Église unie Summerlea United Church
225 50 Av, Lachine, Québec, H8T2T7, Canada. 514-634-2651
Bienvenue! / Welcome!

The History of Summerlea
The First Fifty Years, 1902 - 1952

The Second Fifty Years 1952 - 2002
St. Andrew's / Summerlea 1818-2005
A Path of Faith, by Ruth Taylor (2007/03/22)
History of Grace United Church (2007-08-24)

Summerlea an Offshoot of St. Andrew's Presbyterian
The Story of the First 50 Years
Summerlea Presbyterian Church 1917 Lawn Social
The Sunday School circa 1943 - Thanks to Esther Anderson
Summerlea Picnic 1949 - Thanks to Olive Gatehouse (née Connolly)
1949 Let's Build It! Pamphlet
13 July 1952 Bulletin - Thanks to Betty Smith
Birthday Party on 40th Avenue, 1952 - Thanks to Betty Smith
1952 / 1957 Construction
The New Church Dedication, Oct. 23, 1952
Church Directory, Oct. 23, 1952
The Church School, Oct., 1952
New Building Committee, October, 1952

Summerlea an Offshoot of St. Andrew's Presbyterian
A note from Summerlea minister Rev. Howard Clark 12 Dec 2004

Last week Susan Ippersiel and I were rummaging through the dusty old ledgers in the storage room at Summerlea looking for some information concerning Grace United Church. Susan pointed out to me some of the earliest Summerlea registers.

What a surprise it was to discover that Summerlea was actually a child of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. In fact in December of 1914 St. Andrew's commissioned Summerlea Presbyterian Church as it recognized the need to expand West in Lachine. In the front of two of the books it said, "Presented by the Session of St. Andrew's Church, Lachine, to the Presbyterian congregation of Summerlea, on the occasion of their severance from St. Andrew's Church. dated December 21st, 1914."

So, back 90 years ago we were an offshoot of the St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church that is now coming back to join with us. What other wonders is God doing in our lives?
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The Story of the First 50 Years
This story of the first fifty years of Summerlea United Church's history is taken from the bulletin of the Dedication and Opening Services of the "new" building, which took place October 23, 1952. Thus the 50th anniversary of the existing building will be October 23, 2002, a century after the first group came together to start Summerlea.
(Notes in parentheses added in April, 2001.)

Almost 50 years ago, (about 1902) a small group of people living in the villages of Summerlea and Dorval came together for worship in what was actually a "little red schoolhouse" on the Lakeshore Road. That was the beginning of Summerlea Church.

The church at 90, 51st Ave. ca 1949
The church on 51st Avenue, ca 1949
In 1907, the original members moved to a building on 51st Avenue, and the first board of management was formed. Many of the names on this first board will be familiar to old-time residents: Messrs. Alex MacMillan, John N. Fulton, Robert Connibear, William H. Clark, James C. Lutrell and George MacMillan, treasurer.
(The building on 51st Avenue was replaced by a manse after the new church was built in 1952. The manse was sold in early 2007 - Ed, 2007/07/04)

Mr. Luttrell is still an active member of the congregation and assisted at the laying of the cornerstone of the new building last April 26th
(1952). Mr. and Mrs. George MacMillan are now residents of Buckingham, P.Q., but it is hoped that they are present this evening. Mrs MacMillan was Summerlea's first Sunday School teacher and in those early days no difficulty was experienced in finding space for the six pupils who attended.

Prior to the formation of the United Church of Canada, Summerlea was Presbyterian in denomination and for several years students of the Presbyterian College supplied the pulpit. After Union
(1925), the church was served by ministers whose salaries were paid by the Home Mission Board, and by pensioned ministers.

Three young men from families of this church went into the ministry. They are: Rev. Grant Hollingworth, B.A., Rev. Kenneth MacMillan, B.A., B.D., and Rev. Ivor Williams, M.A., S.T.M.

About eight years ago
(1944), Summerlea Church began to be affected by the new housing developments. Overcrowding, particularly in the Sunday School, was in evidence. A financial campaign, under the leadership of Mr. Kenneth Drysdale, raised $6000 towards a new Church Hall. For various reasons, the project was held in abeyance.

