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Rising From the Ashes

Sepia photograph showing a cluster of burned planks in the foreground. A two-storey residence damaged by fire is visible behind the remains.

After the fire in F-X Lachance’s hangar, 1946.

Once the Second World War ended in 1945, it was back to business as usual for F-X. In addition to building a large number of motorboats, sailboats and rowboats—each between 12 and 58 feet (4 to 17 metres) long—he repaired them as well. F-X also provided space for boats during the winter, storing them in a warehouse and on the shoreline alongside his buildings.

Digitization of a newspaper article entitled « Un hangar rempli de chaloupes et de yachts, rasé par le feu » (

Article on the fire, 1946.

On October 20, 1946, a huge fire razed a shed containing around twenty smaller boats. They were a write-off. The building had been insured, but not its contents. At his own expense, F-X began rebuilding some of the boats that had been destroyed. It was like starting out all over again, only now he was 48 years old.

Black and white photograph showing the foundation of a building, an almost completely burned wall of wood and some burned planks on the ground. A stone residence, whose left wall and the roof of the house are blackened by fire, is partially visible to the right of the image.

Another view of the damage caused by the fire, 1946.

But thanks to F-X’s reputation, new orders continued to flood in from government, big business and individuals. Before long, the shipyard was back in the black. It wasn’t easy! His ability to bounce back, coupled with F-X’s determination to do the right thing, boosted this affable, hard-working man’s reputation among the community.