A story by Biddeford Cultural & Heritage Center "Voices of Biddeford" project from 1919-2021
Voices of Biddeford interview with Alice Bertrand - January 16, 2021
Alice Bertrand reflected upon the highlights of her life in Biddeford since 1919. She is fondly remembered by many as their first-grade teacher at St. Joseph’s Elementary School. Her crystal-clear recollections conveyed her appreciation and passion for life, her family, her friends, her education, her twenty-five-year career as a teacher and her music.
Alice shared a wide range of stories: her father's experience as an immigrant from Quebec, starting as a 9-year-old child working in the Pepperell Mills; the challenges that her father overcame to become a master machinist despite discrimination and lack of a formal education; the role that music played in her life including studying the piano for 18 years, being the organist at St. Joseph's Church and being invited to play the piano at major events in the city; Main Street on Friday nights; dating in the 1940s; taking the trolley to see the bands at the Old Orchard Beach Pier;
recollections (and a funny story) about Mayor "Papa Lausier"; and life during the Depression and World War II. Recorded January 16, 2021
For more stories from the "Voices for Biddeford" project, visit Voices of Biddeford.
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