My Memories: Pat Fournier

Memories of a Boy Growing Up in Blackville

Pat Fournier was born and raised in Blackville. In a series of short stories, Pat shares his memories of the place, of the people and of his life as a boy growing up in Blackville. Click a title to read. If you have any comments or questions about his stories, you can contact him at his email address at

01. An Introduction: Pat sets the scene of his childhood neighbourhood. You may recognize some familiar names!

02. First Memories: Pat recalls his earliest memories from his childhood, between the ages of three and five years old.

03. Coronation Day: It’s June 2, 1953 and the citizens of Blackville are celebrating Coronation Day – the day Princess Elizabeth of England is crowned queen.

04. A Visit to Dalhousie: Set in the summer of 1953, six year old Pat goes on a bus ride to Dalhousie with his mother and siblings.

05. School Daze: The date is September 8, 1953 and it’s Pat Fournier’s first day of school. Join Pat as he walks the mile and a half trek to school, while sharing memories of the people and places along the way.

06. First Communion: It is the summer of 1954 and seven year old Pat is about to make his First Communion at Saint Raphael’s Roman Catholic Church.

07. The ‘Chocolate Flu’: On a late-July day in 1954, seven-year-old Pat Fournier and his siblings play a prank, with some unpleasant consequences, on their neighbour Ronald MacKenzie.

08. Bless Me Father: It was the first Friday in May of 1955 and eight year old Pat Fournier was going to confession… but what would he confess to? In this eighth installment of his memoir, Pat recalls the story of how the misfortune of another child from his neighbourhood lead to his own predicament with Father Nowlan on confession day.

09. The Boy in the Casket: In this ninth installment of Pat Fournier’s memoir, “Memories of a Boy Growing Up in Blackville”, eight year old Pat struggles with the concept of death after a young boy, Allie Davidson, drowns in the summer of 1955.

10. Ninth Birthday Party: In the tenth installment of Pat Fournier’s memoir, Memories of a Boy Growing Up in Blackville, the Fournier family welcomes a baby boy, Leonard, in the winter of 1955 and Pat celebrates his ninth birthday in the Spring of 1956.

11. The First TV On Our Hill: It’s the summer of 1956 and Pat Fournier’s uncle Stan has purchased the first television in his neighbourhood. In this eleventh installment, Pat recalls the Saturday afternoons spent at Stan and Greta’s house watching Roy Rogers and Rin Tin Tin.

12. Got Ya Back!: It’s the fall of 1956 and nine year old Pat is in trouble for tripping Lana Garwood in Mrs. Stephens’ class. Unbeknownst to him at the time, the antic is actually payback for an incident that occurred three years prior.

13. Burned Out: In 1957, nine year old Pat witnessed his family home burn down. In this thirteenth installment of his memoir, Pat shares his memories of that time and how the family of seven overcame a tragic loss to have one of their best Christmases ever.

14. A Special Birthday Present: It’s the Spring of 1958 and eleven year old Pat Fournier received the only gift he really wanted for his birthday, a Sunday Missal. In this fourteenth installment of his memoir, Pat reflects on St. Raphael’s church and Father Nowlan’s uncomfortable reading of the Sunday collections.

15. Summer’s Gong: It’s the summer of 1958 and the residents of the village of Blackville and outlying communities have gathered for the social event of the year: St. Raphael’s annual church picnic. In this fifteenth installment of his memoir, Pat reflects on the day’s events and recalls some of Blackville’s memorable characters including Ivan Quinn and Max Gillespie.

16. The Outhouse: It’s the Spring of 1959 and Pat’s older brother Johnny has an unfortunate run-in with the family outhouse in the sixteenth installment of  his memoir.

17. A Scary Walk Home: It’s May of 1959, and Pat is attending a night-time screening of “The War of the Worlds” at Saint Raphael’s church hall. In the seventeenth installment of his memoir, twelve year old Pat faces a frightening walk home after watching the scariest movie he’d ever seen.

18. The Godparents’ Visit: In the eighteenth installment of Pat’s memoir, the family receives a visit from Johnny’s godparents, Joan and Alban Boudreau.

19. 40 Days of Stupidity: It’s the 40 days of Lent and twelve year old Pat has given up candy for the lenten season. Earning money from his neighbour Jim MacKenzie, Pat engineers a plan to buy and save until Easter, as much candy as he can at Jenny Hayes’ store.

