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Philip Joseph Lagasse
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Birth: Mar. 20, 1903
Quebec, Canada
Death: Feb. 13, 1975
New Westminster
British Columbia, Canada

Philip (Philippe) was born in Weedon, Quebec in 1903, and moved to Gravelbourg, Sask 1906.

Times were tough in Quebec especially 1860-early 1900's & many French Canadians went to the US to work in the textile mills - Fall River, Mass.& and many other places. Wages were low for French Canadians....the average monthly earnings was $10.00 for the French Canadian - where someone else doing the exact same work was paid approx $30.00 per month. Father Gravel recruited people to go West;- he was anxious for the people of Quebec to take advantage of the beautiful fertile lands in Saskatchewan rather than let them emigrate to the US to make a living often at the risk of their health when they had to spend their day breathing the filthy air of the factories.

Taken from family written documents (letters, and information from Albert his documentation, and the Gravelbourg history book)

Philip's father Arthur & his cousin have returned to Quebec for a visit from Riviere la Vielle, (former name of Gravelbourg). He told them of the rich fertile land of the prairies and how the settlers were arriving in large numbers from the US and Europe. The only condition to obtain land was to pay $10.00 for each quarter section, build a house on it, live on that homestead for six months each year, and make it & produce a good crop; then the land belonged to him.

Arthur, and his brother Albert departed for Saskatchewan. Albert kept a diary/log of the trip. He wrote, "My brother, Arthur, and I both rented a boxcar on the freight train for $140.00 and we left on August 7, 1906.&; Each of us brought two horese, two cows, some hay for the trip, a wagon, a barrel of flour, and 300 lbs of sugar. Arthur also brought his dog, and had his three eldest sons: Octave, Philippe (Philip), and Hormidas (Joe). As for our wives, they were to follow us Sept 3, 1906 on the train. The trip took approximately 8 days: we arrived at the stockyard in Moose Jaw, Sask and unloaded our stock, remounted our wagons, greased our wheels and reloaded our baggage and left for Gravelbourg. This part of the journey took 5 days (note in 2009 the trip by car is approx 1 hr) for we had to stop every eight miles for the sake of our poor cows. Our first winter was very severe: the snow arrived in October, and stayed until May. Arthur & I had not finished building our house, so we had to spend the winter with friends and relatives. We were most charitably received by our cousin Damas Gauthier, while Arthur and his family found shelter with their neighbour, France Beaudoin. We had brought a supply of goods and clothing with us on the train; other purchases were made from our local homesteader store, Eaton's Catalogue, Moose Jaw, and Mortlach. Our first house was built of sod with a lumber roof, and we heated with wood.In the wintertime our water was from melted snow.We sensed no loneliness or privation as we were a large family, our neighbors were very friendly and, due to our need for mutal help, there was a community spirit amoung the homesteaders. Since there were no established recreational activities, we created our own amusements with socials, picnics, music etc. In fact, our cousins often mention how they enjoyed coming to spend with us because of the music that filled our house: for indeed, most of us played the piano and loved singing. I can recall my brother, Edward, ordering a violin from Eatons Catologue for $4.00.Later music lessons were given by Mrs. Le Moyne but we also loved playing by ear. We received the newspaper, La Presse,& from Montreal, which took two weeks to get to Gravelbourg,   As for our mail, we had to get it from the nearest post office in Mortlach, until June 1, 1907 when Mr. Emile Gravel, having followed a special course for that purpose and having obtained the signatures of some fifty settlers, obtained permission from the government to open a post office in Gravelbourg.There exists somewhere in Gravelbourg a tape that was record at the expense of my father his pride and secrecy. During a friendly reunion some friends asked him to relate his daring feat when, before the first Christmas of 1906, he had decided to walk to Mortlach, some sixty miles away, in order to fetch his mail.The feat is that he was so determined to make the journey across the prairie fields, thus shortine the distance considerably, that no one could convince him that he was risking to get lost. And the more so when someone offereddd to accompnay him. So they left early on a cold morning directing their footsteps towards the northeast but after a few miles, a blizzard arose and soon they were arguing about the correct direction. Since there was nothing else that they could do, they went on & dragging their feet...but my father declared that, for the first time in his life, he really ed hard! At last, they noticed a faint light close at hand and their hearts leaped with joy when they discovered that it came from the window of a shack. The good bachelor was only too happy to give them shelter for the night. They resumed their journey the next day, and finally obtained their mail (and possibly the mail of their friends). Uncle felt rewarded for his pains when he returned with a long birthday letter from his mother, a schoolteacher, in Weedon, Quebec who had not forgotten that it was Dec 28.There was no hospitals so patients were treated at home. We had a Dr. and pharmacist...both brother of Father Gravel. The other brother later came to Gravelbourg to set up a law practise. We had no police in town and little need for them as a code of ethics existed among the pioneers; doors wer never locked. We attend a country school one and half miles from our farm. Later, when we reached High School years, the girl's attended school at Sister's Convent while the boys were sent to College Mathieu which was directed by the Oblate Fathers, both Gravelbourg.The five children in our family on arrival in Gravelbourg: Octave, Hormidas (Joe), Philippe, Alma, and Wilfred. The first birth in the family in Gravelbourg was Edouard, 1908. It was at this time that Father Gravel visited my mother (Philemone) and promised her that that first church built in Gravelbourg would be named after the patron, Saint Philomena. Other children that followed were, Alex, Rosanna, Amanda, Vitaline, Regina, Clement Claudia.By the year 1910 Gravelbourg had progressed and was well established as a homesteader town.

