Chevalier de L’Ordre de Mérite

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.

Doris Belisle-Bonneau and Juliana L'Heureux

Ms. Bonneau will receive the honor of Chevalier de L’Ordre de Mérite on August 31, at USM LAC

Consul General of France Valéry Freland, will present the award.  He will attend the USM LAC exhibition opening reception of, “American Women Rebuilding France, 1917-1924 (August 28, 2017 to September 22, 2017), in the USM LAC Atrium Gallery, 51 Westminster Street, Lewiston, ME, to attend the historic opening and to present Ms. Bonneau with the honor.

Ms. Bonneau has earned the recognition of “knight” for her dedicated efforts to support the Franco-American heritage, and to educate the community about the French history, language and culture.  Chevalier de L’Ordre de Mérite is awareded to French citizens as well as foreign nationals, men and women. A recipient can be received into the order for distinguished military or civil achievements. Consul General Freland will present the honor to Bonneau, on behalf of the President of the French Republic who is the Grand Master of the order and appoints all of its members, with advice from the French government.

Personally speaking, it has been my privilege to witness, and participate with Ms. Bonneau’s tireless energy in education and cultural endeavors. She is a positive role model for Franco-American’s. Her dedication to Franco-American cultural pride is evident in multiple civic organizations and agencies, where she holds leadership positions.  She has advanced community awareness about the importance of advocating for French language education, and Franco-American cultural preservation.  I currently serve on the USM LAC Franco-American Collection Board of Directors with Ms. Bonneau, who is the president of the board.

On behalf of the Franco-American Collection, the Board and USM LAC, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to Ms. Bonneau on the occasion of receiving this prestigious award.

In Lewiston USM LAC FAC

Bonneau with Valéry Freland at USM LAC Franco-American Collection in Lewiston

Indeed, Doris has a “heritage rich” resume filled with professional credentials to support receiving this honor from the French government.  She has been a French and English teacher, as well as Assistant Superintendent of Auburn schools.  “My love and  passion for teaching and learning has led me to develop, implement and institutionalize initiatives that ensure that children succeed,” she said about her dedication to teaching.

In 2013 she was inducted in the Franco-American Hall of Fame by the Maine Legislature, and received the Decorated Chevalier des Palmes Académiques, awarded for her dedication to academics, and educational achievements supporting the French language and culture.

In her community leadership engagements, she is a trustee of the Auburn Public Library where she has led a series of French for Families and created French Book Bags on various topics that can be used by families who want their children to learn French. Most recently, she volunteered in the Bystander Intervention Strategies to address violence and racism, sponsored by the YWCA Central Maine and the Community of Kindness. She is a volunteer at the D’Youville Pavillion, in Lewiston, where she assists with French speaking residents.

Additionally, in the past, she was a trustee of the Lewiston Public Library, as well as a Trustee of the State Community College System and served on the Board of Directors of the Gendron Franco-American Center, in Lewiston. She is an alumna of the University of Maine in Orono.

Ms. Bonneau will be honored at The American Friends of Blérancourt exhibit in Lewiston, an exhibition, in the USM LAC Atrium on Thursday, August 31, 2017, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. For more information about the exhibition check this link.

Juliana L'Heureux

About Juliana L'Heureux

Juliana L’Heureux is a free lance writer who publishes news, blogs and articles about Franco-Americans and the French culture. She has written about the culture in weekly and bi-weekly articles, for the past 27 years.