The Canadian Burke-Gaffneys


  • Mary Louise Henebery born in Rathmines, Dublin, Ireland October 4.
  • Patrick Burke-Gaffney born in Kingstown, Dublin, Ireland January 15.
  • He enters National University of Ireland;
  • 1908, B.A. (Economics & Literature).
  • 1911, B.Sc. (Mathematics & Geology);
  • 1912, B.Eng. (first place, first-class honours).
  • Patrick meets Mary Louise on a blind date at college tennis dance with her sister Norah ("Dot") and Robert Glenny, another engineering graduate.
  • Mary Louise employed at Irish Industries.
  • Robert Glenny leaves for Montreal, promising to send for Norah Henebery the next year.
  • In October, Patrick wins post as assistant to Professor of Engineering, University College, Dublin.
  • In April, Patrick arrives in North Transcona, Manitoba, employed by Canadian Pacific Railway, first as rodman on maintenance of way.
  • In July, with title of instrumentman, in charge of raising Transcona grain elevator, also reconstructing a bridge over Red River at East Kildonan.
  • Patrick and Mary Louise married September 4 in Montreal, travel to Transcona, and take up residence in a converted caboose.
  • In April, as inspector, he completes and tests a bridge over the Pembina River at Sangudo, Alberta.
  • In June, appointed Bridge Engineer, Good Roads Branch, Government of Manitoba.
  • The couple moves in April to the new Maple Leaf apartments on Corydon Ave., Winnipeg, near St. Ignatius.
  • Thomas Edward born July 16.
  • In September they move a few blocks to Panama Court on Dorchester Ave. at Lilac St.
  • Desmond Patrick born March 14.
  • Winnipeg strike: Patrick involved in army fracas, accused of desertion but was saved by Minister of Highways who intervened on his behalf.
  • Michael Walter, Patrick's young brother, also an engineer, immigrates to Winnipeg to take up a job with the Good Roads Branch.
  • The family moves to 340 Linwood Ave., Deer Lodge, on the western limits of Winnipeg. Mr. Lyons lived at 322 Linwood.
  • John Joseph born June 5.
  • Moved to Garwood St. Summer at Gull Harbor in cottage owned by Dr. Wallace of government.
  • Francis Noel born October 3. Patrick joins Johns-Manville Co. as district engineer.
  • Moved to 784 Jessie Ave.
  • Mary Louise born January 19.
  • Ted gets driver's license at age 12 -- no age limit at the time.
  • Joan "Granny" Burke-Gaffney visits from Ireland.
  • Bought and moved to 779 Jessie Ave.
  • Having completed Grade 8 at St. Ignatius, Ted begins high school at St. Paul's College on Selkirk Ave; he takes Grade 10 at Kelvin Technical High School, and completes high school at Campion College, Regina.
  • Mother takes Frank and Mary by train to Montreal to visit the Glennys.
  • Ted enrols at the University of Manitoba.
  • Ted gets a job as geologist with the Geological Survey of Canada.
  • Patrick elected president of Association of Professional Engineers, Manitoba.
  • Patrick and Mary Louise celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.
  • Ted starts work in September with Sherritt-Gordon Mines at Sherridon,Man.
  • Desmond graduates from U. of M. and enters Jesuit novitiate atGuelph, Ont.
  • John gets job at Winnipeg studio of CJGX, Yorkton, as technical operator.
  • Walter Burke-Gaffney S.J. appointed to St. Paul's College, Winnipeg.
  • Patrick delivers paper entitled "The Engineer and the body politic," a radio broadcast address, published by the Manitoba League for Adult Education.
  • John moves to CJRC, Winnipeg, as a technical operator.
  • Mary goes to the Convent of the Sacred Heart on Westgate Road for her Grade 9.
  • Ted marries Helen Ganz at The Pas, Man., July 7.
  • John moves to newly formed CBC as sound-effects operator and writer.
  • Ted and Helen move to Josephine Iron Mine and Frank visits them that summer.
