Marie-Ange Vaillancourt, daughter of Isiah Vaillancourt and Josephine Poulin was born in St. Bernard de Dorchester on 5th January 1901. Marie-Ange was the eldest of 14 children.
While she was still very young, she studied music under the sisters at Sainte Marie de Beauce. Later on, she was courted by a young neighbour from across the road, Allyre Genest, son of Dr. Genest of St. Bernard de Dorchester. After Allyre completed his course in agronomy, they married. She was still only just twenty years old at the time.
M. Genest worked for the government as an agronomist, traveling throughout the province. He fell in love with the Eastern Townships and bought a small farm for $5,000 in Compton village. This farm was next door to the King's Hall, where a building now stands at #10 chemin Cochrane.
As the couple were the most educated people in the area, the village priest, Rev. Brouillette approached them with the proposal to establish an agricultural cooperative and credit union. Mme Genest took charge of the credit union in her own house for the next 27 years, meanwhile carrying out her housewifely duties.
The installation of the credit union was quite rudimentary. It was not terribly secure; the safe itself being in the house. There were no regular opening hours. People often showed up late at night or early in the morning.
The Genest couple, besides having four children of their own, adopted two other children. One of them was Jimmy McDonald, originally from Nova Scotia who had lost his parents through a drowning accident. The other, Denise, was not legally adopted, but grew up in the Genest family.
Despite all these activities that filled her life, Marie-Ange retained her passion for music. She was church organist for over 30 years and led the Compton Catholic church choir. She also music teacher to many children. Up until her death at the age of 96, at the Foyer St. Joseph de Sherbrooke, Marie-Ange continued to play her music.
Sources: Sourire saissonnier, March 1980 and Mme Laurette Genest-Chagnon, her daughter.