Former Canadiens president Pierre Boivin considers himself lucky to have worked for the Molson and Bronfman families. After twice rejecting the Canadians ’presidential offer, his young heart convinced him to accept it.
A few years later, he announced to his favorite player, “Boom Boom” Geoffrion, that his number 5 jersey would be retired by the Canadiens. “The Boomer” cried. Unfortunately, he died a few days before the retirement ceremony in his jersey.
You are a native of the city of Saint-Laurent
My father, Marius, was from Saguenay, while my mother, Fernande Daigle, was from Abitibi. I have two sisters, Antoinette and Élise, and a brother, Michel.
Why is Bernard “Boom Boom” Geoffrion your favorite player?
At the age of 5, when I went to watch the Canadiens play in the Forum for the first time, my grandfather bought me a number 5 “Boomer” jersey, which I wore during the game and at many years playing hockey with my friends.
Your first job was as a street vendor
We live in Ville Mont-Royal. Every day, I delivered two English-language newspapers, the Gazette and the Star of Montreal.
Your friends along the way allow you to be bilingual
After two years of playing with my friends on the street, I also became bilingual. They didn’t intend to speak to me in French, so I had to learn English.
What games do you practice?
Due to the health condition of my father, who suffered from arthritis as a child, my mother was the one who introduced me to skiing and hockey at the Mont-Royal arena.
Tell us about your summer vacation
Our vacation allowed us to visit my father’s family in Chicoutimi, Roberval and Arvida. We also went to Charlevoix and Gaspésie.
Your maternal grandparents have influenced your life
We have traveled with them on many occasions, including several trips to Old Orchard. The discussions with my grandfather were profitable for me later in my life.
You are a rebellious child
My parents instilled in me very good principles, but I never listened to my parents. In the company of my close friends Gérard Farmer, Richard and Jean-Yves Chartrand, we couldn’t stop at school, and sometimes elsewhere.
Mom is the voice of reason
Don’t get me wrong, mom is the voice of reason that always gets me back on track, and more than once, not to say many times. As for my father, he taught me the importance of hard work and the art of communication. I believe each of them succeeded in their own way in bringing me to understand the values of life.
A boarder at Collège Bourget in Rigaud
My parents sent me there as a boarder, hoping to see
e correct way. In the end they were right, because my college years straightened out my life as a rebellious young man.
Why are Saints Day, Christmas and the end of the school year important times for you?
Those were the only times I could leave college for a short stay at home.
Collège Bourget makes you a better person
Undoubtedly, our legendary group of four friends were constantly stirring up trouble until one day we organized a fundraiser for the third world.
A table attendant at Auberge Yvan Coutu in Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson
When I was 14, I regularly skied and worked as a desk clerk at Auberge Yvan Coutu, offering language classes.
You also have jobs at Texaco and Petrofina refineries
During the summer closure of the plant, with an oxygen tank around me, a mouth mask and an employee monitoring the amount of oxygen from outside the tank, I walked around inside the large tank to clean it.
What was your first car?
A used Volkswagen with so many miles that I didn’t have to remove the clutch to change gears.
Contrary to what one might think, you didn’t finish your university studies
I attended Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf before I enrolled at McGill University, which I left after a year. My university degree is a life degree.
Maurice Oberson is yours TEACHER
Maurice Oberson is the owner of Oberson sports equipment stores. He offered me the position of branch manager located on Cathcart Street in Montreal. After discussing this with my parents, I decided to leave university to join the group. Without the confidence of Mr. Oberson me, I never could have had such a successful career.
What music and what books do you like?
I love rock’n’roll and the Beatles. Like many young people at the time, I loved Led Zeppelin and the Stones. About reading, The little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry has always been a reference for me.
I have five children
My wife, Lucie Nadeau, and I have five children, two of whom died very young due to health problems. They are always our source of inspiration and are in our hearts.
How would you describe your other three children to me?
Patrick has worked with the Canadiens and the Alouettes and, like me, is a sports enthusiast. As for my other man, Richard, he lives with his wife in the Caribbean. My daughter Catherine is a wonderful young woman. Since birth, he has suffered from SMA, an autosomal recessive disease that affects the motor neurons in the spinal cord, but also other organs, forcing him to move in a wheelchair. He holds a master’s degree and is heavily involved in an organization dedicated to SMA.
You have unconditional love for your wife.
And more! My wife, Lucie Nadeau, has always supported me in all my decisions. Her presence with the children and her love of family is what makes our family so special. Without him, I wouldn’t be the person I am.