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The War Effort

Important Mandate for National Defence (subtitles available in FR and EN) – Watch the video with its transcription (EN)

During the Second World War (1939-1945), the Canadian government requisitioned F-X Lachance’s shipyard as part of the war effort. F-X was forced to alter his boatbuilding techniques, and took on more than twenty new employees, mostly family members and locals from the village of Saint-Laurent.

Together they mass-produced some 2,000 boats (mainly whalers), as well as smaller rowboats, oars, splices and ammunition boxes. F-X had never worked such long days, but he was careful not to let his standards slip.

Color photograph where two men, one young and one elderly, slide a white boat on a pile of snow to install it on the rear platform of a truck.

Rowboat produced for the Department of National Defence.

Canada’s finest rowboat builder

Inspectors and sailors alike agreed that his rowboats had no equal. F-X oversaw the work and cut most of the parts, which were then assembled by his team. His quality standards were so high that, a few years later, he was awarded a certificate naming him “Best Boat Builder in Canada” by the Governor General himself, Vincent Massey.

Black and white photograph where three men stand in a rowboat shop. A sign bearing the inscription

Governor General Vincent Massey presented F-X Lachance with his certificate on September 26th, 1958.