Five generations behind the chair

By Gordon Lambie
Five generations behind the chair
Sonia Cormier and her son Alexandre Comeau (Photo : Gordon Lambie)

Although once it would have been commonplace for a business or trade to be handed down from parent to child, that kind of succession is getting to be less and less common.
That’s part of what makes Sonia Cormier and her son Alexandre Comeau such an interesting case. Together they represent the fourth and fifth generation in their family to be cutting hair
“My great grandfather had a barbershop in Moncton and my grandfather started working with him,” Cormier said, tracing her family’s history in the trade back to the 1870s with the help of photos on the wall not far from her chair.
Although the space she works in today is modest by comparison, the photos and other hair-cutting memorabilia that are on display in the shop offer easy examples of the legacy the barber is a part of. One image shows a lineup of men in fine white coats and bowties standing next to their chairs ready to welcome customers in for their regular trim, while another shows off a full-service environment with barbers and shoe-shine services on hand.
Cormier said that at one point her grandfather had a barber school in Moncton, training future barbers in addition to doing the work himself.
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