1980M. Raymond A. Paquin

Franco-American of the Year 1980
When selected to be Franco-American of the Year, Raymond Paquin was founder and  director of L’Equipe du Bon Vieux Temps a group, composed of musicians, singers and dancers devoted to performing French and French-Canadian songs and dances. Ray was also a founding member of the Franco-American Day Committee, a Vice-President of Lowell’s Union National Bank, and an active member of numerous social organizations.



1981Rev. Armand L. Morrissette, O.M.I.

Franco-American of the Year 1981
Affectionately known as “Father Spike”, Fr. Morissette’s numerous accomplishments have been recognized by many local, national and international organizations. A native Lowellian he never passed up the opportunity to talk about his Franco-American roots and the countless accomplishments of his forebears in shaping the city of Lowell. A regular contributor to Le Journal de Lowell, readers look forward to his column entitled “Faits et Gestes”. He is an honorary chaplain of the French Navy and often takes advantage of the occasion to introduce French sailors to Franco-Americans when their ship is docked in Boston.



1982M. Albert A. Daigle

Franco-American of the Year 1982
Albert Daigle was recognized as an individual who possessed moral integrity and made great contributions to the promotion of the French language and Franco-American culture and heritage.  In 1974 he spearheaded the drive to maintain St. Joseph’s Elementary School, the first Franco-American school of the archdiocese of Boston, which opened in November 1983.  He is a founding member of the Franco-American Day Committee and was its President in 1973.



1983M. Normand L. Ayotte

Franco-American of the Year 1983
It is through music that Normand Ayotte made his contribution to the preservation of the French language and Franco-American culture. Having his musical abilities from his parents, he was choir director at Ste-Jeanne d’Arc church for 35 years. He is the founding-director of LA CHORALE ORION.  A choral group founded to perpetuate the ethnic music composed by the Champagne Brothers.  La Chorale Orion performed extensively throughout New England.



1984M. Raymond J. Barrette

Franco-American of the Year 1984
When named Franco-American of the Year Raymond Barrette considered his greatest achievements to be, first, the founding of LE JOURNAL DE LOWELL, and two, spearheading the creation of the SALLE BIRON at the Pollard Memorial Municipal Library in Lowell. In 1998 he was awarded the Legion of Honor by the Association Canado-Americaine for his tireless efforts in promoting the French language. Always an active member and a former President of Le Club Richelieu de Lowell he was named a member of the Cercle Horace Viau of the Richelieu International Foundation in 2003. “Passionate” is the adjective that describes him best when speaking of his efforts to maintain and perpetuate the French language and culture as testified by his active participation in the Franco-American Historical Society, the Cour Domremy, No.23 of the Association Canado-Americaine of Lowell, MA, the Committee for the Advancement of French in America (CAFA), Action for the Franco-Americans of the Northeast (ACTFANE) and the Franco-American War Veterans of Lowell, Post #4, once serving as vice-commander.



1985Mme Hélene Pelletier-Jeknavorian

Franco-American of the Year 1985
A member of the Cercle Jeanne-Mance, Hélene Jeknavorian’s focus to encourage the preservation of French culture was on youth. She gave culinary lessons for students of French and encouraged further study of the language by spearheading the distribution of prizes to top students of French at the primary and secondary levels.  She also coordinated the publication of “La Bonne Cuisine”, a bilingual cook book published by the Cercle Jeanne-Mance.



1986M. Albert V. Côté

Franco-American of the Year 1986
Currently secretary of the Franco-American Day Committee, Albert Côté was also its president-elect for the coming year. At the time of his selection for Franco-American of the Year he was publisher-owner of LE JOURNAL DE LOWELL, the only French language monthly published in the area and a 16 year veteran of the Hudson, N.H. school district where he taught French at the Middle School.



1987M. Leon L. Lavallée

Franco-American of the Year 1987
Brilliant financier, Léon Lavallée was a 3rd generation Franco-American who possessed a deep sense of Christian ethics, a great love of country and an incomparable ethnic pride.  Past President of LA CAISSE POPULAIRE JEANNE D’ARC he was a faithful supporter of Franco-American activities and, at 83 years of age, still an active member of several of its organizations.



1988M. Roland W. Martin

Franco-American of the Year 1988

Roland Martin was awarded the title of Franco-American of the Year in gratitude for his devotion in promoting the French language and its culture.  He was the first member of the Committee to serve two terms as its President.  He is the first sitting President of the Committee to receive this award.  Funeral Director by profession, Roland Martin is an active member of several Franco-American clubs and organizations.



1989Mlle Yvette R. Giroux

Franco-American of the Year 1989

Despite the fact that Yvette Giroux was more comfortable working in the background she served two terms as President of the Cercle Jeanne-Mance of Lowell having served several years as the group’s secretary and later, vice-president.  She was also a founding member of the Federation Feminine Franco-Americaine and for more than 20 years served as director of the Eastern Massachusetts region for the organization’s annual French spelling bee.