Great Uncle Calice S. Gallant 1911-1992

I’m just beginning to snoop around, where Calice is concerned.  In the end, he was a shoe maker, although on the 1940 Voter’s list, he is a labourer and lives at 146 Water Street.  By 1949, he was in the Shoe Making business and lived with his wife, Katherine or Catherine Blakeney, on Belmont Street.

It turns out that as a young man, Great Uncle Calice did some local boxing…I’m trying to get a clear copy of the following article through the Sports Museum archives in Summerside…but, for now….this.  Grateful again for my recent connection with a cousin for this.

calice Gallant

I’ll try to transcribe here.

Calice and Earle Leave Sporting Scene
written by John McNeill

We get into the habit of paying tribute to old sports heroes, and although 
we gave a hint that we were giving up this procedure in the Realm, it is very
difficult to follow through with.

A large number anticipated a little note about Calice Gallant of
Shurman Ave. and Earle Arsenault of Fitzroy Street and it does appear
that we cannot give this up in such short notice.

The Realm is probably the only one in the Maritimes who carries this
out and many have said that it is our feature.  Alas, Calice and Earle along
with Leonard MacAausland have all left our midst and all three were very
prominent in the sports life of our fair town.

The next few paragraphs are about Earle Arsenault…and I am just having a really difficult time reading.

Calice Gallant

Calice Gallant was born in a large family and we passed his growing up home on
First Street many times as we walked to our father’s shop on Water Street.
There was always one of the seven brothers there to greet us, no matter in what
regard a remark was made.

Legion Honours Family

The Summerside Legion honoured the seven brothers in the Gabe Gallant
family with a special night for them at our beautiful home in 1981 and Calice
was one of the seven brothers.  The late Henry (Pius) Gallant, another brother,
was president and you could go right down the line in their life’s
job. All seven brothers served in some capacity of the services.

But before the war started, Calice was a boxer of no ill repute.  He was
strictly a boxer in the sense of the word and not a slugger.  Gallant could box
and Wilf McCluskey had a story on Calice recently in his memory.

New Annan Races

Our memory of Calice as a boxer is brief.  We greeted him at the New
Annan Races as a young boy.  Benny Binns, another young boxer, edged
young Ernie (Phil Sam) Gallant in a six rounder.  Calice held the Island title
and we believe it was in the lightweight class, but we are not sure. Big Jim
Pendergast promoted the races and the fights.

Calice was wise in business.  He and his wife Kay purchased a home
before he went into the services.  He worked for the Fraser Shoe Store and
he later purchased the business.

Calice was influential on local boxers, like Bud Ramsay, Peanuts
Arsenault, Francis Arsenault, Don Boulter and Sid Murray.  Gallant gave
them much needed ring advice and acted in their corners on many occasions.
Calice will long be remembered by those he assisted in the ring. 

Next section is about Leonard MacAausland

On the 1921 census, there has been a transcription error, where Calice is concerned, and he is listed as Valois.  I have contacted Ancestry to make the change.  He is listed as 10 years of age.  My grandmother (Tillie) is listed at the bottom of the page.

1921 Gallant Census Summerside PEI

Here are daughter, Betty, Katherine (Kay) Blakeney and Calice at Mamie’s funeral in January 1964.

Calice Family

Calice served alongside his brothers during World War II and can be seen here on the total right side.  Calice passed away twelve years after this newspaper article was posted.  Thank goodness for social media, I found this posted on a Facebook page by Gary Gallant!  It’s nice to see the original newspaper article.

Newspaper Article as it appeared Gallant Boys

The Gallant Brothers

I have already found a beautiful write-up from an early newspaper about his son, Lawrence Raymond Gallant, although I can find little about him apart from the fact that he became an electrician.  Lawrence or Larry is possibly still living.

Calice Gallant's Son Lawrence Raymond Gallant

Betty and brother, Lawrence, were babysat by the mother of James Perry when they were babies.  The small photograph below would have been the coloured version of the photo that appears in the newspaper article.  Unfortunately, I have no access to that photograph for now.

Calice Gallant 2

On Voter’s Lists, Uncle Calice was listed, over the years, as Labourer, Shoemaker and Cobbler.

1940 – Labourer living at 146 Water Street
1949 – Shoemaker, along with his wife, living on Belmont Street
1957 – Truck Driver, along with wife, living at 290 First Street
1963 – Shoemaker living at 182 Shurman Ave. (no wife listed)
1974 – Cobbler living, along with wife named Katherine, living at 182 Shurman Ave.

From Milton Mackinnon, “Calace used to like to make jokes in kind of a dry way, at least with us kids.”

If you are a part of the Gallant kin and you have any narratives, recollections or photographs, I would be so appreciative of your sharing.   I think that he was a very skilled person to repair people’s shoes…a trade that is a little bit of mystery to me.  I’ve just recently read about the tradition of making shoes from scratch and it is quite a process!

