February 11, 1992
The Beaurepaire I remember in the mid 1920s was the area around St. Louis, Fieldfare and Woodland avenues, from the lake to the railroad tracks. Angell’s farm was to the west and Legault’s farm was to the east.
Woodland Ave. was the only paved street and, of course, Beaconsfield Blvd., was at the time, Highway #17. Fieldfare had a wooden sidewalk on the west side only. There was a general store which the Cunninghams ran on the corner of St. Louis and Beaconsfield Blvd., and a small stand which Mrs. Holden ran between Fieldfare and Woodland. This was our candy store. Sheriff Beaton kept law in and order. Milk was delivered to the house by Eric Angell. The grocer and butcher, M. Déry, from Pointe Claire came once a week to take our order. Three days later, he arrived with the goods and at the same time we reordered for the following week.
Our family, the Babureks, came to Beaurepaire as summer residents only. The beach was at the foot of St. Louis Ave. and we all walked to the beach in our bathing suits covered by beach robes. In the evening you could see people going down the street to the lake for a bath, with towel over arm and soap in hand. Weekend visitors crowded the beach.
There were special events in Beaurepaire. I remember a regatta with Eddie Beaupré in charge. My sister, Rose, won a prize on that occasion. There were also strawberry socials, timed for city folk arrivals. Weekly singsongs were held on the corner of St. Louis and Church Streets. The screen and the projector were on loan from the Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis. I remember on one night, Percy Culmer was persuaded to sing his favourite, “Moonlight and Roses”.
August was raspberry picking time. Sellers and Kovacs hired kids at 5¢ a quart box.
We went to Sunday School, held at the school on Church and Fieldfare. Mr. Ernest King was our teacher. In my class were Peggy (King) Hammond, Mabel (Platts) Hall, Eleanor (Wilson) Dennis, Roberta Angell and others. One year our Sunday School picnic was held at Buddy Scott’s farm in Baie d’Urfé. Kids rode in a truck and our parents went by car.
In the late 30s, the house was rented on an annual basis, so we didn’t return when I was a child, but in 1942 I did come back as the bride of George Greig. Because of the war, housing shortages and unsettled times, this was supposed to be only temporary.
In the 40s, our children were still going to the 2 room school house on Fieldfare – grades 1 and 2 in one room and grades 3 and 4 in the other. There were two privately owned buses to transport the older children to school in Pointe Claire. In the summer on week days, one of these buses, with a driver, would be hired for a community picnic to either Cap St. Jacques or Ile Bizard beach.
Every weekday afternoon young mothers could be seen pushing their carriages to the post office — Mr. Carrière’s private home on Woodland — to collect their mail. Phoning Montreal was still long distance. Some of these mothers joined the existing Women’s Association of the United Church. We were kept busy by preparing for the annual bazaar. A choir was organized and a drama group was developed and directed by Moira Millington which ran successfully for several seasons.
It became obvious to me that a library should be started. I phoned a few ladies — Kay Betts, Edna Whittall, et al — and held a meeting to see what could be done. We started by canvassing the community for books. I contacted the Westmount librarian ― who attended our next meeting ― to sort out those books which were suitable. The janitor of the school gave us a shelf in his cupboard to store their the books. Once a week the children would line up and the mothers would take turns issuing their favorite books.
In the 50s, the farms were sold and developed. New people moved in at a fast pace. Many organizations were started, including the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides.