André-Marie Coudou is a Belgian man in his fifties who worked in two of the environments most affected by the pandemic: restaurants and the theater. To avoid bankruptcy, he found a job in a completely different sector, supporting families bereaved by the loss of a loved one.
Honouring memory and accompanying bereaved families with respect and compassion.
I just want to say a few words about how much this enterprise I run means to me. First, because it is so much a part of my own history:it was started by my grandparents, Alfred and Aline, in the back of their shop. In my own way, I keep alive their love of the profession and their pride as entrepreneurs. As a Quebecker, and as a businesswoman, I am proud to be at the helm of a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) in a field dominated by multinationals.
For me, a funeral enterprise is above all a human enterprise. We do not “process files”, we interact with individuals at a difficult time in their lives and we respond to their suffering. Our profession gives us the opportunity to help sooth their pain, to make a small difference. The people at Memoria work every day to make that difference.
Jocelyne Dallaire Légaré
Memoria, from yesterday to tomorrow
MEMORIA, the legacy of Alfred Dallaire, is a fourth-generation family business, now run by Jocelyne Dallaire Légaré, the granddaughter of its founders, Alfred and Aline Dallaire. Because it evokes our roots and our reality today, the Dallaire name is always part of our logo and is displayed on the facades of our 11 MEMORIA complexes.
Alfred and Aline Dallaire, the builders
It all began with an extraordinary gesture of human solidarity. In Montréal, in the 1930s, a young Ukrainian woman died in extreme poverty, and no funeral director would agree to hold a viewing. Alfred Dallaire, a taxi driver and barber, transformed his barbershop into a funeral parlour.
And that is how our story began.
Of course, Alfred’s intrepidity would not have gone far without the devotion, practical intelligence and acumen of his wife Aline. In fact, it was her, who, between telephone calls, took care of everything, from bookkeeping to floral decorations.
Paul-Émile Légaré, the visionary
In 1952, Paul-Émile Légaré married Thérèse Dallaire, the daughter of Alfred and Aline. The young couple took over the business, and in 40 years built a vast network of funeral homes. With his entrepreneurial flair, Paul-Émile Légaré quickly made a reputation as a visionary: in 1967, he introduced the concept of prearrangements, and in 1979, he built the first funeral complex, with columbaria, visitation rooms and reception halls. All this, with the support of Alfred, Aline and Thérèse, who was always there to advise and assist him.
Alfred Dallaire died in 1973. To honour his work as a pioneer and mentor, Paul-Émile dedicated the first complex in Laval, inaugurated in 1979, to him.
Jocelyne Dallaire Légaré and her daughter Julia Duchastel
Today, three generations later, the founders’ granddaughter, Jocelyne Dallaire Légaré, is in charge at MEMORIA. Her creative mind is behind the reinvented site design, as exemplified by the St. Laurent complex, inaugurated in 1999. And it was her idea to offer free psychological assistance, to create art circles, to integrate works of art into the funeral homes and to suggest the innovative concept of a drop-in daycare.
She is unceasing in her efforts to think up new ideas and ways to revitalize the services provided. Her creative energy is supported by her close relationship with her daughter Julia and the dynamism of a talented team of craftspeople, artists, counsellors and professionals, who continue to serve families with equal respect for all communities and the same sense of compassion as when it all began.
Today, Alfred Dallaire MEMORIA is 11 complexes, shining examples of a serene modernity and solidly rooted in the foundations of tradition.
On the occasion of Alfred Dallaire Memoria's 80th birthday, a vibrant tailor-made tribute has been created by Moment factory - Alfred en 8 temps (see video).
Memoria is, above all, our people
Our staff is composed of devoted, competent and compassionate people. Whether it is for a matter of pre-arrangements or for organizing everything after a death, they will guide you in making choices based on your values, and will personalize the commemoration, according to your wishes.
Diversity is what makes us special. Our staff is made up of men and women from many backgrounds, which enables us to adapt to the needs of the cultural communities that we serve. Our counsellors work in close cooperation with celebrants, musicians, graphic artists, and craftspeople. In short, an entire team at your service to honour the memory of your loved one.
People who will keep caring...
Whether it is through psychological support or estate settlement assistance, our professionals are there for you, at no charge, well beyond the funeral.