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Civilian Member C503, Ghislaine Marguerite Hastie

Ghislaine joined the RCMP Vets in 1987, and was a Life member of Kingston Vets 

 

Ghislaine served as a translator for the RCMP in "A" Division from 1967 to 1987

Passed peacefully at the Kingston Health Sciences Centre on Tuesday April 16, 2019 at the age of 88. Ghislaine Hastie (nee LeMay), beloved wife of the late Willard Hastie. Will be lovingly remembered by her 2 nieces Lucie Lannan (Michael) and Rachel Godin (Jules), and by her nephew Eric Ginn. Also survived by numerous extended nieces and nephews. A Memorial Mass will be held at St. John the Evangelist Church on Saturday April 27 at 12:00 pm. Interment will take place in Carleton Place, Ontario at a later date. As expressions of sympathy, donations made to the Canadian Cancer Society or to the Gananoque and District Humane Society would be appreciated by the family.



 


Eulogy by Stephen Heaton

I would like to thank Father Wright and all who serve here, for allowing me a moment to say a few words.

Ghislaine was a member of this wonderful Romanesque church. She was in the choir for many years. Despite her lack of attendance in recent years, due to illness and increasing frailty, she always considered St. John's her spiritual home. It is comforting that she has been brought here for one last time for a Funeral mass. She did occasionally come and sit in the back pew on a week day, if the church was open, but her grief would overcome her and she would leave in tears.

I did ask Father Sebastian to visit her a few times and had just recently persuaded her to invite Father Wright to visit too. Alas, she became very ill before this could happen.

Since Ghislaine's death on the 16th April, I did take it upon myself to call the many people she did business with in our small community of Gananoque. I came to realize how wonderful our community is. Everyone I called was truly upset at the news and had clearly made a special connection with Ghislaine. They all knew she had been very sad these past five years since her dear husband Willard had died but they were able to take that extra step in being kind, supportive and friendly. Tammy her hairdresser, Nancy her cleaner, the gentlemen at Woodchuck, Magnolia Flowers, the gentlemen at Gan Chev Olds and the folks at Executive Taxi, they touched my heart strings by their affection for her. Her lawyer, Colin Wright, the frontline staff at BMO and her landscaper were also very kind to her.

There are some people who went so far beyond the extra mile that I doubt she would have been able to stay in her beloved River Road home these past 10 years. Bell and Russ Burton, Ann Liddell when Willard was so ill, Chris and Nancy Randall were truly there for Ghislaine during some difficult times. I like to think that my partner, Robert and I also played our part.

Ghislaine could not find her Lord when she sat in the empty church on a week day and wept, but I believe He was with her in seeing that this community tried to be there for her.

Ghislaine considered her nieces Lucy, Rachel and nephew Eric like her own children and lived for their phone calls and visits. She was blessed to have them beside her during her last few days in hospital.

There are always surprise things we do not know about people we think we know so well. Ghislaine was the grand-daughter of Klondike Gold Hunters who hit gold. Alas, there were no gold bars in her basement, or so she said. She was also the daughter of a Mountie, the brother of a Mountie and I believe her great nephew may become a Mountie. She was born in an RCMP detachment house. She worked as a translator for the RCMP for 25 years in Ottawa. She was treated like a princess with her own office and secretary. The adjacent offices housed the head of RCMP Canada and the Chief Superintendent of RCMP Ottawa. She did bring her dog to work one cold winter day and had her knuckles gently rapped, but I think this was the extent of her misdemeanours. She did ask the RCMP if she could purchase a Mountie's hat, but officialdom said "no". Today, however, a borrowed Mountie's hat sits on the small table next to her urn.

She was a member of the RCMP Veterans' Association and attended their monthly and Christmas lunches, when able. The kindness and support of these Mounties and their wives and their Chaplain, John was stellar. Many are here today and their presence is a great mark of respect for her.

There was a delightful eccentric side to Ghislaine too. About three years ago during a dark and stormy night, she became convinced someone was trying to break into her house. I was sure it was just the wind and a loose branch hitting her door. The next day, she drove to the OPP station in Lansdowne and informed the receptionist she wished to see an Officer. "What is it about, Ma'am?" the receptionist asked. "I want to know how I can buy a gun and then get trained at a Rifle Range". The receptionist almost fainted and found an Officer pronto. "Come this way, Ma'am, he said." That was the end of that. She is now a legend at the Lansdowne OPP office.

She loved to drive, though and was so pleased to have passed her senior's driving test, just two or three weeks before she became very ill. She loved that car so much she used to say "it drove itself".

Ghislaine spoke impeccably correct French of course and perfect English. She was very particular about the correct pronunciation. She once went into the Gananoque bakery "Panaché" and told them to remove the accent aigu from the final "e" in the word "Panache". Another time, she complained to a staff at Metro that the French bread labelled "Pain Française" should be labelled "Pain Français", since bread was masculine not feminine. The bewildered staff shrugged and replied: "I don't speak French, Ma'am"!

The great 19th Century English priest, theologian and poet, John Henry Cardinal Newman is buried in my home town of Birmingham, where he worked for so many years. He once said: "Life is change and change is life". The fact that Ghislaine struggled to carry on in the face of the catastrophic change which widowhood brought five years ago, is both profoundly sad but understandable. She was the last survivor of her generation of family and close friends and lived rather a seclusive life at the end.


We must take comfort that she is now at rest and united with her beloved Willard.

I would like to conclude by reciting by heart a hymn sung in the Church of England, written in 1847 by a follower of Cardinal Newman. The hymn is sung every year, since 1927 at the English equivalent of the Super Bowl, the Football Association Cup final and is known by heart by almost all Britons to this day. To hear almost 100,000 people singing this hymn, without song sheets, is a remarkable experience.

The hymn, Abide with Me, reminds us that God is always present in this life of ours, "where life is change and change is life". I hope this brings some comfort to Ghislaine's beloved nieces and nephew.

Abide with me! fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.


Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Thank you.

 


 

OBIT - HASTIE, Willard A.
Born March 22, 1925 in
Carleton Place, Ontario
Peacefully at St. Mary's of the Lake, Kingston, Ontario on Saturday, December 31, 2011. Beloved husband and best friend of Ghislaine (LeMay) for 45 years. Survived by his brother Austin (Hazel) of Carleton Place. Predeceased by his parents Alexander and Emma (nee Umpherson) Hastie of Carleton Place, his brothers Osmond & Roy and his sisters Gladys Barclay, Joyce McGowan & Elaine Kingsbury. Cherished uncle to many nieces and nephews. Willard joined the Canadian Armed Forces at 18 and served with the Signal Corps during WW II. He joined the Hastie Brothers family plumbing and heating business, then Algonquin College. He was an avid fisherman, duck hunter, skier, sailor and golfer. He was a member of the Britannia Yacht Club in Ottawa and sailed from Ottawa to Montreal, Lake Champlain, Georgian Bay and the Thousand Islands area where he designed and built his home and retired in 1987. He also belonged to the Lyndway Golf Club, Sweets Corners, Lyndhurst where he played golf with his friends.