The launching of a book of short stories called, The Thirteenth One: A Prairie Family’s Adventures in Early 20th Century Canada, took place September 20th at the Westmount Library in London. Eight of the 12 living members of the Gervais family were there to help celebrate. Marie, the 8th one, and John McColl, entertained all with some old time fiddling as we entered the lobby. Charlie, the 11th one, came from his missions in Ecuador, Therese, the 7th one and Estelle, the 10th one, came from Michigan and Marcel, the 9th one, the Archbishop Emeritus, arrived from Ottawa. Some of their Beaudry cousins from the St. Thomas area were also there.
Each family member was given a name tag bearing their name and # in this large family. Larry’s sign read “the husband.” Before the reading Denyse lined them all up to play the “name game” where they rattle off their names in order of birth as quickly as possible. Then, after hearing the story of their big sister Majella’s wedding, they all joined in singing a few verses of the anniversary song.
Close to 180 people filled the room and many books were sold and signed. Some people followed the family to Angelo’s where they celebrated Marcel’s birthday.