John Hall Kelly - Canada's High Commissioner to Ireland

   One of the most influential Gaspe men to enter Canadian and international politics
Was John Hall Kelly? What was his relationship to us?

     The Kellys were a prominent family on the Gaspe coast for over 100 years. In 1848, John's great grandfather, Robert Warren Kelly, established himself in New Carlisle. He founded the first newspaper, the Gaspe Gazette. The offices were in New Carlisle but the printing was done in Pabos at Gaspe fishing and Coal Mining Co. Robert had a son named Thomas Rees Kelly who became a rich general merchant in town. Thomas married Angelique Day, daughter of James and Maria Day. Thomas died young and Angelique married for the second time to Thomas Pye, an accomplished artist. in 1867.
Thomas Pye had published "Canadian Scenery, District of Gaspe" the year before.
This book was re-published in French in 1980 under the title "Images de la Gaspesie au dix-neuvieme siecle".

     John's father, Mancer James Kelly, was an inspector of weights and measures. He married Sarah Bridget Hall. John Hall Kelly was born in St. Godfrey, 1 Sept. 1879. He studied at college in Levis and law at Laval University.He started his practice in 1903. He became associated with Dominique Levesque, the father of Rene, Quebec's former premier.In 1904 at the age of 25 John Hall Kelly was elected as a deputy representing Bonaventure in the Quebec National Assembly. He remained there for 25 years.

     Kelly constructed a remarkable house in New Carlisle. A photo of it shows a palatal
Residence. My Uncle Freddy had his wedding photos taken in front of the home on its impressive steps. The Kelly home is no longer standing. It was demolished a number of years ago to allow for the construction of the court house (Palais de Justice).

    In addition to his law practice and political career John became the president of Bonaventure and Gaspe Telephone as well as New Richmond Mining in 1906.He must have distinguished him in political office because in 1939 he was appointed High Commissioner of Canada to Ireland. Kelly was never to see the Gaspe again. He died 10 March 1941 in Dublin and was buried in Glassbran Cemetery. His ashes were moved in 1973 to Canada and buried in St. Etienne de New Carlisle cemetery.

    While others in the family have accomplished outstanding feats, there are few that could match John Hall Kelly's efforts in politics, business and diplomacy. We can feel proud to have John Hall Kelly as our cousin and an inspiration.
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