Robitaille Park

In order for a park to be named Robitaille Park and located on the ancestral family land, a number of people had to be involved. The person who took on the major responsibility for making this dream a reality was none other than our first president, René from Quebec. Here is a brief history of the park, as told by René:

 

A long time ago, my father showed me this old house, located at the end of a small road leading to Holy Family Road, and said that "this was the home of our Robitaille ancestors." Once we formed the Association, I tried to find this "old house at the end of the road." I found it in the middle of a new residential development. I went to the developer's office where I saw on the wall, the development plan for the project. It had, in the centre, a space colored green. I realized that this was the site for a proposed park, because the City of Sainte-Foy requires that developers set aside 10% of a property being developed for the city for development as a park. This also confirmed what Ovila Robitaille had told us earlier: that a park had been planned in the neighborhood. So, I said to myself:

This park should obviously be called Robitaille Park since it is located on the ancestral property of the Robitailles.

I undertook an approach to Mr. Serge Forest, Director of Municipal Services, and with City Councilor Guy Filllion who told me quite simply to submit a written request to the city.

The request was made and, finally, on August 7, 1989 the City of Sainte-Foy in Resolution 39727, moved by Mr. Guy Fillion and seconded by Mr. Gaston Paradis unanimously approved the following motion:

That the park located in Area 3 of Gaudardville be named Robitaille Park. …

 

it was on this land, therefore, that we unveiled our monument on August 1, 1993.

 

René plante un arbre au Parc Robitaille
Planting of a symbolic maple tree in 1995 between the monument and a large apple tree.

 

Vue du Parc
General view of the park on the occasion of a rally. Note the significant vegetation in the background.

 

The Monument in Robitaille Park

Description of the Monument

MonumentThe monument is not a gravestone, it is a sculpture that was planned to be viewed from all sides. From every angle is has a somewhat different appearance.

Imagine a monument …

By André, from Sillery, architect and city planner (retired)

But first try to understand the scope of the project

On the land which was granted to our ancestors in 1670, in Champigny, our father used to tell us as we passed there, "This is the house where you grandfather Amédée spent his childhood years, …"

Now Robitaille Park in Saint Foy. Tall trees shading the Saint Michel brook and the surrounding property, a stone slab that is in harmony with the landscape.

A recreational park. Children playing in the area. The past meets the future… stone walls to climb, slides, jumps…games in space.

It must not be a funerary epitaph…But to have inscribed the family coat of arms here, the chevron, pyramid symbol of eternity, Artois joined with Perche, the plough and its blade, the wheat, a dove, from the sea to the brook…A hymn to "Work and Pride", a free movement which is open on all sides…We offer ourselves granite, that proud material, colors, but strict limitations on shapes. Here I am at my drawing board: fill the paper with ideas, move around little models of stones made by hand; soon simple shapes impose themselves on me; a strong base: the land to be cleared, to inhabit, to cultivate; the triangle, the blade; in pink that dominates, a sloping rectangle: "…a house of pieces of wood, one on top of the other, one storey only, floor made of planks, and covered in straw…" the black granite, heavy boulders in the field to be worked.

I must balance these shapes, make them equal, move them around: a discovery of polygons playing with fantasy, which stretches toward infinity…Now draw this model as a blueprint, with elevations, for a careful executor, and, on well-laid foundations, a difficult positioning with these heavy blocks, so much attention…and a proper and showy unveiling for Robitailles everywhere.

To see there all of this, but as you wish, a car, a belfry…things that the imagination is able to dream.

Where did these blocks of granite come from?

The pink granite, in the form of a trapezoid, comes from the Lake St. John region, north of Alma. The pale grey, in the form of a triangle, comes from the Eastern Townships. The black, in the shape of a deformed cube, also comes from the Lake St. John region. And the base, greenish in color, was taken from the Rock River (Rivière-à-Pierre) quarry, in Portneuf county.

What the monument might signify.

