Rural anglophones a vanishing breed in Quebec

Back in 1989, a National Film Board documentary titled Dis paraitre warned that Quebec's French culture could disappear within a couple of decades.

That doomsday scenario has not come true.

But there is a group whose presence is fading in some parts of the province. Anglophones.

Quietly, without fanfare, English-speakers are disappearing from regions where the roots of both language communities run deep.

For rural anglophones, the prospect of Disparaitre poses a vexing question: Who will remember them after they are gone?

That is a constant preoccupation for Donald Stewart, the last anglophone in Irlande, a community of 950 near Thetford Mines whose name betrays the origins of its first settlers.

Stewart, 73, is a retired miner who looks after the cemetery at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Maple Grove, a former English-speaking hamlet in Irlande that now survives only in memory.

History weighs heavily on his shoulders....

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