L’Etoile and Women

L’Etoile and Women – (PIP #22)

By Louise Peloquin

     On March 8th, International Women’s Day, we remember the women who shaped our lives. Here is an example, kindly provided by Bob Vandenbulcke, whose father worked at L’Etoile. (1) 


Women were always an integral part of L’Etoile. PIP #10, posted on December 5. 2023, featured one of the newspaper’s star journalists and editorialists, Yvonne Lemaître. The link is: https://richardhowe.com/2023/12/05/franco-patriotism/

As Poet Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980) observed:

The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.

The newspaper regularly featured local women whose stories filled its columns. Below is an example.

L’Etoile – June 30. 1944

Miss Lachance becomes a WAVE (2)

 Miss Rollande Lachance, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gédéon J. Lachance, 990 Middlesex Street, was sworn into the WAVES Tuesday and will report to Hunter College in New York during the last week of July to begin her preliminary training.

     Miss Lachance, member of a prominent Franco-American family from Notre Dame de Lourdes parish, attended local primary and secondary parochial schools.She also graduated from the Wilfred Academy of Boston and is a member of the Pollards department store beauty salon staff.

     On the occasion of her departure, her Pollards workmates organized a party at Page banquet hall. A dinner was held in her honor and the new WAVE was presented with a sewing kit, shoes and cosmetics in a rich leather case. Mrs. Leonard Hunt was the organizer of this party. (3) 


  1. Heartfelt thanks to Bob Vandenbulcke for sharing this photo of his mother and Mémère in front of L’Etoile print shop.                                                                                                                 PIP #20, posted on February 20, 2024, provides more on Bob’s family. The link is:   https://richardhowe.com/2024/02/20/indifferent-to-the-war/                            
  2. Established on July 21, 1942, the WAVES – Women Accepted forVolunteer Emergency Service – was the women’s branch of the United States Naval Reserve during World War II. It was formed to replace men stationed ashore and thus provide more sea duty sailors and officers. By the end of 1942, there were 770 WAVES officers and 3,109 enlisted. In 1945 the numbers had grown to 8,475 officers and 73,816 enlisted. Some 100,000 WAVES served during the War in a wide variety of capacities ranging from performing essential clerical duties to serving as instructors for male pilots-in-training. Following the War, many WAVES continued until the 1970’s.
  3. Translation by Louise Peloquin.


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