“Messiah” performed in the St. John’s Franco-American sanctuary

Ortorio Chorale program

It’s rare to hear the entirety of George Frideric Handel’s magnificent oratorio “Messiah”, performed with an orchestra, at a local venue, like the beautiful and inspirational sanctuary at Brunswick’s Saint John the Baptist Church. On Sunday November 5th, Maine’s Oratorio Chorale, led by Director Emily Isaacson, performed the entire oratorio with professional soloists, and they […]

Growing Up Franco-American with no patent leather shoes

Growing Up Franco-American by Lorraine Dutile Masure

“We kept such a low profile that it was only in 1977 that Maine recognized Franco-Americans as an ethnic group, even though we had been here for scores of years”, wrote Lorraine Dutile Masure, in her autobiographical memoir.  Writing personal and often comical short narratives, Masure has given readers personal insight to the Franco-American experience. […]

Professor Mary Rice-DeFosse: Teaching French and Francophone Studies

Community Engaged Learning

LEWISTON, Me– It’s been my pleasure to work collaboratively with Professor Mary Rice-DeFosse, at Bates College, through our participation on the Franco-American Collection’s board, at the University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College (USM LAC). Her expertise about the Franco-American language and culture are helping to inspire students and others to learn more about Maine’s […]

Boisvert and Franco-American “dit” names

L'Heureux is a "dit" name. The family's English name was translated to Happy but then legally changed to L'Heureux

Learning about “topographic monikers”. Many years after graduating from high school in Dundalk, Maryland, I had the opportunity to discuss the origins of the “Greenwood” surname with our class sponsor.  Mr. David Greenwood was a quiet man with an effervescent smile.  His participation in our class didn’t end on graduation day.  In fact, he attended […]

Rebuilding France 1917-1924: Lewiston exhibit

Women Rebuilding France 1917-1924 This historic exhibit is currently featured in the USM LAC Atrium Gallery, on Westminister Street, in Lewiston. It’s a Centennial Exhibition to remember World War I, from the Franco-American Museum Château de Blérancourt, in Picardy, France. An overview about how Anne Morgan, the youngest daughter of financier J.P. Morgan, led a […]

Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite: Madame Doris Belisle Bonneau

USM LAC Doris Bonneau

LEWISTON, Me– Excerpts from the speech given by Madame Doris Belisle Bonneau, upon receiving the Ordre National du Mérite, during a reception at the University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College, in Lewiston, on Thursday, August 31, 2017.   Mme. Bonneau is now a “Knight”. She gave her speech to the 100 attendees, at a […]

Heroic Cajuns! La marine Cajun

Cajun Country book jacket

Several hundred years of colonial era French and Franco-Americans are living among the affected populations, located along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas. Our hearts go out to these flood devastated people. Of course, our hearts and sympathies extend to all those who are suffering as a result of the Hurricane Harvey’s horrific damage […]

Chevalier de L’Ordre de Mérite

In Lewiston USM LAC FAC

LEWISTON-AUBURN, Maine:  Congratulations to Madame Doris Belisle-Bonneau! A reception and exhibition opening at the University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College, on August 31, will include the well deserved presentation of Chevalier de L’Ordre de Mérite, to Doris Belisle-Bonneau, of Auburn. Consul General of France Valéry Freland, will present the award.  He will attend the […]

Franco-American population diversity

book jacket The People of New France

A concluding chapter in a book by Allan Greer titled, “The People of New France“, discussed the diversity of the French-Canadians. I’ve written about this subject in the past. Therefore, I appreciated reading Greer’s point of view. Although French-Canadians, and the Franco-Americans, who descended from this special population of people, may appear to have similar […]