Erskine Morris (1913 – 1997)

Erskine Morris (1913 – 1997)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cy's Musical Send-Off

Here's a post that I began working on in last July but have only got around to finishing now. Its long overdue to say the least:

Cy's sister Leona and Bernie Roy.
On July 9, 2011 we held a musical memorial to our good friend Cy Devouge who passed away last March. The get-together was organized by Cy's relatives and held at his son Danny and his wife Tina's lovely place in Hudson, Quebec. Brigid, Brian, Neil MacKay, and I had a great time playing all afternoon and meeting Cy's family.
One of Danny's incredible stone carvings
One of the "big stars" of the afternoon in my mind was Cy's younger sister, Leona of North Hero, Vermont in the Champlain Islands. Like a lot of old-time Gaspesians, you could really see the strong the connection she has to old-time fiddle music. Her feet were clogging in time the whole afternoon just like her brothers used to do. She said she learned how to clog her feet from the time she could walk. The whole afternoon she was hanging out as close as possible to the musicians, soaking up the tunes. People like Leona always remind me again how powerful this music is in bringing back fond memories of times past here in Canada. She was born into a house where her mother, father, and three out of four brothers played the fiddle and told us that "most people can't understand how much this music does for me, because they were born into the music like I was". After Neil and another older gentleman got up and did some inspiring step-dancing, Leona wasn't shy and got up and tried to give a few steps. At 86 years young, I say, "hats off to you Leona!"
Cy's son Danny Devouge and his wife Tina
Also, Cy's daughter-in-law made a really beautiful binder of the Devouge family history with great photos, genealogy, and a type-written autobiography that Cyril did chronicling his life from his roots on the Gaspé coast up to adulthood. The things he experienced are really of another time and I hope to share this autobiography with the readers here in the near future.

It is with great sadness that I learned just after returning from Gaspé this summer, that Leona Devouge passed away in mid-August at her home in North Hero, Vermont. I had been looking forward to visiting her with her niece Trena and playing some of her brother's and father's tunes for her. She was such a beautiful person with a radiant personality, just like Cy and was in remarkably good health (she still mowed her own lawn and lived by herself at 86). So it was quite a shock to everyone to hear of her passing. I composed a waltz for her the other week which I'll post sometime soon when I have finished ironing it out.

I want to extend a big thanks to all the Devouge family for putting on such a wonderful afternoon this past summer and for sending me pictures and information. Here is a really nice memento that extended family member Marty C made to thank us musicians.

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