By Jaymie White
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
PORT AUX BASQUES – When an entire family is lucky enough to live in the same province, let alone the same town, it is something to be celebrated. However, one family in Port Aux Basques has an extra special reason to celebrate.
With the recent birth of another little girl just a month ago, the LeMoine family officially has two sets of five generations alive and well, residing just a short distance from each other.
Gerald LeMoine, who moved back home to Port Aux Basques on June 28 after 37 years living in Ontario, said the head of the five generations is his grandmother, Mable LeMoine, who is 96. Mable still lives in her own house and, at 96, like a true Newfoundlander, is still making pies and baking for her family.
“My grandmother was born in Rose Blanche and my father was born in Rose Blanche, but they moved to Port Aux Basques when he was around 11 years old. I was born here. My daughter, Brittany, was born in Ontario and so was her daughter, Eliza, who is one-year old. It’s like a double-side five generations because my brother, Bruce LeMoine, who was born here, and his daughter, Felicia, she was born here and her daughter, Alexis, who is just a month old right now.”
Growing up in Port Aux Basques was a happy time for LeMoine and his younger brother.
“It was pretty good. The freedom for kids; we all just went out. We were outside playing all the time. It was a great place to grow up. There’s a six year difference between me and my brother. He was born six years after me, but we were always close.”
LeMoine, who went through the entire minor hockey system growing up, also enjoys fishing in his spare time.
“Me and my brother, we go fishing all the time. We go have family get-togethers, and family meals with everybody.”
Living in Ontario, LeMoine got used to a much different lifestyle than the one he had growing up in Newfoundland.
“It was really fast. A rat race I called it; not so much freedom. You always gotta be watching the kids. You can’t let them go anywhere, but other than that it was good to me. I had a great career up there and everything, which allowed me to be able to afford to come back here, so it was good to me.”
Even though he lived out of province, LeMoine always considered Port Aux Basques to be home.
“My daughter was born in Ontario, but we used to come and visit all the time, and she married a guy from here, Joshua Fudge, who she met here, so they moved back here in April because he’s working from home and can live anywhere. So they moved and I followed them. I always wanted to, but she couldn’t let me go, and then she moved, so I did too.”
With the hustle and bustle of a fast-paced lifestyle now in the rearview, LeMoine looks forward to enjoying a bit more down time.
“It’s more relaxing for sure, a different way of life altogether. I’ve got a nice house up on the hill here where I can see out across the bay. It’s beautiful.”
Moving home alongside his daughter and her family means the LeMoines are now all living in Port Aux Basques, not far from one another, and now they see each other all the time.
“We get together three or four times a week. It’s so new because we just got here so my parents are all excited and they’re always here or we’re up there.”
LeMoine said it was extra special to get to come home now because COVID-19 stopped him from being able to come home for years.
“I came here in March just to check out the house that I was buying. I was here for a week then, but this was our first real time since COVID. My parents, they are still in shock and can’t believe we are all together again. They never thought it would happen.”
On Sunday, July 10, Lemoine said the family were at the cabin together, a total of 13 people and four dogs, where they all had a great time.
“It was good. It was busy. It was loud, and it was fun trying to corral everybody to get the pictures. It was a happy celebration; everybody was so happy just to be together. This hadn’t hit my Mom until at the cabin yesterday, ‘oh my God,’ she said, ‘we haven’t had this many people in years and years together.’”
Now that the family is finally together again, there are no plans to ever leave.
“I’m not moving anymore. A lot of us, especially now, there’s a lot of people selling their homes in Ontario and moving East.”
LeMoine said the feeling of having five generations living so close and spending so much time together, is the best feeling in the world for his close-knit family.
“It’s amazing, I’m still in shock, I can’t believe that it actually happened, it’s just a wonderful feeling. We get to spend some time with the older members of our family, and we just love it here.”