Calice Gallant in front of Shoe Shop

A photograph, featured on Fine Art America, was taken by Lionel F. Stevenson of Charlottetown, PEI.  It is, in fact, my Great Uncle. When I contacted Mr. Stevenson, he did not know who the character was in the doorway.  He took the photograph out of interest for the shoe repair shop.  The photo is now available in a large number of formats and Mr. Stevenson has given me permission to use the image here on my blog.  As you can imagine, I was very excited when my cousin, James Perry, connected me to this beautiful shot.

From a Facebook conversation that followed the posting of the above image, this substantiation of some of what I’ve found so far.  I’d love to hear from either Betty MacNeill or Larry Gallant.

“Calice Gallant, he lived on Schurman Ave. He and his wife Kay had 2 children, Elizabeth who took nursing in Charlottetown and married Justin MacNeill (from Richmond) who worked at Enman Drug. They settled in Montague where Justin purchased the Mabon Drug Store, She now lives in Ch’town. Calice’s son Lawrence (Larry) graduated St Dunstans and moved to Saint John where he worked as a hos[ital administrator. He still lives there.”

My Dad just shared some Skype time with me and told me that Calice would only answer to the name, Zip. (years will do this to a person) This is contrary to my own records where I have, on file, brother Philippe, assigned this nickname. Belinda and Lawrence confirm with me that yes, in fact, Philippe was called Zip. Dad remembers on one of our visits to the island that Gabe (my Papie), took Dad for a walk through the alleys to Calice’s shoe repair.  He told me that they took a bottle of gin with them.  He will always remember Calice, his lips lined with tacks, and how he could put back his liquor at the same time as doing his shoe repair.  I’m grateful to my Dad for having a memory and I welcome more from family.  For example, I’d like to know the address of the shoe repair shop. (While I haven’t confirmed this yet, the following building on Granville Street, may be the building…not certain as of yet).

Calice Gallant Shoe Repair Shop

Resting place in St. Paul’s Cemetery, Summerside, PEI.  Photo courtesy of James Perry, researcher and family historian, Summerside, PEI

Calice Gallant and Katherine Blakeney resting place

Wonderful family, if you can help me build upon this profile by sharing photographs or stories, I’d love for you to contact me via   Blessings! And may Uncle Calice rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon him.

Grateful to have recently corresponded with a second cousin!  To be respectful of privacy, I’m just going to publish a few remembrances of Calice, to add to the narrative that is our Gallant family.

Calice “was a quiet man. He loved sports.  He was a very good boxer in his younger days. He rode his bike until he was quite old.  He liked to swim as well.”  This makes me smile because it reminded me just how much my mother loved to swim!  And, the thing was, it did NOT matter how cold the water was!  She would start running, kicking up sand as she flew straight down into the cold water and then, very gracefully, she would do a shallow dive into the water!  No tippy-toeing for my mother!

Some beautiful photographs can now be added to this post, in order to further develop this narrative.  They are family treasures.  We continue to encourage readers to be in touch if they have other elements to include.

Calice Gallant and Katherine Blakeney Lawrence and Elizabeth

Katherine (Kaye) Blakney Gallant, Lawrence (Larry), Calice in Uniform, Elizabeth (Betty)

Great Uncle Calice, Great Aunt Kay and son Lawrence Gallant

Katherine (Kaye), Lawrence (Larry), Calice

Great Uncle Calice, Great Aunt Kay, daughter Betty, her daughter Kelley and late Uncle Justin McNeil

Front: Kaye and Calice Back Row: Justin McNeil, Kelley (Betty’s daughter), Betty

And…from the newspapers…a few articles that mention Mrs. Calice Gallant (the way it was done in the day).  All appeared in the Guardian.

Calice Gallant daughter Elizabeth birth announcement Nov 30 1940

Mrs. Calice Gallant 5 October 11 1958 Guardian


Mrs. Calice Gallant 4

Calice Gallant Betty's Engagement

Mrs. Calice Gallant 3b

Mrs. Calice Gallant 3

Mrs. Calice Gallant 2

Mrs. Calice Gallant

I’m also going to post two photographs that include Calice, his brother, Ed and his wife, Mildred.  Mildred was apparently very kind during Calice’s final hospitalization.

“Aunt Mildred was very, very kind to my grandfather in his final years.  When he was unable to feed himself at the nursing home, she came every day to help him eat.  She was a kind soul and my father and my Aunt Betty adored Aunt Mildred.  I had the opportunity to meet her in person and thank her for her kindness to my grandfather.”

Great Auntie Kaye, Great Auntie Mildred, Great Uncle Ed, Great Uncle Calice

Great Auntie Kaye, Great Auntie Mildred, Great Uncle Ed, Great Uncle Calice

Great Uncle Ed Gallant and Auntie Mildred Gallant

Great Uncle Ed and Great Auntie Mildred


Found in the Charlottetown Guardian December 6, 1934

Page 11 (1) Dec 6, 1934