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Murielle Mailloux Fonds (P687)

Excerpt from the collection of games by Murielle Mailloux (1942-) (detail), about 1963-1966. Gift of Murielle Mailloux, Murielle Mailloux Fonds P687, M2006.16.1.1 © McCord Museum

Always ready to play!

"Tunnel ball

Formation: Players are positioned like in the game above [below], but this time they bend over with their legs apart[.]

Rules of the game: When the signal is given, the first player passes the ball between the legs to the person behind and all the other players do the same until the ball reaches the end of the tunnel." [...]


Murielle Mailloux joined the Catholic Guides around 1962. This youth movement, which supports the development of personal qualities, responsible citizenship and physical and manual skills, sees itself as a veritable school of life, closely supervised by the Catholic clergy of course. Given that games can promote fitness and team spirit, they are an integral part of the physical, intellectual and spiritual program offered by the guides, as this collection of games shows.

Working with the Association des guides catholiques du Canada from 1963 to 1966, Murielle Mailloux took part in at least four camps as either an assistant leader (in charge of a group of young guides) or a nurse. Moreover, she went on to practise this profession for nearly half a century, continuing her community involvement.

The camp notebooks and collections of songs, games and jokes in this archives paint a vivid, personal portrait of Guiding, a movement that attracted nearly 10,000 Quebec members in the early 1960s.


P687 Murielle Mailloux Fonds. - 1934-1969, predominant 1963-1966. - 16 cm of textual records. - 45 photographs. - 1 object.

Biographical Sketch

Murielle Mailloux was born August 10, 1942, in the parish of Immaculée-Conception and grew up in Ville Saint Pierre (now part of the Montreal borough of Lachine). The oldest of five girls, she also had two brothers.

In the early 1960s, she got involved with the Association des guides catholiques du Canada. In 1961, this organization had replaced the Fédération des guides catholiques de la Province de Québec (founded in 1938 and affiliated with the Canadian Girl Guides Association). She began as a senior guide, the usual title for girls over the age of 17. She went on to become an assistant leader and a commissioner. She participated in several camps with the 47th Company Lachine in the parish of Très-Saint-Sacrement. She was also a commissioner in the neighbouring parish of Coeur-Immaculé-de-Marie (Côte-Saint-Paul).

Murielle Mailloux began work as a secretary to pay for her studies, from 1963 to 1966, at the nursing school run by Notre-Dame de l'Espérance hospital (Ville St. Laurent). Founded in 1922 by the Sœurs de l'Espérance to train nursing nuns, the school began admitting laypeople in 1943.

After obtaining her diploma, she worked as a nurse in several Quebec healthcare institutions, including Montreal's Saint-Luc Hospital and the Saint-Jean-de-Dieu mental hospital (now known as the Montreal Mental Health University Institute) in the east end of Montreal.

Murielle Mailloux continued her education, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Université de Montréal in the late 1960s. She later went on to receive a Master of Public Administration from the École nationale d'administration publique (1980). Highlights of her long, wide-ranging career include her efforts to restore the normal operations of an Outaouais hospital that had been placed under trusteeship. She was active in the Quebec Order of Nurses from 1977 to 1985, notably as a professional development advisor and Chair of the Educational Assessment Committee. She also helped reorganize the professional examination procedure and worked on updating the profession. In the mid-1980s, she worked on the implementation of the 911 system and the Info-Santé health information line in Montreal. Her work has been recognized with several professional awards, including the Abbott Clinical Innovation Grand Prize in 1996.

In the 1990s, she was in charge of nursing care at the Montreal North CLSC. In 1997, at the age of 55, she took early retirement. However, she returned to nursing several years later, working at the long-term care centre Vigi Santé (CHSLD) in Pierrefonds and then as a staff nurse and assistant head nurse at the infirmary of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Anne in Lachine. Murielle Mailloux finally retired in 2014, at the age of 71.

