Robichaud, Edmund J.

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                                          EDMUND J. ROBICHAUD
                                          By Louis Robichaud

LETTER (seeking information) – He was proud to have served Canada overseas during the Second World War and, at his request, his tombstone reads: Cpl. Edmund J. Robichaud 1912-1998.

Those who attended his funeral knew him as a soldier, trapper, logger, fisherman, baker, civil servant, craftsman and gentleman.

I knew him as a pack rat, but I respectfully called him Dad.

He joined the military in the spring of 1942, served overseas for three years until he was taken from the battlefield, tagged as “severe” and spent six months in hospitals in Europe.

He arrived back in Canada in July 1945 and spent another three months in the Lancaster Military Hospital before he was honourably discharged, and finally returned to his beloved Miramichi and family.

Yet, there was no military recognition at his funeral, save for the single lone salute and a poppy dropped by another aging veteran, his brother-in-law, Rudolph (Toppy) Aube.

The church congregation was stunned, however, by the parade of native dignitaries and ceremony of drums and chants to a Warrior’s Rite of Passage.

It was the first such event in the history of the church of St. Mary’s.

Mi’kmaq chiefs and former chiefs proudly carried his remains with respect given to one of their own.

As the shrill cry of an eagle left the church of St. Mary’s, the question of “Why?” on the faces of those attending, was left unanswered.

It would be some time later – at 388 Jane St. – where he lived since 1945, that I would find answers to some of the questions.

Amongst the pack rat’s accumulation of over 50 years, clues were found hidden away in a treasure trove, left to be, unraveled by the curious.

The clues, which included photos, notes, newspaper clippings and old letters, led me down more than one winding pathway, as Kag has travelled not only well-known and beaten trails, through the wilderness, but he had also travelled the unseen pathways of devotion, dedication, enlightenment, and rebirth.

He was known as Kag by the local population and was given recognition as Kagi, the trapper, by many writers including Rev. B. J. Murdock (Far Away Place), Doug Underhill (Miramichi Tales Tall & True and Proud Stories from the Miramichi), and newspaper articles by Rod Allen and Graham Galloway.

The story of Kag and his exploits will answer some of the questions about the trapper and his native connection; however the extended Patles family, friends and acquaintances may still hold the key to unlock the treasure box.

Contact L. Robichaud, Dieppe, NB.

Source: Miramichi Leader - April 12, 2005

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