After having ensured the safety of students on the same street corner in the Sillery sector for 45 years, the hour of retirement has come for an 83-year-old crossing guard.
René Lévesque was premier of Quebec, Guy Lafleur won the NHL scoring championship and the first film in the saga Star Wars hit the big screen when Colette Boisvert started patrolling the intersection of rue Sheppard and avenue Chanoine-Morel in 1977.
Since then, she has never left it. “I started here, so I’m going to finish here,” laughs the lady, who is doing her last day of work today.
Rain or shine, Mme Boisvert made a point of being at his post. She only missed a few days during her career, started a little by chance after a proposal launched by the brigadier then in office.
“I walked every day with my daughter to school. He asked me if I was interested since I passed here every day. I didn’t think I would be 45,” she said, with another burst of laughter.
She had no idea in her early days that she would be carrying two generations of children across the busy intersection. “I go through children’s children,” she says proudly.
Known face in the neighborhood, Mme Boisvert is greeted by several walkers. During the interview at Log, Tuesday, she did not fail to exchange a few words with passers-by. “Everyone knows me!” she laughs.
“You only have two left,” says a man, who takes the time to exchange a few words before continuing on his way.
FRIEND OF PARENTS
Over time, friendships were forged with some parents. An aspect of her work that she greatly appreciated.
It is, she believes, what allowed her to stay in good health. With a firm step, a watchful eye, she remains very alert when pedestrians cross.
“It allowed me to socialize with people. It keeps me in shape because I walk. Really, I had a great job and I don’t regret having devoted 45 years to it.”
After hanging her stop sign, Collette Boisvert does not only intend to rest. “Outings to the restaurant” and “little visits to the casino” are on the menu.
“We will continue to enjoy life,” she says.