Nothing predestined Emile Dugal and Marguerite Pagé to be the subject of a text. The discovery of photographs taken following a car accident that occurred on April 13, 1935 has lifted the veil on their lives. In fact, the court records and the newspapers of the time, kept by the national Archives and Library of Quebec, allow us to retrace the path of Emile Dugal, and that of his wife, is equally surprising.
1) A hostile environment
The car takes more and more place in the early part of the Twentieth century. View of the rue Saint-Joseph, with its large stores as that of The Company’s Package Limited, a great day of sale, circa 1935.
Born July 16, 1904 in the parish of Saint-Sauveur, Emile Dugal is from a working class background. The district of Saint-Sauveur, with its 28 891 inhabitants in 1921, double today – was then the district, the most populated of Quebec, who were 95 193 residents. It was an environment that could be harsh.
His father is accused and convicted in 1913 for assault, and Emile Dugal is itself involved in several “small baffles”, as he said to one of his trials. They are worth several lawsuits from 1926. Charges of assault, obstructing a peace officer, threats, assault accumulate throughout his life. In 1935, after having been convicted a few times, Dugal said: “They have condemned once and for me to be saved with my tank down to Montreal, instead of me to put a load of drink, they put me a load of speed.”
2) A universe centered on the motor vehicles
Two car racers are racing on the track of the Richelieu park in Montreal. Donat Émard is driving a vehicle bearing the inscription “Donatus Spec. Montréal, September 8, 1940.
Emile Dugal is high in the middle of the transport. To 17 years, the census of 1921, presents it as a teamster. His father was also in this profession. At the beginning of the Twentieth century, we are witnessing important changes: notably, the horse is gradually giving way to the motor vehicle. In the course of his life, Emile Dugal is successively presented as carter (1921-1928), daily (1929-1932), taxi driver (1927, 1935), mechanic (1936-1938), and finally as an employee of the shipyard Morton Engineering & Dry Dock (1943-1945). He remains all his life in the Lower Town of Quebec.
As of 1928, he took part in the races. On march 11 of this year, he took part – without winning – the race of dogs (derby said provincial) organised by Arthur Turgeon, Dominion parking Garage, between the house of Kent (the current Manoir Montmorency) and Quebec.
Ready for the race. Richelieu park in Montreal. The car Donat Émard is located at the extreme right, 8 September 1940.
Emile Dugal loves cars, but especially the speed. On June 18, 1939, in Saint-Georges-de-Beauce, he participates in the official opening of the car races of the Quebec Sporting Auto Racing Club Save. In September, at the wheel of his Hupmobile, 133 forces, he came third in the race of 100 miles that takes place on the runway of the provincial Exhibition.
The rider car Donat Émard and her son, Peter, stand near the car, “Donat Spec. Montreal”. Richelieu park in Montreal, September 8, 1940.
Animosity deep enough there are many runners. It is as well that Emile Dugal and Georges de Lottinville go on the new road from Saint-Gregoire, on 22 September of the same year, towards the end of the afternoon, to wind up a discussion with stake of$ 50 of one another. Both drivers have stated that they do not need the gallery to settle their accounts, writes a journalist.
Dugal and Lottinville had just begun their first test when an officer of the speed they ran after and gave them the order to stop. The two drivers went to Saint-Grégoire in the step of the tortoise, stopped for half an hour, but, in spite of exhortations to the contrary from some of their friends, were still struggling on the way back. De Lottinville broke one of the pistons of his engine while he was fighting fiercely the ground to Dugal, at a speed of 84 miles per hour. Finding the accident to his rival, Dugal refused to take his money, stating that he did not want to run against a machine that worked with… a crutch! (The Sun, 23 September 1939).
In 1940, it is called the rider skilled with long years of experience. He participated in several races, and on 22 September of the same year, came second in the race of 50 miles for the car “stock” then, on 20 October, finished fourth in the race of 50 miles to race cars. During this last competition, he beat the canadian champion Donat Émard, Montreal. It came lower, on the 4th of August preceding, the track record at Exhibition ground, in Quebec city.
3) Emile Dugal and the Commission des liqueurs
Within a store of the Commission des liqueurs. Roland Gladu, an employee of a branch of the Commission des liqueurs du Québec, in Montreal, serves a customer who is behind the fence of the counter, 8 January 1945.
In 1921, the Law on alcoholic beverages results in the creation of the Commission des liqueurs du Québec. This new, state monopoly has essentially two roles: to make the management and the trade of wine and spirits as well as issuing liquor licenses to hotels and restaurants. The Commission des liqueurs has the monopoly of the import, transport, sale of alcohol and issuance of a permit. This requires a constant monitoring so that the law is respected. It is the job of the police des liqueurs, the armed arm of the Commission.
View current outside of the Taverne Jos Dion, founded in 1933.
For many individuals, and for Emile Dugal, in particular, to circumvent the monopoly of the State can be strong lucrative. Between 1929 and 1949, he was arrested at least twenty times, and for having illegally transported or kept in alcohol. He is also accused of receiving stolen property and possession of cigars which excise duty had not been paid.
Inside the Taverne Jos Dion in 2005.
4) The tragic accident of April 13, 1935
On April 13, 1935, Albert Beaulieu, visiting Emile Dugal, who remains in front of the Tavern of Jos. Dion, rue Saint-Joseph. Beaulieu is a recidivist, who has been involved in several offences to the Law of the liqueurs and who has been prosecuted for theft, receiving stolen property and various other crimes. The two friends then go back to the Tavern of Jos. Dion and consume a few beers.
