LiseMichaudLandryFall was already with us in this early October as your Administration Council held its first meeting on October 5th, in Quebec City. Main issues facing us were brought up and discussed, making this meeting very fruitful.

To those I met at our annual meeting last June 1st, I wish to tell that I am now in good health, and it is with enthusiasm that I undertake this new year.

Through this column, I wish to share with you all the emotions I experienced during the trip to our ancestor's land which Réjean and I went on.

We left Montreal on August 21st to land six and a half hours later in Nantes, France. At the airport we were welcomed by Daniel Michaud, life member of our Association. What a warm welcome it was. Daniel then took us to L'Orbrie, a Fontenay-le-Comte suburb, Fontenay-le-Comte being Pierre Micheau's native city, as well as Daniel's.

Daniel and his wife Marie-France welcomed us with open arms in their stylish house, surrounded by magnificent trees. We felt right at home.

This same day at 3.00 p.m., 1 joined a guided tour hosted by Mrs Marie-Gabrielle Girouard. During this very interesting visit, I learned a lot of information on this town where our ancestor Pierre was born and where he grew up until his departure for Nouvelle-France in 1656, as well as on Notre-Dame Church where he was baptized.

During this guided tour, I met Father Jean-Claude Michaud, Daniel's brother, who is President of Les Michaud of France. I also met Joël, Daniel's brother and his wife Annick, as well as Marie-Noëlle, widow of Christian, Daniel's third brother. Fantastic people with whom I had great pleasure talking.

Once the tour was over, we went to Fontenay's town hall for the unveiling of a plaque recalling our ancestor Pierre. Father Jean-Claude shortly entertained us on the history of the friendship between France's Michauds and Quebec's ones, which goes back to 1954.

Plaque Hommage Pierre Micheau aout2013

Then, along with Fontenay's Deputy Mayor Hugues Fourage, and Father Jean-Claude, I unveiled this magnificent plaque, and read what was engraved on it.

Then I added the following:

« I have insisted that this plate include facts about Marie Ancelin, because the country where I come from was not built by the sole men's strength, but aslo the so very important one of its women ».

The plaque is fixed on a stele installed outside the town hall in a small garden where grow nice flowers. On this stele is also fixed a plaque honouring Marie Rousseau, a Fontenay-le-Comte native who once in Nouvelle-France married Charles Jobin in 1677. Charles Jobin for whom it was a second marriage, is the ancestor of all American Jobin.

Once the plaque was unveiled, the Municipality hosted us with the honour wine, during which I pronounced a short allocution, somewhat emotional.

To the twenty people attending, with great pleasure I offered the AFMI pin, and at the request of Father Jean-Claude, I gave its explanation.

I wish here to recall that all costs concerning the buying of the plate and its engraving where assumed by Fontenay-le-Compte's Municipality which I warmly thanked.

Walking on Georges-Clémenceau Street, an imperative stop was made at « Michaud Chausser », a shoe store operated by four generations of Michauds for the past 99 years, from Daniel's grandfather to his own son Olivier today: a very nice store.

Back to L'Orbrie, a very nice reception awaits us prepared by Marie-France. The gathering includes Mr Christian Cardinaux, Association Vendée-Québec's president and his wife, Messrs. Jean-Paul Macquoin, Jean Micheau, Bernard Ducept, all very interesed by genealogy and history. Also attending were Marie-France and Daniel's son Olivier along with his wife Patricia, and their children Garence and Calixte. Mrs Isabelle Beaussy, genealogist, her husband Christophe and their daughter are also part of the group. What a nice celebration! Everyone is so interesting to listen to, and takes interest in my humble sayings concerning our history, our Association as well Réjean's ancestors, the Landry.

Association Vendée-Québec offered us a magnificent pottery dish recalling their 25th anniversary in 2013 and « Les Michaud de France » offered us a wonderful book on Fontenay-le-Comte origins, its architecture and all. From the bottom of our hearts, many thanks!

Once the celebration was over, carried by my multiple emotions, I cannot help recalling the numerous events of this fantastic day for which I am deeply grateful.

The following day is Friday and I accompany Marie-France for a visit at Nieul sur l'Autise for a tour of the local Abbaye, and the house of Duchess Anne de Bretagne's daughter - a great story! In our ancestors' homeland, history is at every street corner, and history as told by Marie-France is delicious, she is an eminent historian. Thanks Marie-France! Father Jean-Claude joins us for supper, and everyone enjoys the conversation.

Saturday, Réjean, now feeling better, Daniel and I go to Fontenay for a short city tour, from the local Saturday market to the town hall and Notre-Dame church where stands the plaque recalling the trip that took place in 1990 by many members, directed by Françoise Michaud Dufresne whom Daniel calls « our older sister ».

We also had the privilege and joy to consult Daniels's photo albums in which we can find many snapshots of Françoise, Claire, Rosaire, Colette, Blandine and many others always very warmly recalled by Marie-France and Daniel.

During the afternoon, both couples enjoy a ride on the various channels of the Marais Poitevin.

After an early supper, we travel to Puy-du-Fou to enjoy a Light and Sound Show recalling Vendée's history since the French Revolution in 1789. We are moved by the stories of the wars, many of them religious, and most deeply by the two Great Wars, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945, which we remember or have heard of. At he end of the show our tears leave us speechless. It will take a few minutes before we can express our appreciation but also our acknowledgement of the sufferings of Vendée's people through the years. What a magnificent show!

Sunday morning, we attend mass at Notre-Dame, mass concelebrated by Father Jean-Claude Michaud; with great honour and thanks, I accept to read the second scripture. Imagine, I am reading in this church where Pierre Micheau was baptized!

After a delicious lunch given by Father Jean-Claude at Hôtel Le Rabelais, we leave for Brouage, Champlain's native place and make a few discoveries, for example this small chapel where, on a marble plate, we can read that Samuel de Champlain prayed en 1629 after his return to France. Many of the chapel's stained glass windows were donated by the Government of the Province of Quebec.

Then we head on to La Rochelle, where our ancestor and many others embarked to travel to Nouvelle-France. Its three towers are very impressive. However, as weather got rain, we returned to l'Orbrie.

Monday, departure time has come. Daniel takes us back to Nantes where we will take our rented car. With tears in our eyes, we say goodbye to Marie-France and Daniel.

I wish here to pay tribute to our hosts Marie-France and Daniel. They are exceptional hosts, full of generosity, attention and commitment; we will never thank them enough. We have created strong and lasting ties together and my greatest wish is that in return, we will have the opportunity to welcome them at home.

I hope that you appreciate my story as much as I was pleased to write it.

Lise Michaud Landry, President (no 1375)

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