The Association of the Lemire Families of America Inc.

August 14, 2004 souvenirs of the gathering in Drummondville, QC

(click here to enlarge the image)

Mr. Paul Lemire
during his conference

A few members attentive to Mr. Paul Lemire, grand son of Mr. Joseph Lemire the inventor
Sitting in the first row in front, from left to right we recognize 3rd from the left,
Mrs Reine Lemire president during the 2001 gathering and father Jonathan Lemire currently a member of the B. of A.

Thoughts about the gathering

This year, for our summer meeting, we had thought of innovating, i.e. to find a new place, but always within a country site framework, in full nature.

Thus, we found ourselves in the Normand Léveillé Center, at 950 chemin Hemming, in Saint-Charles de Drummondville QC, on Saturday, August 14, 2004 at 2 p.m. (click her to enlarge the image) (click here to enlarge the image)

The place is very beautiful, in a natural enchanting site. There is lot's of space, good air and especially the sun was present to receive us.

Our intuition, as for the choice of the place, was the right one. It is what arises from heard testimonies and an unquestionable sign it is that we met new figures there, people for whom it was their first appearance.

The personnel also gave us a beautiful reception at the Center. Coffee and muffins were offered in the large conference room. Nothing but the best, to create a mood of relaxation and of happy get together again. (click here to enlarge the image) (click here to enlarge the image)

This year also, we had on the agenda some innovations; first of all a counter for books brought in by the participants which could give them for free. They were sold at one dollar for the profit of our association. There were also our promotional articles well shown on the counter, splendid plates on which the armorial bearings of our association were reproduced: a marvelous creation by one of our members: Mrs. Cécile Jutras-Lemire.

Another important innovation is our supper-conference. It was a wish expressed more and more by several members of our association: that is to make known our families, our ancestors, particularly those who were illustrated by different works of art all during our history.

To view other pictures Please click here

This year, for our summer meeting, we have chosen: Joseph Lemire, the inventor. Affectionately, everyone called him the old Jos; and the word inventor should be underlined because it is really what Mr. Lemire wanted to be: an inventor, as he said it himself: "to create something new, unknown, that could be useful to as many people as possible"

It is his grandson and at the same time his godson, Paul Lemire, retired director of the C.É.G.E.P. of Drummondville who was the invited lecturer. On splendid pages and written with a great care, Mr. Lemire introduced his grandfather to us. We could easily feel that he was very proud and filled of admiration for him. Let us note the presence with us of the daughter of Mr. Joseph Lemire, Mrs. Jeanne Lemire.

To help keeping in memory the inventor Joseph Lemire facts and actions and the innovation of his inventions, allow me to make a short summary of Mr. Paul Lemire's conference.

Mr. Joseph Lemire was born on May 10, 1870 in Drummondville in the family house located in the 4th rural line. His father, owner of the farm was Damase Lemire whose origins were from Baie-du-Febvre and his mother's name was Olive Côté. Joseph was a feeble child and with a fragile health. He left school at the age of 13. Everything he learned thereafter was by himself with the help of his precious books that impassioned him.
Joseph did not particularly affection works of the farm which were often hard and required great strength and energy.

June 29, 1896, Joseph marries Mary Fleurent. They had eleven children: eight boys, three girls. The parents remained during all their life on the family farm of the 4th line in Drummondville. It is Rodrigue the elder son who " when he reached the age " took the relief of Damase, his grandfather.

The whole life of Joseph could be summarized in this motto: A HEALTHY BODY IN A HEALTHY SPIRIT: word of order that he made a point of being necessary to himself and to all his family.

Because of his problems of health, Joseph, very early, had to compel himself with a severe diet and very severe food practices: a cold water glass half an hour before the meal; a glass of natural milk right before eating; meal always at fixed hour; no drinking while eating; never eat red meat, no white sugar but brown sugar, honey, maple syrup; never of beer or strong liquor; never eat snacks between the meals. It is necessary to make the stomach rest. He went to bed very late: one o'clock, two o'clock in the morning; still it was necessary to make it possible for the stomach to do all its work. To have a good sleep, he always slept having his head pointing north in the axis of the magnetic pole.

He smoked the pipe but with a tobacco he cultivated himself and which he made it dry in the attic of the cattle shed.

One of the most beautiful images left to us of Joseph Lemire the inventor is, to see him in his small workshop, seated near his old pedals activated lathe and this for more than fifty years.

It is in 1905 that Joseph Lemire created his first invention of great importance being: a system of automatic light signals for the trains. At that time, the train accidents were frequent and caused many life losses; these accidents occurred at the time to change tracks or to take an alternate track when two trains were meeting: collisions, derailment.

In addition, Joseph Lemire knows that the iron of the rails can conduct electricity. He thus will replace the not very reliable and very fallible semaphore by automatic light signals. The invention made wonders.

Note also the invention of an electric system to actuate the churches bells. Before to ring the bells was the task of the verger using cables. To electrify the bells was a very complex task. It was necessary to start the bells and stop them; those did not sound same manner, for the marriages, baptisms, funeral and everything had to be harmonious. Joseph Lemire, because of his tenacity, made a success of this feat of strength.

A closed loop system against fire and theft; a battery operated clock simply made up of two gear wheels, a pendulum and a battery (dry cell) could function without stop during nearly three years and always gave the right time; a master-key propeller functioning horizontally and well perfected, making it possible for the small motor boats to release themselves from the pastures or other obstacles and facilitating accosting, it is there some of the great inventions by Joseph Lemire.
To read the entire conference *1 PLEASE CLICK HERE (pdf document)
Let us note as a conclusion some of "his homemade "patentes" like: to attach the tail of the cow during milking and thus to protect the face (the flies) - to fix brooms and mops which were always on the ground - for killing the flies walking on the house's ceilings and this without any noise.

Joseph Lemire was indisputably, a genius inventor and this at the service of the humanity; however, he remained a very humble man, a great lover of this native land where he always lived amongst his own people he loved tenderly, his wife, his children, his grand children. He died in his house, following a cardiac indisposition, on September 5, 1953. He was 83 years old.

After this conference, which has captivated largely all the assistance, we are invited to the meal inside an adjacent pavilion additional to the large conference room. The supper is excellent. The climate is merry. Isn't this a feast of a gathering? After the supper, the guests leave one by one. There are some who come from rather far.

Listening at the comments from the participants, it is one of our very nice meetings. We were very well accommodated; the place is very accessible and one finds oneself easily everywhere. The corner of the genealogies always arouses a very great interest. The supper conference was well appreciated. It is to be continued: a very beautiful page of Drummondville history which we had the great pleasure of better knowing.


Gilbert Lemire, p.h.
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*1   The conference is in French and I would gladly welcome a volunteer
who would have some time to translate it for the Association.
You can see my name and address at the bottom of the site's opening page.

Page updated Oct. 1st 2004 and adjusted June 12, 2008