Every year, the former minister and federal deputy of Trois-Rivières, Pierre-H., organizes the Saint-Tite Western Festival on the occasion of the large animal parade. Vincent, welcomed some guests and acquaintances in Saint-Tite. Pierre Mailloux was a constant supporter of these annual meetings.
PH, as everyone called the MP, each time reserved a cart or, to say it locally, a “chariot” drawn by two horses, which took place at the corner of Royal and Saint-Gabriel.
As soon as the last team in the parade passed, our cart followed with none other than Doc Mailloux as driver.
Dressed head to toe as a cowboy, he clearly radiated the utmost happiness. As soon as he grabbed the guides, his face lit up.
It's true that he loved horses. This probably came from his father, a horse trader from Lac-Saint-Jean. He even owned a large breeding of competition horses.
But the Doc also knew that, like every time, he would experience a great moment of glory that he would fully enjoy.
Because Saint-Tite was a bit of his world.
With Mailloux in the driver's seat, it's as if our car is crowning an already spectacular parade.
As soon as the crowd saw him, there was an avalanche of enthusiastic cries for him, applause, encouragement, support…sometimes even saying his name. Mailloux! Mailloux! Like a scream!
It was necessary for the rest of the guests in the carriage, whether known or not, to perform a great act of humility. Basically, we didn't exist.
Pierre Mailloux was of course always embattled. He cultivated controversy like few in Quebec.
But if there was rarely a dissatisfied person at Saint-Tite, it was limited to grumbling. Otherwise the mob might have lynched him.
He was sometimes called a misogynist. In Saint-Tite he formed lines of women who took self-portraits with him.
We can assume that society has always been deeply divided because of Doc Mailloux. Not so much because of his medical practice. The august trustees of the College of Physicians have taken it upon themselves to wage a constant war against him, which will bring him many censures, fines and repeated suspensions of his right to practice psychiatric medicine.
But above all because of his deliberately inflammatory statements. Because he liked to provoke in his radio broadcasts, well aware that the more he violated people's good conscience, the more popularity and ratings he gained.
In a world where so-called “righteousness”, whether political or not, began to prevail, where any discrepancy in words was punished by the new, right-thinking people, where scaffolding was erected for the smallest word deemed inappropriate, said Pierre Mailloux His “ti-counes” in abundance have always been outstanding.
As an inveterate polemicist, he provoked people above all with his inflammatory opinions, which he expressed in harsh, rough, bold and, one must admit, often coarse language. We could write a large collection of his explosive quotes.
He was not a man of the grand salon, where one could “pearl” in the pursuit of elegance.
On the contrary, with his checked shirts, his shaggy hair, his unruly beard and his aversion to ties, he proudly displayed a country appearance. There was nothing more satisfying to him than being called a “local.” He admitted he was flattered.
Nothing that corresponds to the picture that the medical profession can imagine.
He spoke as one often speaks on the street, in backyards, in the ordinary world.
But in his own way he freed speech, even if it was exaggerated. He had a criminal mind. This led to a polarization in him, because while many saw themselves in his character, there were probably just as many who were perfectly justified in distancing themselves from him or publicly challenging him.
But anyone who knew him will tell you that privately he was a man of great simplicity, not at all presumptuous, respectful, attentive and always skillful and anxious to give importance to the people around him. .
This may seem surprising, but as a young student he briefly considered becoming a missionary in Chad, where Capuchin fathers were evangelizing. A few years earlier he had been convinced of the advantages of seminarian life.
Instead, he turned to medicine and initially studied biology at the University of Laval. A top of the class with constant problems because – this will surprise no one – he increased his conflicts with authority.
But at McGill he specialized in psychiatry. Not without having served in the army for four years to finance his studies.
He began his career at the Montreal General Hospital and Montreal Children before being tempted by an $18,000 scholarship if he settled in Trois-Rivières… where he would become a medical star and media star .
To define Quebecers, he liked to talk about the “Quebec tribe.”
That's why the tribe gives him high praise today.