Chambly - 10th anniversary of Association des Blais d'Amérique 

Such good souvenirs! A luminous summery September 12!

Only a few red leaves lead us to think that winter will soon be here. The Richelieu River is shining and boaters are taking advantage of it before the autumn grayness sets in. The day before, the Centre des Aînés was bursting with activity; we had to be ready for the people coming. We are in Chambly for the 9th annual meeting and the theme for the day is:

"Today the present is hosting the past to pass it on to the future."

As early as 8 a.m., the first cousins arrive, handshakes and embraces abound! No one is thinking of the H1N1 influenza! Coffee and donuts are graciously offered by Pauline M-499 and Andréa Blais M-496. The stands start up. All the Blais present, from the Montérégie, Eastern Townships, Côte du Sud, Quebec City, the Laurentians, the center of the province, the Beauce, Mégantic, Abitibi, Ontario and the United States, are invited to the Saint-Joseph de Chambly Church. The Western style celebration was quite something. Even Marguerite Blais M-490, Minister for Seniors paid us an unannounced visit!

Following the "Greeting" by Francine M-229, Jean-Marc M-256 and Lucille M-215, the ceremony continued with beautiful words by Bernard Paquette and Lucie Milard, words of love, forgiveness, and respect.

2009 commemorates the 340th anniversary of Pierre Blais’ and Anne Perrot’s marriage (in 1669). As an homage to these ancestors, Father Michel Boutot, c.s.sp., parish priest, presided over the moving marriage vow renewals of six Blais couples celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary: Pierre Blais M-300 and Rollande Carreau, from Vaudreuil-Dorion; Raymond Blais M-148 and Rosianne Girard M-385, from Saint-Michel-de-Bellechasse; Éthel Blais M-165 and Ruffin Isaya, from Montreal, Lise Blais M-95 and René Béloin, from Coaticook; Jean-Marc Blais M-256 and Gabrielle Brière M-283 from Sherbrooke; and Robert Blais M-550 and Lise Chauvette, from Montréal. During the Offertory, the celebrant received our Coat of Arms. Our organization is now ten years old. After the mass, the cousins get together for a group photo.

The Association officers are greeted at the Chambly City Hall while the festivities continue at the meeting hall. Lunch time is always a great time for cordial exchanges before the organized visits to Fort Chambly and the Richelieu Locks; others choose a foot rally in Old Chambly. History buffs join up with Léandre Vachon for a conference on fortifications in New France at the time of Champlain.

Towards 4 p.m., the Annual General Meeting tables the 2008-2009 activity reports, the financial statements and presents the new members of the Board. At 5:30 p.m., there is a protocolar activity: the Mayor of Chambly, Me Denis Lavoie, and Yves Lessard M-414, deputy for Chambly-Borduas, addresses the participants. The four Association presidents since 1999, Roland Blais M-16, Yves Blais M-80, Régent Blais M-178 and Lucille Blais M-215 explain the evolution and the dynamism of our association.

Honor plates and statements are awarded to several volunteers for their continual dedication: Louise Tucker M-241, Jean-Marc Blais M-256, Robert Blais M-270, André-Georges Lacroix M-311, Roger A. Blais M-389, Jacques Blais M-82, Serge Blais M-308, Roland Blais M-16. As Maud Sirois-Belle M-415 lives in France, her mother, Fabienne Blais, received the merit plaque in her name. Mrs. Blais is 90 years old but still magnificent and serene. A posthumous homage for Sister Lucie Blais was given to Urgel Blais M-223.

After all that talk, we are quite hungry. The caterer, L’Érablière au Toit Rouge, served an excellent and abundant supper. Several draws are held and many prizes are given out. Let us thank the local population for such generosity.

That is not all! During the evening, Jean-François Blais M-456 a storyteller entertains us with stories and sea shanties. It is then time to say goodbye. There were about 270 participants! As for next year, will there be another meeting? Where? We hope an organizing committee will get together to have us discover another region; we will then once again sing: "Les Blais sont là" and "Honneur aux ancêtres!"

Lucille Blais M-215

Last update for this page: october 9, 2009