Evelyn Mary Wheeler
6 Nov. 1917 – 2 Aug 2009
Mom was born in St. John’s on November 6, 1917, the first child of John Thomas Carr Wheeler and Sarah Minnie Bishop. Her parents, though both living in St. John’s at the time, were married on September 20, 1916 in the Church of the Good Shepherd (C of E) in Cavendish, Trinity Bay, where the Bishop family hailed from. The Wheelers were originally farmers from the Torbay Rd. area near where St. John’s International Airport is now located.
Evelyn at 18, photograph and tinting by E. I. Bishop
Portrait of Evelyn Wheeler Morry by Jusof Karsh
As the paintings below amply demonstrate, Mom had a talent for art. But it was only today (June 11, 2019) that I connected this fact to an award that I found amongst Mom’s memorabilia.
It seems that Mom inherited her talent, at least in part, from her mother. In 1903, Minnie Bishop was attending Springdale St. School in the Senior Department (Standard V). In December of that year she received 1st Prize for Drawing.
Although the prize itself was nothing more than a copy of “The Family Friend and Mother’s Companion” Magazine from 1897, it was an indication, nonetheless, of the possible source of Mom’s talent. Here is a copy of all that remains of that magazine. The other pages have long since disappeared unfortunately.
It is with regret that we, her children, must feel in part responsible for the fact that our mother, Evelyn Wheeler Morry, gave up a promising career as an artist because of a failure to be appreciated. The paintings below are all that remain of her body of work; many more were thoughtlessly or carelessly destroyed years ago. At least we will have these to appreciate and jealously guard as her lasting legacy.
Ferryland North Side
Gatineau River Rapids
The Morry Premises from the Wee Hoose
Wreck of the TORHAMVAN
The paintings below were completed by Mom during the early days of her training and were relegated to the basement because of her self-imposed high standards. They were only discovered on the occasion of her 90th birthday in November 2007 and will be restored and framed for the future enjoyment of her family.