I stopped writing and even thinking about beauty pageants the day Jeanette Gallipeau Boldt died. For years I have carried around a yellowed newspaper picture of her in my address book and finally put it to rest in a photo album a few years ago. Today I went to look for it and I guess I hid it so well I couldn’t find it. For all of you who do not remember her, Jeanette made Carleton Place proud. She competed in the Miss Canada pageant, and was a great ombudsman for our area as Miss Eastern Ontario. I had the honour of making a few of her gowns, and as Mary Jane Lancaster reminded me last night–she was someone you will never forget.
What happened to her was tragic, and I don’t want to go into details as everyone, especially her family, still mourns her loss. Jeanette and her new husband lost their life in the Maddawaska River years ago valiantly trying to save two of their friends in a capsized boat. Not only did Jeanette and her husband drown, but the whole town of Carleton Place drowned in emotions along with her family. Voltaire once said that tears are the silent language of grief. There is no doubt grief is the price of love.
Every day I see a lot of articles in newspaper archives about Carleton Place and the beauty pageants they once had, but I cannot write about them. It is just not in my heart, as Jeanette’s death still makes me stop, think, and mourn. However, a great soul never dies– and it somehow brings us together again as it did last night. During the Carleton Place Halloween Parade I met our very own Miss Teen Canada- Haven Lamothe.
Haven walked along side of my little pink car down Bridge Street during the parade, and we had a great time. I watched her mingle with the crowd and saw how much love she has in her heart while she talked to others. Silent tears covered my face at some point as I remembered Jeanette Gallipeau Boldt.
Representing crowns as they both do and did requires confidence, charisma and character. Inner beauty isn’t just about having a pretty face–it’s about having a beautiful soul. Last night driving down Bridge Street I thought I saw Jeanette waving at me from the crowd. When I looked again she was gone.
No one ever dies as long as they took the time to leave us with fond memories. Jeannete did that during her short life, and now, so will Haven Lamothe. After all, the sign of a true Queen is the respect she holds for others– as highly as her crown.
In memory of sweet Jeannette.
Miss Teen Lanark County – World 2013
Miss Teen Canada – World top 64
Youth Advocate for the Canadian Cancer Society
Miss Teen Ontario American Beauty 2014
Miss Teen Canada International 2015
Thanks to Joyce White for telling me her picture was in this weeks Carleton Place Canadian.