Anne Logie

Feb 2017

James Bay Gem

By Liz Carroll

Anne Logie’s connection to James Bay began with an apple. In Greenock, Scotland. At a playground where air raid drills were the norm for kids who carried gas masks in their school bags. “One day the whole school was taken outside and to our great surprise we saw stacks and stacks of crates. They were all marked A GIFT FROM BC APPLE GROWERS  Each child got an apple, a rare treat. Back in the classroom we were told about British Columbia.” She was six.

Anne already had a skill that James Bay would one day appreciate: knitting. Her mother, Nan Morrison, who created and tested knitting patterns for a woollen company that would become Paton-Baldwin “…taught me to knit when I was four, a gunner’s mitt with a separate trigger finger and thumb”. Today Anne co-ordinates the Handicraft group at New Horizons. Her exquisite knitting is skeins away from that gunner’s mitt but, she insists, “will never match my mother’s”.

Greenock was a Home Fleet base, close to shipbuilders on the river Clyde, a target. “I remember the noise of the planes and the smell of burnt sugar that lingered for weeks after a refinery was hit.” A trip with her dad to check on her grandmother in Clydesbank remains vivid. “When we finally reached our destination I skipped ahead and was confused to see a huge crater where the house had stood.” Happily, her grandmother, who had sheltered in a stairwell, was unharmed. So, inexplicably, was a saucer with four eggs.

Her dad, Allan Morrison, was a cabinet maker, mother, Nan, was active in amateur theatre and Scottish Dancing. “I had elocution lessons, my brother Allan studied piano. He still plays the organ at his church.” In her teens Anne would sit for and pass exams at the London Academy of Dramatic Arts in Glasgow.

Elocution lessons included stage time. Anne was six and “was totally hooked” when she first trod the boards in Why Fuschia Hangs Her Head, complete with mom-made costume “mauve skirts, a beanie with a green stalk. Thus began a lifetime of amateur theatre in School and Church and Rural Institute Drama Groups. Once in awhile she shared the stage with her mother. “In The Story of Samson I was Delilah and Mum played my nurse. She had a real flair for comedy, I was given the heavier stuff.” One of Anne’s ‘heavier’ parts elicited a lot of unplanned laughter. For the title role in Young Victoria for the Hamilton Church Players in Port Glasgow she spent hours learning to manipulate her hoop skirt. “We were a small cast,” she recalls, “Prince Albert doubled as the butler, lots of quick changes. Squeezing behind the backdrop he tripped and hit the board that propped up my window seat. I flew out the window upside down, pantaloons on view. Climbing back into position was tricky with all those hoops. The audience loved it.”

Anne studied Scottish Dancing as an after school activity. Her Greenock (Sr) High School’s dance team won the annual Scottish Festival award. Dancing was another love shared with her mother, occasionally they danced in the same sets.

Dancing and conversational French were musts for students from Greenock, Port Glasgow and Gourock hoping to participate in the 50 Anniversary celebration of the Cordial Détente between Scotland and France in 1954. Those towns had twinned with Veulette sur Mer, France, after the war, to aid that devastated area.

Sixteen year old Anne and Ian Nugent, a fellow student from Port Glasgow Jr High School, were chosen. “I learned the Highland Fling for the farewell celebration that was shown on Paris TV.” Billeted with the Cauchet family, Anne was involved in a whirlwind of events and sightseeing. “We were treated royally. It was sad to see so much destruction still visible but it was a memorable experience. Mme Cauchet even taught me how to make an omelette.”

Teenager Anne found a summer job as tea room waitress on the car ferry between Gourock and Rothesay. “The Britannia was moored nearby and Prince Phillip and his friend Uffa Fox and Mr. Fox’s French fiancée were travelling with us to Rothesay to take part in a Regatta on a yacht Fox designed for the Prince. It was a truly miserable day so they came into the tearoom. The men were in deep discussion and the lady looked a little left out so when I took her order I used my school girl French to chat with her a bit. Just before docking Prince Phillip said he’d like to give the young lady who spoke French a tip. The manageress showed him the shared-tip jar. He put a tip in then said he would still like to meet me. I came out of the galley, made a wobbly curtsey. He held out his hand and when I shook it I got a wink and felt something in my hand. It turned out to be a five pound note. And I got my share from the tip jar too.”

Anne was fifteen when she met John Logie. Too young for naval duty he was a student at HMS Ganges until he could join the Royal Navy as a radio operator. They married in 1959. After many long separations while he was at sea, John traded in his Navy uniform for one with the Greenock Police Force.

In 1964, recruiters from Toronto arrived with Canadian job offers. It was far from an easy decision but finally the Logies accepted a relocation offer. “I wasn’t keen on John carrying a gun,” admits Anne “so I was relieved when he became a Bylaw Enforcement Officer with North York.” Once settled Anne began a thirty year career with Shell in Toronto.

Over the years they visited Victoria several times. “John thought it would be a good retirement location.” But when the day came, in 1992, they opted for Orillia, Ontario. It had a strong arts component and they could continue winter interludes in Pensacola Florida.

Anne was quickly involved with their gated community’s Social Club. A knitting group was high on her agenda, so was drama. “I played the Queen Mum in a Royals skit. I’d moved on from being a young Victoria” she laughs.

In 2002 cancer struck. Surgery, radiation, recuperation. “I suddenly had a glimpse of my own mortality. I decided that we should follow John’s wish to live by the sea.”

They arrived in James Bay in 2005. Anne’s volunteering took up speed: a five year stint as librarian at JBCP library; New Horizons’ library, then crafts, programs, and Board of Directors’ duties. (She’s currently Past President.) Through Shell Retirees Volunteers Rewards program she has secured two $1000 grants for JBCP library and $1000 grant to erect the gazebo at New Horizons.

Always on the go, Anne Logie has long since repaid BC for the Apple Growers wondrous childhood treat. “Living in Victoria I feel as if I’ve come full circle,” says this James Bay Gem. She still enjoys BC apples.