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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Rimouski in Rimouski-Neigette MRC, Quebec — French Canadian Region
 

Les gardiens de phare / The lightkeepers

 
 
Les gardiens de phare / The lightkeepers Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 16, 2018
1. Les gardiens de phare / The lightkeepers Marker
Inscription.  

L'âme du phare
Le gardien et son assistant participent à la sécurité de la navigation sur une section du fleuve. Prenant leur quart de travail tour à tour, ils assurent une présence 24 heures sur 24 pendant la saison de navigation.

Au petit matin, le gardien éteint le feu du phare, en nettoie les réflecteurs et les vitres, taille les mèches des lampes, remplit les réservoirs de combustible. La matinée entière y passe, mais il est certain qu'il pourra rallumer la lampe sans problème une heure avant le coucher du soleil.

Il lui reste beaucoup à faire : entretenir les bâtiments et le terrain, démarrer manuellement les signaux sonores au besoin, compléter les rapports et le journal de bord, prendre les relevés de marées. Par chance, il partage ces tâches avec son assistant. Ces travailleurs fiables et débrouillards forment l'âme et le moteur de la station de Pointe-au-Père.

Un métier disparu
Le travail s'allège à mesure que s'implantent les nouvelles technologies, comme les lampes sans réflecteurs et les signaux sonores à air comprimé. Puis, avec l'automatisation des années 1970, la station perd son âme.

Les gardiens de phare / The lightkeepers Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 16, 2018
2. Les gardiens de phare / The lightkeepers Marker
Empress of Ireland Museum in background
Tout fonctionne désormais électroniquement et ne nécessite que la visite sporadique d'un inspecteur.

Le métier de gardien de phare est emporté par la vague de la modernité. À Point-au-Père, il laisse dans son sillage le souvenir des ces braves hommes qui ont consacré des années de leur vie à assurer la sécurité de la navigation sur le Saint-Laurent.

[Légendes photo, dans le sens des aiguilles d'une montre à partir du centre, lire]
• Armand Lafrance, dernier gardien du phare, nettoyant le fanal du phare.
• Charles-Auguste Lavoie, gardien du phare [illisible]
• L'ingénieur des signaux de brume, le gardien et l'assistant ont [illisible] successivement cette maison construite en 1905-1906.
• La résidence du gardien de phare de 1956 à 1988.

——————————————————

The soul of the lighthouse
The lightkeeper and his assistant played their part in the safe navigation of this section of the river. They stood watch around the clock, taking quarter hour shifts in turn throughout the navigation season.

In the early morning hours, the lightkeeper extinguished the lighthouse light, cleaned its reflectors and glass panes, trimmed lamp wicks, and refilled receptacles with oil. While these tasks took all

Le phare de Pointe-au-Père / Point-au-Père Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
3. Le phare de Pointe-au-Père / Point-au-Père Lighthouse
morning, completing them ensured that the light could be relit an hour before sunset without any difficulty.

Plenty of other chores awaited: keeping up buildings and grounds, manually launching sound signals when needed, filling out reports and log entries, measuring tides. Fortunately there was an assistant to help share the workload. These dependable, resourceful individuals who kept the station going also gave Pointe-au-Père its very soul.

The end of a profession
Things changed with the emergence of new technologies like reflectorless lamps and compressed air sound signals. When automation became widespread in the 1970s, the station was profoundly affected. Everything became electronic, requiring only sporadic visits by an inspector.

The profession of lightkeeping has been carried away by the tide of modernity. But at Pointe-au-Père, the memory of these strong men-who spent years ensuring safe passage on the St. Lawrence-remains alive today.

[Photo captions, clockwise from top center, read]
• Armand Lafrance, the last lightkeeper, cleans the lighthouse lantern.
• Charles-Auguste Lavoie, lightkeeper from [illegible]
• This house, built in 1905-1906, was in turn the residence of the fog signal engineer, lightkeeper, and assistant.
• The lightkeeper's residence from 1956 until 1988.

Plus de 150 ans de présence
Over 150 years of history

David Stanley Lawson • John McWilliams
John Cahill • John Wyatt
Robert Wyatt • Charles-Auguste Lavoie
Roger Saint-Pierre • Armand Lafrance


 
Location. 48° 31.042′ N, 68° 28.15′ W. Marker is in Rimouski, Quebec, in Rimouski-Neigette MRC. Marker is on rue du Phare, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is adjacent to the Pointe-au-Père Lighthouse. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1000 rue du Phare, Rimouski, Quebec G5M 1L8, Canada.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Les pilotes / The pilots (here, next to this marker); Polyvalence / Versatility (a few steps from this marker); Les Fusiliers du St-Laurent (a few steps from this marker); Les pilotes du Saint-Laurent / St. Lawrence Pilots (a few steps from this marker); La station de pilotage / The pilotage station (a few steps from this marker); Père Nouvel (a few steps from this marker); Le phare de Pointe-au-Père / Point-au-Père Lighthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Fumée de mer / Smoke from the Sea (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rimouski.
 
Also see . . .
1. Lieu historique national du Canada du Phare-de-Pointe-au-Père. (Submitted on November 29, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Pointe-au-Père Lighthouse Heritage Lighthouse. (Submitted on November 29, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Charity & Public WorkCommunicationsMan-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 7, 2018. This page originally submitted on November 28, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 39 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 29, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   3. submitted on November 27, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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