Saturday, December 24, 2011

SURNAME Saturday - "DENNIE"

    My fathers' mother was Elva Irene Dennie. She was born the eldest child (to Survive) to William George Dennie and Gladys Irene Forwell on August 27, 1923 in Dundas (Hamilton), Ontario.  The first child was a son William, who they conceived out of wedlock and then eloped to have. However he died at 3 days of age. they later remarried at St. James Anglican Church in Dundas. They had 5 daughters total and one son (Ordell - who's long form birth certificate I have posted earlier).  Great Grandpa Dennie I have also posted about previously. He enlisted at the age of 16 (although he said he was 18) in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces of WWI. Great Grandpa Dennie after the war got involved in promoting (Matchmaking) boxing in the Dundas area and kept a scrap book of newspaper clippings (15 pages) about them from 1930 - 32 roughly. My Great Aunt Gladys (Elva's sister) had possession of it and she made a copy of it for me. Since I never got to meet or know Great Grandpa personally, it was nice to have this to fill out the character of the man. The First page of the Scrapbook was an article by James Rice the coach of Columbia University Rowing crews. It is about the virtues of Boxing and the importance of them to the developing of young men, and his believe that boxing should be a compulsory course in Schools. I believe it must have struck a cord with my Great Grandpa since it is on the first page (I have included it here for you to read).  The articles progress through as Great Grandpa who is listed as a member of the Executive Council for the Hamilton Amateur Boxing Association in one article and then as the matchmaker for proceeding ones. As it progresses he gains respect as a matchmaker and is referred to with comments such as "Will Dennie, of the Pastime club, has promoted a joint show with the Wentworth regiment, and if his card is as good as the last one he put on there, the customers will not have any room to grumble.". The scrapbook has clippings about local boxers and some of the greats of his time ending with the announcement of Joe Louis resignation as the world's heavyweight boxing champion.
     All the pieces of information as I have gathered them, help fill out the picture of the man 'William George Dennie", and to help us all in the family to "Remember When..."