  • Des goes to Loyola College, Montreal, for one-year teaching stint.
  • In February, Frank joins RCNVR, trains in St. Hyacinthe, PQ, as signalman.
  • Mary graduates from Grade 11 at Convent of the Sacred Heart, and goes for Grade 12 to CSH (Sault-au-Recollet) in Montreal. In September, Frank visits Mary on his way overseas. He is allowed to take her for dinner to Murray's Restaurant after which they roam St. Catherine St. He joins British ship HMS Nigeria in Greenoch, Scotland, and later HMS Jamaica.
  • Frank joins newly commissioned HMCS Uganda in Charleston, N.C., and proceeds to Pacific.
  • Mary wins scholarship taking her to Maryville College, St. Louis, Miss.
  • Patrick elected president of Dominion Council of Professional Engineers. He delivers a paper entitled "The junior engineer's place in society" to the graduating engineering students of the Maritime Universities, Halifax; published in the B.C. Engineering Society journal. He writes a paper entitled "The Dominion Council of Professional Engineers: its origin and functions" published in 25th anniversary journal of the Quebec Corporation of Professional Engineers.
  • In September, Frank, demobilized from Navy, returns to St. Paul's High School.
  • Ted and Helen move to Lynn Lake, Man. Des moves to Regiopolis High School, Kingston, for two years' teaching (a "scholastic.")
  • In September, John gets job as reporter at the Winnipeg Tribune.
  • Dad writes to Ted on December 21: "Mary arrived home Thursday in the best of spirits. She will be 21 on the 19th of next month and will graduate in May. Isn't it appalling -- my baby!!"
  • Ted takes new post as manager of labor relations and the family moves back to Sherridon.
  • Des moves to Toronto seminary to study theology.
  • John marries Elizabeth Sparling July 7 at St. Ignatius Church; he starts work as radio director at Cockfield Brown advertising agency.
  • Early in the year, Frank goes to work in a lumber camp in western Ontario; in September he enrols at St. Michael's College, Toronto, in the two-year Arts program.
  • Mary earns a B.A., major in physics.
  • Mary enters the Society of the Sacred Heart, Albany, N.Y., in September.
  • Sherridon operations move 165 miles to Lynn Lake, Man. Later, Ted spoke to a conference of the American Association of Mining and Metallurgy on how to move a town.
  • Desmond ordained June 25 at the Jesuit Seminary, Toronto; Dad, Mother, Dot and Iris Glenny attended. He says his first Mass at St. Ignatius, Winnipeg, served by his brothers. Shortly after, he returns to Toronto for his 4th year of theology.
  • Frank begins career as landman in the oil industry, and takes two-year course in Engineering from the University of Alberta, Edmonton.
  • Des spends a year of spiritual theology in Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin.
  • Frank marries Lois Helen Kane June 14 in Sacred Heart Church, Calgary; he had met her at St. Paul's Grade 12 and again in Toronto during Calgary's 1949 Grey Cup invasion.
  • Mary makes first vows in the Society of the Sacred Heart, Albany, N.Y., and on May 5 returns to Montreal to teach at Sault-au-Recollet.
  • Desmond moves to Fordham University, New York, to complete his M.A.and to begin doctoral studies.
  • Mary goes to Manhattanville College, Graduate Division, Albany, N.Y., in September.
  • September, Mary awarded M.Ed.; goes to Rome to prepare for final vows.
  • Mary makes her final vows February 10 at the Society of the Sacred Heart "Mother House" on Via Nomentana in Rome; In March she moves to the Winnipeg convent to teach maths, physics, English, history, Latin.
  • Ted and family move to Winnipeg.
  • Des returns to Guelph to teach Jesuit scholastics.
  • John and family move to Montreal where he becomes vice-president of Cockfield Brown.
  • Des moves to St. Paul's College, Winnipeg.
  • John joins John Labatt Limited and family moves in September to London, Ont.
  • Patrick and Mary Louise celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary at Grey Nuns' St. Vital Centre with Fr. Walter, Desmond, Helen and five of her children, and Mary, RSCJ.
