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Price, William Gilmour


William Gilmour (Gilly) Price 1910 - 1940

William Gilmour (Gilly) Price was the fifth child and the eldest son out of ten children of Henry Edward Price and Helen Muriel Gilmour. Muriel was the granddaughter of John Gilmour who was a contemporary of the original William Price and an equally renowned lumber merchant in Quebec City at that time.
The Harry Prices lived at 2 and then 16 St. Denis Ave, near the Citadelle. At the time they were comfortably off during Gilly’s childhood, as his sister Helen talked of trips to Europe in 1913, 1921 and 1928. Gilmour attended Trinity College School, Port Hope from 1924 to 1928. After leaving TCS, he lived with his parents, and according to his family, he loved children and had a wonderful rapport with them. Later, during the depression, the family lost their money with the bankruptcy of Price Brothers.
William Gilmour worked for Price Brothers and in 1940 was working in a maintenance position in the paper mill at Riverbend. Gilly was very much of the family tradition of the Price family of working your way up the ladder from the lower ranks. He married Maimie Ida Elizabeth Fletcher from Lachute in 1938 or 1939. He had been courting her for many years but was not allowed to marry earlier due to the company policy at the time. His nieces Joan and Susan Williams were flower girls at their wedding, and remember the reception at 16 St. Denis Avenue.
Gilmour died in an industrial accident while maintaining a paper machine at the Riverbend Mill on July 9, 1940, at the age of thirty. This was two months before his son, also named William Gilmour (and usually known as Gil), was born. Ida was living in Kenogami at the time of the accident.
In those days industrial plants did not use lock-out techniques (known in French as cadenessage) to ensure that equipment could not accidentally be put into motion while workers were in vulnerable situations, such as when they were repairing a machine. Since that time when workers needed to maintain a piece of equipment such as a paper machine, the maintenance worker physically locks the control panel and keeps the key with him to ensure that nobody can accidentally start it up.
A beautiful stained glass window in remembrance of Gilly was commissioned and initially located in the Anglican chapel in Riverbend. Later it was moved to the Sir William Price Museum in Kenogami where it is found today at one end of the chapel facing the stained glass window made in memory of Sir William Price at the other end.
Ida worked as a teacher to support herself and Gil and was Vice-Principal at the High School of Quebec for many years. She spent the summers running a shop in Metis Beach and sent Gil to Sedburgh School near Montebello. After retirement, she went into real estate in Montreal. She died in 1990.
Gil married Gayle Lennon and had two sons, Andrew Gilmour in 1970 and Peter Llewellyn in 1972. Gil later moved to Constable, N.Y. near Cornwall, Ont., and was remarried to a woman named Lady. He died in 2019 after picking up a disease in the Philippines.
As a postlude to the tragedy of Gilmour’s death, Ida and her grandsons Andrew and Peter were part of the Saguenay tour prior to the 1992 Price Family reunion in Tadoussac. While in Kenogami, Ida had an emotional meeting with the woman, a former employee of Price Brothers, who had brought her the news of Gilmour’s death over fifty years before.

Greville Price

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