Troy, Lillian Mary Elixabeth

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                                            Celebrated 100th Birthday in February
                                                   By Harold W. J. Adams

A former Chatham resident, Lillian Troy turned 100 years old last February. She has fond memories of her life here on the banks of the mighty but beautiful Miramichi.

Lillian Mary Elizabeth Barry was born on February 2, 1901 in Chatham, New Brunswick, the daughter of Edward Barry (1849-1919), stone cutter, and Elizabeth O’Kane (1859-1950). She had nine brothers and sisters: Thomas J. Barry, Mary May Clarissa Barry (married Doctor Arthur J. Losier, M.D.), James Barry, Reverend Father Edward Aloysuis Barry, Annie R. Barry (married William Condon), Theresa Josephine Barry (married Joseph Omer Guidry), John Patrick Barry (former member of parliament for Miramichi), Judge Herbert Francis Cranney Barry, Mary Elizabeth Kathleen Barry (married Bertrand E. Irving).

Lillian married Judge James Thomas Troy on November 3, 1927 at St. Michael the Archangel Cathedral. They had five children: William Thomas Barry Troy, a navy pilot killed while in service, Edward Joseph Troy, the former Catholic Bishop of Saint John, Mary Elizabeth Norah Troy, Joseph William Richard Troy and Sandra Carmel Marie Troy.

“My earliest memories of the Miramichi are of going to school at St. Michael’s and of the nuns who taught me. I was the youngest in my family and both my parents, brothers and sisters were very protective of me. My father and mother were quite strict in those days. My memories are full of the humorous and sometimes not so humorous mischief my brothers, Jack and Herb, got into.

“I recall the days when my brother Edward was studying for the priesthood at Holy Heart Seminary in Halifax and the long trips with my father to Boston to visit with my brother Tom. He was a lawyer in Boston. My father Edward Barry was a stone cutter in Chatham and I often visited his shop,” said Lillian Troy. It was Edward Barry who cut the tombstone at the joint graves of Bishop James Rogers (1826-1903) and Bishop Thomas Francis Barry (1841-1920), the first and second bishops of the Diocese of Chatham.

“I remember living in a house now demolished called ‘the golden ball.’ My father had died in 1919 and my sister May was living on the ground floor with her husband Dr. Arthur J. Losier. My husband Tom, when he was courting me before we were married, took me out one evening. Arriving home we sat outside on the porch chatting. Meanwhile Dr. A.J. who had to rise early was kept awake by our chatter. Finally A.J. opened the window and to Tom and my utter mortification shouted, ‘for God’s sake, Tom, kiss her goodnight and go home,’” laughed Lillian.

Lillian Troy has not lived on the Miramichi for a number of years but often came home for visits. Her son Bishop Edward Troy commented, “Mother has retained an affection for Chatham and the Miramichi even though she has lived most of her life following her marriage in 1927 away from there. When we were children in Campbellton, she always spoke of Chatham as ‘down home’. When we traveled to Chatham through the portage from Bathurst, as soon as we drove over the crest of the hill and the river came into view she would say with great enthusiasm, ‘There’s the Miramichi! I think her affection for Chatham was rooted in the fact that it was where so many of her (as well as my father’s) relatives and childhood friends lived rather than simply the geographical location itself. People have always been more important to her than places or things or possessions.

“Mother likes to have people around and is very attached to family in the broadest sense, including nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. She has adapted to the nursing home quite well because there are always people around, but besides that she dearly loves to receive visitors.”

On the occasion of her 100th birthday, she enjoyed greeting the friends who had come to greet her, even though she could not name everyone of them. Later when we gathered with relatives for a dinner in her honour, she was very pleased. She knew them all – her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of course, and grand-nephews and grand-nieces as well. After the meal, she made a brief two sentence speech, “Thank you for coming! I love you all!”

“God has blessed her at her advanced age with decent health and a positive spirit. She still loves to banter with visitors and often surprises with her witty repartee,” said Bishop Troy.

Pam Richard, the niece of Lillian Troy, says, “Whenever Aunt Lil visited the Miramichi after the death of her sister she stayed with me. I can remember as a child that whenever my parents wanted to go away on a trip, it was Aunt Lil who came to stay and look after us while our parents were away. She had a great sense of humour and she was a very hard worker all her life. She used to live in the Golden Ball located just across from Ben’s or the Irving Gas Station, it’s just a parking lot now,” said Mrs. Richard.

William Hogan, political cartoonist for the Miramichi Leader/Weekend is the great-nephew of Lillian Troy. “Aunt Lil is like a second mother to me and my brothers. When my mother took ill, she took care of us for just about a year. She made awfully good soup. She was strict but awfully fair,” said Hogan.

Source: Miramichi Leader – April 03, 2001

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