A Celebration of Love and a New Life
A special wedding took place, on Sunday, in Stanstead: a wedding to celebrate not only the love of two people, but also to celebrate moving to the sleepy, rural community of Stanstead from the big city of Laval.
“We moved here on May 11th, 2011, so we decided to hold our wedding on that date because we’re really enjoying living here in the ‘Three Villages’, in Stanstead,” said Walter E. Ellis, speaking for himself and his soon to be new wife, Suzanne Fournel, in an interview with the
Stanstead Journal last week.
The second marriage for Suzanne and Walter, it was supposed to be a “quiet wedding” with the service on the couple’s front porch and the reception at the Beebe Curling Club, but with six children and thirteen grandchildren between them, that idea didn’t last long. “We’re now up to seventy-four guests!” said Walter.
The couple, who are both members of the
Sacre Coeur Choir, in Stanstead, actually met in the ninety-five person choir of St. Sylvain Parish, back in Laval. “I got into the choir after losing my wife in April of 2008. Suzanne was also in the choir and she had just lost her husband in March. We lived together in Laval for two years before deciding to move to the country,” explained Mr. Ellis.
“First, we looked on the internet and found a house in Saint Hermenegilde but it was on a steep road so we didn’t buy it. A friend of ours had bought a home in Stanstead so we looked at Stanstead homes in a catalogue. When we came to see this house, we fell in love with it,” explained Suzanne, a retired designer of draperies and blinds.
“After I retired in 2000, I wanted to move to the country,” said Walter who worked as a representative in the electrical market. “I knew this area a little bit because I’d played golf at Dufferin Heights and at Orford.”
Once they’d made the decision to ‘head for the hills’, their children were a little concerned. “The kids thought there would be no hospitals in the area but we’re only twenty minutes from the Magog hospital and forty-five minutes from the CHUS. We even found a family doctor here!” commented Mr. Ellis.
In just two years, Suzanne and Walter have found their ‘niche’ here in Stanstead. “In winter we can go snowshoeing or cross country skiing just outside our door on the bicycle path. We go biking on it, too. And I really appreciate all the bilingual people in town; I’ve had a chance to renew with the English language. We also go bowling, go to the Club D’Age D’Or dinners, and we often go to the United States and have lunch at the Eastside. It’s nice to discover an area and if you want to do things, there’s always something to do. We just finished a session, this morning, of collage-making at the Old Post Office, in Rock Island,” said Walter, referring to the Stanstead Cultural Centre the way most long-term residents do.
“It’s nice and quiet on our street, there are even deer that come and eat our trees. And we really like the people here; they have been very welcoming,” commented Suzanne. “If we could just get our street fixed, then we’d really be happy, and so would all our neighbours on Western. That would make a nice wedding gift!” joked Mr. Ellis, half-seriously.
“Do you miss the city?” I asked. “No, we go seven or eight times a year and we’re always happy to come back here; I drove in a lot of traffic with my work all my life. I tell Suzanne that if I ever get to the bottom of Passenger Street and have to wait more than three cars before I can pull out onto Railroad, then we’re selling the house!”
New Stanstead residents Suzanne Fournel and Walter E. Ellis exchanged vows on their front porch, last Sunday, in front of over seventy relatives and friends.