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Mrs. Alda McCaffrey





In Loving Memory of Alda McCaffrey


It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of Alda McCaffrey, a beloved wife, sister, and friend, on May 6, 2024, following a long illness. Alda recently celebrated her 80th birthday at the Manoir Harwood surrounded by family. She leaves behind her devoted and loving husband, Jacques Harvey, her sisters Bernadette and Moira (David), nephew Matthieu (Robyn), grandnephew Marcel, dear friends Claudia and Stuart, and her cousins Brenda, Ann, and Kevin.


A natural teacher, Alda earned a Teaching Diploma and pursued a career at Verdun Catholic High School, teaching physics, French, and computer science. She continued her education evenings and summers at Concordia University, winning the Match of Minds scholarship for 1973-1974 and completing a Bachelor of Science (Biology). She was appointed Principal of Verdun Catholic High School and occupied this demanding position until her retirement. Alda was not ready to leave teaching, however, and for many years she tutored new Canadians in math and science.


Alda’s talent as a singer with a beautiful mezzo-soprano voice emerged early: singing was a major part of her life. At the age of 15 she was selected by Wilfrid Pelletier to sing with the Montréal Symphony Orchestra. In 1960 she won the Sarah Fischer Scholarship and, later in life, she completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Music Performance, at Concordia University. Alda excelled at singing complex arias and songs by classical musicians such as Handel and Gabriel Fauré. Accompanied by her husband Jacques on piano, she regularly gave recitals (the last one in late 2018) that included a repertoire of songs in French, Italian, and German.


In her spare time, Alda loved training and riding horses, most recently her purebred Arabian named Cloud. She was devoted to her pets, particularly Bizou, a Shih Tzu rescue dog. Another of Alda’s many talents was painting: she produced a series of beautiful oils.


Alda will be remembered especially for her great sense of humour, her courage in the face of challenges, and her constant optimism. The family would like to extend their gratitude to the staff at CHSLD - Manoir Harwood for their dedication and kindness. A private family celebration of life will take place.


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