I’d like to thank the following for their input in making this work more complete…

Kate Currie, research assistant at the Beaton Institute at the University College of Cape Breton, who provided me with information about Glendale and the history of Saint Mary of the Angels Church.

Mildred Howard, a genealogist in Sydney, Nova Scotia, who determined birth dates for several of Nana’s brothers and sisters, and also provided Glendale census information.

Rev. Peter T. McLeod, former Pastor of Saint Mary of the Angels Church, who sent me a copy of the genealogical history of Saint Mary’s parish.

Rev. Pius Hawley, former Pastor of Saint Mary of the Angels Church, who sent me a copy of Nana’s baptismal certificate.

Also, just weeks before this final edition went to press in 2006, I discovered a marvelous group of people who live in Inverness Country. These kind folks are all part of an Internet mailing list and have been very generous with their time and information. With their help, I found a birth date for John Angus on the 1911 census, confirmed that my researched location of the general area of the Gillis farm is correct, located Saint Mary of the Angels on a modern Glendale map, and confirmed what a friendly and wonderful place Glendale is. To join this mail group, simply send an email to with the word subscribe in the header and body. If you have questions about your Cape Breton heritage, these people can help. I am grateful to all of them who responded to me.

After the book was published, as a result of CAN-NS-INVERNESS mailing list, Jeannette MacVarish called me. Jeannette is the daughter of Neil Gillis (Nana’s brother). Her late husband, Robert MacVarish, was the son of Alan MacVarish of Glendale. Jeannette worked for Nana in the late 1950s and lived at Trull Street for a time. She has been an invaluable source of clarifications and new information, which I added to the “Additions, Clarifications and New Information since publication” page of this site.

I’d also like to thank…

Lorraine and Stanley Garland, who left this world far too early. Both were shining lights in so many lives. Because of Lorraine, I got to help the seniors of Foxboro and feel like I was making a difference again.

Jeff Peterson, editor of the Foxboro Reporter, for taking a chance on me and letting me write for his newspaper.

Jack Authelet, former editor of the Foxboro Reporter and our town historian. His writing continues to inspire me, and he got me involved with the Doolittle Home in Foxboro, a place where seniors live in dignity, respect, and quality of life.

Mary Cicciu, one of the most remarkable seniors I have ever met. Mary, I love you.  Rest in peace.

Sister Andrea MacVarish, for her lifelong friendship with Nana and corresponding with me well past her 103rd birthday. Receiving a letter from Sister Andrea always made me feel closer to Nana’s memory. May she rest in peace.

Bob Shea, another senior who made a difference in so many lives and communities; a true angel walking on Earth.  Rest in peace my dear friend.

And finally, I cannot possible say thank you enough to…

My Mom, Marguerite Gillis, for always being there for me.

My father, Robert Gillis. Writing this book has helped me understand the complicated man my father was, and appreciate his legacy. He did his best, and he loved me. Rest in peace, Dad.

My sister Theresa, for being my best friend.

And my wife Susan, for being the love of my life.