This bust depicts Gédéon Désilets in his old age. He has hollow cheeks, a thick moustache with a goatee under his lower lip, a cap, a uniform top, and the medals that he won as a Papal Zouave.

He was born in 1845 in Saint-Grégoire-de-Nicolet. He was the son of François Désilets, a farmer, and Marguerite Hébert. He began his studies at the Séminaire Sainte-Thérèse in Blainville and completed them at the Collège de Nicolet. Désilets was one of the first five Canadians to come to the defence of the pope. He left for Rome in December 1867 to fight there in the Papal Army; the militiamen were commonly known as Zouaves. Taken prisoner by the Garibaldians, Gédéon Désilets returned to the country in the winter of 1871. Upon his return, with the help of his brother Alfred, a lawyer, he bought the Journal des Trois-Rivières and became its editor in chief. He held this position until 1890. He was then recruited as a postal inspector (1890-1896). He later became an insurance broker. Gédéon Désilets was also involved in the organization of the Association des zouaves de Trois-Rivières. He died in 1922.

As for the artist, Onésime Lamothe, he was born in Saint-Maurice in 1893. He was the son of Denis Lamothe and Arlène Lacroix. After studying at the Saint-Antoine convent run by the Franciscans, then at the Séminaire Saint-Joseph de Trois-Rivières, Lamothe attended many visual arts and music schools and academies. He then took a trip to Paris between 1919 and 1922, where he broadened his knowledge of the arts. Upon returning to Quebec, he taught at the École technique de Trois-Rivières and became the owner of a studio there. He mastered drawing in addition to being a talented sculptor, cellist, and organist. He also devoted himself to photography.

On August 30, 1925, Onésime Lamothe married Gabrielle Michelin, a music graduate. Together, they stayed in the United States between 1925 and 1927. He conducted choirs and musical groups there. Unfortunately, once they had returned to the country on June 29, 1928, Gabrielle died at the age of 27 in Trois-Rivières. Onésime settled in Champlain and gave private piano lessons. He also took up teaching again at the École technique de Trois-Rivières. He retired in 1962 and died in 1979.

Musée Pierre-Boucher Collection
1987 161 S