Evans, Thomas Frye Lewis


The Very Reverend Thomas Frye Lewis Evans 1846 – 1919
Marie Stewart (Bethune) 1850 – 1903
Emily Elizabeth (Bethune) 1866 - 1947

The very large plaque in the chancel is dedicated to the Very Reverend Thomas Frye Lewis Evans. He served as a summer minister in Tadoussac for 35 years back between about 1884 and his death in 1919. He married Marie Stewart Bethune in 1874 and with her had five children, Basil (1873 – 1958), Muriel (1877 – 1952) Trevor (1879 – 1939), Cyril (1882 – 1887), Ruby (1885 – 1947). Little is known about Marie except that she was said to be a lively and engaging woman and usually called May. She was born in 1850 and married Lewis Evans in 1873 at the age of 23. She is described as Maria in her birth record, and Marie in the marriage index, (it says Marie on her plaque). Her full name was Maria Stewart Bethune, born August 20, 1850, the second of four children (all girls) of Strachan Bethune (1821-1910) and Maria MacLean Phillips (1826-1901). She died in 1903.
After his wife's death, the Dean remarried a cousin of his first wife, Emily Elizabeth Bethune (1866 – 1947) and had one more child, Robert Lewis Evans, (1911) when he was about 65 years old and she was 45.
He was rector of St. Stephen's Church in Montreal, the church on Atwater near the old site of the Children's Hospital, and stayed there for 46 years. While there, he served as an Honourary Canon, Archdeacon, and then was named the fifth Dean of Montreal Diocese, but would only accept the position if he could stay at St. Stephen's and not move over to the Cathedral. In 1908 he was within a whisker of being elected Bishop. It was an actual split vote and they had to adjourn for three weeks to sort it out in typical Anglican political maneuvering. They picked the other guy, John Craig Farthing. The Dean died in 1919. It is said that he had pneumonia, collapsed dramatically in the pulpit on a Sunday morning while delivering his sermon, and died a few days later. (Of course, this was long before anti-biotics.)

In Tadoussac he lived in what was then the furthest east Price house, the Beattie/Price house. It was built along with the other Price houses for the administrators of Price Brothers Lumber, but this one was lent to Dean Evans and he eventually acquired it by squatter’s rights. From him it passed to his wife, Emily Elizabeth Evans, and then to their son, Lewis Evans, who sold it to James and Anne Beattie. The Dean had also owned a part of the tennis club property, but where the Williams family donated their portion of that lot, he sold his to Jonathan Dwight and let him donate to the tennis club!
Dean Evans was an avid fisherman, and actually had built for himself a small log cabin about nine miles up the Saguenay on the west side of the river at a place called Cap à Jack. It seemed he needed a cottage to get away from his cottage. He had a little powerboat called the Minota which he would take up there towing a couple of nor'shore canoes to fish out of. One of the local men, André Nicolas, in speaking about the Dean, said he had seen photos of the fishing camp on the web-site, tidesoftadoussac.com, that grandson Tom Evans set up. He said that where Grandad had his camp was, and still is, the best place on the river to catch sea-trout. It was kind of fun, a hundred years later, to have a local fisherman say that Grandad got it right!

Alan Evans

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