Page 47 - From Talks With Maria Goyetche of Petit-de-Grat
ISSUE : Issue 44
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/1/1
From Talks with Maria Goyetche of Petit-de-Grat This article comes from separate interviews with Maria Goyetche. The French portions are from inter? views by Ronald LaBelle, Centre d'Etudes Acadi? ennes, Universite de Moncton. The English is from a conversation with Cape Breton's Magazine. When I was born, we had no church in Petit- de-Grat. I was from the parish church in Arichat. We had 7 miles to Arichat Church. We only had mass on Sunday, because there was just the one priest for the two churches, for the two parishes. We had to walk--there was no car. We always walked. The whole family. We had to get up early in the morning. When we had to go to Ari? chat Church, we had to get up at 8 o'clock to be in time for mass at 10 o'clock. When we went for communion, we didn't have breakfast. (And would you carry your shoes?) Yes. On a fine day, on a siimmer day. I had a lit? tle pair of sneakers. When I was 9 and 10 years old, my little blue sneakers--they were 50c a pair at that time. When the grass was wet with the dew, I didn't want to wet my shoes. And I'd run for 3 miles before I put on my shoes. I had to leam my catechism at home, and school. I had to leam everything--my moth? er had to teach us. When I started going to school at 8 years old--8 years old the first time I went to school--my first read? er, the first primer--I knew it like a song, because I had learned it at home. My first reader was like a song. (And your mother also taught you your catechism at home?) Yes, sure. When I was' 10 years old, I had learned French enough from my prayer book, I had learned French enough--! was studying my catechism all by myself. (How old would you be here when you made your first com? munion?) I was 10 years old and 6 months. It was a happy day for us. We had to walk all the ways from Petit-de-Grat to the con? vent in Arichat 3 times a week. May and June, before we made our first communion. And we had to know the catechism, we had to know it by heart. When it came for exam, if I hadn't learned French, to study my? self, I would have had a hard time to get through. Le convent d'Arichat; marcher pendant sept semaines lis alliont--les gens de Louisdale ont eu la premiere eglise dans 1902. Deux ans a- vant nous autres, trois ans avant nous au? tres . Pis i etiont d'la paroisse d'Arichat. Quand j'ai fait ma premiere communion, y'a 82 ans de 9a, les filles de Louisdale i veniont, fallait qui furent au catechisme pour sept semaines de temps, au convent d'Arichat, c'etait les soeurs d'la Congre? gation de Notre-Dame. Et pis i restiont dans I'Anse, le temps parce qu'i aviont d'la parente la. Fallait qu'i marchirent eh, aux P'tites Anses, ils etiont 5 milles d'la paroisse d'Arichat. Le convent etait au ras 1'eglise. Le premier convent etait brule. Le convent etait au ras 1'eglise d'Arichat. Pis c'etait la qu'on allait au catechisme. On allait au catechisme trois fois par semaine pour deux mois de temps. Fallait savoir le mot a mot du catechisme. Pis y'en avait un bon nombre qui savaient pas lire francais. Leux parents savaient pas a lire le'francais. Fallait qu'i furent sus les volsins pour apprendre leu catechisme. Ceuses qui pouvaient leux en- seigner. Moi, ma defunte mere, elle avait appris le francais, parce que son pere etait du temps d'la--mon grand-pere Martel, du temps que la--le Saint F. X. a st:art6 a Arichat dans 1851. Pis ca inque dure pour trois ans. Ca ete discontinue pis ca ete starte k Antigonish. Mais ca avait ete com- mencS a Arichat. Dans 1851! Mon grand-pere il a inque ete au college pour deux ans a Arichat. Quand ca ete transfere a Antigon? ish, il avait pas le moyen d'aller la. II a ete oblige de discontinuer mais toute sa famille avait appris. II avait appris a ses enfants. C'qu'il avait appris du Saint F. X. il avait toujours enseigne ses en? fants a la maison. Ma mere savait le fran? cais assez. C'est elle qui nous a appris a lire francais. Pis j'avions pas de livres francais, pas de livres de I'ecole. J'ap- prenais le francais dans un livre de pri- eres. C'est comme ca j'ai appris le fran- 9ais. Pis c'est la'meilleure maniere. (47)'
Cape Breton's Magazine