I have to say thank you; for so long I’ve wondered about my family history my grandfather was Neil C. I’ve only ever seen one photo of him before. My father Sandy (Alexander Hugh) Gillis was the youngest when my grandmother died. He was raised by Peter R MacEacheren. I moved to Glendale when I was about 12 from Edmonton Alberta.
Dad was an oilfield supervisor prior to that. At first it was a shock moving from the city to Glendale.
However the people the place and the roots become a part of you.
Today I live in Ontario but Cape Breton is still home. I had always been interested in the family history, during my days at ST.F.X. University I met a fellow who said that we had a famous relative. I wasn’t so sure. A couple years later I learned more of Duncan Gillis, I’m forgetting but I’m pretty sure he was David’s first cousin. Duncan won a silver medal at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics in the Hammer throw. He was considered the strongest man in the world in his day. He was also Canada’s first ever flag bearer at the Olympics. He had been a police man in Vancouver B.C. after leaving Mabou C.B.. He was inducted into the B.C. sports hall of fame. I later had him inducted into the N.S. sports hall of fame. I’ve got some really great old photos of him carrying the flag in the stadium as well as other sports photos. He was defeated the great James Thorpe in the Hammer. He later wrestled. Once Wrestling the World Champion for a prize of 200000 in 1920. Well I must go , so again thank you for your book and the photos on your web.
Could you say hello to Aunt Jeanette, Andrea and Robert if you see them.”
Regarding the farm: “The last time I was at the property was maybe 20 years ago the shell of the house stood then.
Dad and I cut pulpwood there. I believe the house is no longer there but there was a stone like foundation and a very big mantel stone. Kind of unique. I’m not sure if Dad has any pictures. Last I heard My Uncle Donald in Port Hawkesbury owned the property. He built a little Building up there with a wood stove so that he could visit , have a tea and solitude, just to sit watch the deer etc. His wife Kathleen is how I found your site.”
[Source: Neil Gillis Kitchener, Neil’s grandson]