A life filled with music
In the Larouche household, they either sang while they worked or hummed along. “Maman made us sing,” Germain remembers. “She sang all the time.” Father sang while he milked the cows, and after he started a song all the children joined in.
Gaëtan and his violin.
“After a while we knew them all,” Germain says. “I also remember hearing my father singing when he worked with the horses,” Céline adds, “and I think it was the singing in our family that set us apart from our schoolmates. Gaëtan attributes the overriding presence of music to his mother.
Renée’s room (she was the youngest child) was just above the parlour, so when she was in bed she could hear her mother and the older people singing. She learned how to sing while falling asleep, so it’s not surprising that she later became a choir director.
An impromptu choir on the family porch. In the back row: Jean, Éliane Bédard, Marie, Alfred, Gaëtan and Germain. In the middle row, in front of Alfred: Rolande Gélineau (a cousin from the Bédard side of the famiiy), Suzanne, Denise and Agnès. In front are: Colette, Céline and Bernard (a cousin from the the Larouche side).
The holiday season was celebrated in a big way and the house was full of decorations. The children used cigarette paper to cut out fir trees and poinsettias, assembling them with glue made from water and potato. They also made Christmas wreaths for the railing on the staircase. Above all they learned songs for the occasion.
Agnès has a cherished memory of her childhood: “We didn’t have electricity or much else. But we had a lot of fun, because we had each other… at least for singing.”