The Daily Me

Maurice Provost a Man of God, a Hero, and Family Man
Friday, February 04, 2011
By Local Author Fred Wintle: Maurice Provost worked in the Card Room in Amos Abbott Mill and supplemented his meager mill wages by working in the summer painting houses in Dexter. He moved from rented house to rented house ever searching for a place they could afford and a place to keep warm.

That didn't work said Aunt Gloria Provost Ramsdell. The Provost wound up on the Charleston Road. Aunt Gloria told me that that house was her Papa's dream come true. Papa always wanted his own house. He paid $9.00 to $12.00 a month for his own piece of the American dream. Gloria said even that place was thin walled and awfully cold.

The house was modest but it had a yard big enough for Papa to grow his little garden and he often could be seen knee deep in the rich New England dirt smiling because he could grow God's own bounty to help feed his babies. The old house was cold and Aunt Gloria told me that Papa would kneel in front of the God he served every day before he'd even light the old wood stove and young Gloria shivered in the dark waiting for him to finish his prayers to light the fire.

Papa was a communicant of Saint Anne du Beaupre on Free Street in Dexter and he took his faith seriously. When Papa faltered and drank beer before Mass, he wouldn't attend that day. His devotion and love of the church compelled him to make it right. Guilt ridden, for drinking more than his self-imposed allotted two quarts of the snarling, wild cat labeled, Kruger Ale Papa endeavored to make it right.

The over indulged (in his mind) ale he'd bought from one handed Phil Goulette at Goulette's Market down on the tough side of town, seared his conscience. Even the rate of one quart of Kruger Ale a month couldn't be violated. Sometimes he'd exceed that amount and Papa would sign an oath with the Parish Priest, Father LeClair, swearing he'd not exceed his self-imposed, little limit again. Maurice Provost was a man of God and a good man.

Maurice fought for the 14th Canadian infantry in WWI. His unit was the first regiment to to be exposed to mustard gas. His regiment had 1500 men in those trenches and Maurice was one of the 15 who survived.


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