Price, Coosie & Ray
Arthur Clifford (Coosie) Price (1900-1982) and Ethel Murray (Ray) Scott (1899-1987)
Coosie was the second of six surviving children of Amelia Blanche Carington-Smith and William Price. His siblings were: John Herbert (Jack), Charles Edward, Willa (Bill) (Glassco), Richard Harcourt (Dick) and Jean (Trenier-Michel) (Harvey).
Ray was the second of four born to James Archibald Scott and Ethel Breakey. Her siblings were Harold, John (Jack) and Mary (Mimi) (Warrington).
Coosie and Ray knew each other growing up - Coosie in Quebec City and Ray in Breakeyville. Ray was often included in Price family parties in Quebec and Tadoussac.
Coosie attended BCS and school in England. In 1924 he graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada. A fine athlete, he was on the RMC hockey team and won awards in other sports. In his final year he was one of four Company Sargent Majors. He then started his apprenticeship with Price Brothers.
Devoted to his father, he was with him the day he died in a landslide in Kenogami. By chance he had been sent, at that fateful moment, to the mill to pick up mill plans. His father’s death would change the course of his life as well as that of his entire family and the Price Brothers Company.
Ray, thanks to many things, including a charmed life growing up in Breakeyville, (amongst other amenities a two-floor walk-in doll house fully furnished with miniature wood burning stove, English china, porcelain dolls etc.) stepped into life with more than her share of taste, style and hosting skills. She also spoke French, a rarity amongst anglophones then living in Quebec. These qualities would lead my father to one day say, ’she sold more paper than I did.’
In 1926 Coosie married Ray in the Presbyterian Church in Breakeyville. They could not be married in the Anglican Cathedral because Ray was a Presbyterian. Their first home was in Kenogami where Harold William was born, then Quebec City, where Edward Anthony (Tony), Harcourt Scott and Willa (Lal) were born. In 1933 Coosie, now in the bankruptcy courts with a wife and four children, left Price Brothers, moved the family to Ottawa and started a newsprint brokerage business which he ran, with a partner, until his return to Quebec in 1939. In spite of having lost their fortune, some of their happiest years were those spent in Ottawa.
In 1939 Coosie was asked to come back to Price Brothers as Vice-President. He soon became President, later Chairman, and retired in 1965.
In recognition of his philanthropic work, he was given a Honorary Doctorate from Laval University. When his great friend Mathew Ralph Kane died (having no heirs - his only son Robert was killed in WWII) he left a portion of his considerable estate to Coosie who immediately set up the Mathew Ralph Kane Foundation - a small foundation run, until recently, by the family. Coosie gave generously of his time and resources to many worthy organizations. On his memorial plaque in the Tadoussac Chapel the motto reads:
“Count that day lost whose low descending sun
Views from thy hand no worthy action done.”
This was an attitude that he not only professed, but lived.
In 1947 Coosie’s mother died. Fletcher Cottage was left to her two daughters (Willa and Jean). They sold to their cousin Harkey Powell who later sold to Bill Glassco (a son of Willa).
The Pilot House was left to the four boys. They drew straws and Charlie won. After a few years Charlie and Bea, now living in Victoria BC, sold to Coosie. (All sales were ‘token’ – happy to keep the houses in the family). Meanwhile, in 1948, Coosie had built Maison Nicolas. After renting the Pilot House for a few years Coosie gave it to his eldest son, Harold, complete with an addition to accommodate his family.
Coosie and Ray shared a love of entertaining. They did much of their business entertaining at the fishing Lodges - Anse St Jean and Sagard. Coosie was, by all accounts, a world class fly fisherman. Ray was more than accomplished and together the whole family spent much time at these two fishing Lodges. They also gave many memorable parties in their homes and on their boats (Jamboree 11, 111 & 1V). Two well remembered events: a party for Commander John Dawson (married to Joyce Price) and his officers off a Canadian Naval Frigate he had anchored in the Tadoussac Bay; and a picnic/swim trip on Jamboree IV up the Saguenay with a child from almost every cottage. The latter was unusual only because they went missing for 3 days. A storm had washed out roads and taken down power lines. Word of their whereabouts could not reach Tadoussac. The calm voice amongst great distress was Bishop Lennox Williams who said, ‘they are with Coosie - they are fine’. They were ‘fine’ indeed and having the time of their lives at the Anse St Jean fishing cottage.
Coosie’s day in Tad started with a round of golf with his cousin Harkey Powell and later Lewis and Betty Evans and, on a bonus day, Jim Campbell. When the Hotel decided to stop managing the Golf Course, Coosie was instrumental in putting together arrangements to ensure its continuation. He had great affection and admiration for the local families and could often be seen chatting with the regulars gathered on the bench in Pierre Cid’s. Like his father he especially loved children and at house events could generally be found outside on the lawn orchestrating children’s games to the delight of all.
Ray loved the beauty of Tadoussac and warmth of its community. A passionate gardener, she was challenged by the granite Maison Nicolas rested on but none-the-less managed a successful small patch of vegetables and flowers. Though she started life a stranger to the kitchen, she became a fine cook and was ahead of her time with her insistence on the freshest of everything – not easy in Tadoussac in those days. Her management of the galley on Jamboree IV was nothing short of heroic. She was always prepared to entertain the visitors who showed up at every port along the lower St Lawrence, and graciously accommodated a captain known for ‘casting off’ regardless of the weather forecast.
A constant in their life was summer in Tadoussac. After retirement they spent winters in Sonoma, California with their daughter and family, spring and fall in Brockville with their many new friends who enjoyed golf, bridge and entertaining as much as they did, and, of course, summers in Tadoussac.
It was ‘Coosie and Ray’ with everything - travel, fishing, boating, and all the rest. They shared a great love with family and many friends throughout their 56 years together.
Willa (Lal) Price Mundell 4/21