barbara Heath. Normally it would be an easy task for me, but in this case I had never met Barbara. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t know her– but in reality, we knew each other. They say to have a close friendship you need to meet each other first which helps strengthen the bond. Barbara and I did not need that, as we easily exchanged over a 100 emails between each other and felt like long lost sisters.

I first met Barbara years ago when she emailed me about a story I did about the rumoured 30-foot- long monster called Gog, Manaloo, Memphre, the Anaconda, or the Lake Monster of Lake Memphremagog. Somehow she had seen it on Facebook and asked if the Townships Sun could run it. Since I had spent the first  night  of my honeymoon looking out the motel window which faced Lake Memphremagog searching for that creature; it was a story that was near and dear to my heart.

And so, as they say, began the online friendship of Linda and Barbara. I had been writing for years in the States for publications about celebrities, murders and pets and she assured me that history was my thing and she was right. She encouraged me to keep writing with my heart, and to pursue my potential. It’s not like I needed anyone to encourage my prolific writing, but even though we were the same age, it was like someone putting their arm around you. It was always that way between us. She represented a part of my self-identity.

Barbara under the CIBC sign.

We both believed in saving heritage like the Tomifobia church which is a short distance from Stanstead, Quebec. The poor wee church was sold and abandoned for years and it left a mark on both of our hearts. She was a fighter like myself and we both stood up for the wrongs in our communities. Barbara with the closing of the CIBC in Stanstead and me with stormwater management ponds and supporting local business. It doesn’t matter how slowly we now moved along, we just had to make sure we didn’t stop. Neither of us kept our feelings in a drawer to be forgotten.

I am heartbroken and I should have known her health wasn’t getting better. In March she sent me two beautiful jewellery artifacts that belonged to her mother. She said in a letter, 

“I hope they bring you joy and show your spirit. You are certainly a valuable member of the Sun Family.”

Barbara did not wish to have any services, like myself. We both had figured out that lots of things happen after you die and none of them involve the deceased. I had told Barbara that when I die, cremate me and stick a tree on me. I wanted absolutely no headstones so these genealogists I have been writing about for years will come looking for me. She always thought that was funny.


We never met, yet we knew each other well, almost like we were friends before, 

We never met, but we both grew up in the Eastern Townships and loved and breathed history,

We never met, but you sent me letters from those that enjoyed my writing in the Townships Sun and told me never to stop writing. 

We never met, but you were a friend and a mentor, and for that I will be eternally grateful and never ever forget you.

I wish there was email in heaven.


Also read-Mary Louise Deller Knight — Evelyn Beban Lewis–The Townships Sun

Here Comes the Sun! The Townships Sun

Here Comes the Sun! The Townships Sun




Ever since I began writing about Lanark County– which is a hop skip and jump west of the Ottawa region I have discovered many fellow ex-pats from the Eastern Townships in Quebec.

The day I went hunting for information about a headstone belonging to William Davis that had been kept in a basement and ended up at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum was THE day that confirmed to me that there was quite the percentage of Eastern Townshippers in Lanark County.

Gary Leach, the warden of the St. James Church of England, in Franktown, Ontario took my Tilting the Kilt book to put in the church lending library. Within 48 hours I had calls from former townshippers wanting to know where they could get my book on Cowansville High School. This year I have had many requests from folks in my county to write about the townships, so I try to do one every few days. Of course not all of them will be straight-lace historical as I believe you need to be entertained to read and remember.

Barbara Heath, senior editor of The Townships Sun, saw my stories on the People From the Eastern Townships Facebook page and asked to print some of them. I don’t have to tell you I was honoured to be published in this little magazine that could that publishes 9 times a year. I write to share and I believe sharing with everyone will enrich everyone’s knowledge.

The Townships Sun is a small publication (since 1972) and they are not online, so if you decide to forgo a few Tim Horton’s treats this week sign up for a subscription to this wonderful little magazine. I am all about helping as you well know, and if you want to support  this little Eastern Townships magazine–the subscription rates are below.

Lanark County and the Eastern Townships both have scenery that will take your breath away and offer many road trips that lead to incredible vistas and historic villages. Lanark County and the Eastern Townships both promise many memories to take home.



Want to know about The Eastern Townships? Click here

Want to know more about Lanark County? Click here



Subscribing to The Townships Sun means getting convenient, to-your-door delivery of the magazine that delivers a compelling portrait of life in one of the most beautiful regions in the world — nine times a year!

It’s also a way to support a decades-old tradition of great journalism, keen insight, and a commitment to the culture of an English-speaking community that dates back hundreds of years.

For a one-year subscription, send a check or money order for $25 ($30 USA)  to:

The Townships Sun
P.O. Box 28
Sherbrooke, QC  J1M 1Z3

Be sure to include your name and home address!

email is: contact@townshipssun.ca





The Townships Sun (since 1972) is part of the QCNA

The Quebec Community Newspapers Association (QCNA) is dedicated to the professional and economic development of English community newspapers and their enterprises serving minority communities in Quebec. Recognized as the official representative of Quebec’s official language community newspapers by the federal and provincial governments, the public, and by the vast majority of Quebec’s community press whether independent, corporate, or not for profit, the QCNA is as unique as the members it serves. The association’s English and bilingual publications distribute weekly, biweekly, monthly and daily to some 770,000 readers across the province. These publications serve an exclusive English and bilingual readership in their communities through their focus on relevant local news and high editorial-to-advertising ratio. In fact, three out of five English-speaking residents read their local community newspaper.

The Quebec Community Newspapers Association provides advocacy, government representation, marketing and promotion for Quebec’s community newspapers and, among other things, highlights newspaper challenges in official language markets and provides possible solutions and establishes partnerships that will benefit members and the association.


Lanark County’s own former Eastern Townshipper Mac Knowles.


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun