Cécile M. Provencher
Franco-American of the Year 2010
Diminutive in stature but gigantic in accomplishments is this year’s Franco-American of the Year, Cécile M. Provencher. She is a financial officer for the Franco-American School in Lowell and volunteers her services to the Oblate Foreign Mission Office. She is also a part-time Church Organist and an active member of numerous organizations of French orientation including the Franco-American Day Committee. Her major accomplishment toward the preservation of Franco-Americana was her determination to establish The Franco-Americans in Lowell, MA website and to continue serving as its Webmaster.
Rev. Adhémar Deveau, O.M.I.
Franco-American of the Year 2011
A native of Van Buren Maine, Father Deveau is a missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate and is currently “actively retired”. Over the years he served as Pastor to the now suppressed Ste-Jeanne d’Arc Parish and the former Ste-Marie’s Parish (now Holy Family), both in Lowell. He was chosen Franco-American of the Year 2011 in recognition of his countless services to the Franco-American Day Committee and his ever-present willingness to assist where and when needed.
M. Lucien Dalpé
Franco-American of the Year 2012
Lucien Dalpé, a resident of Dracut, has been an active member of the Franco-American Day Committee for the past 7 years. A francophone, he is a devoted member of St-Marguerite D’Youville parish, St. Thérèse Church, for which he has worked tirelessly over many years. Lucien takes great pride in promoting his ethnicity. Due to his efforts, such as Ham and Bean Suppers and various raffles, the Committee has been able to provide on-going activities, among others, providing scholarships for students from Ste-Jeanne-d’Arc School, St. Louis School, and Franco American School. These scholarships are awarded to students who plan to continue studying French.
Mme Thérèse Daigle
Franco-American of the Year 2013
Since its founding in 1975 Mrs. Daigle has worked quietly and effectively behind the scenes contributing to the success of countless events sponsored by the Franco-American Day Committee. She is the wife of Albert A. Daigle, one of the founding members of the Franco-American Day Committee and himself Franco-American of the Year 1982. A native of Pelham, NH whose mother tongue is French, Thérèse remains deeply involved in activities, which serve to promote French culture and pride.
Rev. Richard R. Santerre
Franco-American of the Year 2014
Richard R. Santerre Franco-American native of Lowell, scholar, former professor of French Canadian Studies at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, author and Priest. Most recently adding to the contributions that earned Fr. Santerre the Franco-American of the Year award for 2014 are two books that he authored: La Paroisse Saint-Jean-Baptiste et les Franco-Américains de Lowell, Massachusetts, 1868 à 1968, published in 1993 and its English translation with an Epilogue: From the Centennial to the Present, Saint Jean Baptiste Parish and the Franco-Americans of Lowell, Massachusetts, published in 2013.
Mme Lorraine Primeau
Franco-American of the Year 2015
Born and raised in the “Little Canada” neighborhood of Lowell, Massachusetts, Lorraine’s mother tongue is French and like all other Franco-Americans of the area she soon became fluent in English. Whenever she uses her French, she says, she does so as a tribute to her grandparents who came to Lowell to work in the mills. To help promote her love of the language she joined Le Cercle Jeanne-Mance 28 years ago and has held the offices of Treasurer, Secretary, served 5 years as President and still remains active as Honorary President. Surprised and humbled by the award, she proposes to continue working to honor the values of her heritage and those of Jeanne-Mance.
Sr. Irene Martineau, s.a.s.v.
Franco-American of the Year 2016
The honor of being named the 42nd Franco-American of the Year by Lowell’s Franco-American Day Committee was awarded to Sister Irene Martineau. A native of Salem, MA she grew up in a French-speaking household with 8 brothers and 3 sisters. At 18 she left home for Nicolet, Québec where she entered the convent of the Sisters of the Assumption (Soeurs de l’Assomption de la Sainte Vierge). Eventually she was assigned to St. Louis-de-France School in Lowell where she taught at the Académie and in the elementary school where she became Principal until her retirement. Throughout her teaching career Sr. Irene strove to give her students a love for French while constantly remembering her mother’s words that a person who is bi-lingual is worth two. She continues her promotion of the French language as a member of the Franco-American Day Committee and by lending assistance to refugees from the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo who have settled in Lowell. In 2015 she was awarded the Cheverus Award by the Archdiocese of Boston for her dedicated service to the church. This year she is the recipient of the Franco-American of the Year award for her promotion of the French language.
M. Kevin Roy
Franco-American of the Year 2017
Monsieur Kevin C. Roy, a native of South Lawrence who now resides with his wife and five children in North Billerica, is Lowell’s 43rd Franco-American of the Year. Between 1991 and 2005 he traveled twice to France and to Québec in search of his genealogical roots. Inspired by his discoveries he joined the Committee in 2010 with the hope of promoting Franco-American culture and heritage and inspiring others to follow suit. He was elected President in 2011 and still holds the office today. In 2008 Kevin undertook the task of restoring the figures of the Grotto on the grounds of the former Franco-American School in Lowell as well as the 22- foot tall crucifix that surmounts it. In 2012 he completed a 3-year restoration project of the Stations of the Cross on the same property. He has dedicated himself to promoting Franco-American history, values and culture not only as a Committee member but also as a guest lecturer. His goal is to expand on the motto of La Province de Québec “Je me souviens!” (I remember!) and have us say “Je me souviendrai !” (I will remember!).
M. Roger Levasseur
Franco American of the Year 2018
“An army travels on its stomach.” is a saying frequently attributed to Napoléon Bonaparte. If Napoléon had this year’s Franco-American of the Year nominee on his staff the French would undoubtedly have done better in the field. Roger Levasseur’s contribution to the promotion of French culture are his culinary skills. Personifying the third generation as owner of Lowell’s famous Cote’s Market, he excels at producing dishes featuring “la cuisine québécoise” as known and loved by all Franco-Americans. We are chagrined to learn that Mr. Levasseur decided to retire this year and the business has been sold. However it is comforting to know the name will not change and Roger will spend some time with the new owner to insure the continued production of our ethnic foods of quality.
Curtis J. LeMay
Franco-American of the year 2019
At one time Curtis LeMay was one of the youngest members of the Franco-American Day Committee. At the young age of 20 you might say that he was totally immersed in the organization as he was digging the hole for the foundation for the Franco-American Monument which stands in front of the Lowell City Hall. Always proud and conscious of his ethnicity, as City Councilor he served on the ad hoc committee to rename Ford Street to Fr. Morissette Boulevard in 1990. Five years later he served as President of the Franco-American Day Committee. A current member of the Greater Lowell Vocational School Committee, Curtis, assisted by his wife, Susan, has been responsible for the annual Flag Raising Ceremonies at the Lowell City Hall to celebrate La Saint-Jean-Baptiste on June 24th.