Will celebrate tercentenary in 2013
By Robert Frank
Claude Arsenault welcomed city council’s decision, Dec. 3, to designate parts of Pointe Claire Village as a historic site.
The president of the Société pour la Sauvegarde du Patrimoine de Pointe-Claire said that the city will hold an information meeting at 7:30 p.m., Jan. 23, and urged as many citizens as possible to attend the gathering in order to support the proposal.
“We need to ensure that this site is well-preserved for generations to come,” he enthused, “so we can showcase how the village evolved over the course of three centuries.”
“The windmill was built in 1709 and, after that the first church—which was very important in that era,” he told The Suburban in an interview. “Next came the fort, followed by the first houses around the fort.”
Arsenault explained that the windmill, the church, the presbytery and the convent will be designated historic sites, as will the adjacent elementary school. He added that over the years more than 5,000 people were buried in the church cemetery, which was relocated in 1948.
The Pointe Claire heritage society is run entirely by dedicated volunteers. They plan to mark the village’s 300th birthday next year and have been raising funds to publish a definitive history of the city entitled Pointe Claire 1713-2013 in time to coincide with the tercentennial.
“So far we have invested more than 16,000 hours of research preparing the book,” Arsenault said. “It’s a very serious undertaking involving historians Hélène Lamarche and Luc Lepine, as well as many other contributors.”
A lifelong Pointe Claire resident, the former cabinetmaker founded the heritage society twelve years ago and has worked full-time for the past five years to advance the organization’s objectives of preserving and communicating the city’s rich history.
“We needed a vision for how to protect and highlight a truly fine example of our country’s history,” Arsenault concluded.
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