Joseph Alphonsus Bernard

Joseph Alphonsus Bernard

Served during the following dates: 1943-09-15

BERNARD, HONOURABLE JOSEPH ALPHONSUS, clerk and merchant; b. 27 March 1881 in Tignish, son of Theodore Bernard and Anne Perry; m. 21 September 1909 Zoe Chiasson, and they had 17 children, Timothy, Walter, Elphege, Harold, Ralph, Omer, Cecil, Edith, Letitis, Marcella, Joan, Gloria, Norma, and four others who are unnamed (died in infancy); Roman Catholic; d. 7 September 1962 in Sherwood.
Bernard, a Liberal, was elected to the Legislative Assembly in the general election of 1943 for 1” Prince. He resigned in 1945, and on 30 May of that year was appointed Lieutenant-Governor, serving in that position until 1950. Bernard was vice-
president of the West Prince Liberal Association from 1920 to 1943.
Bernard received his primary education at the school in Sea Cow Pond and at the Tignish Grammar School. He went on to attend a school in Amawalk, New York, run by the Christian Brothers and Union Commercial College in Charlottetown. Bernard also lived in Boston and a number of other locations in Massachusetts. Late in life he resided in Charlottetown and Parkdale. For the majority of his life, he was a merchant in Tignish, but prior to this he worked in Massachusetts. In 1897 he worked as clerk for J. H. Myrick and Company. In 1899 he worked for Dunkel and Company. In Boston in 1907 Bernard was a street car conductor, but by 1911 he had returned to Tignish and was employed as a bookkeeper for J. J. Arsenault. In 1920 he became a partner in the firm of Morris and Bernard, general merchants of Tignish, one of the most successful businesses in the town. In 1925 Bernard became vice-president of the firm, and president in 1940. From 1930 to
1946, he was president of the Tignish Hall Company Limited. He was secretary-treasurer of the Palmer Road Dairying Association from 1923 to 1943. Bernard was chairman of the Tignish Library and was a member of the Tignish Merchants’ Association. He was a member of the 4th degree Knights of Columbus, and until late in his life was active in the affairs of the Roman Catholic Church, the Societe Saint-Thomas-d'Aquin and the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association.
Bernard’s family made a substantial contribution during the Second World War. He served as a civilian recruitment director, while five of Ins sons, one daughter, and two sons-in-law enlisted. Joseph Bernard died 7 September 1962 at the Livingston-MacArthur Nursing Home in Sherwood.
Zoe Bernard, the daughter of Joseph M. Chiasson and Catherine DesRoches of Tignish, died in 1952. Joseph Bernard’s maternal grandfather, Stanislaus F. Perry*, was a prominent politician.

References: Acadiens p. 88; CPG 1945, 1947, 1950; WWC 1958-1960 p 83, 1960-1961 p. 1213; Guardian 8 September 1962; PARO: St. Simon and St. Jude Roman Catholic Church Records. Guide to abbreviations

Photograph courtesy of PEI Public Archives and Records Office, Reference Number Acc3177/179