On a Sunday afternoon drive in the winter of 1978, we fell in love with a house listed for sale in Beaconsfield. The following June, we became the happy owners of the property, our home to this day. We were enthralled with the house, the mature trees and Lake St. Louis.
In August 1979, I started to work at the Beaconsfield Library. My second dream had come true. I found myself among endearing and refined co-workers and in an atmosphere of commitment. Many women volunteers worked alongside the staff performing such duties as staffing the circulation desk, processing new documents and repairing shopworn books. The volunteers and staff also assisted in planning activities of a social nature, such as book launches and guest speaker events.
During this time, I met Marguerite Beaudet, known as Madame Beaurepaire, a volunteer who worked at the library for 32 years. Why did she have this quaint surname, you may ask? Here is an abridged version of the story as she told it to me, with added excerpts drawn from “Beaconsfield and Beaurepaire” by Robert L. Baird and Gisele Hall, published in 1998.
Door to door postal delivery was inaugurated in 1957. At this time the postmaster sent a notice informing residents that they would no longer need to include the name Beaurepaire to their addresses. All mail would; henceforth, be simply addressed to Beaconsfield, Quebec. Marguerite, a resident of Fieldfare Avenue, proud of Beaurepaire and its ancestry, was so incensed, that she set out to gather some 300 names for a petition. She presented the petition to the Municipal Council of Beaconsfield; whereby, she pled in favor of maintaining the name. The Council gave their support. Soon afterwards, another letter to the residents was issued:
"The whole question has been reviewed and the Postmaster General, William Hamilton, has instructed that the correct address of your mail is “Beaurepaire, Quebec”. No other community name or designation is required.”
Madame Beaurepaire’s eyes sparkled. She was indeed so proud to have saved Beaurepaire from oblivion. Marguerite has now left us, but she continues to live on in our memories and in our hearts. I invited her to join us for the celebration on June 4th in the village of Beaurepaire. I await her response.
Written by N. Tremblay
Translated by M. Janis
Photo caption: Madame Beaudet, Beaconsfield Library, 1982
Source: Beaconsfield and Beaurepaire, R.L. Baird and G.Hall, 1998