March is “Celebrate French in Maine” month: Events recognize Franco-Americans

First of all, I want to thank my social media friend Doris Perrault Pelletier for adding this following quote to the message I posted about the Francophonie kick-off celebration, hosted at the French Cultural Center, on March 5, in Boston:

Doris Perreault Pelletier  “It’s wonderful that there is a celebration for Franco Americans. Society has changed quite a bit since the 50s. It’s wonderful that people have learned to appreciate Franco Americans.”

Juliana and Richard L'Heureux at the French Cultural Center in Boston on March 5, 2019

Presenting about Maine’s Franco-Americans at the French Cultural Center in Boston. Juliana L’Heureux is the vice-president of the Franco-American Collection and attended with my husband Richard, from Topsham.

Merci, amie Doris! Together, we recognize Maine’s rich international French history, language, culture and traditions.

BOSTON, Mass– We started our recognition to highlight Franco-Americans and Francophones on March 5, by joining the international kick off with Arnaud Mentré, the new Consul General of France to Boston.

Follow up programs will continue this celebration theme on March 19, in Augusta and Lewiston, Maine. A schedule and public invitation are published in this blog.

In Boston, La Grande Fête de la Francophonie was celebrated at a kick-off reception  to recognize the “Month of the Francophones”. This year, it happened to be scheduled on Mardi Gras, March 5, at the French Cultural Center and Library, on Marlborough Street. At the international party hosted by Arnaud Mentré, the public was invited to explore exhibits from invited presenters that represented the diversity of the French speaking populations. Several exhibitors from New England attended. In Maine, the guests were Mitch Thomas, the executive director of the Franco-Gendron Center in Lewiston, Juliana L’Heureux, the vice-president of the University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn Campus Franco-American Collection board (USM LAC, FAC), her husband Richard L’Heureux of Topsham and Emmanuel Kayembe, a fellow for Franco-American Studies at USM LAC FAC.

Attending the Boston French Cultural Center celebration on March 5, 2019

Celebrating International Francophones in Boston. From left Richard L’Heureux, Mitch Thomas, Bednerssa Desrosiers from Haiti and Emmanual Kayembe, a fellow for Franco-American Studies at the USM LAC FAC with Juliana L’Heureux.

We were delighted to meet the wonderful hosts at the French Cultural Center and to have the chance to sample a few French wines. Thanks to the Haitian delegation who attended, we were also treated to a glass of Prestige beer.

Consul General Arnaud Mentré welcomed the guests. Prior to being appointed to Boston, Msr. Mentré served at the French Embassy in Moscow from 2009-2011, and then became adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, for Russian, Eastern European, and defense and security issues (2011-2012). We invited him to visit Maine where he will have the opportunity to attend the events in Augusta and Lewiston, on March 19, with invitations to the public described below:

March 5, 2019 in Boston with Arnaud Mentré (photo right).

We were honored to meet the Consul General from France to Boston Arnaud Mentré (photo right) with Mitch Thomas (center) and the hostess, Edit Dibra with the French Consulate. (edit.dibra@diplomatie.gouv.fa)

In March: Maine Speaks French!

La Journée internationale de la Francophonie au Maine; International Francophonie Day in Maine- invitations, schedules and contact information.

March 19, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Blaine House (the Governor’s Mansion) in Augusta

Celebrate the thriving economic, cultural and historical connections between the Pine Tree State and the Francophone world.

We will kick off the official Francophonie Celebration at 11:00 AM with representatives from Canada, France, Haiti and Québec, along with state legislative officials and Maine Governor Janet T. Mills. The Governor will officially proclaim March as Francophonie Month in Maine, celebrating the strong ties linking Maine and the Francophone world.

Hosted by the Office of Governor Janet T. Mills, this event is free and open to the public: Bienvenue à tous!

 Date and Time:  Tuesday March 19, 2019 from 11:00 AM – 12 noon

RSVP to mthomas@francocenter.org

Following the Blaine House program, the Honor of your Presence is also requested at the

Francophonie Celebration at the Franco-American Collection (USM LAC FAC)

Monthly Memories Workshop  and Reception

2:30-3:30  Conversation with leaders from the Franco American Collection

Description of current projects, Portal Project-Doris, Program vision, philosophy and anticipated 2019-2020 season- Denis or Jacynthe, and International Fall Conference- Emmanuel. Exhibit review by Juliana L’Heureux,  7 minute description and time for questions.

4:00  James Myall will speak about Immigration and Discrimination and the impact of the Klu Klux Klan on Catholic Franco-American  Discrimination; yesterday and today.

5:00 Signing of Quebec Fleur de Lys Agreement

Followed by a reception in honor of the Quebec Delegation and French Consul General from Boston. Location:  Room 170  at Lewiston/Auburn College, Westminster Street, Lewiston, Maine .

Please confirm attendance for both events by March 12th.

Contact:  Mitch Thomas – mthomas@francocenter.org

Jacynthe Jacques – jacynthe.b.jacques@outlook.com

Merci! Indeed, there are many reasons to celebrate the French in Maine.

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.