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Le Courant

Automne 2014 | 16

Paquetteville History

Paquetteville 1860


Originally in 1860, the Paquetteville Church was to be built and made available to people in the entire township of Hereford. This would mean a long distance would have to be covered as the Township of Hereford is quite large.

Nevertheless, 35 years later, the Catholic congregation in East Hereford asked for a chapel that could be served by the priest from Paquetteville to cut down on the amount of time it took to travel back and forth but the priest from Paquetteville refused.

In 1907, new steps were underway to install a new chapel. Three delegates met with the priest and the Bishop to discuss Paquetteville's people's proposition, as it became to be known. They did not want to split up the parish and, above all, they did not want to separate the debt. The response from the Bishop was favorable and he wanted some time to study the plans for the new parish.

In September, Pierre Lambert sold 30 acres of land with house and out buildings to the diocese. Desire Thibault, along with his workers, began building the chapel. Donations are collected on demand. The 1907 Christmas Mass was celebrated and the first priest was Abbe O'Neil from Paquetteville. The official opening and blessing of the chapel took place in 1908 with 53 families becoming part of the parish of Saint-Henri, East Hereford. This church is located on the same site to this day. The parish came to know 8 priests who would reside in the presbytery. As of 1970, the priest from Paquetteville along with the priest from St. Malo shared the duties of our parish.

From 1975 to 1991, Mon. Roger Roy becaame the parish priest. This priest knew how to interest young and old alike through innovative ideas. Under his tenure, the celebrations were rallying to the congregation. A feeling of great loss was felt at his departure.

In 1992, Sister Henriette Beloin became responsible for the parish with all the responsibilities of her incombent. Meticulous and devoted to the cause, she kept the parish alive until the fall of 1998. Abbe Picard, a retired priest, then took over the charge for the next 12 years. In 2010, at the request of the Bishop, the parish was annexed and became a part of the greater parish of Saints Apotres de Coaticook.


This first chapel was replaced in 1935 by a church much bigger in size and grander in scale but unfortunately it was destroyed by fire on March 7, 1950. Nothing was able to be recovered from the building and it was thought the cause of the fire probably had something to do with the wood heating system. The congregation were saddened by the destruction of the church but got themselves together and, in the same year, they built a third church. The first Mass was celebrated at Christmas, 1950. However, they found themselves holding quite an outstanding debt. Many bingos, raffles, suppers and it was thanks to these activities that the congregation was able to maintain the life of their Parish.

Throughout all these years, many church groups were started: the League of the Sacred Heart, Dame de Ste. Anne, the Children of Mary, Cercle lieu Armee de Marie, the Pastoral Committee and several others. The generosity of those early families was enough to sustain various renovations for years to come and we can say that a good part of the renovation of the presbytery in 1975 and that of the church in 1978 was due in good part to this generosity. What assistance and what volunteerism was part of this parish life !

St. Antoine-Daniel Mission at Hereford from 1948 to 1977. Through the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Raoul Tremblay, it was made sure that weekly Masses were held by Abbe Alexandre. Starting from that point the mission is served by the priest from East Hereford. Assistance in the early years was numbered about 50 people.

Schools and Education:

The first village school, 1884.

The village school that we are aware of was built in 1910. There were two rooms consisting of 9 class divisions. There were two stories to the building and the second story became the future place for the nuns. They never used the space on the second story which became the parish hall.

Range 3 Schools

It is located on the 9th Range - formerly chemin des cotes, now Route 253.

The Central School

In 1955, schooling began at the main school (4 classrooms) for about a hundred students. It was the end of the country schools. The cost of the construction for the building was $38, 775. Busing of students started at the end of the 1960s. The merging of students came about with pupils attending from East Hereford, St. Venant and St. Malo. St. Venant closed its school. Today this school is still open in East Hereford. There are two classrooms with about 25 students with other classrooms remaining in St. Malo.

Social Life

Baseball has been played here from about 1920, tennis, skating, and broomball were other sports taking place and the teams were well organized.

Around 1967, Maurice Dechesneau set up the East Hereford Recreational Committee, Inc. (les loisirs East Hereford, inc.) which resulted in having a Winter Carnival. Another activity, the Fish and Game Club opened in 1947 and still is very active. The Snowmobile Club opened in 1972. The most important priority of the club is to maintain the trails and snowmobiling has become a very popular activity in the region.

Fermieres et AFEAS from 1944 to 1977: Monthly meetings, interesting courses for women on crafts, cooking and sewing.

Young Breeders Group: exposition of animals, agricultural tours began during the 1920s. Very active years from the 1970 - 2000 timeframe.

A social club was in existance from 1977 to 1990 with the aim being to bring about meetings and various conferences.

They were responsible for drawing up a telephone directory, a recipe book (cookbook) and choosing the Person of the Year.


NOTABLE EVENTS:

Floods: The first known flood took place during the 1930s and another happened on June 15, 1943. Thunder, lightening, torrential rain and all the bridges were washed away along with the telephone poles and road washouts. This was the same storm system that did much destruction in Coaticook that same year.

Electricity: First supplied in September 1949 and was greatly appreciated for work being done in the home and in the barn. We were a part of the Stanstead Corp.

La Caisse populaire is very busy and serves customers from East Hereford and Paquetteville or has about 500 members. It is scheduled to close in March 2013.

The church, the school, the post office are still in opertation but, for how much longer !

Recherche : Diane Lauzon Rioux

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