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Alberta Online Encyclopedia

The Town's Formative Years


“It was a life of hard work and many difficult years, especially during the Depression, the dry years and the destruction of crops by hail in 1936. It’s that year Arthur bought the first tractor on rubber wheels (the first in the district). The joys and sorrows of family life were shared by all with much love. Everyone has fond memories of picnics, wild fruit picking, wonderful evenings playing cards and ball games”
— Pauline Willerth-Gamache

“As a young girl, I was kept busy with housework, school and piano lessons, but there sometimes were spare hours. What did a teenager do with her spare time then? For me, reading became my favourite pastime. At the age of 12, I discovered a Library, run by the Business Girls Literary Club. It was a little backroom atop the Banque Canadienne Nationale. It was opened for one hour a week and one was allowed to sign out two books. This discovery was a turning point in my life—books have been my friends ever since. 

I also enjoyed skating. As soon as there was ice on the Prenevost or Garneau sloughs, my brother and I would be out there. Usually someone would build a big bonfire to help warm us up. Later in the season, when the outdoor rink was ready, I’d get a season ticket and made sure I skated for the $2 worth it cost. Also, I didn't miss too many week-end hockey games, especially when St. Paul was playing Bonnyville. Standing on the snow banks, we would have frozen our feet if it hadn’t been for all the jumping we did, cheering for such hockey greats as Father Forestier, Lionel Landreville, Vianney Joly, Oswald Bissonnette and my brother Maurice, of course. In between periods, we’d stampede into the shack to huddle around one of the two heaters in the place. In spring we’d play softball. Later we’d get to play some tennis, that is when we had enough energy left after removing weeds growing on the clay courts and then having to pass a heavy roller. These courts were located next to the K.C. Hall on the road to the C.N. station.”
— Cecile Mailloux-Bielech

”The winters were cold and long with lots of snow. The one who drove the horses was the worst off; the others just wrapped up in the blankets. Mom made all our clothes, so they were warm. She kept us busy sewing, mending, knitting and mat-making. We helped with the chores, the garden and painting, whatever needed to be done. For entertainment, we would have films or card parties at Church organized by the priest. We had dances at weddings and other parties.”
— Simone Blouin

Source:

Société du Livre Historique de St. Paul Historical Book Society. Du Passé Au Present And Present: St. Paul—St. Edouard Alberta 1896-1990. Edmonton: Friesen Printers, 1990.

 
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