Scrapbook details the life of woman's long lost brother

Island man leaves home never to be heard from again

Ancelene MacKinnon
Published on March 5, 2016

Joan Doiron poses with the scrapbook that details the later years of her late brother James Arsenault’s life in Stratford, Ont. 

©TC Media photo by Ancelene MacKinnon

It was a day Joan Doiron had been anxiously anticipating.

When the package was delivered, Doiron sat down on the couch and prepared herself to read about her late brother’s life, as he had disappeared from their Summerside home in 1957.

“Tears came to my eyes,” she said. “I was just so happy to see it, and to see his picture.”

At the age of 21, James Arsenault left the Island, leaving his family and friends to only speculate what became of him for the decades that followed.

Doiron and her brother, Charles Arsenault, received closure when she received a phone call from Lucia Cameron with Saint Paul’s Parish in Summerside last March.

An Ontario lawyer who had been searching for his next of kin since his death in 2007 contacted the church in hopes of locating the late man’s family.

The task took so many years to complete because James had his name legally changed to Donald Peter Carr after moving to Stratford, Ont. in the 1990s.

Two women from the city, who knew him only as Donald, compiled the scrapbook about his life there to give to the siblings.

Doiron said the book arrived at the beginning of February, and it can always be found somewhere close by.