For South Peace News
Born in Falher on July 5, 1921, our father, Camil Moulun, was the last of a family of four children. At the age of 18 months, his father Georges died leaving his mother to cope with the children and farm, five km north of town.
Despite this rough start in life, Camil grew up into a healthy, ingenious and hard-working young man. From the age 17-20, he was responsible for the livelihood of his sister, four half-siblings and his mother as his stepfather was in a sanatorium recovering from tuberculosis.
Until he was married, Camil farmed, kept bees and invented a machine to cut blocks of ice on Magloire Lake to sell for the town’s ice boxes.
When electricity was installed in town around 1944-45, he worked briefly as a linesman and when the town asked him to become an electrician, he was quick to order the required materials to study to get his ticket.
Camil met our mother, Thérèse Therriault, on a street in the Garneau district of Edmonton in 1945. Mom was studying to become a teacher and dad had come up from Falher to work for a few days at the city’s pig market. They were married the following year taking the train to Edmonton for Camil to write his exam and then back on the train to Jasper for their honeymoon. In Jasper, they heard Bing Crosby sing at the Sunday church service as he was in town filming The Emperor’s Waltz.
Camil worked his trade and founded Falher Electric. His last shop stood where the Vision Credit Union sits in Falher today. He was in high demand for some 40 years repairing appliances, TVs, heating and cooling systems and wiring projects like the IGA, Collège Notre-Dame, Falher Alfalfa Ltd. plant, the Falher Arena and countless other projects in the Smoky River area and as far north as Hay River. He later earned his Master Electrician certificate solely from recommendations given by the inspectors who looked over his work.
Camil was and is a dedicated and proud citizen of Falher. Many times, he would recondition appliances to donate to a family whose house burned down or he would do repairs pro bono. He was also an important contributor to the series of history books: Falher District: The Land of Wheat and Honey, 2008.
Camil enjoyed reading history and worked with a metal lathe to create not only parts for repairs but a few working small steam and gas engines and a snow plow to do the driveway and sidewalks around our family home.
Camil never retired formally but continued to work here and there until much later in life. He was 80 when he installed the air conditioning in my home!
Thérèse passed away in January 2006 and Camil lived in his house until June 2017, barely one month short of his 96th birthday. On one of my visits, I remember dad fixing the brakes on a neighbour’s walker at Villa Beauséjour.
After a lifetime of hard work and dedication, he’s 100 and still displays his characteristic sharp wit and humour.
All of Camil’s six children: Gilbert, Vivian, Doreen, Daniel, Denise and Harvey were reunited this past week to celebrate with him. Congratulations, dad!