14th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2014
At 8 o’clock on September 6, under a gray and rainy sky, registration opened for the meeting in City Hall. 221 persons gathered to greet old friends and meet new ones; all were there to celebrate the theme "Blais celebrate, Canadian style".
Following the welcome with coffee and muffins, the participants went to the parish church to take part in the first county-style mass in the history of Ste. Marguerite. The parish was also celebrating its 150th anniversary and that of the ancestor Dézilda Blais, wife of Charles Pomerleau. The officiating clergyman was Marc Montminy from St. Michael parish in Exeter, New Hampshire; he was assisted by Patrice Vallée, parish priest of Ste. Marguerite. The participants appreciated the country songs, with the words projected on a giant screen, interpreted by Richard Marotte and Lucille Blais M-215.
Then a “family photo” in front of the church, followed, for some, by a presentation of the church’s history or a visit of the crypt and the cemetery.
After an enjoyable cold buffet in the municipal hall, participants boarded the bus at 1 p.m. to visit various sites: the Pomerleau Calvary, Maurice Pomerleau’s saw mill, the three roadside crosses and the Marland blueberry field; these visits were very interesting and greatly appreciated. During this time, in the basement of the municipal hall, Lucille Blais M-215, gave a conference “À l’ombre des clochers” [In the Shadow of Church Spires] to another group of participants; in the main hall, one could visit the various Association stands, admire Blais artistic talents, and exchange genealogical notes. The coordinator, Suzanne Blais M-361, encouraged “meet and greet” with special social games.
At 4 p.m. during the members’ General Meeting, the directors responsible presented the financial statements, the accomplishments during the fiscal year and the orientation of the Association for 2014-2015. The eight members of the 2013-2014 Board of Directors were reelected and Danièle Blais, M-406, filled a 9th directorship, vacant since a few years.
During this time, members of the organizing committee were at work setting the tables, which were, of course, decorated with daisies (“marguerites” in French)
The time for protocol exchanges between the mayor of Ste. Marguerite, Adrienne Gagné, and the president of the Association. Then came the awards of “Hommages and Méritas” to four exceptional Association volunteers.
A delicious hot supper catered by Banquets Baillargeon et filles Inc. and with the good BLAIS wine, the exchanges continued. During the meal, Lucille Blais M-215 led us in singing “BLAIS D’AMÉRIQUE”, a song created by the late Sister Lucie Blais.
Following the meal, various prizes were drawn. Anna-Marie Blais M-275 won the grand prize of a week’s vacation for two at one the Résidences Soleil-Groupe Savoie retirement complexes.
The evening would not have been complete without photos of the large Blais families of Ste. Marguerite, i.e. the families of Adonia Blais, Réginald Blais and Émile Giroux. Photos of the committee members and their collaborators were also taken.
The Canadian-style evening then took off with the musicians and cousins Antonine, Yvon and Érika Pomerleau, the grandchildren and great-grand-daughter of Dézilda Blais and Charles Pomerleau.
Then the time for goodbyes and ‘til next year!
The 2014 general was a huge success. We warmly thank the following people, members of the organizing committee:
|Suzanne Blais, M-361|
|Francine Blais, M-299|
|Marie-Aline Blais M-709|
|Michel Blais M-183|
|Yvon Pomerleau M-695|
|Marc Blais M-528|
|Doryce Lacasse M-529|
|Fernande Blais M-387|
|Donald Blais M-179|
|Lionel Blais M-185|
Who will take on the organization of the 2015 general meeting? We hope to hear from you soon!
Jean-Marc Blais, president (M-256)