Sir Hugh Montagu Allen's "pile "Ravenscrag".Sir Hugh & his Lady wife at the Opera (Marx Bros. in the wings).Now the Allen Memorial?
Went there for a job interview many moons ago.Fortunately, someone within Dept. got the Research post.As gorgeous as place is from the outside, its insides gave me bad case of the creeps.Call it Karma.
Wow! Her Majesty's Theatre and the Allen Memorial all in one story. Wow!I saw one of the last productions at Her Majesty's in 1962. The building was torn down in 1963. It was a musical called Carousel and starred Ed Ames. Ed was a part of the Ames Brother singing group in the 1950S and later played an American Indian on the TV series Daniel Boone. He might best be remembered for throwing tomahawks at a drawn target of a man on Johnny Carson. He hit the target in the privates and supposedly it caused the longest laugh ever on live TV.In 1962 I was living in Weredale House (The Boys Home of Montreaal) a few blocks away from the Montreal Forum. Weredale was sponsored by the Westmount Rotary Club. One day we were asked if any of us boys were interested in volunteering for the Progressive Conservatives in the upcoming election. I volunteered. Any time away from "the big house" was welcomed. For a few weeks after school I would head over to Victoria Hall and stuff envelopes. I even drew some posters. I got to see John Deifenbaker at a rally at Delormier Stadium up close. He had an affliction that made his body shake.The PC guy I worked on behalf of was Egan Chambers who was running against the future Liberal finance minister and for a short time prime minister of Canada, John Turner. Mr. Chambers lost badly.Funny. I've pretty much been a life-long Liberal.I still have the thank you letter from the Westmount PC party.For our efforts on the election about 20 Weredale boys were taken to Her Majesty's Theatre. Of the 20, only 3-4 of us had volunteered.When I was about 11 years old my mother brought me to a number of phychiatrists. I probably had ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). One of the places I ended up was at the Allen Memorial. They snipped some of my hair and attached wires to a kind of gummy substance on my scalp. Years later I read about the CIA( The American Central Intelligence Agency) and how they experimented on Canadian physchriatric patients by giving them LSD.I've smoked a bit of pot over the years but never went near LSD. I was never that crazy!Where else could I tell this story but here?
When I offered that this place troubled me there was good reason.Believe Allen was behind Bishop's Uni in some way. And in the '70's whole bunch of Bishop's boys were "treated" there by one Australian shrink who had a candy jar of meds in his office. Happen to know as my first boyfriend was one (treated for 'pot addiction').His best friend from back then has recently died, and this "professional" was very much of the homosexual persuasion. There were some nasty, forceful things going on there. Print this if you dare!
Apparently shipping magnate Hugh Allan for whom Ravenscrag was built, kept a telescope in the room at the top of the front tower. He would use it to keep an eye on the comings and goings of his Allan Shipping Line vessels.For a short time many decades ago, I worked as an orderly at the Allan Memorial Institute on South 2, a ward at the front of the building on the second floor.There is a whole large modern addition in back of the original Ravenscrag building that housed offices and other wards. They were still doing electroshock therapy at the time. When we brought patients back to the ward after treatment, they had to be carried on old-fashioned stretchers (canvas with two poles) up the stairs because there was only a half-height elevator in the building at the time. The half height elevator was only used for food carts. The food carts were filled in the kitchen downstairs and then taken up to each ward. Unlike the regular hospital where each patient received a tray, at the Allan the food went up in large stainless steel cannisters in heated food carts. Each ward had its own kitchen and dining room. The food was then ladled out to each patient who carried their own plates on trays, much like in an army canteen.Staff at the Allan didn't have to wear uniforms at the time unless you were working in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), which was on the east end of South 2.The adjacent stable was used for occupational therapy. There was also a large swimming pool in the far northeast corner of the Allan property that was strictly forbidden to all except doctors and nurses. Rumour had it shenanigans were a regular occurance there.
Just gets creepier for me.Especially knowing that at least one of shrink's victims, an orderly with young kids whom I knew, committed suicide partly as a result of this on-going abuse.Said I was bad with names. Trust me. Shrink's name when it comes will be displayed right here!
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