Christmas Fund: Anglophone Francophones dream of a trip to England

Like most seniors, the COVID-19 pandemic kept Manon at home and felt fairly lonely.

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Manon is a French-speaking Quebecer who proudly pilots the Union Jack at home. She knows this is not common among her friends, but she fiercely protects her flag nonetheless.

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“My mother was Scottish,” says Manon. “It’s about telling people about my roots and where I’m from.”

From a young age, Manon was obsessed with the royal family and more particularly with Queen Elizabeth II. Manon recalls the dates of most of the major events in the history of the royal family and even shares a birthday with Prince Charles.

An illness in her youth prevented her from entering the workforce and she is now past retirement age. She has spent her life pursuing her interests: she has stacks of books on British history and whenever a friend visits England they are always sure to bring something back for their Anglophile friend. A recent giveaway was a Beefeater gin mascot figurine.

She’s also an avid walker, which she credits keeping her in shape until she turned 80. She has no health issues at the moment, she said, although her legs may feel heavy after a long day.

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Like most seniors, the COVID-19 pandemic kept Manon at home and felt fairly lonely.

“I never go out at night and only go out for daytime walks,” she said. “The only exception I made was seeing Spencer (the Diana movie) in theaters. I couldn’t miss it.

Besides her lifelong passion, Manon said there was not much else to do but overcome COVID largely on her own. She hasn’t closed the door on visiting England herself one day and is hopeful that an opportunity will present itself in the New Year.

“What a dream that would be,” she said. “You never know what can happen.”


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