Franco-American heritage celebrated at the State House

Posted March 24, 2014, at 3:18 p.m.
Last modified March 24, 2014, at 4:05 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine  — The 13th annual Franco-American Day was celebrated at the State House on Wednesday, March 19. The daylong celebration of Franco-American Day takes place during International Francophone Week.

“This year’s celebration was a success,” said Rep. Ken Theriault, D-Madawaska, chair of the Franco-American caucus, in a press release. “The event brought many people and was enjoyed by all. Franco-Americans have helped form Maine’s culture and deserve to be honored.”

The 2014 inductees to the Franco-American Hall of Fame were honored in the Hall of Flags during a press conference. The visiting French, Canadian and Quebecois dignitaries were also recognized.

The Franco-American Hall of Fame honors political and cultural leaders who have contributed to the strength and preservation of the Franco-American heritage in Maine.

The four new inductees into the Franco-American Hall of Fame are Gene Perreault of St. Francis, Leo Pepin of Augusta, Mary Rice-DeFosse of Lewiston and Father Ron Labarre of Biddeford.

Cecille Dufour Pozzuto of Madawaska, Richard Dutremble of Biddeford and Joe Plamondon of Biddeford received posthumous recognition of their lifelong work for the Franco-American people of Maine.

Legislative session in both House and the Senate was led by legislators of French heritage. Theriault served as Speaker Pro Tempore in the House and Sen. John Cleveland, D-Androscoggin County, served as President Pro Tempore in the Senate.

Other events included the Presentation of Colors by Franco-American veterans and displays from Franco-American organizations throughout the state in the Hall of Flags. The Cross Cafeteria served a Franco-American menu.

Musicians played French music in the halls and the national anthems of France, Canada and the United States were performed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

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