Paquette Consulting

Paquette Consulting - The Inauguration of Place Monseigneur (Mgr) Bonhomme, 25 September 2010

Hi Folks

I did not have time to research the names of all of those captured in the photos I am sending to you. However, to assist you in understanding the context of these photos I thought a few words might be helpful.

There is a movement in Quebec to revitalize many of the small villages of the Province. These villages such as Saint Camille have been losing their population to the bigger cities for decades. Bishop Bonhomme in the genealogy he wrote in 1951 was lamenting this trend. In the 1930’s in the depth of the depression he was advocating getting people who were unemployed in the cities back to the land.

What has happened is that people who by the nature of their work can pick places to live, have taken on the idea of revitalizing small villages. The movement in Saint Camille has increased the population by more than 10% in seven years bringing that population above 500 people.

Part of this revitalization is to celebrate the past, the pioneers who opened up this land, and those celebrated individuals who started their lives in Saint Camille. They are doing this in part by setting up tourist sites to highlight these individuals. The Bonhomme family was one of those pioneering families, and Bishop Bonhomme is one of the villages celebrated sons.

His birthplace had been marked by the husband of Anne Bonhomme many years ago and there are pictures of him beside the second of the markers he had put in place and maintained. (He’s the other fellow wearing a “proper” hat (I’m the other – see if you can tell us apart)).

Photo of André Bellavance

Photo of Benoit Bourassa

Photo of Jean Jacques

André Bellavance

Benoit Bourassa

Jean Jacques

This is one of the success stories of this movement, and the opening of Place Mgr Bonhomme, was celebrated by having the local Member of Parliament (MP) assist with its launching as well as the mayor of the village. The MP is André Bellavance a Bloc Québécois Party member shown below (which should help you identify him giving a speech and assisting me cut the ribbon).

The Mayor, Benoit Bourassa, played the part of Damase Bonhomme, in a little skit carried out with our Master of Ceremony, Jean Jacques, explaining what it was like opening up this land in the 1850’s. You can also see him assisting me cutting the ribbon.

I suppose I was asked to cut the ribbon because most of the material used to put five plaques in place explaining the history of Bishop Bonhomme and his family pioneering the opening of this land came from the archive of materials my mother had assembled and I had digitized several years ago. My daughter Athena was asked to unveil one of the plaques as Damase, Delphis, and Mgr Bonhomme’s descendant who had certainly travelled the farthest to be at the inauguration of her great-great uncle’s memorial site.

For those of you who were there some of this may be repetitive, for those of you who were not, hopefully this will give you some orientation.


Philémon Paquette,
October 31, 2010

Photo Gallery of the Inauguration of Place Monseigneur (Mgr) Bonhomme