My brother René and I used to play together with all sorts of things; we didn’t have too many toys like kids have today. I remember that I had a broken door handle and I don’t quite remember what my brother had.
We made a bet with each other that we would sleep in the apple orchard. We did sleep in the orchard all afternoon. Mom, Dad and the older boys hadn’t seen us all afternoon and they started worrying where we were. They started looking for us for a good part of the afternoon. There was a path going to the Fox Ranch through the orchard and finally somebody did find us. They were very glad to find us, Mom gave us a good talking to so we wouldn’t do that again, and we were only six and seven years old at that time.
Shortly after that René took sick, he was sick for a long time and passed away in the hospital in Newcastle New Brunswick on the 6th of June 1936 at the age of eight-years-old. I remember when they brought him home in the white casket that was something I would never forget. A wake at that time was staying up all night for three days with the family. We had to take the casket to the church in Acadeville with a horse and wagon. There was a procession with other people following the casket to the church.
When we arrived at the church the bell would start ringing and it would ring the whole time we were in church. The priest would bless the body with holy water and would bring the body to the front of the church, and then the Priest would start with the funeral mass. The priest at the final blessing would incense the coffin, both as a sign of honour to the body and as a prayer rising to God. The body became the temple of the Holy Spirit at baptism. The usage of incense adds a sense of solemnity and mystery to the Mass with visual imagery of the smoke. The smell reminds us of the transcendence of the mass which links heaven with earth allowing us to enter into the presence of God. They would bring the body to the back of the church and would start ringing the bell again. There were six pallbearers carrying the casket, everybody would follow it with the bells ringing until we got to the cemetery. Before it was let down the priest would say a prayer, then they would start to let it down very slowly. When it got to the bottom they had to pull the ropes from underneath the casket. They would start to bury the body, after it was buried all of the people would start to walk back from the cemetery to go back home.
In those days they didn’t have a reception after the funeral like we have today. It is good to have a get together; it made things easier for the family with support of friends and family.