Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Pioneers, Ploughs, and Politics: New Brunswick Planned Settlements

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Towards the Future

On 2 January 1971, the Diocese of Bathurst and the Acadian community lost one of its most influential and well-known sons. The passing of The Rt. Rev. Mgr. J.-A. Allard, aged 86 years, left his former parishioners, friends, and admirers to reflect on his dedication to his church, his people, and his county of birth. Along with the founding of Allardville, Allard had been instrumental in establishing la paroisse du Christ-Roi, L'Académie Notre-Dame de l'Assomption, and Le Sanatorium Notre-Dame de Lourdes.
But perhaps he was and will be most fondly remembered by the more than 300 pioneer families of the Allardville settlement and their descendants. For in the gloomy years of the 1930s, Allard and his band of pioneers created a village in the forest with a sense of community when they had few other options. Father Allard's activities both in the settlement and as a liaison between the colonists, local business interests, and government officials gave the colonists hope that they could climb out of poverty and make a new life.
The Allardville project struggled under numerous difficulties. A lack of supplies, limited government funding, unfair lumber prices, and crop failures forced the pioneers to abandon hope of quickly becoming financially independent. As well, far fewer individuals received green farms along the Miramichi Road than had applied. Yet, despite the hardships, setbacks, and disappointments, Father Allard's settlement survived both as a testament to the colonists' strength and endurance and the curé's prayer that with God's help and government support Gloucester County would sustain them and remain their home.