Translation of an excerpt from an audio recording entitled Les coupeurs de glace de Sainte-Rose [The Ice Cutters of Sainte-Rose] produced by the Community Life, Culture and Communications Department, City of Laval, as part of the series Histoire de raconter, 2009.
Mr. Vaillancourt: “We worked 10 hours a day, six days a week. We could do in one day—when there weren’t any problems, you know—we could cut over 3,000 blocks a day. Blocks of ice per day! I remember one time we were stopped, a half day—almost a full day—but we didn’t see the sky or the ground, in the kitchen …”
Interviewer: “Why did you stop cutting ice from the river?”
Mr. Vaillancourt: “Well, the water got too polluted.”
Interviewer: “You think that …”
Mr. Vaillancourt: “That’s why we had to stop. And on top of that, modern times had arrived. That is, no one thought about ice back then, that we could make ice with electricity, you know. But today it’s all made by … [laughter] It’s frozen, you know.”