Menard, Zotique

Regimental Number: 69414

Zotique, born on August 14, 1892 at Alexandria in the Glengarry County, Ontario, was the 3rd youngest of Charles and Etere Menard’s family of six sons. He attended school at Alexandria and Glen Robertson, Ontario. In 1913, he decided to move to Northern Alberta and arrived in Edmonton by train where he found employment at a nearby coal mine for which he was paid $2.50 per day. In 1914, he decided to travel to the Peace River District and arrived at Watino by train and then walked to Pruden’s Crossing where he worked on the bridge that was being constructed to cross the Smoky River.

Zotique worked there until freeze-up, returned to Edmonton and enlisted in the Army with the 218th Battalion on March 6, 1916. He listed his occupation as farmer and detective. Zotique was granted “leave” and travelled to Grande Prairie where he filed a homestead application on NW 24-72-3-W6 in the Bezanson area on September 6th. He disembarked in England on March 15, 1917 and was transferred to the 233rd Battalion on April 17, 1916 followed by the 178th Battalion on March 1, 1917 and then 10th Reserve Battalion on March 15, 1917. On July 13, 1917, he was assigned to the 22nd Battalion. On July 27, 1917 he injured his right knee when he attempted to jump across a trench in Etaples, France. He was diagnosed with synovitis of the right knee and spent 108 days in hospital after which it was recommended that he be discharged as a category “E” (unfit for general service, service abroad or in Canada). On Feb 23, 1918, Zotique sailed for Canada from Liverpool and received his official discharge on June 4, 1918. Private Zotique Menard received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

He returned to his homestead and worked at clearing the land with an axe and grub-hoe. In July of 1919, he applied for another homestead, NW-7-72-2-W6 and received the patent in 1925. In 1921, he met Marguerite Chabeau who had arrived from France and was staying with her sister, Suzanne Rice. They married in 1922 and lived in a log shack with a sod roof for many years. A son, Paul was born in 1923. Zotique’s mode of transportation was mainly walking or on occasion, by team and buggy.

In 1939 with the onset of WWII, Zotique again enlisted in the Army and served his country until 1945. His son, Paul, farmed the land while he was gone. All the farming was done by horses and horse-drawn equipment until 1940 when a tractor had been purchased.Marguerite passed away on September 23, 1948 after a short illness. Shortly thereafter, Paul and his wife moved in with Zotique. Zotique passed away on January 8, 1985 and was buried in the Grande Prairie Cemetery next to his wife.

Contributed by Wanda Zenner

Sources: Smoky River to Grande Prairie pg. 360-361; HT Oct. 14, 1955; 1926 Canada Census