Anne Gaynor Forrest (nee Smith)
November 20, 2016

On November 20th at age 75, after a 16 year battle with breast and bone cancer Anne died.
Predeceased by her parents, Reverend Harry Smith and Gaynor Lewis, she is survived
by her husband Ian. She emigrated from England in 1966, recruited by the Protestant
School Board of Greater Montreal, to teach English. Anne was a graduate of the
University of Manchester in English. Her teacher training was completed at the
University of Newcastle Upon Tyne. She was enormously successful exposing her
students not only to the classics but to the practical application of newspaper writing
and editing. She was a demanding teacher, constantly expecting excellence from her
students. Her school newspaper FAX was widely recognized for its excellence and won
numerous prizes and awards. She organized and led Annual school trips to The
Stratford Festival which were an anticipated highlight each year. With the
reorganization of the Quebec education system she continued teaching with the
Lester B Pearson school board – a total of 35 years of dedicated service. She was
particularly adept at integrating short stories and poems, as well as puzzles and word
games, all in the interest of her students. And she was a skilled poet often creating
delightful parodies of friends and neighbours.
Her non-professional life included competitive sports (tennis, swimming & skiing) She
was an avid duplicate bridge player, competing in tournaments 4 times a week.
But Music was her greatest passion. She was an early member Of the Island City
Singers, an amateur ensemble, in Montreal. Anne became President and organized
and led a trip to Britain which toured and performed at famous concert halls and
sites. She graduated to more challenging repertoire with the Elgar Choir. She
subsequently moved to the St Lawrence Choir, which became the amateur core of
the OSM Chorus with Charles Dutoit. At this point the repertoire was entirely
classical from Bach to Mahler. Apart from many performances in Montreal, at PDA, she
traveled to New York where she performed with the chorus at Carnegie Hall, (nine
times) and at Lincoln Centre, Philadelphia, Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec City. She
sang in all of the prize-winning recordings made with the OSM chorus.
Her aptitude for the use of Apple computer layout programs led to an invitation to
edit various publications including those of the business and Irish Community,
including NUACHT, the primary publication of the St. Patricks Society. She began with a 2
page mimeograph and ended with an entirely professional 24 page quarterly read
internationally. She was sought after as a book reviewer!
She will be missed by family, including nieces Andrea and Laurie-Anne, and friends, and her
favourite Airedale, Chanson, and especially by Ian her husband of 39 years. Beyond her
passion for music, literature, sports, and teaching, we will remember Anne for her wit and love
of jokes, her compassion, and how she truly valued and nurtured friendships.
Dr Michael Pollack, her oncologist, and the staff of the Oncology Department, Jewish
General Hospital, deserve great praise for looking after her with such love and care
during her long illness.
CLSC Lac Saint Louis were instrumental in her final care – particularly Natacha
Patenaude. Her family and friends offer thanks to the West Island Palliative Care
Residence who looked after her in her last days.

A memorial service will be held on December, 14 at 1:30 pm at Mountainside United
Church, 4000 The Boulevard, Westmount, QC H3Y 2V1. In lieu of flowers, donations
can be made to the West Island Palliative Care Residence or any charity of your
choice.

Funeral arrangements entrusted to Voluntas (514-695-7979 ; voluntas.ca)

 

14 responses

  1. Fiona Clark

    November 26, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I knew Anne as a wonderful friend to so many of us in our singing and tennis circles. She will also be remembered as an inspiration to all for her courageous battle in her last years.

    Reply
  2. Susan Dempsey

    November 26, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Anne & Ian were my next door neighbours for many years….
    I’m sorry to say I never knew how accomplished she was…
    RIP Anne…Yours was obviously a life well lived.

    Reply
  3. Ahmad & Arleen Elshami

    November 30, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Anne was a thorough professional teacher. We had no idea of her many accomplishments in the fields of music and literature. Bravo to a fine lady.

