Interview: Karine Chagnon and Marc-Antoine Malo
Post-production: Gabriel Laprade
Seated at home in a rocking chair near a lovely stone fireplace, Marguerite Cormier speaks admiringly of her old boss, William Cook Sr.
I worked for him, Mr. Cook, for a while, for about ten years, so until I was 27 years old. I was his secretary, so I got treated very, very, very well. Get this: he sent me to school, paid for English classes so I could improve. Afterward, he was happy, he had a really easygoing personality. He didn’t talk a lot, but he was easygoing and he knew where he was headed. Other than that, he was respectful. Very respectful! Of women, of us all, in the office. I don’t have a negative word to say about him. Quite the opposite.
You know, I’ll tell you this, I don’t think I’ve ever had a boss like him. First, he was very, very polite to all of us. « Miss ». « Miss Cormier ». He knows my name. Something else, just to show you how much respect he held for others. I was a Catholic, he was not. Back then, it’s been a long time. Back then there was… The Immaculate Conception, back then. It’s normal, you know, in our parish, we held a mass for the Immaculate Conception. It was pretty grand back then. And he’d say, “Miss Cormier, tomorrow is a day off. It’s the Immaculate Conception.” But it’s not like he took part in it, he just gave the day off out of respect. He knew my religion. Not just me, the office, everyone. As far as he was concerned, he had to respect that because it was our religion.