A few years later, Alice finds herself at the door of the Fermières de Saint-Eustache meeting space. Sitting at a large table, her aunt and a few of the women with her invite Alice to come in. The Fermières are very active, and the hall is filled with their energy and contagious passion. That’s the first thing that strikes Alice when she sits down.
After participating in a few knitting workshops, she notices that a number of women get together every week to knit, crochet, paint, or just play cards and chat. There’s a pleasant atmosphere at the meeting space, and it makes you want to go back. Every time a member arrives or leaves, there’s a chorus of greetings.
You know, the nicest thing when you arrive somewhere is the hellos – the way people say hello to you. […] And I think that’s one of the things people are looking for when they come to the Cercle des Fermières. The smiles, the friendly hellos, and… how are you? asking after your health, saying… “Oh, look how far you’ve got on the sweater you’re knitting…”
Suzanne Lemay Robitaille
The meeting space brings people together, and it has become a second home for some members. As Cercle president Hélène Lamouche puts it, in other parts of Québec, the Fermières are “bag ladies” – always lugging their bags from one place to another, without a location of their own. With their own space, the Fermières de Saint-Eustache have developed a strong sense of belonging to their organization. That has certainly helped keep their association alive for a century.
A host of reasons lead women of all ages to join the Cercle. Whether it is to learn new craft techniques, meet new people, overcome their loneliness, or just have fun, they always find what they’re looking for.
Joining the Cercle while on maternity leave: Jennifer Thomas’ experience. Listen to the audio clip with the transcript (EN).
Joining the Cercle to learn (subtitles available in FR and EN). Watch the video with the transcript (EN).
Joining the Cercle to share (subtitles available in FR and EN). Watch the video with the transcript (EN)