20. Most Memorable Christmas: It’s Christmastime in 1960 and thirteen year old Pat and the rest of the Fournier family are preparing for the holidays. In this twentieth installment, the young boy recalls the cutting and trimming of the tree, the snowy midnight trek to mass and the family gift exchange.

21. Jimmy and Jesus: As Father Nowlan retires from serving as parish priest at St. Raphael’s, a visiting priest shares a story of faith that strikes a chord with fourteen year old Pat.

22. The Sensitive Moose: It’s the bitter winter of 1962 and Pat, along with his brother Johnny, friend Alton Underhill, and their father Sylvernus, travel the Bartholomew Road to gather firewood. On their way the boys venture upon a not-so-pleasant moose, the focus of the twenty-second installment of Pat’s memoir.

23. Ice Time: On a chilly winter evening in 1962, fourteen year old Pat Fournier walks the two mile trek to Morgan’s Rink for a night of skating that doesn’t quite go as planned.

24. The Paper Route: When the regular paper boy Terrence Walls leaves Blackville for college, fifteen year old Pat takes over his paper route in the next installment of his memoir, Memories of a Boy Growing Up in Blackville.

25. The Slingshot: Fifteen year old Pat learns a lesson in empathy after making a slingshot with his friend Gary Gillespie in this twenty-fifth installment of his memoir.

26. Ninety-Nine Bottles: It’s the summer of 1962 and fifteen year old Pat takes a nostalgic trip down memory lane while trying to set a record in Ninety-Nine Bottles.

27. Hitchhiking Home: It’s the winter of 1963 and Pat’s father Sylvernus is working at the mill in Newcastle. In the twenty-seventh installment of his memoir, the fifteen-year-old boy recalls a cold January morning when his dad has just hitchhiked a ride home from work.

28. Grandpa and the Buttons: It’s the summer of 1963 and Pat Fournier’s Sturgeon grandparents are down from Dalhousie for a visit. In the next installment of his memoir, the sixteen year old boy recalls his Dad’s retelling of a story about Barry MacKenzie to his visiting family in “Grandpa and the Buttons”.

29. The Paint Job: It’s a Saturday night in the summer of 1963 at Frenette’s restaurant where a local prankster is entertaining the crowd outside. But first, the twenty-ninth installment of Pat’s memoir kicks off in March 1958 as the same prankster is the star of the show at the annual St. Patrick’s Day concert. So who is this funny guy/entertainer/all-around-nice-guy?… None other than Mr. Allan Washburn.

30. The French Lesson: Sixteen-year-old Pat Fournier is growing up. In the thirtieth installment of his memoir, Memories of a Boy Growing Up in Blackville, Pat recalls an uncomfortable situation that occurs in Avila Colford’s grade ten French Class.

31. President Assassinated: On a late autumn day in 1963, the world stood still after learning that the president of the United States had been shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. In the thirty-first installment of his memoir, sixteen year old Pat recalls the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

32. Car Thief: It’s the Spring of 1964 and seventeen-year-old Pat Fournier is anxious to get his driver’s license. In the thirty-second installment of his memoir, Memories of a Boy Growing Up in Blackville, Pat ‘borrows’ the family car with unexpected consequences.

33. The Pasties: It’s the summer of 1964 and the circus has come to town. Seventeen year old Pat Fournier joins his older brother Johnny for a night he won’t soon forget.

34. Another Boy in a Casket: On a late November night in 1964, the Fournier family is awakened with news of a tragic accident: their cousin Pat McLaughlin had been killed in a fatal car crash less than a mile from home.

35. What’s My Size?!: While preparing for his upcoming senior prom, eighteen-year-old Pat has an uncomfortable run-in with the town pharmacist, Cecil Dunne, in this story set in June of 1965.

36. Graduating Class of 1965: It’s June 30, 1965 and it’s Pat Fournier’s last day of school. With prom and graduation over, eighteen-year-old Pat is left to reflect on his past and contemplate his future in “Graduating Class of 1965?, the thirty-sixth installment of his memoir.

37. The Memories Endure: The story began sixty-four years ago with three-year-old Pat Fournier sharing his earliest memories of the quaint little village he called home. In the final installment of his memoir, Pat looks back on his life growing up here in the village and reflects on the changes that time brings.