My Famous Relatives On My Mother’s Side

I didn’t know I had any famous relatives in St.John’s when I took off for Memorial University in January of 1973.  Certainly had I known, I would not have spent so many days and nights alone. Also, when I had to spend a week in hospital with a rare type of pneumonia, I would have been able to call upon one of these famous people to bring me a pair of pyjamas at least.

How many of you out there in Pasadena and surrounding areas have heard of Tony The Tailor? Well, neither had I when I was a girl of 17 or  18. I had no idea who he was, what his surname was and how he was related to me. After I married, I remember bringing a snowsuit in to his shop to have a new zipper put in it.  I remember meeting one of his daughters at the MUN library but I had no idea really that Tony is my mother’s first cousin and his daughters and sons are  my second cousins. Some years after I was married, Tony’s sister Phyllis Cavallini(mother of Gino and Paul Cavalinni, two hockey players) came for a quick visit to St.Shotts and stayed with us for a night or two, showing off her stepdancing skill and her beautiful singing voice.

My grandmother Elizabeth Slaney is the sister of Mary Slaney. Elizabeth married Andrew Whiffin and Mary married Anthony Silver, a man from Portugal. Tony is the son of Mary and Anthony and Shawn Silver is Tony’s son. There is the family connection.  Shawn Silver, as some of you may know, is a famous Irish dancer and teacher who travels all over the world giving performances. Of course, as in many families, growing up we knew little about our famous cousins. One of them helped mom when she went to Toronto for open heart surgery and she never forgot their kindness.

These are just a few tidbits of informaton which I hope to add to over the coming weeks. I’m hoping to meet my cousin Shawn and his sisters and brothers. How amazing that I have such talented people from both sides of the family.  The Myricks are well known musicians on my father’s side, Tommy Nemec, son of Mary Myrick and Thomas Nemec, of Connemara fame,  Michelle and Jean Marie Myrick who have sung in many spots about town, their father Michael Myrick who was a good songwriter and singer, just to name some of them. 

Perhaps I do see some connection to my love of sewing and quilting as Tony Silver was a very talented person with a sewing machine or sewing needle. I can only hope to be one-quarter as good!  Several of his children have taken over his business after his passing. I’ve read several articles about him over the years and I believe there was a Land and Sea show all about him and his family.


About Newfoundland Traveller

I'm a Newfoundlander with a love of reading, writing and travelling. I've travelled around our province and lived in four provinces of Canada. I love a good book and a good blog. My family means the world to me, and some day I hope to travel to many countries of the world with my husband and sons' families.
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6 Responses to My Famous Relatives On My Mother’s Side

  1. Pingback: Bookstore Visit « newfoundlandtraveller

  2. Shawn Silver says:

    Hello Pauline….So sweet of you to give me an honorable mention. You’re a real gem and I’m so proud to call you “Cousin” Pauline.

    Yes indeed I am dancing and travelling and here’s a news article you may wish to read that appeared in the local paper this week.—Life/Entertainment/2012-03-10/article-2924148/Celtic-Kicks/1

    It highlights what I am currently up to. I am enroute to Asia and Australia to dance for 5 months and then remain in Perth as Artist in Residence at Ashdale School for the Performing Arts. I’m very excited to be part of it all.

    Also indeed there is a TV show produced by CBC called Land & Sea which featured my dad, Tony the Tailor and our family’s history and community involvemennt.

    Also perhasp you’re unaware that the History Channel also did a documentary on my grandfather, Antonio Teixeira Marques da Silva, for a piece called A Scattering of Seeds, highlighting the ethnic cultures that make up our wonderful country. The show is called “The Stowaway” and I have a copy if you’d ever like to see it. It’s brilliant and is shown quite regularly on TV.

    I hope this adds some more to you vast collection of knowledge and interests. Love cousin Shawn xx

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