Sister Ida Spence (Sr. Catherine Labouré)
(1923-2008)By Ida Spence, her niece.
Sister Ida Spence, OMI, was a member of the religious congregation of the MissionaryOblate Sisters of St. Boniface for 60 years. Her missionary name was Sister Catherine Labouré.She entered the congregation on August 21, 1946. She pronounced her first Oblation on February18, 1950 and took her final vows on August 18, 1955. The prolonged time period between entryand final vows was because of the requirement at that time that she become fluent in the Frenchlanguage. She already was fluent in Ojibway and English. Later on she would study Latin, Cree,and Sioux.Sister Spence was a Metis woman of Scottish/Cree/Ojibway descent. Her father¶s Spencesurname comes from an Orkney Spence who worked for the Hudson Bay Company atCumberland House, then in the Northwest Territories
. Her mother¶s maiden Campbell surnamecomes from a Campbell from Scotland.
Sister Ida Spence with her parentsJoseph Spence (1883-1966) and Nancy Campbell Spence (1887-1976), circa.1960.
Sister Spence was born on October 31, 1923, at Glenella, Manitoba, when the family was ontheir way home from threshing. She was the daughter of Joseph Spence, born at Sandy Bay and Nancy Campbell, born at Kinosota. She was raised at Eddystone, Manitoba. She attended schoolat the Eddystone School District #1873. When she joined the Sisters, from that time onward her
Jean Baptiste Spence Sr. (Weetchamash) was born in 1807, the son of an Orkney Spence and a SwampeeCree woman. He died in April 1889 and was buried on his son Jean Baptiste Spence Jr.¶s land, now the SteRose du Lac Cemetery, the first adult grave there. The first five families that settled by the Turtle River,1887-89, were his sons J. Baptiste Spence Jr., (Sister Ida Spence¶s grandfather), John Spence Sr. (SpenceLake is named after him), and Louison Spence, and his grandsons who were both Baptiste¶s sons, JeanBaptiste Spence (Sam) the big one, and Jean Baptiste Spence the small one. References: Camperville RCChurch records; Metis Scrip Records and Western Land Grants databases, www.collectionscanada.gc.ca.