Ephrem Boudreau was born in River Bourgeois in 1905. After his classical studies from 1922 to 1928 at the seminary at Trois Riviere, he spent three years at agricultural school at Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatiere. Here he earned bachelors’ degrees in arts and one in agricultural science. In addition, he acquired a diploma in Social Sciences from l’Universite de Laval in 1935.
In 1947 Ephrem was appointed head of translations at the Ministry of Agriculture, a position he held until his retirement in 1970. He collaborated with Cahiers of the Acadian Historical Society of Moncton for some 12 years.
His wife, Julie, daughter of Captain Anselme Samson of River Bourgeois, died in 1982. They had two sons, Paul and Maurice and a daughter, Cecile.
In 1980, he published, in Editions d’Acadie, Moncton, the history of the trappists in Nova Scotia (1823-1919) entitled Le Petit Clairvaux. He also authored Riviere Bourgeois from which this history is taken and translated.
There was a teacher at the Haut-du-Bras school at the beginning of the 20th century, remarkable, not for the sweetness of his character and his gentleness, but for a disciplinary spirit that achieved no happy medium. At that time, more than today, we would hardly tolerate the slightest deviation and would be punished on the spot so as to make an example of us. But in certain cases, even the female teachers were in this uncompromising category.
But to return to our subject, whose name was Peter Thibeau, he would not tolerate any breach of discipline, nor pardon any imperfection in the work of the students even when they were not guilty of negligence. He was generous in handing out punishments: to stand up in front or in back of the class, kneeling in the corner or other forms. He did not count the number of slaps on the hands with the ruler. The strap was still not in use in the smaller schools.
In a word, he abused his authority in a way that did not make him liked by his students nor earn their sympathy. For students at such a young age, his rigid conduct would appear to them like a reign of terror.
Some years later, this teacher died. According to the customs of the time, he was waked in the best room in his house, the living room, which had never before been used in similar circumstances.
One of his old students, Joe McPhee, came to the funeral room to pay his last respects to him who had taught him and undoubtedly had struck him with the ruler.
This scene revived his memory. It was now or never to take his revenge, to settle the account with him who used his authority to more than once humiliate him, a little student who could not defend himself.
With a bound he advanced to the coffin and pulling the moustache of the deceased, he shouted, in English so that he would be sure to understand: “Now, you can’t hit me with your ruler, you son of a b——.”