Growing up in Green Valley
The Editor, My memories of growing up in Green Valley. Our farm was a mile west of Highway 34. I remember going for a rid on a milk wagon with Dad to bring the milk to Crevier Cheese factory. Usually going to Green Valley involved a trip to the Lajoie store for groceries. Besides buying groceries, it was usually a bit of visiting and getting caught up in local happenings.
We attended the separate school at St. Raphael’s along with the Green Valley families. It meant a walk from our place to the highway to be picked up by the Wilfred Menard bus. Even the walk was kind of fun as there were other neighbour children who walked along with us.
In the summertime, it was a great ride on my bicycle to pick up the mail at McKinnon’s post office. Afterwards, we would sometimes meet up with our school chums and head to Lucien Lefebvre’s Barbershop and Restaurant. In winter months, my brother George and I would walk carrying our skates to join up with other young people for a skate on the outdoor rink in Green Valley.
Later in our teen years, the Lajoie Pavilion was the highlight of our lives. Fun place, very well run and we would hope the boys were there for dancing. The girls would sit along the wall and the guys stood around the back of the hall. There were always sandwiches and soft drinks served by Mrs. Lajoie. But the music and dancing was the greatest.
The local train station was also a busy place. Lots of trains and young people often travelled on Sunday evening to work in Montreal, returning to their families Friday evening.
One of the best memories was mixing with other young people from the community who struggled at first at school because they were usually only French speaking.
They were amazing with how quickly they became bilingual. I really tried to learn as much of the French language from my friends as possible but never truly became bilingual. Sandra McDonell Bannister,