la rive sud – les guerres

28 December 1945

ernest lapointe

The Ernest Lapointe, an icebreaker used through most of the war on the Saint Lawrence. The ship is now an exhibit at L’Islet at the Musée maritime du Québec.

Another time that was very sad for me was during the 39-45 wars, when Jean was in the Merchant Marine in ammunition convoys to Europe and Asia.

Off Australia, his boat was cut in half by a mine; he lost all of his personal effects and came back to us via the Pacific coast. I remember this day well, that of his birthday 28 December 1945.

That morning I told the kids that even if Jean were not here, I’d make his birthday cake anyway.

So I did.

That very same day, he arrived by train in Laurier, dressed only in a light jacket. In passing he went by Oscar’s to say hello.

Seeing him, the kids said to Juliette, their mother,

“Eh! Maman there’s a beggar at the door.”

1 johnbedard oneThey didn’t recognize him with his summer clothes and beard.

When he came back from Korea, he also returned via Vancouver, suffering this time from malaria. The adventures he could write about!

Guy also had his share of bad luck. He got hit by a car but somehow survived unscathed. He had his nose fractured by a mutineer on a boat he was working on.

As for Gilles, he could also write a book about his experiences. I know that Jeanne-Mance is writing something to document facts about our family.

Laurier came back from Asia with a virus or bacteria. Even his wife did not recognize him when he came home.

I suffered greatly when Denis left for Korea, he was so young and I cried more than once by any announcement of news from the front. On his return, he was a beat up and sad sight to see. It took him some time to recover and resume a normal life after Korea.

Laurent was in the Army for a little while. He would be out of the house for the summer and be back for the winter. It was never a problem we always got along very well.

For my last three children, Thérèse, Michel, and Colette, they studied and did their homework. They weren’t any trouble at all. I don’t know if I’ve spoken yet about the beautiful winters I spent with Jean in California, many of my children have many memories to talk about. I will let Michel tell you about those souvenirs, Mance may have some; and others can join in with other memories.

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