Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: Fred and Julie Belair

Fred and Julie Belair
Fred and Julie Belair, 1926.

This is one of those pictures in my family photo albums that I get sentimental whenever I see it. It is a beautiful studio portrait of my paternal grandparents Fred and Julie (Vanasse) Belair, taken on their wedding day on 28 October 1926 – 86 years ago today.

I don't know anything about their courtship, other than they met through Fred's half-sister Almina (Belair) Lapierre, who was a good friend of Julie's. (Almina and Julie worked as domestics in private homes in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in the 1920s.)

My grandfather and grandmother were almost 37 years old and 30 years old, respectively, when they married. Their wedding took place at St-Jean-Baptiste RC church in Ottawa. I don't even know if they had a honeymoon.

The original photograph was set in a lightweight easel-style cardboard picture frame that measures 22 cm x 15 cm (approximately 8 1/2" x 6").

Fred appears to be sitting on a stool or low bench, while Julie looks comfortable in a fabric-lined wicker chair. They look relaxed and confident. They are well-dressed: Fred is sporting a three-piece suit and Julie is fashionable in a drop-waist, long-sleeved dress. A pearl ring can be seen on Julie's left hand. Fred has wavy red hair, but the colour does not show up in the photo. Julie, who had dark hair, wears typical 1920s bobbed hair and round eyeglasses. A painted background adds atmosphere to the portrait.

My grandparents were married for 40 years. Julie died in March 1967; Fred passed away in January 1991. I miss you, Mémère and Pépère.

Copyright © 2012, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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