  • Des appointed Rector of St. Paul's.
  • Patrick, 77, dies July 16 in Taché Hospital, St. Boniface.
  • Frank elected a trustee of the Calgary Roman Catholic Separate School District #1 and serves two terms.
  • Mary to Halifax, N.S., to teach maths, English, history, Latin.
  • Mary to UBC, Vancouver, for Library Sciences degree (BLS).
  • Des moves to Campion College, Regina, as Dean.
  • Mary appointed Librarian, Sturgeon Creek Regional Secondary School, Winnipeg.
  • Mary to Convent of the Sacred Heart, Vancouver, librarian and maths teacher.
  • Desmond dies of brain tumor December 4 in Pasqua Hospital, Regina, Sask.
  • Mary Louise, 90, dies August 31 in a nursing home in Winnipeg. John takes early retirement from John Labatt Limited and establishes consulting business in corporate communication.
  • Mary to Montreal to join administration, Society of the Sacred Heart.
  • Beth dies July 30 of cancer in St. Margaret's Hospital, Toronto.
  • John marries Isobel Dix January 30 in London, Ont. In addition to consulting work, he accepts post as adjunct professor at Graduate School of Journalism, University of Western Ontario.
  • Mary attends Dalhousie Library School, Halifax.
  • John joins staff of Victoria General Hospital, London, as communication director and fund-raising organizer.
  • Ted and Helen move to Victoria, B.C.
  • John and Isobel move to Nanaimo, B.C., where he joins Nanaimo Regional General Hospital as communication director; in 1991, work completed, he and Isobel retire in Nanaimo.
  • Mary in Winnipeg and Toronto as librarian, Secretary to the Canadian Religious Conference West, and Montreal as librarian at the Canadian Centre of Ecuminism, also researching history of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Canada.
  • April 22, family reunion in Victoria to celebrate the year of Ted's and Helen's 80th birthdays. Mary, Frank and Lois, and John and Isobel attend as well as Maureen & Maurice Copiak and his parents, Theresa, Kathy, Tom and Amanda, Mary and Brian Rusk, and many friends.
  • August 10, big house-warming and birthday party (Maureen & Brian) at Maurice and Maureen Copiak and Theresa's new home in Duncan, B.C., attended by Ted & Helen, John & Isobel, Frank & Lois, Mary RSCJ, plus Brian & Michiko, Taka & Saya, and Noel & Ondine and children -- and Copiak parents and family members, and friends.
  • October 15: Frank dies peacefully in Calgary of pancreatic cancer, diagnosed a year earlier. Except John who was confined to Nanaimo hospital for surgery, Frank's immediate family and hundreds of friends attend his funeral October 20 at Sacred Heart Church, Calgary.
  • March 28: Helen's 85th birthday. On April 1, contingents of Helen's seven children with spouses and grandchildren (and two great-grandchildren) from Winnipeg and Calgary join Ted in Duncan, BC, to acclaim Helen, joined by John & Isobel, Lois and Elizabeth from Calgary. Mary RSCJ, unable to attend, telephones greetings from
    Montréal. Twenty-one sit down for dinner the first evening. Other friends and in-laws join the following day and keep the party going.
  • July 16: Ted's 85th birthday celebrated in Victoria by family and friends.
  • February 8: Sad news in Victoria, B.C.. Thomas Edward (Ted) Burke-Gaffney, 85, eldest of the Canadian family, died after a brief stay in hospital for bowel surgery. All seven of their children with several grandchildren joined Helen, his widow, at the funeral Mass at St. Andrew's Cathedral February 12. With her also were his brother John and Isobel, sister Mary, RSCJ, sister-in-law Lois of Calgary with her children Sean, Noel and Elizabeth, and, and his cousin Mary (MacGinty) Goold of Seattle and her husband John. Born in Winnipeg, Ted made his career as a geologist; he and Helen retired to Victoria in 1986 where they served a number of church and community causes.