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Club Franco-Américain de Westford

The Franco-American Club was formed by a group of French-Canadian men from the Town of Westford in 1936. Its first President was George Gervais. In 1938 the club was incorporated and Edmond Brulé was elected president. Two years later the members acquired a piece of land from the Abbott Worsted Company of Forge Village in view of building a permanent facility. It was the members themselves who started by digging out the cellar. As luck would have it, the local parish of St. Catherine of Alexandria was also in the process of building and donated the heating system from the old church for use in the soon to be Franco American Club building. It wasn’t until 1944 that the interior of the club was completed and a kitchen was added the following year. The entire cellar was remodeled in 1947. Following a disastrous fire in the mid 90s the remains were razed and a new club building was erected on the same site.

The original purpose of the club, above and beyond being a meeting place for the francophones, was to aid aliens of all nationalities who came to this country seeking citizenship. In 1940, four years after the Franco-American Men’s Club was organized, Mrs. Maxime Ricard and Mrs. Joseph Brulé organized the Franco-American Women’s Club. Its purpose: to assemble the French-speaking people of Westford and work in the interest of these people of French origin.

In June 1948, the women’s club began holding French classes in the hope of perpetuating the language since eight years earlier the rules of the Franco-American Club were changed and meetings began to be held both in French and in English for the benefit of the new generation of young members.

The preceding history is an indication to all Franco-American Club members of the progress that has been made over the years through the efforts of being a united group. As a united group, the club has progressed to what it is today. There are many events too numerous to mention which have been a definite asset to the entire community.

The club prides itself in the many and varied services performed for the people of Westford. These include naturalization classes for those wishing to become American citizens, sponsoring French classes, taught by the Sisters of the Holy Union of Groton, for the children of Westford and fund-raising activities for various charitable organizations and needy families of the town.

[The information for this entry was culled from the undated booklet printed for the 25th Anniversary of the “Club Franco-Américain de Westford, Massachusetts”, the Franco American Club, Forge Village, MA]

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