Scope and Content

By tracing the personal, educational and professional experiences of a young woman in the 1960s, the Murielle Mailloux fonds makes a valuable addition to the history of women in Quebec. It also offers a fresh perspective on the history of leisure and Catholic youth movements.

This fonds focusses on Murielle Mailloux's activities in the Catholic Guiding Movement, providing information about the camps she attended, the various activities organized at these camps and the jobs she held there. It also chronicles the organization, mission and values of the Guiding Movement.

The fonds contains membership materials (personal notebook, application form for permission to become a leader or assistant and invitation to a Promise ceremony), manuals for guides and senior guides, collections of songs, camp newspapers, instructions for group games, copies of the magazine Vivre, published by the Guides catholiques du Canada (French section), and several objects associated with guide and scout activities like a star finder, badges and a Scout's rosary.

The fonds also documents the nursing program Murielle Mailloux took at the Notre-Dame de l'Espérance hospital nursing school, in the form of school papers, administrative materials and historic documents.

The fonds is completed by photographs, most of which depict scenes of Guide nature camps that feature images of campfires, picnics and sports and religious activities. There are also several photographs of Murielle Mailloux and her sister Angèle.

Source of title proper: Title based on the creator of the fonds.

Immediate source of acquisition: The fonds was donated to the McCord Museum by Murielle Mailloux in 2006.

Arrangement: The fonds underwent an initial treatment shortly after it was acquired, and then a more detailed classification plan was adopted in 2017.

Language: The documents are in French.

Associated material:

BAnQ (Old Montreal) : Fonds de la Fédération des guides catholiques de la Province de Québec (P197) and Fonds Fédération québécoise du guidisme et du scoutisme. Section de Québec (P480)

LAC: Fonds des Guides francophones du Canada (R9961-0-9-F)

Historical archives of Girl Guides of Canada, preserved at the Girl Guides of Canada headquarters

Historical archives of the Quebec Order of Nurses

Archives of the Soeurs de l'Espérance

General note: Murielle Mailloux has donated numerous articles of clothing and objects associated with her guiding activities, which are preserved in the McCord Museum's Dress, Fashion and Textiles and Decorative Arts collections.


The fonds is divided into the following series, sub-series, and files:

  • P687/A Activities with the Association des guides catholiques du Canada
    • P687/A1 Membership
    • P687/A2 Leadership
      • P687/A2,1 Camp notebooks. - [1963-1966]. - 3.5 cm of textual records.
        Digitized documents

        Scope and Content:
        This file documents the organization and programming of Guide camps held by the 47th Company from Lachine and the 53rd Company from Saint-Jean-de-Matha. It also provides information about the work done by the leaders and documents the values, qualities and skills that are emphasized at camp. The file is comprised of four camp notebooks and a collection of handwritten notes.

        The three first camp notebooks focus on the 1963 winter camp in Lachute and fall camp in Sainte-Martine, where Murielle Mailloux worked as an assistant, and the 1964 summer camp held at Lac Archambault in Saint-Donat. The fourth notebook covers the 1966 summer camp held by the 53rd Company from Saint-Jean-de-Matha at Lac Mine in Rivington, where the young woman worked as a nurse. Adopting more or less the same format, the notebooks present practical information about the camp (dates, location, participants), an explanation of its theme, the daily schedule, the description of activities, the organization of participants into groups and their respective responsibilities, the list of service codes, and an explanation of the reward system and the list of awards handed out. The Lachute camp notebook includes a menu, while that of Lac Archambault has a list of equipment to bring. The notebooks also contain song lyrics. Each notebook focusses on a particular theme, which provides a starting point for the activities organized during camp. In the explanation, the camp states the values associated with the theme, which underpin the targeted experiences and skills, including the Catholic values upon which the institution is founded. For example, the guiding theme of the Lachute winter camp was "Life in the pines," a concept that emphasized the sense of peace, purity and depth created when contemplating fir trees in the snow, veritable "gifts of the Master Magician," far from the bustle of city life. For its part, the Sainte-Martine fall camp focussed on the theme of "Discovery" (of one's abilities, the Guiding life, the profession of chef, etc.), highlighting self-improvement, self-knowledge, fellowship, and teamwork.