However, the years of drought began, in the 1930s, many settlers went West, our family left for British Columbia. (Philippe; his wife Mabel, and daugher Margaret went to Alberta first - two sons Omer, and Leo were born in St. Paul, Alberta, and Sylvia was born (1939) in Bonneyville, AB. Sylvia was an infant when the family went to British Columbia and initially settled in Maillardville (now part of New Westminster).Maillardville was French community that was started by Father Maillard. (He convinced approx 120 French Canadian men from Quebec to relocate to work in the saw mill). Working in the lumber mills (Fraser Mills and other Mills) at the time the French were paid less than there British descendant co-workers. Job opportunites were limited to French Canadians especially the better higher paying jobs. My grandfather, Phillippe did not want his children speaking French. He felt that if they spoke English they would have better career opportunities, and would not be discriminated against.

It appears that many of the family, cousins, aunts, aunts relocated to the Maillardville,BC area. Hormandis (Joe) and his immediate family ended up in Dawson Creek, BC Philomene (Daigenault) Lagasse died in 1939 and is buried in Gravelbourg. Augustin Lagasse (father of Arthur, and Albert and siblings) who was already elderly relocated from Weedon, Quebec to Gravelbourg, after his wife died (Julie L'Heuruex). Augustin is buried in Gravelbourg. Arthur had a farm/ranch in Cloverdale, BC, and is buried in Kelowna, BC.

Many Lagasse descendants (primarily) Albert Lagasse Senior's descendants are still living in the Gravelbourg, Sask area - along with descendants of the extended family L'Heureux, Gauthier, Leblanc, Lizee to name a few.

Phillipe met and married Mabel Rose Walsh in Gravelbourg, Sask. Moving to Alberta for a short period mid 1930's to mid 1939 and then to Maillardville, BC. Philippe worked very menial jobs salesperson at Army & Navy Dept store in New Westminster, BC - he spoke very spoken English (even though his wife, Mabel was Irish), and with such strong french during that period of time limited his careers opportunities - which is likely the reason he did not want his children speaking french because he thought that it limited their career opportunities. He later worked for CP Rail as a painter, and retired from CP. Philip liked his beer, and there are not many family photos where he doesn't have a beer in his hand!

He had the following children:
Leo Lloyd
Omer Basile
Sylvia Elaine

Family links: 
  Arthur Lagasse (1874 - 1956)
  Philomene Daigenault Lagasse (1877 - 1939)
  Mabel Rose Walsh Lagasse (1903 - 1966)
  Margaret Loyla Lagasse Eden (1930 - 1970)*
  Leo Lloyd Lagasse (1936 - 2009)*
  Octave Lagasse (1895 - 1920)*
  Joseph Hormidas Lagasse (1897 - 1988)*
  Philip Joseph Lagasse (1903 - 1975)
  Rose Alma Lagasse L'Ecuyer (1904 - 1972)*
  Eduoard Joseph Lagasse (1908 - 1990)*
  Joseph Alexander Lagasse (1910 - 1988)*
  Amanda Lagasse Sauve (1914 - 1964)*
  Clement E Lagasse (1917 - 2001)*
  Claudia Marie Lagasse Kilborn (1920 - 1992)*
*Calculated relationship
Saint Peter's Roman Catholic Cemetery
New Westminster
Greater Vancouver Regional District
British Columbia, Canada
Created by: Glenda Yearley
Record added: Mar 28, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 87512875
Philip Joseph Lagasse
Added by: Glenda Yearley
Philip Joseph Lagasse
Added by: Glenda Yearley
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