Monday, March 04, 2013

Amanuensis Monday: In the Matter of …

An amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

Statutory Declaration 1959 cover view
Statutory Declaration (cover), 1959

In October 1959, Joseph Philippe made a statutory declaration about Fred Belair’s name.1 I suspect it had to do with my grandfather wanting to collect his Canadian federal pension. (Joe was Fred’s nephew, being the son of his late sister Angélina.) My grandfather Fred would turn 70 years old in a couple of months, the age at which he could begin receiving his Old Age Security pension. Since he was baptised “Jean-Baptiste Ménésippe” in December 1889, but used “Fred” (or “Frederick”) most of his adult life, he probably had to prove who he was to the federal government before he could collect his $40 per month.

Statutory Declaration 1959 text
Statutory Declaration (text), 1959

(Note: Preprinted portions of the declaration are in plain text, while the filled-in typewritten portions are shown underlined.)

Dominion of Canada
Province of Ontario

In the Matter of JEAN BAPTISTE MINISIPPE BELAIR, also known as FREDERICK BELAIR

TO WIT

I, Joseph Alfred Philippe
of the Town of Timmins in the
District of Cochrane, Miner,

Do Solemnly Declare that 1. I have known JEAN BAPTISTE MINISIPPE BELAIR, also known as FREDERICK BELAIR, for the last 43 years.

2. THAT when I first knew Mr. Belair, he was known under the name of MINISIPPE BELAIR or FRED BELAIR

3. THAT JEAN BAPTISTE MINISIPPE BELAIR and FREDERICK BELAIR is the one and same person.

And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing it to be true and knowing that it is of the same force and effect as if made under oath, and by virtue of the Canada Evidence Act.

DECLARED before me at the Town
of Timmins
in the District
of Cochrane
this 6th day of October
1959.

[Signed] Joseph Philippe

Source:

1. “In the Matter of Jean Baptiste Minisippe Belair also known as Frederick Belair”, statutory declaration, dated 6 October 1959; Demoskoff Family Papers, photocopy held by Yvonne (Belair) Demoskoff, British Columbia, 2013.

Copyright © 2013, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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