Memories of the Boarding school Saint-Dominique

Daniel Côté
The Daily

Souvenirs du Pensionnat Saint-Dominique

CHRONIC / Monday morning, my aunt Raymonde visited me at home. Accompanied by my uncle Henri, she was part of Alma, for the sole purpose of bringing me home-made jams, and marinades. We have the opportunity to share photos, take new with each other, until the moment where I announced that the next day, I had an appointment with a crucifix oversized.

This is discussed in the last edition of Progress (pages M20 and M21), a representation of Christ, which has lead to the church of Saint-Dominique in Jonquière after having belonged to the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. The relationship with my aunt is that he was at the Boarding school Saint-Dominique at the same time that she and her sister Yolande, two years his senior. They have lived there for most of their primary studies, two daughters, Alma, who have lived through this experience differently.

Yolande, has loved the life of a boarder, but not his sister. However, it has evoked a bit of nostalgia for the years spent away from home, away from my grand-mother who, having lost her husband due to leukemia, had had to return on the labour market in order to ensure the subsistence of her six children. “It was expensive to send us to boarding school, but my mom was that important,” pointed out my aunt.

Each year, she and Yolande left with a trunk filled flush with the edges. There were costumes of blue and white, carved by my mother, conform to the specifications of the institution. In addition, different accessories, a Sunday dress, skates and even a troll in the wild, since students were encouraged to take to the air. “There was a big skating rink in the courtyard of the boarding house”, remembered Raymonde.

Souvenirs du Pensionnat Saint-Dominique

This photograph was captured at the end of the 1940s, at School, Saint-Dominique in Jonquière. It is at this time that two of my aunts have studied.


What was less comical, it was the onset of lice, inevitable in these times, when all had not assimilated the notions of hygiene. “It came from the external, and this is my uncle Jos, whose real name was Conrad, me removed one by one when we went in her apartment on the rue Saint-David. He was patient, so kind,” said my aunt.

It is believed that the crucifix was in the chapel, but without seeing a photo, it was difficult to certify. On the other hand, it was the first time that we were talking about the boarding school way too sharp and after completing my interview with the people of the parish of Saint-Dominique, I measured my luck. The sculpture was an excuse, a trigger. Thanks to it, I found myself at the school at the end of the 1940s, learning about a piece of our family history.

It is for this reason that activities such as those that will highlight the 150 years of the parish of Saint-Dominique, in 2020, are so important. This is an opportunity to share memories with older people, to take advantage of them in the best sense of the term. Because there are things that we can’t learn in books, often the most valuable.