New year … in my time

La nouvelle année… à mon époque

I arrived at Ville Jacques-Cartier in 1957.

On 31 December, the family was getting ready to leave on a grand scale. At that time, my father did not own a car and everyone went to church. Many family meetings took place and all called each other “Happy New Year”.»!

All people had washed their clothes and wore all clothes for women. No one had eaten for several hours and everyone was taking Communion (on an empty stomach!); The meal will take place after returning from the mass.

The divorce did not exist (only in 1970!) And was everywhere in the father’s family. His blessings had full meaning. Even grandparents still had considerable room in the extended family.

Also, after Mass, Nana was always met to receive his blessings for the new year. Fortunately for the children he did not live far away from home, but for him it was still a night of presents and we would return a little later when other family members arrived.


In this house of about 400 square feet, some families used to arrive: my uncle Adelard with his eight children, my uncle Paul-Omiel with his four children, and my uncle Giovano with his older boy; We would arrive with our seven children (in 1960) and my uncle Armand would arrive from Washington or Nova Scotia during the day with his three children. The bed was always lined with coats! Have you counted the trip?

Everyone can sit at the big table with their friends to eat turkey cooked turkey. Legumes With jaggery, its pus, marinades, stew, etc. And that doesn’t even count her amazing desserts, or what guests can bring! The grandmother was not tall, but she had a notable arch.

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And forget about telephone interruptions and television. We had left community phone lines and all distant conversations were billable. It was my grandfather’s record player (16-33-45-78), made up of good stories in his spare time and around the table. Some people were going to sit in the living room where my grandmother played the tune on her piano. But everyone was fond of singing and celebrating.

In his house, my grandfather still had mercury vials on the wall which he might have thrown on fire in case of fire; We were far from emergency response.

Children want to run everywhere, parents controlled them with the sound of their voice. Four hundred square feet is not so big. But all the children learned to belong to aunts and uncles and cousins.

After dinner, everyone would wash dishes (forget today’s washermen) and then everyone would sing and have fun.

It was a good time and memory is slow to forget!

Text by Jean-Guy Campio, former Ville Jacques-Cartier resident, volunteer Historical and Cultural Society of Marigot

If you missed the period, or if you have stories to tell us, or even photos, feel free to send them to Société Historique et Culturel du Marigot at [email protected]. In the context of the project Our seniors have a story to share Senior volunteers from the Historical and Cultural Society of Marigot, funded by the New Horizons for Seniors Program (PNHA), will contact seniors to discuss the subject of Ville Jacques-Cartier.


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