Turcot, Percy & Marjorie (Webb)
Marjorie Webb Turcot (1887 – 1976)
Percy Turcot (1886 – 1983)
Parents and Grandparents to
• John Turcot (1920 – 2003) and Margaret Close
o Cheryl/Ralph, John/Sue, David/Collette, Greg/Trudy
• Elliott Turcot (1922 – 2019) and Peggy Durnford
o Mary/Ron, Linda/Cameron, Michael
• Peter Turcot (1925 – 2018) and Anne Dean
o Wendy/Brian, Peggy/Scott, Peter, Chris/Christine, Susan/Chris
• Joan Turcot (1928 – 1972)
Marjorie’s sisters were Dorothy (Arthur Warburton) and Rachel (Dennis Stairs)
Marjorie Webb grew up on 16 St. Denis street in Quebec City. As a nurse she served overseas from 1914 – 1919, spending significant time on the front lines at the Casualty Clearing Stations in France for which she was decorated with the Royal Red Cross. In a letter home to her mother, she wrote “I am sorry I have not been telling you about the work, it’s rather hard to write about. Lately since the tents were opened, we have been getting all the stretcher cases. The wounds are pretty hard to look at but you get used to it.” She was stationed at the front including spending time at the horrific Battle of the Somme.
Percy Turcot, grew up in Quebec City and vacationed with his family in St. Irene. He also served on the front lines and was wounded in WW1 as a Captain. He went onto a career as a shipping executive with Mclean Kennedy, a shipping broker. In 1916, shortly after being commissioned to France from England he wrote to Marjorie: “It is a great feeling to at last feel you are going to try to do something. There is no truer saying than - The only man who is happy today is the man at the front.” Even at the age of 30, he needed permission from his mother as he was the sole supporter of his family. “I had a hard time getting my mother’s permission, but she said yes yesterday, I am now in for it. I was very hard on poor mother.”
They were married on Nov 6, 1919 shortly after Marjorie returned from Europe. All four children were born in St. John, New Brunswick before moving to Montreal around 1930.
Marjorie and Percy purchased their Tadoussac property from Rachel Stairs and built the existing Turcot house in 1946. Marjorie (and son Peter age 21) spent the summer in Tad overseeing the construction and building the path to the beach, while Percy working in the shipping business made sure that post war supplies were delivered.
Tea time was a ritual with friends in the afternoon on the front yard in Tadoussac, and every Sunday in Westmount, with lots and lots of family. Grandchildren were given free run of the house on Belmont Ave., which included playing super eight family movies, ping pong games and watching Walt Disney. The house in Tad was often overflowing with guests and family.
Marjorie was a prolific reader who loved picnics, berry picking and flowers. Percy was an avid sportsman. Rumour has it he would play 9 holes before work in St John NB every day. Both played tennis, golf and skied, but not on Sunday.
They were opposites in so many ways and married for 57 years. Marjorie, a devoted Anglican, was serious and generous to a fault with a keen interest in everyone she met and interacted with. Percy attended the Catholic church and was a true Quebecer who lived his life full of “joie de vivre” … however one common trait, you were always warmly welcomed by both into their home…and “last touch” by Gammie’s cane was a game with the grandchildren on the way out the door.
Betty Evans made the needlepoint seat cushion for one of the chairs at the front of the church in Tad in memory of Marjorie Turcot and the carved wooden top on the font at the back of the church was also given in her memory (carved by Pierre Tremblay). (MMT initials)
Percy, having a career in the shipping business, would raise shipping flags with the help of his grandchildren, to salute the passing Headline ships on the Saguenay to see if they would toot their horn in response, which they did on occasion. The funnel colours for the Headline ships were black bearing the ‘Red Hand of Ulster’ with three drops of blood on a white shield. The bloody hand became a theme of many ghost stories told at Tad bonfires on the beach.
Marjorie was one of the first women to vote in Canada. In 1917 The federal government granted limited war-time suffrage to enlisted women in 1917 (Military Voters Act, awarded the vote to women serving in the armed forces as well as nurses in the war) and followed with full suffrage for women in 1918.
Chris Turcot (plus family!)