Edhird's Blog

Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


Great Grandmother Mary McLean on the Death of Louis Riel: (her November 26th 1885 article)

My Great Grandmother Mary Mclean Allen was a pioneering Canadian reporter for the Regina Leader newspaper. In those days, the reporters were not given bylines in order to protect them from physical and legal assault. Mary was the principal reporter who wrote about Louis Riel, after she gained access to Louis Riel in the RCMP Regina jail. As she spoke french, she was able to disguise herself as a Roman Catholic priest with a fake beard, on the pretense of taking his confession. After another Regina Leader reporter had been turned away by the RMCP, the publisher Nicholas Flood Davin told my great grandmother to get an interview with Louis Riel or don’t come back. Through interviewing Riel, she became very sympathetic to his cause.

This confused some individuals who falsely assumed that it was the Regina Leader publisher Nicholas Flood Davin who disguised himself as a Catholic priest and did the sympathetic interviews. Davin, who wrote the tragic 1879 Davin Report creating the Canadian Residential School system, was campaigning actively for the hanging of Riel, stating that if they don’t hang Riel, they should abolish the death penalty. Articles have been written, falsely suggesting that there were two different personalities to Davin, the anti-Riel side and the sympathetic side. The University of Western Ontario changed its documentation to acknowledge that my great-grandmother Mary Mclean Allen was the reporter who interviewed Riel, disguised in a priest’s garb. Even the Regina Leader Post newspaper has acknowledged that Mary Mclean was the actual reporter in this incident. Given Davin’s involvement in producing Shakespeare plays, the Canadian Shakespeares website also made this comment:

“Davin, as discussed elsewhere on the CASP site, was at the center of a remarkable historical incident involving Louis Riel’s last interview––Riel being the Métis leader of the short-lived 1885 Rebellion, tried and executed for treason in Regina, Davin’s home town, on November 16, 1885.

In CASP’s 2010 correspondence with Ed Hird, Hird came forward with information about his great-grandmother Mary McLean, who worked as a reporter for Davin at the Regina Leader and who was also sympathetic to Riel’s cause. According to Hird, “Davin carried on the British tradition of not listing as a byline the names of the reporters who write for the Regina Leader. This was helpful for my great-grandmother Mary in protecting her from arrest by the RCMP when she snuck in disguised as a Roman Catholic priest confessor to obtain an interview with Louis Riel. Mary McLean quotes Davin [as saying] … ‘An interview must be had with Riel if you must outwit the whole police force of the North-West.’ Because Davin protected her anonymity, some writers like C.B. Koester have popularized the myth that Davin … disguised himself as that priest … I spent a week with my late Uncle Don Allen who carefully explained to me about his grandmother’s interview with Louis Riel. ‘When I first saw you [at] the trial, I loved you’ was said by Riel to Mary McLean, not to the man [Davin] calling for his hanging.” For the complete account of this incident in Mr. Hird’s own words, please click here.”

Nicholas Flood Davin, Regina Leader Publisher

These newspaper articles came from Mary Mclean herself, via my late Uncle Don Allen, who corresponded with other Mclean relatives about our genealogical family history.

“I’m afraid there’s been an accident…”

12bdf6ff-3021-4e73-bccd-bc919398d1a0-7068-0000031133e7b4d9Sandy Brown and her family have just moved to Spokane, Washington where her husband, Scott, is pastoring a new church. With a fresh start, Sandy is determined to devote more time to her four children. But, within weeks of settling in their new life, the Brown family is plunged into turmoil.

Sandy receives shocking news that her children aren’t safe, which brings back haunting memories of the trauma she experienced as a girl. Then, the unthinkable happens…

A brutal attack puts Sandy on the brink of losing everything she’s loved. Her faith in God and the family she cherishes are pushed to the ultimate limit.

Is healing possible when so many loved ones are hurt? Are miracles really possible through the power of prayer? Can life return to the way it was before?

Blue Sky reveals how a mother’s most basic instinct isn’t for survival… but for family.

If you’re a fan of Karen Kingsbury, then you’ll love Blue Sky. Get your copy today on paperback or  kindle.

-Click to check out our marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you. 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a personally signed copy of any of our books within North America, just etransfer at ed_hird@telus.net, giving your address. Cheques are also acceptable.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 

To purchase any of our six books in paperback or ebook on Amazon, just click on this link.