The Sunday School circa 1943
Courtesy Esther Anderson, far left in the second row.
Daughter Marilyn third child from left in the front row
Pick the photo to see it full-size.

In 1948, a new church building committee was formed, with the Minister as Chairman and Mr. F. Seymour Warren as Vice-Chairman. A site was secured; Mr. A. Leslie Perry was employed as Architect and a campaign for funds undertaken. The response was encouraging, and with two subsequent campaigns a total of $43,000 was reached. In the meantime, some reorganizing in the Building Committee took place and Messrs. Glen Buchanan and Leslie G. Hollingworth became Co-chairmen.

Having secured the necessary financial backing, the contract was let to Mr. John Caron, in November, 1951.

In the remarkable growth of the last few years
(1944-1952), the number of families has increased from 60 to 500; the Sunday School enrollment now stands at 450, and the church organizations are increasing both in number and in size. As we move into this building, we have great hopes for greater and more effective Christian service.
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The New Church Dedication, Oct. 23, 1952
Rev. Duncan H. MacFarlane The new church was dedicated Thursday, October 23, 1952, at 8:00 PM. The minister was the Rev. Duncan H. MacFarlane. (Summerlea minister from 1948 to 1968. UCC archive photo from The Montreal Star, October 22, 1952.) Participants in the ceremonies included:
    Rev. Ernest E. Long, President, Montreal & Ottawa Conference
    Rev. Harvey Harvey B. Campbell, D.D., Chairman of Presbytery
    Rev. R. DeWitt Scott, D.D.
    Rev. H. A. Rivers
    Rev. J. W. Patterson
    Rev. G. L. Hurst, D.D.
    Rev. Victor Rose
    Messrs. Glen Buchanan & Leslie G. Hollingworth, Co-chairmen of the Building Committee

The following Sunday, October 26, the sermon was preached by the minister's brother, Rev. Morgan G. MacFarlane of the United Church of Hespeler, Ontario.
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Church Directory, October, 1952

Organist and Choir Director: C. E. French
Clerk of the Session: A. H. Carlisle
Secretary, Official Board: F. Seymour Warren
Chairman, Committee of Stewards: L. G. Hollingworth
Treasurer: H. O. Coles
Recording Secretary, Board of Trustees: F. Seymour Warren
Envelope Steward: C. D. Chatterton
Presbytery Representative: Glen Buchanan
Chairman, Property Maintenance: Bruce Bowden
Chairman, Commmittee of Ushers: L. A. Rowell
Chairman, House Committee: G. H. C. Warren
Chairman, Missionary and Maintenance: G. H. C. Warren
President, Men's Association: John Duffie
President, Women's Association: Mrs. A. C. Jennings
President, Women's Missionary Society: Mrs. Jos. Midgley
President, Couples Club: Mr. and Mrs. C. D. Chatterton
Leader, Canadian Girls in Training: Mrs. W. B. Elliott
Leader, Mission Band: Mrs. Bruce Bowden
Leader, Baby Band: Mrs. R. H. Ford
Leader, Young People's Bible Class: TBA
Secretary-Treasurer, Senior Choir: Mrs. H. Meadows
Director, Junior Choir: Mrs. R. T. Walker
Director, Intermediate Choir: Kenneth Gatehouse
Akela, Wolf Cub Pack: Mrs. F. Dawson
Leader, Explorers Club: Mrs. Donald McEwen
Co-Sponsors, Mid-Teen Club: Mrs. F. Seymour Warren, N. K. Vale
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The Church School, October, 1952

General Superintendent: K. B. Drysdale
Secretary-Treasurer: Robert T. Walker
Superintendent, Primary Department: George R. Logan
Superintendent, Beginners Department: Miss J. Sparks
Superintendent, Cradle Roll Department: Mrs. R. A. Richardson
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New Building Committee, October, 1952
Co-Chairmen: Glen Buchanan, Leslie G. Hollingworth
Secretary: Jos. Midgley
Treasurer: W. B. Anderson
Chairman, Canvas Committee: A. Desmond Connolly
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