Letter to Michel Chartrand, from his daughter Suzanne

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Letter to Michel Chartrand, from his daughter Suzanne

Suzanne Chartrand has spent the past months writing about her father, the radical union leader Michel Chartrand, who died a a few years ago. Today would be his 100th birthday.

Here is a letter celebrating his life and social movements here and elsewhere. Note that Suzanne's mother, Simone Monet-Chartrand, was also a lifelong social activist - I have her autobiography in my library, with a dedication. I knew both of them, but can't claim to have been an intimate friend.


Issues Pages: 

Thanks, l.

Michel Chartrand spoke at the very first demo I ever attended - outside the US Consulate in Montreal in 1971, I believe. It was the anti-nuke Amchitka moment that those of a certain age may remember.  As a speaker he was quite the firebrand.  As an activist he was unshakeable in his convictions ... a life well lived, in constant struggle.  

For anyone so inclined, Radio Canada produced in 2000 a TV series / dramatisation of Simone and Michel's lives as activists, from the Duplessis era onwards.  Its available on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSrCGAdHOtw


Yes, I'll enjoy watching that again. It is always funny thinking of Chartrand aiming to become a Trappist monk, with a vow of silence!


I've been watching it, but in small doses. The lead actors really have the voices and expressions of Simone and Michel (whom I did know, but obviously in much later life). That were those times, but it is depressing seeing Simone popping out so many babies in rapid succession. Exhausting.

At least when the series was made, they didn't censor the historical use of tobacco, and the deep difference in social acceptability of drinking (too much, in the case of Judge Monet) between men and women... Of course the pervasive hardline Catholicism was expected.


Just pulled out Simonne's autobiography (she spells Simonne with 2 ns).


À (lagatta) militante syndicale

Je dédie ces propos et anecdotes que j'espère lui plairont.

Heureuse lecture et écriture!


Simonne Monet-Chartrand

I also have a biography of Michel Chartrand by Fernand Foisy (also of the CSN).  And others on the FTQ and its leaders etc.