Contributed by Maeve Glass
Pamela Kelly was from Malahide and Cecil Glass was from Castleknock, County Dublin. Pam was a pioneering sportswoman and was the first President of the Crusaders Athletic Club in Dublin, which still exists today. She played field hockey at the provincial level in Leinster. Cecil was an avid footballer.
Pam and Cecil met at an Electrolux dance in Dublin in 1949. Cecil was immediately smitten with Pam’s engaging personality, and vice versa. Their regular meeting spot over the next two years was under the clock at Clery’s on O’Connell Street in Dublin. In 1951 Cecil asked Pam if she wanted “to be buried with my people.”
Cecil’s family were Church of Ireland and Pam was Roman Catholic. They decided the best course of action, so as not to offend either family for religious reasons, was to answer the call of the new frontier – Canada. Cecil emigrated in March 1952, and Pam would come once Cecil had settled. Prince George, B.C. was the chosen destination. Pam followed, taking a transatlantic voyage on the cargo ship “Irish Oak”. They were married in Prince George two days after Pam arrived, on 15 September 1952. They spent their wedding evening pouring insulation shavings into the cabin that would be their home for the next three years.
Pam and Cecil immersed themselves in the fledgling community of Prince George. They both won awards for drama and sporting pursuits. In 1957, they packed up the household, the dog and the budgie, and made the trip to Vancouver. They never looked back. They started a family with the arrival of Maeve in 1959, Kelli in 1961, Siobhan in 1962, and Eamonn in 1967. The children were given Irish names so as to never forget their heritage. Pam and Cecil both went on to have distinguished lives in their adopted homeland, both professionally and personally. Pam’s roles were diverse. She was a teacher, an athlete, a community advocate, a journalist, a Press Attaché, and a politician, ending her professional career as a Judge of the Citizenship Court of Canada. Cecil finished his professional life as an Engineer with Jaguar Canada.
Pam and Cecil brought the Irish values of hard work, giving back, and love of family with them when they immigrated, but they never forgot their roots. Canada has been a great benefactor.