Beaulieu was later asked to Dugal to drive him back home, but also of the conduct prior to that, at Albert Viel at 29, rue Ramsey street in the Lower Town, near the train station of Sainte-Anne. Viel is bootlegger (smuggling of alcohol) ordinarily, says Beaulieu during the trial. The return of in Viel, Dugal, at midnight, struck with his car Alcide Filiatreault, cook at camp Valcartier.
A view of the scene of the accident of April 13, 1935. Rue Saint-Paul, back at the hotel Chateau Champlain, in the direction of the boulevard Charest, at the junction of the rue Saint-Joseph, opposite the park of the Jews.
A: where was Marie-Ange Dionne, witness (on the photo);
B: the Point of departure of the victim;
C: where Alcide Filiatreault has been inverted;
D: Place where the victim was located after the accident, April 1935.
The weather is gloomy. He falls of sleet with the snow and it is very dark – after midnight, the streetlights of the city does not keep a light bulb on five. The accident occurred in the rue Saint-Paul, in front of the hotel Château Champlain – today the refuge Lauberivière, near the junction with the boulevard Charest and rue Saint-Joseph. Dugal was driving a red racing car Marmon-Roosevelt 1926-1927. The car was in poor condition and had neither a windshield nor fender, nor roof, nor silent. In addition, its headlights lit up badly.
The car Marmon-Roosevelt 1926-1927 belonging to Emile Dugal, April, 1935.
The victim was transported to the hospital Saint-Sacrement, and remained there until the 29th of August and will be an amputee of the left leg.
Current view of the scene of the accident. Photo taken back at the shelter Lauberivière, rue Saint-Paul, July 2020.
Easily identifiable by the witnesses of the accident, the car and its owner are found in the rue Octave, in the face of the housing of Beaulieu. Dugal is arrested and a trial ensues.
At the end of the trial, on January 14, 1936, the judge J. Hugues Fortier condemns Duval to eight months in prison with hard labour for having caused injury by his negligence, as well as 30 days for not having stopped his car after the accident. It has been proven that the accused, knowing that her car was in poor condition, was still driving at a speed excessive. Dugal and Beaulieu claimed that the car was travelling at a speed of 20 to 25 miles per hour.
The car Marmon-Roosevelt 1926-1927 belonging to Emile Dugal, April, 1935.
By contrast, Marie-Ange Dionne, 25 year old, who has seen all the scene, says that Dugal was travelling rather to “35 to 40 miles per hour, going towards Saint-Roch in a chariot race, which had two passengers.” Dugal was jailed march 10, 1936.
5) Marguerite Pagé-Duval, wife and accomplice
Photo of Marguerite Pagé-Duval appeared in the newspaper The Sun, 26 July 1941
Born September 5, 1915, Marguerite Pagé is of the same ilk as Dugal. Orphan of father, she loves the speed and the alcohol. On June 9, 1937, three months before her wedding with Dugal, she is involved in a serious car accident:
Three people were injured, two quite seriously, in an automobile accident which occurred about one o’clock this morning, in front of the hotel of the “Donnacona Paper”, in Donnacona. Two of the victims had to be administered. These are misses Marguerite Pagé and Gemma Savard, both of Quebec city. The first was driving at the time of the accident. It has been said that the car was the property of Mr. Emile Dugal, Quebec. It was not there; he had apparently left at Cap-Santé. In the car it was in before the ladies Pagé and Savard and a widow we could not know the name. She said she was residing at no 163, rue Richardson. At the rear was a man who gave the name of Lepine. Apparently, the car was coming at a pretty brisk pace. Reached the top of the hill, after having left the bridge, the driver erred on the way, and went to engage in the path known under the name of “River View”. When she realized her mistake, M‘lle Marguerite Pagé gave a move of the steering wheel to the left. But there was a pole. The automobile gave against and was demolished. The two girls were thrown through the windshield. … Mr. Rodolphe Bertrand led Mlle Pagé at the hôpital Saint-François d’assise, in his ambulance. (Catholic Action, June 9, 1937, p. 3)
In the summer of 1941, Marguerite Pagé became the first woman to take part in a race on the track of Québec. It is considered that it is “a serious opponent”. (The Sun, 4 July 1941). She participates in the races on the 27 July, but without success.
Cell of the inmates. Prison for women. Bois Gomin, 1950.
Ms. Dugal was also involved in the illegal activities of her husband. She is being prosecuted in 1938 for violations of the Law of the liqueurs and the Law of excise. In 1951, after the death of Dugal, she is involved in a number of cases. In November, she confessed in court to have accompanied the two bandits are well known, Philip Molloy and Romeo Lavoie, during a burglary at Dosquet, in the restaurant and grocery Octave Poitras, and acknowledges that it has bought to a daughter the means to get an abortion. On the whole, she was sentenced to eight months ‘ imprisonment by Mr. justice Laetare Roy. She is imprisoned at the prison Gomin.
6) the Death of Emile Dugal and Marguerite Pagé
Emile Dugal died suddenly on August 25, 1950, at the age of 46 years, and is buried in the cemetery of Saint-Charles. Marguerite Pagé, meanwhile, died in Montreal in 1976 and is interred in a pit temporary, in the cemetery rest St-François d’assise Cemetery of the East). The couple does not appear to have had a child.
A text of Rénald Lessard, archivist and coordinator, Library and national Archives of Quebec
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