    Reply
  4. Sean Shea-Schrier

    December 1, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Mrs. Forrest was one of the best teacher’s I ever had. Taking over the editing of the FAX Newspaper when she retired was a great experience for me, and had a great impact on my career and the way I work to this day.

    Some teacher’s leave an imprint on your life – she is one that I think of often.

    Thanks for all you did to make school a positive experience.

    Reply
  5. Sandro Pulcini

    December 1, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Ms Forrest was my Grade 8 English teacher in 1979. She was a wonderful person with a wry sense of humour. She will be remembered warmly. My condolences to her family and loved ones.

    Reply
  6. Lindsay Chartier

    December 1, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Mrs. Forrest was my English teacher in High School. She always pushed me to be a better student. We also shared a love of music and performed in several choir concerts together, she with the St. Lawrence choir and I with the PSBGM chorale. I have thought of her often over the years and wondered if she was still singing. She will certainly be missed.

    Reply
  7. Carissa de Montgazon-Bain

    December 1, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    At the same time that it saddens me to read this, it also brought back so many wonderful memories. My highschool years would not have been the same without Mrs. Forrest. She pushed us hard, and I have her to thank for my writing skills; she was a part of every university paper I ever wrote. I had the pleasure of having Mrs Forrest as my teacher through a number of my highschool years and was very happy when I found her a few years ago on FB. She was a phenomenal woman and teacher, and I am sure that she continued to be throughout the remainder of her career. My sincerest condolences to her family and friends. May you find peace in the kind words that will be written and spoken about your loved one.

    Reply
  8. Kim McIntyre

    December 1, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Sorry to hear of her passing. Mrs Forrest was my English teacher during my time at Riverside Park Academy. I wrote for the FAX one year. She was a determined and focused teacher and I respect her toughness as it helped me later life. To her family, my sympathies.

    Reply
  9. Kifana Hinkson

    December 2, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Mrs Forrest was hands down my favorite teacher in high school because though she was tough, you knew it came from a good place because she believed in you. My highest grades came from her class because I truly enjoyed them. I remember impressing her because I had an Oxford Dictionary at home 🙂 If there’s a teacher you can say left a lasting impression on you, that was Mrs. Forrest to me. Very fond memories of her and when we caught up on Facebook a few years ago I was elated. Phenomenal woman. Just phenomenal. Rest in eternal peace.

    Reply
  10. Karen Bray

    December 7, 2016 at 9:00 am

    I knew Anne as a friend and colleague ever since I arrived in Montreal in 1973. She had so many gifts and talents and interests. She will be sorely missed.

    Reply
  11. Denise De Pape

    December 11, 2016 at 1:59 am

    What a loss! What a woman! I met Anne in the Island City Singers and we have kept in touch at least once a year for about 40 years. My condolences to Ian and the rest of Anne’s family.

    Reply
  12. April R Harris

    December 11, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Mrs. Forrest brought comfort to me when I continuously bullied in high school. She showed me that the pen is truly mighter than the sword and I found peace and comfort through the written word. My extend my condolences to Mrs. Forrest’s family and close friends.

    Reply
  13. Paul Dunne

    December 13, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    I will miss Anne very much. I actually looked forward to her badgering me to put something together for Nuacht but without the badgering, I would never have done it. My contribution wasn’t critical to the publication so if I’d taken an occasional rest, the show would have gone on without me. I take no credit for never having missed an edition in the years she was editor. Anne gets all the praise. She will live on in Nuacht which, because it is the only regularly published tribune of the Irish community as a whole, has established itself as a living history of our community. Her work forms part of our historical mosaic and will be appreciated and studied for decades – maybe centuries – to come. Anne was warm, clever, self-deprecating and humorous. I won’t forget her.

    Reply
  14. Gladys Isenberg

    December 13, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    I was shocked and saddened to hear that Anne had passed away. She was my colleague in the English department at LaSalle High for many years, and I have many good memories of her both professionally and personally. My condolences to Ian and the rest of her family.

    Reply

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