Language selection


Alma Boisvenue-Dontigny

This story is submitted by Louise Dontigny of Head Office in Charlottetown. It is about her mother, Alma Boisvenue-Dontigny.

"My mother, Mrs. Alma Boisvenue-Dontigny, was born in Gracefield, Quebec, a small village 60 miles north of Ottawa-Hull. At the onset of the war she was 24 years old and worked as a waitress in a restaurant. One day, she asked the couple who owned the restaurant for a day off and without telling anyone she took the train to Ottawa and enrolled in the RCAF. She had to stay overnight and didn't know where to stay, but another young French Canadian woman who was enrolling there invited her to stay at her house in Aylmer, Quebec (just across the river from Ottawa). When returning to her job, her employers were quite upset at her but after she explained what happened and that she had enrolled in the RCAF, they understood and were quite proud of her. She then took the train to my grandparents' place (who lived about 30 miles from there) to tell them all about this and that she was leaving in a week for Toronto for her training. From Toronto she was sent to Uplands for a while and then to Gander, Newfoundland where she stayed for the remainder of the war. She worked in the kitchen and served meals to male officers which she enjoyed and then she served the female officers which she says she enjoyed even more, making a lot a friends and having a lot of fun. She would have liked to remain there after the war, but she couldn't because she didn't have a trade. When growing up, I remember spending whole afternoons around the kitchen table listening to my mom talking to us about her days in Gander. My father, Daniel Dontigny, was in the army during the war as a cook and went to Europe at the Front. His experience was not a pleasant one and he never talked about it. Although my father was born in a neighbouring village, Lac Cayamant, Quebec, my parents didn't know each other. They met shortly after the war and got married three months later. My father passed away in 1977."

Date modified: