Forty two years is more than half of the allotted span of life, but that is the length of time that Mr. M. P. Coderre has been in the grocery business on Bridge Street. Now Mr. Coderre is in the process of selling his business and property although the deal is not completed. He is holding an auction sale of household furniture on Saturday, July 28 but expects to be in town for at least a month after that date. He plans to retire and live with relatives in Ottawa.
During the 42 years he has been in business, Mr. Coderre has seen a lot of ups and downs. He often remarks that the worst days of.his career were the hungry 30’s. It was so hard to turn people down and it was also difficult to run a business with too much credit. Mr. Coderre was known to have a kindly heart and he was in a difficult position. But he also had a practical mind and helped people of little means by not allowing them to buy things that could be classed as luxury items.
He was highly regarded for his integrity and built up a solid, steady business. Mr. Coderre was an active member of the Almonte Chamber of Commerce and it was at his invitation that John Fisher of the CBC first visited Almonte and fell in love with it. He served as councillor for four years and headed the polls the first time he was elected. He served as Mayor of Almonte for one day but that is another story. He has the unusual initials of M. P. and often joked that he was the only man in Almonte entitled to use those initials without going before the county electorate.
My father, M. P. Coderre, was born in Almonte in 1886, some 30 years after the alleged visit, but he was very knowledgeable and proud of the town’s history. He was a merchant on Bridge Street for over 40 years and during that time he served as a town councilor, mayor (for seven days) and as a member and officer of the chamber of commerce. He never missed an opportunity to talk about the famous people who came to or from Almonte. It was his persistence that brought John Fisher, later known as “Mr. Canada,” to Almonte in the early ’40s to research a radio show that he gave on Almonte. The name of that particular episode was “The general would be pleased.” The story of the town’s naming, as I heard from my father, is that by the mid-i8oos, four communities, each with its own name, had grown up around the mills that were powered by the three sets of waterfalls on the Mississippi River. Waterford was one name in 1853, but there were also the villages of Victoria and Ramsay.
George E. Gomme was president of the recently re-activated Almonte Chamber of Commerce. George and his executive had one main objective in mind: to attract new industries to town and to encourage prospective builders as far away as Ottawa.
Dr. B. W. Pickering, A. McCormick; R. J. France Scott Ottawa, to settle in Almonte. Other Chamber of Commerce officers concentrating on the problem of revitalizing this once busy textile town are: Karl Paupst, vice-president; P. W. Strickland, second vice-president; C. J. Newton, secretary-treasurer and eight council members: E. S. Winslow Spragge- Dr. B.W. Pickering, Louis Peterson, M. P. Coderre, W. A MCormick, R.J. France, W.E. Scott and Albert T. Gale.
Starts in Almonte
Returning to his native town, Dr, Kelly practised for several years with the late Dr,. Lynch and then
hung out his shingle on Bridge Street in an office located next the store of Mr. M. P. Coderre. In 1902, he
purchased the residence and surgery of the late Dr. Burns, where he lived and practised up to the time of his retirement in 1945 when he purchased the present family home on Elgin Street
|Name:||Michael Peter Coderre|
|Birth Year:||abt 1886|
|Birth Place:||Almonte. Ontario|
|Marriage Date:||21 Nov 1932|
|Marriage Place:||Lanark, Lanark, Ontario, Canada|
|Spouse:||Alice Agnes Burke|