Fr. John Sinnett
By the end of the 19th century, Western Canada was transformed into an agricultural land base and Fr. John Sinnett saw it as an opportunity to provide homesteads and a future for Irish immigrants and Irish-Canadian settlers.
Born in Ridgetown, Ontario, in 1855, Fr. Sinnett had served the Jesuits from 1884 to 1894, in Sheenboro, a strongly Irish area in Quebec across the Ottawa River from Pembrooke, Ontario. He returned there and, in 1905, his vision of an Irish Colony became a reality with more twenty families and bachelors from Prince Edward Island and directly from Ireland settled on land grants in the newly founded Province of Saskatchewan.
In 1906 Fr. Sinnett established the Parish of St. Ignatius. The first church was built and became both a place of worship and the community’s schoolroom ensuring an education for children of all ages.
The third church St Ignatius still stands as a handsome heritage and worship site (St. Patrick’s is only a monument on site now) the cemetery is beautiful and beautifully maintained.
Names in Irish Colony: Brady, Brick, Carroll, Doyle, Dunn
Other homesteaders included Bevan, Cunningham,Cole,Fenskie,