The final years
Quand je suis sortie de l’hôpital J’étais tellement souffrante, pis je vous dis qu’ça allait mal avec mes assurances. From Les souffrances de mon accident, recorded on February 23, 1939. The year 1937 started out well: a spring tour in New England followed by another from Trois-Rivières to Dolbeau, by way of Edmundston, from June 9 to July 23. But this tour came to a sudden end with a car accident in Rimouski on June 25. Madame Bolduc, who was a passenger on the front seat, was seriously injured with a leg broken in two places, a broken nose, a concussion and many contusions. She remained in the hospital in Rimouski until July 7. Back in Montréal, her convalescence was disturbed by an interminable trial.
This leather orthopedic gaiter, which properly in place covered half of the foot and the lower leg, was used by Madame Bolduc after her car accident in 1937.
Attelle – Cuir – 20,5×15 cm – 19126.96.36.199-2 – Musée de la Gaspésie
The medical examinations done in the wake of her accident revealed that Madame Bolduc had a tumour. She had a first operation at Notre-Dame Hospital in Montréal on January 14, 1938. Diagnosis: the tumour was malignant. Treatment: an operation to remove most of the tumour followed by a series of radiation treatments from March 18 to 30, 1938.
Madame Bolduc always kept her sense of humour, even during the direst of times. On January 28, 1939, she completed this follow-up report on Mme Éd. Bolduc herself and signed it using the pseudonym Dr. Jean C. Long (Dr. I. Knowalot Aboutit).
Fiche de suivi du patient en radiothérapie – Musée de la Gaspésie
In the words of Fernande Bolduc, speaking in January 1990, “La Bolduc will always be with us, she’ll be like sour cream, she’ll always come out on top.” In early 1941, in a moment of great lucidity, Madame Bolduc looked back over her career and spoke these words to Fernande, her youngest daughter who was 15 at the time. On February 20, 1941, the famous singer died at the age of 46. Fernande felt it was her mission to watch over her mother’s legacy and her return to the Gaspé. In 1984, she donated her precious collection of objects and souvenirs that had belonged to her mother to the Musée de la Gaspésie. This group photo taken in December 1940 brings together both of Madame Bolduc’s families: Her immediate family represented by Fernande and her artistic family in the person of Roméo Racette, event organiser.
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