When my sister Jeanne asked me to write a blog, I was honoured. Me, who has always dreamt about writing… What a great opportunity!
So, here I am. Where do I begin? I have a bunch of ideas and subjects that involve fur, trapping, and many other subjects I would like to talk about, and yet, I feel that I must absolutely start with an incredible story; my story: The story of the Bergerons…and of the Greniers.
My mother Rita is the daughter of Albany Bergeron who, in 1934, took the train with his wife Rose to colonize Abitibi. Albany was a fur trapper. He is the one who taught the all the rudiments of trapping to my father Robert. At that time, things were difficult and thanks to this activity, my father and grandfather were able to put bread & butter on the table.
But what I did not know, it is that the trade of trapper had been in my family for a long time. Indeed, in 1758, the Acadians were attacked by the English at the St-Jean River located in New Brunswick. The exodus started then. Several families left through the woods in the spring of 1763. Not wanting to lose their language and their religion, Béliveau, Gaudet, Poirier, Bergeron, Bourque, Bercasse and Lamontagne were exiled to Quebec. The chief of this expedition, Michel Bergeron, daring hunter and coureur des bois, became the true hero of this story.
They lived off beavers, partridges and other animals which they surprised in the traps they set, because they had neither weapons nor ammunition… They reached Cacouna three days before All Saints’ Day, fearing that they would be unable to find refuge before the winter. The next spring, most of them continued their voyage by canoe to Saint-Gregoire where they settled close to a brook. Beavers were abundant!
How this knowledge, this instinct and this sensibility were able to live on for hundreds of years is beyond me. We could say that the members of my family have been coureurs des bois since 1770!
I think back on my own memories and I remember Albany. He was naturally calm and determined. He knew how to be one with nature. Even though his most beautiful crown jewel is his Rose, I believe that he bequeathed the beaver as an emblem.
I am proud to be a Grenier…Bergeron.