Panel 4




When the church was at the centre of the village

 

It was here that the first church once stood. Today it is gone. Photos show us its slightly heavy and austere beauty. Nevertheless, it was not without charm.

 

Built in 1770, the bell was installed in 1733. The bell still exists; it was moved to the new church in 1960-61 to complete its bell tower.

 

A pendulum was placed in its steeple in 1759.

 

The chapel was extended in 1833 to be abandoned in 1900, when construction of the new church at the foot of the rocks of Aouille was inaugurated in 1901.

 

A painted postcard. The weather so bad, no postman wants to work!
A painted postcard. The weather so bad, no postman wants to work!

 

The church acted as local community house. Its steeple, lacking attraction, was removed. This place was eventually considered insufficient as a community centre, until one fine day in 1920, when the current centre was inaugurated. It proved of invaluable service to the population and, of course, to all local groups. Lectures were held here, films shown; it was the place where the bulk of the social activity of this village took place, and it remains such.

 

The crests of the 3 extended families of the village; Meylan – Rochat (97% of the population in the 17th cent.) – Mouquin. The Meylan family arrived in 1382 in the Vallee, the Rochat family in 1480 and the Mouquin family during the 2nd half of 17th cent.
The crests of the 3 extended families of the village; Meylan – Rochat (97% of the population in the 17th cent.) – Mouquin. The Meylan family arrived in 1382 in the Vallee, the Rochat family in 1480 and the Mouquin family during the 2nd half of 17th cent.

 

School education dates from the end on the 17th century. Classes were given in private homes. The hamlet didn’t purchase a building to transform into a school until 1773. It soon proved insufficient to the task. A new school was built in 1852. It served for more than a century, also housing, on its ground floor, the village bakery – thus killing two birds with one stone!

 

In the same building, Le Pont now has a primary/secondary school for the most gifted pupils in and near Le Pont, 10 per year. In 1960 these classes were split, then moved under the name of ‘prim-sup’, into the bigger rooms above ten years later.

 

The gymnastics group, the female group around 1945 – 1950. These young ladies liked to pick their own beautiful dresses for their dances
The gymnastics group, the female group around 1945 – 1950. These young ladies liked to pick their own beautiful dresses for their dances
The Echo des Forêts (echo of the forests), a brass band, established in 1922. Here in 1980
The Echo des Forêts (echo of the forests), a brass band, established in 1922. Here in 1980

They were members of the Fip-Fop Club and went to the movies in the town hall of Le Pont
They were members of the Fip-Fop Club and went to the movies in the town hall of Le Pont

 

All classes in Le Pont were closed in 1989 due to necessary restructuring. Pupils of all years then went to the scholastic centre of Chez-le-Maître, at the other end of the Vallée. This was the end of a historic era in the village.

 

The students of the high school in Le Pont in 1932. Their teacher, Georges Molles is in the centre, surrounded by very earnest looking gentlemen of the school committee. The background of the school, with the bakery on the ground floor, a tea-room today
The students of the high school in Le Pont in 1932. Their teacher, Georges Molles is in the centre, surrounded by very earnest looking gentlemen of the school committee. The background of the school, with the bakery on the ground floor, a tea-room today

 

The most famous pupil from Le Pont’s primary school was, without a doubt, Henri Rochat of Mont-du-Lac. This man, who later immigrated to the USA, claimed that, because of parsimoniousness, as well as the upbringing he received from his grandfather, he could only use two pencils during the whole of his schooling, one of which a lead one, which he used only to draw lines and underline!