Canadian Heritage

Historical Vignettes

« The tradition tells us an interesting story regarding the Croc's name origin. The old Jean-Baptiste (Cyr) - Cyr ancestor of Madawaska - had cut all of the maple trees in the region to charge it on a boat heading for France (...) Nonetheless, our Acadians rejoiced for the French people: « they will sure have something to bite into! » -the expression to 'bite into' means 'croquer' in French. They never thought this name would stay. » Georgette DESJARDINS and Claude Picard, « La vie au Madawaska 1785-1985 : fresque historique de Claude Picard », Revue de la Société historique du Madawaska, vol. XVII, no. 1, janvier-mars 1989, p. 43 (translated from the original).

Mr. Lude: Portrait of a Happy Lumberjack

For many moons, Elude Landry, better known as “Mr. Lude", gets up every morning at the crack of dawn, around 5:30 a.m. He eats his breakfast and then goes up to the woods with his sons, Luc and Marc, to chop firewood that will be used to heat the neighbourhood's homes. At the age of 84, Mr. Lude not only has a rich experience but also a truly lucid sense of intelligence. When it's time to go up to the woods, whether it's sunny or pouring down rain, he's always ready. He has worked in the forest all of his life, and even if it hasn't always been easy; he tells his story with a twinkle in his eye. “I chop wood every single day; I never lose one,”1 he recounts proudly.

Living in Riceville since the day he was born, Mr. Lude resides in the family home, which he inherited from his father. He states that many guests have sat at the Landry kitchen table throughout the years, and some still do. Many of them were even offered a glass of bagosse, a local homemade type of alcohol. Always willing to help, Mr. Lude takes time to chat with guests as he preaches the benefits of working outdoors, which he says keeps him alive.

When we were young, we often went to the forest with our father. We didn't really work at that time, but we helped a little by stacking firewood. I was 16 or 17 when I decided to work as a lumberjack; we spent wintertime at a logging camp, leaving on All Saints Day in November and returning home around March 15. About fifty men lived together - lumberjacks for the most part, and a couple of cooks. We earned $ 250 per winter. For the first two winters, I worked in the backwoods, on the Land Grants called the “Concessions des Crocs” in Saint-François and then one winter in Val D'Or and another one in Saint-Pamphile, where altogether, two hundred and fifty men plus eight cooks lived together. We had to walk three miles every morning to reach our workplace and then three miles back to get to camp every night. We had to bring our lunch at the site, and had to travel in crews of ten men, for security reasons.2