Amazing Coincidence - Summer Organ Concert Series at Chalmers-Wesley

Concert Photo.jpg

Suzanne Ozorak (Mrs. Guy Tombs) and her daughter, Angelica Tombs.

An Amazing Coincidence

Following the performance of Suzanne Ozorak, who had been joined by her daughter Angelica Tombs playing the French horn in Mozart's Concerto #1, at the first of Chalmers-Wesley's Sunday at Six Organ Concert series on June 28, Suzanne's husband, Guy Tombs told me his father, Laurence Chalmers Tombs, had been baptized at Chalmers in 1903 and asked when the large marble baptismal font had been installed in our church.

 After checking in our history book, Remember All the Way, written by George W. Crawford, I informed him that the baptismal font had been donated to the church in 1904, so Mr. Tombs' father could not have been baptized in this particular font. However, in looking in the index he found references to his grandmother and grandfather, who was also named Guy Tombs. Mr. Tombs (senior) had been an elder of Chalmers Free Presbyterian Church and a member of the inter-denominational Church Union Committee in 1925 when it became part of the newly-created United Church of Canada, a union of Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregationalist churches across Canada. In 1931, after the Wesleyan Methodist church had also joined the UCC, it merged with Chalmers which was renamed, Chalmers-Wesley United Church.

 

Imagine Mr. Tombs (junior)'s surprise when he turned to the page which referred to his grandmother . . . "The first reported organ recital at Chalmers was presented in 1904 by William Reed [Chalmers' organist at that time], with a soprano soloist, Mrs. Guy [Isabella Ethel Cree ] Tombs."

 

Here he was, attending the first of the 2009 summer organ concert series, with his wife as organist and his daughter playing the French horn, when he discovered that his grandmother had performed at the first organ concert in 1904, 105 years earlier. Three generations of Tombs have performed at Chalmers Church - two Mrs. Guy Tombs and Angelica, the great-granddaughter of the first Mrs. Tombs.

 After moving to Montreal, Guy Tombs (senior) was the president of the music committee at Erskine and American United Church where Suzanne's music teacher, Raymond Daveluy, was organist before he became organist for St. Joseph's Oratory. Mrs. Ozorak is presently the organist at St. Barnabas Anglican Church in Pierrefonds. She also teaches piano, organ and voice. She will shortly be leaving on a two-month concert tour of Europe and will be recording a CD while in Luxembourg.

 Her father-in-law, Laurence Tombs was a cub reporter for the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph in 1921-22 and wrote speeches for Prime Minister Godbout in 1942.