|Norbert and Mathilde Martineau Wedding, 1921.|
This photo, sent to me over 20 years ago by one of my Dad’s cousins, was taken on Norbert and Mathilde Martineau’s wedding day, 4 January 1921.
The couple, who had known each other all their lives, married in the Roman Catholic church in the village of Ste-Cécile-de-Masham, in Gatineau County, Quebec. Theirs was the first marriage entered in the parish’s register for 1921. The record states that a dispensation for one of the three marriage banns was granted and that there were no impediments to the union. The couple received the nuptial blessing in the presence of Pierre Belair (Mathilde’s father), Isaïe Brazeau (Mathilde’s brother-in-law) and others. Last, Norbert and Mathilde signed their names in the parish register in a clear, legible hand.
Norbert was 24 years old (he had just celebrated his birthday the previous November) and Mathilde was five months shy of her 20th birthday. A younger half-sister of my paternal grandfather Fred Belair, Mathilde was one of five children of Pierre Belair and his second wife Mathilde Cloutier.
I don’t know who took the photograph, but I assume it was either a family member or a friend and neighbor. I also assume that the picture was taken at the Belair family property. (Mathilde in her apron suggests that she just stepped away from her kitchen to go outside for a few moments and be part of the wedding photo.) Norbert and Mathilde (in the centre) are surrounded by their family. Mathilde’s father Pierre is on her right and her mother Mathilde stands on Norbert’s left. Isaïe Brazeau, one of the witnesses, can be seen at the back on the far right of the photo.
Norbert and Mathilde were married for 50 years. He died in June 1971, while Mathilde, who remarried, passed away in April 1973.
Copyright © 2013, Yvonne Demoskoff.