March 18, 2000                Sainte-Famille Cemetery, Falmouth, Nova Scotia:

For the past three years, the Committee for the Preservation of Sainte-Famille Cemetery, has been working to preserve a little corner of Acadia in Falmouth, Nova Scotia.

It is well documented that before the Deportation of the Acadians from the Pisiquid area, there existed two parishes.  The one on the East side of the Pisiquid (Avon) River was La Paroisse de l'Assomption and the one on the west side of the river was the Paroisse de la Sainte-Famille.  The remains of La Paroisse de l'Assomption have disappeared with the development of the town of Windsor, however, the Sainte-Famille Cemetery, still remains.  It also was in danger of disappearing in a fast growing new subdivision.  At the request of various organizations, a committee was formed and steps were taken to preserve this unique and important archaeological and historic site, located at 419 Gabriel Road, Falmouth.

While visiting the site, you can well imagine the peaceful Acadian villages that existed here.  The fertile land, conducive to good farming, overlooks the Pisiquid River where remnants of Acadian dykes still remain.  Here lived the Comeau, Landry, Boudrot, Trahan, Thibodeau, Forest, Doiron, Gaudet, Hebert, Melanson, Saulnier, LeMire, Roy, LeBlanc, Vincent, Daigre, Babin, Benoit, Duon, Bourgeois, Brun, Breaux, Broussard, Pellerin, Rivet, and LeJeune among many other families.

These ancestral families, whose members  are buried in the Sainte-Famille Cemetery, have waited since 1755 to have this sacred burial ground accessible once more to their many descendants. It is a place for Acadians to reflect on their past and renew their faith in the survival of a unique people and culture.

With generous donations from individuals and associations and assistance from all levels of government, much has been accomplished.  This year an interpretive panel was commissioned.  It will educate visitors and tourists on the rich history of the area.  A commemorative plaque will also be erected and a ceremony will be held in August to re-bury the bones accidentally unearthed during an excavation that led to the rediscovery of the site.

Partial funding for development of the site and for re-interment ceremony is being provided by Nova Scotia Government agencies and the "Canada Millennium Partnership Program."  "Nova Scotia's Acadian past will be celebrated and its ancestors honored by the beautification of this rediscovered burial ground and the erection of a monument" said Honorable Herb Gray, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister responsible for the Government of Canada's millennium initiative.  "The Government of Canada is proud to have supported this project with a contribution of $10,450.00 through the Canada Millennium Partnership Program.

A program continues to develop this site through the "Buy-A-Brick" program.  This is a program whereby descendants of the ancestors buried there can purchase a paving brick with their name, or other name, inscribed thereon for $35.00 US Dollars or $50.00 Canadian Dollars.  The order blank for such bricks can be printed from "Buy-A-Brick."

More information may be had at the website:   www.saintefamille.com

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