Eva Bertrand-Langevin

Ottawa and Countryside

In 1907, four Daughters of Wisdom nuns came to Lefaivre to found a convent. Eva Bertrand was the first resident in 1909, before the Immaculate Conception convent was actually built, in 1911. In 1919, she married Hector Langevin and settled on a farm near Alfred. In 1939, she was named president of the convent social club. A mother of five daughters, she helped with farm and house chores and made crafts. Mrs. Langevin contributed to the creation of the farm women’s circles in Fournier, Saint-Isidore, Treadwell, Chute-à-Blondeau, Lefaivre and Alfred. She was the second provincial president of the Fermières de l’Ontario from 1940 to 1943. As such, she made sure that young girls received homemaking and culinary arts education. A highly active, educated woman, she published many articles in the Quebec farm paper La Terre de chez nous, the official newspaper of the Union catholique des cultivateurs (UCC) since 1929. To her, the circles addressed specific needs since money was tight during the Crisis, and women had to know how to do everything and help each other. Crafts was a necessity, and farm women learned weaving flax, spinning sheep wool, making clothes, carpets, blankets and stockings, in addition to taking care of housework, farm chores and gardening. What was old had to be reused again, and women had to be good housewives, great cooks, seamstresses, nurses – and farmers.