In the 1970s and 1980s, my parents and siblings visited Ste-Cécile-de-Masham, where my paternal grandfather Fred Belair was born and raised. Also known as La Pêche, Masham is located a little to the northwest of Hull, in the province of Quebec, across the river from Ottawa, our nation’s capital.
What I remember most about these visits (besides meeting some of Dad’s relatives) was the imposing Roman Catholic stone church, the winding road through the village, the houses built closely to the main street, and the Belair family home.
|Belair Family Home, 1986.|
I don’t know who originally built the Belair house or how old it was when I last visited it in 1986, but it was a simple, wooden two-story structure on a good-sized plot of land. My grandfather Fred’s sister-in-law Corinne (the widow of his half-brother Joseph) lived in the house. The kitchen had, I think, a wood stove and a somewhat steep staircase that lead to the upstairs floor where ‘Tante Corinne’ kept a large quilt frame.
During our last visit, my brother Raymond was particularly impressed with the house and said (he must have been all of 7 or 8 years old at the time) that one day he would come back to Masham and buy the house. I’m not sure if the house is still owned by Corinne’s descendants, but my brother and his wife now live in a condo in British Columbia.
Copyright © 2012, Yvonne Demoskoff.