"He was a smart dresser and he was handsome and he had dark wavy hair and beautiful blue eyes."
Growing up in Port Daniel West on the Baie des Chaleurs, Joan Bisson dreamed of becoming a doctor. Within a few months of graduating high school it looked as though her dream might even come true. In September 1947 she was working as a schoolteacher in the nearby village of Hopetown when a telegram came from McGill University. She’d won a scholarship to study there.
Still a teenager, Joan was faced with a fateful decision that shaped the course of her life to come and that of the entire Gaspesian community. But moving far away from family was not the only factor she took into account. A young veteran named Ivan Dow, recently returned from overseas, had stolen her heart. Montreal didn’t stand a chance. Within two years they were married and building a family of their own.
Daughter Cynthia speaks to Joan about her mother’s decision to forego university, her memories of motherhood and the active life she’s led in community affairs up and down the Gaspe coast for more than half a century.