The life of the islanders
Living on your very own island – a concept that surely appeals to the romantic in you! However, in the nineteenth century, with twelve children or more per family, no electricity, telephone, services or businesses nearby, life was often far from ideal. One had to master many trades to be able to farm, build and repair without outside help. In any case, islanders had to leave periodically, to go to Isle-aux-Grues or Montmagny to procure supplies and necessities that the family could not provide itself.
In winter, before the formation of an ice bridge between Île-au-Canot and Isle-aux-Grues, which allowed the young to go to school, iceboats were used on the frigid waters. With such a solid background in winter boating, it comes as no surprise that the Lachances have known great success in the traditional Canoe race held during the Quebec Winter Carnival, having won the first eight competitions.
This expertise in iceboat handling gave rise to the design of the UMA17 rescue craft, which all public and maritime organizations were anticipating for use in rapid and safe assistance in winter conditions.
From islanders to river-bankers
As life on Île-au-Canot grows more and more demanding, mainly because of the advantages of modern life enjoyed elsewhere, Joseph Lachance decides to leave the island, with his family, to make Montmagny home. In spite of being on dry land, Joseph Lachance keeps with tradition and sails the St. Lawrence, both for his and others pleasure.
Around 1950, Joseph Lachance manages a company, which doubles as a commercial fishery and hunting outfitter. Thereafter, he founds a small shipbuilding enterprise that produces crafts for fishing and yachting.