The Sister Antoinette DesRoches Historical Committee is a subcommittee of the Association of the Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island. It was created in 2000 after the dissolution of the Acadian Historical Society of Prince Edward Island, founded in 1955. The Committee’s objectives are to “promote, research, and disseminate Acadian history, as well as to protect Acadian heritage.”

Since it was formed, the Historical Committee has organized numerous activities: history forums, lectures, unveiling of commemorative plaques, historical vignettes, etc. It has also frequently made representations to various government bodies to assert the Acadian presence and history on Prince Edward Island.

In 2008, it organized the first Forum des sociétés historiques et patrimoniales acadiennes (Forum of Acadian Historical and Heritage Societies), now known as the Forum acadien – histoire et patrimoine (Acadian Forum – History and Heritage). It takes place annually in different regions of the Maritime Provinces.

The Historical Committee revived two initiatives launched by the former Acadian Historical Society: the publication La Petite Souvenance and the Gilbert Buote Award. The annual Gilbert Buote Award was founded to encourage and promote projects in the field of Acadian history and heritage on Prince Edward Island. Between 2002 and 2009, the Committee published eight issues of La Petite Souvenance. This historical journal had previously been published between 1979 and 1986. Its content is now available online: http://museeacadien.org/lapetitesouvenance.

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Celebrating the Memory of Sister Antoinette DesRoches

This celebration was organized by the Sister Antoinette DesRoches Historical Committee and was held at the Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island on February 18, 2001. The committee was named in honour of Sister DesRoches who played a major role in the founding and administration of the Acadian Museum and of the former Acadian Historical Society of P.E.I. From left to right: Sister Patricia Arsenault, Sylvia Poirier, Paul DesRoches, Cyrus Gallant, and David Le Gallant.

(Source: Georges Arsenault)

Poirier/Perry Day at the Acadian Museum

This activity was organized by the Sister Antoinette DesRoches Historical Committee on September 22, 2002. The program included a presentation on the history of the Poiriers, a picture gallery, and a sharing of stories.

(Source: Clair Perry)

Unveiling of a Monument in Eldon

On July 6, 2005, the Sister Antoinette DesRoches Historical Committee, in conjunction with the Belfast Historical Society, unveiled a monument in Eldon to commemorate the 1758 deportation of the Acadians from that area of Prince Edward Island as well as the deadly shipwreck of the Duke William. The unveiling was done by Isabelle Morrison MacDonald, representing the Scottish community, and young Emma Gaudet, from St. Felix, representing the Acadian community.

(Source: Georges Arsenault)

Pélagie et Henriette

On March 25, 2007, during the Provincial French Celebrations, the Sister Antoinette DesRoches Historical Committee held an activity at the Acadian Museum titled “J’parlons de même” (We talk that way). The program consisted of an interview with Alice Richard, author of the column “Pélagie et Henriette” published in La Voix acadienne; a skit featuring Pélagie and Henriette, played by Alice Richard and Marie Bernard; and a discussion on the teaching of Acadian French in the French-language schools on Prince Edward Island.

(Source: La Voix acadienne)

Number 21 of La Petite Souvenance is launched

This issue which came out in July 2008 contains an interview with former Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, Léonce Bernard, and his wife Florence Bernard. They are seen here with the members of the publishing committee. From l. to r.: Léonce Bernard, David Le Gallant, Francis Blanchard, Edmond Gallant, Florence Bernard.

(Source: La Voix acadienne)

Forum of Acadian History and Heritage Societies

Held at the Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island in 2008, the Forum was organized by the Sister Antoinette DesRoches Historical Committee. It included a panel discussion on the topic “What role can historical societies and museums play in the transmission of Acadian history among the youth.” Members of the panel, from l. to r.: Sally Ross, Philippe Basque, Jeanne-Mance Cormier, René Hurtubise, Elva Arsenault.

(Source: Georges Arsenault)

The Gilbert Buote Award to CBC/Radio-Canada.

The 2008 Gilbert Buote Award was given to members of the CBC/Radio-Canada personnel in Charlottetown who produced the radio documentary “Vive l’Acadie de l’Île.” It was a project marking the 250th anniversary of the Deportation of the Acadians from Prince Edward Island. From l. to r.: Nancy Russell and Donna Allen of CBC, Georges Arsenault, President of the Sister Antoinette DesRoches Historical Committee, and Audette Chiasson from Radio-Canada.

(Source: La Voix acadienne)

L’Impartial Revisited: Yesterday’s Challenges vs Today’s Challenges

This educational and entertaining activity was presented six times in 2013 by the Sister Antoinette DesRoches Historical Committee. The audiences were invited to meet the publishers of L’Impartial, P.E.I.’s first French-language newspaper. These visitors from the past read articles which had been published in the weekly between 1893 and 1915. These articles dealt with education, economy, community life, and the French language. From l. to r.: François Joseph Buote (Hervé Poirier), Lydie Chiasson (Marcella Perry), Marie Buote (Noëlla Richard), and Gilbert Buote (Georges Arsenault).

(Source: La Voix acadienne)

Sister Antoinette DesRoches Historical Committee, 2013-2014

First row (l. to r.): Sister Della Gaudet (Secretary-Treasurer), Zita Gallant, Georges Arsenault (President), Nicole Gallant. Second row: Edmond Richard, André Cormier, Nick Arsenault, Clément Gallant, Edmond Gallant (Vice-President). Missing in the photo: Marguerite Arsenault.

(Source: Georges Arsenault)

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