Founded in 1902
(The following is taken from information published in the 100th Anniversary program book, April 2002.)
The game of Whist was very popular in 1902. A group of Franco-Americans of Lowell enjoyed the game very much. They decided on April 24, 1902 to start an association, which was named le Club Passe-Temps. The idea of this association was to start a Whist tournament between themselves and other organizations. They rented space at the Frontenac Hall to have a home base to play other associations. The Club Passe-Temps was the victor. The club also played tournaments against other clubs from Lawrence, Haverhill and Nashua and established itself as one of the finest Franco-American clubs in Massachusetts.
In the year 1914, le Club Passe-Temps donated $100.00 for a window in St. Jean the Baptist Church on Merrimack Street. This window is located near the altar of the church and represents St. Simon, one of the twelve apostles, who is the patron saint of patience and sports. Since his birthday is the 28th of October, it is celebrated on the same day as St. Jude.
In 1940, the club ran a picnic for the Franco-American Orphanage at Canobie Lake Park. The club donated all expenses for transportation by bus for the nuns and children.
In 1945, the members donated $600 for a gala festival at Canobie Lake Park for the nuns and children from the Franco-American Orphanage. The chairman for this event, M. Lionel (Patsy) Labeche, was assisted by Mr. Romeo Poitras, Arthur Boutiette, William (Bill) Arcand and Mr. George Rochette, club president. The meal was a full turkey dinner with all the trimmings followed by cake and ice cream for dessert. Later that year Le Club Passe-Temps threw another party at the orphanage, which featured movies, cake and ice cream.
The club was noted for its charitable donations to the Franco-American Orphanage, St. Jean-Baptiste Church, St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Marist Brothers and others.
In 1948, the club purchased the building, which they presently occupy, located at 371 Moody Street, Lowell, MA. In 1952, the club celebrated its 50th anniversary with a Sports Night, a Ladies Night, a Special Members Night and a Gala Banquet at the club quarters under the supervision of President Mr. George Rochette.
In 1977, the club purchased land next to the club for a parking lot and installed a memorial and flagpole, which they dedicated to the Franco-American Veterans and its members.
Le Club Passe-Temps celebrated its 75th anniversary with a week of events from November 4th to the 7th in 1976. The festivities ended with a Diamond Jubilee Banquet with club member, former Mayor of Lowell and City Councilor, Armand W. LeMay as Master of Ceremonies. The guest speaker was Congressman and club member Paul E. Tsongas who later became a United Statespresidential candidate. Club member, Father Armand Morissette, O.M.I., gave the benediction. The 75th Anniversary Committee, under the direction of General Chairman, Henry (Hank) Frechette included Ernest Brunelle, Ernest (Doc) Dube, Thomas Descoteaux and Gerald Paquette. At that time the president of the club was Raymond Brunet, Jr. His board consisted of Roger Paquette, Robert Descoteaux, Cliff Koziol, Mike Descoteaux, Donald Frenette, Robert Hebert, Gerald Paquette and Donald Harvey.
The celebration in honor of the Installation of Officers in 1986 became an even more joyous event when the President, David Ouellette, invited the gathering to witness the burning of the club mortgage.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the club facilities were updated and renovated in stages. Central air conditioning and a new lounge were added. Ceilings, floors and all restrooms in the members’ quarters and function hall were refurbished and a new roof covered the building.
Le Club Passe-Temps presently has 340 members and is still growing. We have an annual Christmas Party for the kids, members’ outing in August, plus various parties and Band Nights throughout the year. The members of Le Club Passe-Temps help to make our community of Lowell, Massachusetts, an All American City, a better place and we are pleased to assist local charities and organizations with our donations.
The Passe-Temps Club’s Tigeroos, a softball team managed by Paul (Tiger) Frechette was entered into the Lowell league in 1949. The team members included Fred Lefevre, Louis Capone, Willie Rondeau, Cass Castle, Henry (Hank) Frechette, Pierre (Muggsy) Noel, Roland (Fido) Croteau, Ernest (Doc) Dube, Leo (Tarsy) Sasseville, Harry Allen and Louis Cote. The Tigeroos were City Champions for three consecutive years from 1949 to 1951. In 1952 they won both the Massachusetts Class A Tournament and the Massachusetts Class A Championship. The team ceased to exist in the 1980. Over the years the Tigeroos played many exhibition games from which all the proceeds were donated to the Jimmy Fund.
In 1954 the Club Passe-Temps started a bowling league consisting of four teams.
The league doubled its size the following year and enjoyed 25 years of making the pins fall every Sunday afternoon at the C.M.A.C. on Pawtucket Street.
Despite the fact that the Committee for the Acquisition of a Pool Table recommended the club NOT buy one at the 10 January 1903 meeting, some of the best pool players in the city of Lowell emerged from the ranks of the Club Passe-Temps membership. In 2001 the club entered the Budweiser National Pool Tournament and walked away with the Division Championship. Participants included Bryan Southworth, Kevin Garneau, Jimmy Garneau, Paul Brassard, Jerry Marion, Billy O’Brien and Jean (Jeano) Bedard. “Jeano” received the TOP
The dart league, The Passe-Temps Frogs, has won numerous division championships. Its members include Dennis Garneau, Dennis Garneau, Jr., Kevin Garneau, Robert Desrosiers, Vern Marshalea Jr., and Ed Mehigan, Jr. A former president of the Club Passe-Temps, Paul Frechette, became a cityboxing champion under the name of The Blonde Tiger.
In Arm Wrestling, Club Passe-Temps member Paul (Butch) Ouellette earned several championships including the City of Lowell, the State of Massachusetts and that of New England. He went on to participate on the national level on Wide World of Sports.