        A collection of handwritten notes entitled "Camp notebook," covered with a photograph and wooden sticks, contains song lyrics and "ideas for camp," some of which are illustrated with drawings. There are references to issues of the Guiding magazine Vivre from 1947 and 1963. In addition, there are suggestions for a game of charades, a list of what should be in the "campfire box," and rules for games, such as the classics Simon Says, Loup y es-tu (a counting song), musical chairs and tag. The book also contains notes on topics like accepting one's limitations, the great outdoors, and the role of Christian faith in educating children.

        Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the file.

        Language: The documents are in French.

      • P687/A2,2 Song collections
      • P687/A2,3 Collections of games and jokes
        • M2006.16.1.1 Collection of games by Murielle Mailloux. - [ca 1963-1966]. - 1 textual record ; 18.5 x 12 cm.
          Digitized document

          Scope and Content:
          This handwritten collection documents a number of games played in Guide camps during the 1960s. It contains the rules for various games like the floating handkerchief, blind man's bluff, tug of war, pass the ball, hot potato and indoor hockey.

          Source of title proper: Based on the type of document.

          Language: The document is in French.

      • P687/A2,4 Other documents
    • P687/A3 Magazine Vivre

  • P687/B Nursing school. - 1964-1966. - 2 cm of textual records.
    Digitized documents

    Scope and Content:
    This series focusses on the nursing program Murielle Mailloux took at Notre-Dame de l'Espérance hospital, located in Ville Saint-Laurent (today the Montreal borough of St. Laurent). It is composed of a yearbook, two brochures and a collection of songs.

    The Notre-Dame de l'Espérance hospital nursing school yearbook chronicles the completion of Murielle Mailloux's nursing studies in 1966. It also provides information about the staff and her classmates. A brochure published by the school offers aspiring nurses information about studying and living there. It contains numerous details about admission requirements, the duration of the program, certifications awarded, classes offered, hands-on training, the discipline demanded, required hours of study and work, and rules with regard to vacations, absences and sick days. The document also indicates the costs involved, including registration fees, books and uniforms, and the medical exams that aspiring nurses must take before and during training. In an appendix, the brochure explains that aspiring students must also submit to psychological and personality assessments. In addition, the document notes the compensation paid for hours worked and describes the facilities and equipment available to students, who must live on-site during training: furnished room, access to an automatic washing machine and dryer, and a sewing room equipped with a sewing machine. The brochure relates the history of the institution, its Christian philosophy and the principles behind its implementation, the religious, educational and professional training objectives, as well as the job prospects of future graduates.

    The series also contains a collection of songs from the Notre-Dame de l'Espérance hospital nursing school. Created for the year 1963-1964, it is a compilation of typewritten or handwritten transcriptions of popular song lyrics composed or popularized by Félix Leclerc (Comme Abraham), Gilbert Bécaud (La ballade des baladins, Pilou Pilou eh), Jean-Pierre Ferland (Un côté de la lune, Les immortelles), Jeanne Moreau (Le tourbillon), Gilles Vigneault (J'ai pour toi un lac) and Aimé Duval (Ma p'tite tête). The collection also includes the lyrics of Oui, j'ai rêvé, a song associated with the Scouting movement, the protest song Le Chant des marais, and two Christmas carols.

    A brochure from the Saint-Jean-de-Dieu mental hospital (1964) (now known as the Montreal Mental Health University Institute), where Murielle Mailloux worked for a time as a nurse, contains information about the history and good works of the Sisters of Providence community that ran the institution as well as the hospital's organization, departments, staff and volunteers who visited patients.

    Source of title proper: Based on the contents of the series.

    Language: The documents are in French.

  • P687/C Photographs

 

Last update: February 25, 2019