This women’s accessory was worn by Blanche Girard, the daughter of Octave Girard, a silversmith, and Marie-Louise Dufresne. This hair ornament decorated with black feathers and a few fabric flowers is worn on top of the head or slightly to the side.

According to the civil registers of the Immaculate Conception parish of Trois-Rivières, Blanche Girard was born on November 23, 1876. Surprisingly, the first names given to her by her parents at her baptism were Marie Eugénie Alexandrine Flora—far from the first name “Blanche.” However, during the 1881 Canadian census, Flore appeared among the couple’s children and was 5 years of age. Then, in the following census (1891), the young girl was named Blanche!

In 1906, Marie Amanda, Blanche’s eldest sister, who was married to Hector Godin, a coffin manufacturer, chose Blanche as the godmother of their son, Joseph René Gérard Renalde (sic) Godin, born on September 28 and baptized October 1 in Trois-Rivières. The godfather was the child’s brother, Ernest Godin, who was 11 years old.

Two years later, following the fire in downtown Trois-Rivières in 1908, Blanche, Éva (her youngest sister), and their mother, a widow since 1886, who lived at 18, rue Alexandre, would be housed as boarders at the Hôtel-Dieu des Sœurs Grises in Nicolet from July 16, 1908, to June 1909, then again from September 23, 1909, to December 28, 1909, while their home was being restored. It is believed that, between July and late September 1909, the three women stayed with relatives in Pointe-du-Lac, where the family possibly had a summer house or cottage in Baie-Jolie, on the shores of Lac Saint-Pierre.

It is also known that Blanche and her mother voted “yes” to the Prohibition bill in 1915, as detailed in the newspaper published in Trois-Rivières, Le Bien public, on December 16.

In the same newspaper, this time in the November 7, 1918, edition, we are given, among others, an idea of the donations to the Victory Loan; Miss Blanche Girard subscribed generously, between $500 and $1,000.

Blanche remained single. In 1921, she still lived with her mother, and they welcomed into their home Conrad and Gérard, whose parents, Hector Godin and Marie Amanda Girard, lived in Toronto. This allowed the two young boys to study at the Séminaire Saint-Joseph without having to become boarders there.

Blanche’s mother died in March 1924. At that time, she resided at 54, rue Laviolette.

Blanche Girard would continue to participate in charitable and social events, including the silver jubilee of Mr. and Mrs. Roch Bournival (June 1928). She attended the funeral of Mr. Isaïe Dufresne (July 1928).

We know that she encouraged charitable movements such as the Thé musical de charité, organized by the Cercle Marie de l’Incarnation and benefitting the work of the cradles that took place at the Château de Blois in November 1933. She was also one of the many people who belonged to the Société des concerts in 1938, such as Dr. Auguste Panneton and his wife, Dr. Conrad Godin, his nephew, and hundreds of others, including the Honourable Maurice L.-Duplessis.

Blanche Girard died on January 24, 1970.

Blanche was also the aunt of Berthe Godin Crête and Rolande Godin Nobert, watercolour artists.

Donation from Dr. Conrad Godin
Musée Pierre-Boucher Collection
1982 267 C