July 19, 2011
In Halifax, Nova Scotia on July 28, 1755 British Governor Charles Lawrence signed the deportation order setting in motion Le Grand Derangement. “From 1755 to 1763 it is estimated by historians that 7,000 – half of the entire ethnic population of the Acadians – perished during their diaspora from disease, starvation, and neglect, as well as from violence by the British.”
“In 2003, Queen Elizabeth II signed the Royal Proclamation decreeing that every July 28th the world should pause to remember the suffering of the Acadians during the Acadian exile.” By symbolically declaring an end to the Acadian exile, the Royal Proclamation stated: “...we acknowledge these historical facts and the trials and sufferings experienced by the Acadian people during the Great Upheaval.”
Brenda Comeaux Trahan, Curator Director of the Acadian Memorial invites all Louisiana Acadiana/Cajuns and friends to join in the event which is dedicated to the memory of the Acadian victims who died during the years of the deportation. A commemorative mass of reflection by Father Rusty Richard at 7:00 p.m. will be held in the mother church of the Acadians, "St. Martin de Tours". At the conclusion of the service, the church bells will toll during a solemn "candle light" procession of the congregation to the Acadian Memorial Deportation Meditation Garden for prayers under the Deportation Cross.
As part of the day’s events, at 6:00 p.m. at the Acadian Memorial in St. Martinville, the Acadian Museum will honor Ville Platte native and St. Martinville resident Janie Bulliard by inducting her into the “Order of Living Legends.” Janie with co-founder Patricia Resweber, served on the St. Martinville Tourism Commission that established the Acadian Memorial. She chaired the committee that researched and created the Wall of Names and assisted artist Robert Dafford in designing the mural 'The Arrival of the Acadians in Louisiana'. She currently serves on the Centennial Celebration committee commemorating 100 years of the founding of Evangeline Parish including a bronze statue of Longfellow's heroine, the Parish namesake to stand on the courthouse grounds.
(Some information was taken from a letter submitted to the editor July 2008)