For seven Manion children, some now with children and grandchildren of
their own, Havelock Street in Ottawa East is the most important street
in the world. Six of the Manions were actually born on Havelock: Mary
Manion Leonardo at No. 26, the late James Manion at No. 47, while Kathleen
Manion Shaw, Alice Manion Leonardo, the late John Manion and Aileen Manion
were all born at No. 70. Marlene Manion, the young-est, was born at Grace
Hospital, "the only one of us to make her entrance in-to the world
that way." She and Aileen now live at No. 70. Mary lives now at 179
Prince Albert, and Kathleen at 2079 Valley Drive, Alice at 63 Havelock.
They still remember a won-derfully warm and happy fam-ily life and here
at No. 70, they meet on occasion to socialize and to share memories of
past golden summer days. Those were days
filled with play, picnicking, swimming "morning, noon and afternoon"
at Brantwood Beach; wintry days of skat-ing at their own or neighbours'
backyard rinks, skat-ing on the Rideau River or Canal, or sleighing down
hills that have disappeared into busy roads, streets and bus and truck
The Manion property now comprises the original homesite and the one immediately
behind it, extending now from Havelock to Harvey Streets and including
a large garden area where a-
house once stood. The house has been remodeled down-stairs to make wider
halls, two large living rooms, a kitchen and a dining room. The back stairway
to the up-stairs has been retained, while the front one has been removed
as part of the addition at the side of the house. The effect is one of
spaciousness, providing a happy setting for family reunions.
Their father, Michael Manion was fireman/engineer on the CNR whose tracks
where the Queensway is now. "When he was coming home, he used a special
train whistle call to tell us he was on the way", Marlene recalls.
Their mother, Ellen Duffy Manion was a professional cook, and taught her
five daughters the art as Soon as they were big enough to reach the tabletop.
"Sometimes when Dad came home and saw the table covered with home-made
pies, bread, dough nuts, cakes, buns and cook-ies, he would say with a
chuckle, "what, no tea biscuits?"
When recalling their fav-ourite play areas the Manions noted that there
were open areas which since have been filled in with roads and houses.
For example, the open area between Brantwood and Brighton beaches was
a favourite sports and picnic area, with people coming from as far away
as the Lutheran Church on King Edward Aven-ue for their picnics."He
often played at Strath-
cona Park," they remember, "and Sandy Hill seemed as much a
part of our play-ground as Havelock and other quiet traffic-free streets
where we played baseball, 'Run, sheep, Run' Red-Rover and hide-and- seek".
They swung from trees like amateur Tarzans and helped themselves (just
occasionally, of course) to apple, cherry and plum trees growing in gardens
There were family parties with parlour games and music. "Alice could
play any tune once she heard it", the girls remember, and "our
sessions around the piano were a pure delight with everyone joining in."
Other memories cherished today include "three-scoop" ice-cream
cones for five
cents, a runaway horse es-caping from a Morrison and Lamothe bakery wagon,
wagon rides, "hot gruel and onion sandwiches" after skating
at 20 below zero, skipping rope and "dibs and marbles" games
at school. They also look back fondly on "first jobs" at 35
cents an hour, meat store spare ribs at 5 cents a pound and pumpkin pies
given away by a local bakery on Halloween. School days at Holy Family
School, Main and Hazel Streets, high school at "St. Pat's" and
others; friendships that have lasted through the years all made life good
for the Manions, and the Manions were good for Ottawa East, we suspect.
With great sadness, we wish to announce that James Manion very recently
passed away. We'd like to thank the Manion family for gra-ciously permitting
The Mainstreeter to continue with their story. We'd like to offer our
condolences to the Manions and other family and friends.