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On this beautiful Saturday morning, after two years of pandemic, happy people met at the Claude Nault Recreation Centre, in St-Nicéphore. Following warm exchanges over coffee, the General Assembly Meeting went smoothly with the addition of a new member, Maurice Demers from Ottawa, to the Board of Directors. Subsequently, during their special meeting, the Board members in turn appointed a revamped and rejuvenated Executive which makes us very proud. Andrée Demers is now our newly nominated President, Alain becomes our Vice-President, Johanne becomes our secretary, Luc Gingras remains as our treasurer and Suzanne becomes the representative of the Board on the Executive.
Our visit to the Demers greenhouses was very much appreciated. Our host, its president Jacques Demers, brilliantly explained the operations of the Waste Management Landfill site that supplies the Greenhouses with energy. We were very impressed by the size of the greenhouses where a variety of tomatoes are grown. This crop requires a great deal of know-how to ensure essential brightness, humidity, ventilation and heat to the plants. All this required care is calculated to bring excellent quality tomatoes to our markets. The huge tomato plants bear fruit over a period of almost one year before they need to be replaced.
Upon returning to the gathering hall, Suzanne spoke to us about the settler’s vegetable gardens as well as those of the commercial and religious elite in New France. Creating productive vegetable gardens proved to be a trying adventure requiring a good twenty years to bring about self-sufficiency for the settlers. The standard breakfast menu of the settlers struck our imagination with red onions and bread dipped in brandy. Tobacco was used to mask the smell.
The tomato, unloved until recently, dragged along with it a bad reputation. It was said to have aphrodisiac properties, whipping the blood and stimulating the ardors of Venus. This “love apple” was even considered toxic until the arrival of the Italians who made it popular.
Last year, wishing to honor a Demers who had distinguished himself in his specific field, the Board of Directors created the Demers Hall of Fame. It was then decided that Jacques Demers would be the first recipient as we are all very proud of his achievements in the field of greenhouse cultivation. Following Suzanne’s presentation, Alain told us about Jacques’ success story and then Andrée Demers, our newly elected President, presented him with the Hall of Fame certificate.
Following this tribute, Johanne who made an exhaustive genealogical research, presented him with his “peacock” wheel containing the names of all the Demers of his paternal and maternal lineages. Few among us can boast of having 33 times the couple Jean Demers and Jeanne Védié associated within their genealogy.
A buffet appreciated for its freshness, was served at lunchtime and the evening’s warm buffet was also greatly enjoyed. At the end of the meal, some door prizes were awarded to participants.
The gathering went by very quickly in excellent company (see pictures). We look forward to seeing each other again at our next meeting in 2023.
Suzanne Demers

A video of the June 2022 Reunion in Drummondville.
Visit of the Demers greenhouses and
presentation of our first Hall of Fame member.