Is there anyone who does not know Ernest Paquin's business "Prévention des incendies de la Mauricie Inc" (Fire Prevention in the Mauricie Inc) on Forges Boulevard in front of the exhibition place at Trois-Rivières?
From generation to generation, him and his father Sylva were the keepers of the lighthouse on the St-Lawrence River in front of Pointe-du-Lac where Ernest was born some 85 years ago. His mother, born Angélina Guilbert became a widow when Ernest was only 13 years old.
It's at that time that he began working after his primary school in his village. He operated the family farm some 10 years and later started working at the Trois-Rivières C.I.P. for the next 32 years and ended up starting his own business at the age of 60 selling fire extinguishers and fire trucks.
" I remember selling a large quantity of fire extinguishers to Maurice Duplessis, Premier of Quebec. I also had as customers schoolboards and many dozen of customers in the maritimes provinces", stated Mr. Paquin.
He separated from his business in 1980 to take a well deserved retirement.
In 1935, he married Miss Gabrielle Lambert, born in Montreal, who died on December 12, 1972. A daughter was born from this marriage.
Great tennis player, proud to have practiced this king's sport, Mr Paquin owned a large tennis court at Pointe-du-Lac where tennis amateurs could practice their favourite sport. "True, I made money, but one had to maintain, repair and keep the tennis court in good condition", he said.
When he started working at the Canadian International Paper Company of Trois-Rivières, the mill was under construction and his first job was as steamfitter, paid at 60 cents per hour. His name is still shown on a panel on highway 138, says Mr Paquin.
Although, he worked a lot and made substantial gains, he also was a volunteer to help others. " I have always been a happy person to work and help others in need", he says.
Telling all these small things that were part of his life are not important, firstly he worked and did not have much time to do anything else.
He loves travelling. He still drives his car and takes advantage of life with his female friend. Recently, he took part of an important event called "Chain of life" organized by 2 dance teachers. This event, grouping people of all ages, took place at Les Rivières Commercial Centre.
From the good old days Mr Paquin remembers the work he did on his father's farm, as keeper of the lighthouse, as worker at the C.I.P. and Canadian Pacific and especially the opening of his business. Blessed with good health, Mr Paquin wants to live many more years.