Patricia "Pat" Doucette

Pat was born in Poplar Point on August 17, 1922 to John Joseph Campbell (Jo Jim) and Emma Catherine (Macleod). Pat grew up in Poplar Point and walked to Cumberland School. She lost her mother at an early age when she was about three years old. She went away to teacher's college at Prince of Wales, which is where Holland College is now. During her time teaching on the Seven Mile Road, she recalls fondly boarding for two years with James E. Rice and family. She told us she was the thirteenth to sit at the table; Hillary Rice was born the year she went there.

In the early years, the Superintendent of the schools needed a teacher for the small school and he brought out a ministers wife and then later a minsters daughter who were both well educated women for Pat to see if they were fit to teach school. Pat got them to sit at the back of the room for two weeks and observe her teaching. Then Pat would sit at the back for two weeks and observe them. After two weeks each time she deemed the woman fit to teach and they became teachers in Cumberland.

Pat married John Donahoe of Roseneath on August 20, 1947 and had four children with him. Tragically, John died on July 19, 1952. He had been in at the Sanatorium being treated for tuberculosis but he actually had lung cancer. In these days there wasn’t much known about cancer. Pat was left with three children under the age of four, and the fourth was born six weeks after her husband died. For seven and a half years she raised four small children and ran a farm. Her father wasn’t very well but was able to help her with the children while she would go out and milk the cows at five in the morning. Sometimes when they would get too much for him, he would yell out to the barn and tell her these “Larkins” are fighting again. She never could figure out why he would call them that until years later she discovered it was because they were Irish on the Donahoe side. 

Pat once sold a cow to a man by the name of Kennedy and he came back a few days after paying for it and told her the cow had sold for more than he bargained for and handed her a crisp fifty dollar bill. In that time fifty dollars was a lot of money especially to a widow with four children. Mr. Kennedy has since passed on but she remembers him fondly and says a prayer every now and again for him.

Pat remarried on June 13, 1959 to Lawrence (Larry) Doucette who was born in Portland Maine and worked for Veterans Affairs and the Farm Credit Corporation. She went back to teaching after she got married and eventually was Principle of the Old Cardigan School before the new school was built in 1966. They asked her to be Principle of the new school but she declined the offer. She did however teach at Cardigan School until 1974 when she and Larry moved to Quispamsis, New Brunswick for his work. She filled in a few days at the school there and then was employed by the Irving Head Office in credit card processing.

Pat's second husband passed away on September 26, 2006 and after he passed she got a bit of a surprise. He had been paying into an insurance policy for years without her knowledge. She now lives in Perrins Marina Villa overlooking the beautiful Montague waterfront and is able to afford it because the insurance policy he took out pays eighty percent of the cost and eighty percent of her medical. She received a binder in the mail from one of her former students recounting the history of the Cumberland school where she used to teach. Pat was instrumental in getting a sign put up at the Old Dundas Farms where the school used to be, the binder made Pat cry because it was so thoughtful and so much work went into it. Pat is now in her eighty eighth year and quite enjoys her place at Perrins, walking with one cane and a memory sharper than most forty year olds. Pat recalled the first time she looked out her window and thinking “if this is what heaven looks like I’m going to be ok”. She tells us it is quite beautiful there at night.

Written by Betty-Anne Acorn from the memories of Pat Doucette

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