Everyone can give his or her own interpretation. In my case, I see

  • the pink granite in the form of a trapezoid is the house, the shelter, the hearth, in a word the centre of family life;
  • the pale grey triangle is the church, the belfry where families gather to fraternize and to pray;
  • the magnificent black block is a stylized rock from the fields, representing all those stones that were removed to clear the land and which were used to build houses and even the church. We can still see these rocks in the Saint-Michel brook, at the bottom of the park land;
  • and the greenish granite base, is the foundation of the family, the parish, the city, and the country.

The monument therefore represents the symbol of the work of some ten generations on this ancestral land. It is moreover an example of generosity on the part of those who produced it. It will therefore promote pride in being a member of the Robitaille family as is expressed so well in our motto: WORK AND PRIDE (TRAVAIL ET FIERTÉ).

Construction of the Monument

The monument was erected thanks to our donor and builders who gave, not money, but materials and labor.

They are:

  1. For the concept, that is the plan, André architect and city planner,
  2. For the plan for of the structure of the base in reinforced concrete, Jean, engineer with BPR Consultants,
  3. For construction of the base and installation of the granite, David and his two sons Jacques and Michel,
  4. For supplying the granite, including cutting, polishing, and transporting from the factory in Alma, Paul-Eugène and his children,
  5. And for improvements to the park area, the City of Sainte-Foy.

We sincerely thank these builders for their generous contributions to the erection of our family monument.

Théodore Robitaille's Gravestone

Les artisans de la restauration de la plaque de Théodore
The three artisans of the restoration of Lieutenant Governor Théodore Robitaille's gravestone: René, president of the Association in 2002-2003, Paul-Eugène who provided the plaque and saw to its installation, and past president René who oversaw the project.

The Honorable Théodore Robitaille can rest in peace.

Yes, this noble representative of the Robitaille family, who was lieutenant governor of Quebec from 1879 to 1894, can rest in peace. And this is thanks to the tenacity of our past president, René of Quebec. For several years, René had noticed that Théodore Robitaille's gravestone had been vandalized and was falling into ruins. Having learned that Theodore had no descendants to look after the upkeep of the gravesite at Belmont Cemetery in Quebec, René undertook several initiatives to ensure that this memento of our heritage was not forgotten.

Our Association supported him in these endeavors and agreed to become the owner of the cemetery plot and responsible for its future upkeep. The monument had to be restored because the bronze letters had disappeared making it almost impossible to read. With the research under way, Paul-Eugène Robitaille, from the Granicor Company and, at that time, one of the directors of our Association, offered his help in carrying out the restoration. He prepared a granite plaque with the inscription engraved in the stone making it more resistant to bad weather, and he had the plaque installed on the original monument. All of this was done free of charge by our friend Paul-Eugène.

The plaque bears the following inscription:

The Honorable
Théodore Robitaille
1834 — 1897
Lieutenant Governor
of the Province of Québec
From 1879 to 1884

The restoration made it possible to correct an error in the original inscription. It had shown 1898 as the date of Théodore's death. However, official documents indicate that he died on August 18, 1897 at the age of 63. Théodore can now truly rest in peace.

Thanks to our past president, René, and to Paul-Eugène for their help in preserving this collective souvenir.

On August 3, 2003 the Board of Directors met with Paul-Eugène at the Belmont Cemetery for the official unveiling of this funerary monument. Then the group met at Robitaille Park to mark the tenth anniversary of the monument commemorating the arrival of the Robitaille families on the ancestral land in 1670. On that occasion, the president also met with all those who helped in the creation of that monument in 1993.

Memorial Plaque in L'Ancienne-Lorette (Old Lorette)

Inauguration de la plaque souvenir
Autorités politiques et de l'Association lors de l'inauguration de la plaque souvenir à L'Ancienne-Lorette

Plaque souvenirRobitailles having been among the first settlers of L'Ancienne-Lorette, and our ancestor Pierre having been a strong supporter of the work of Father Chaumonot, the Association used the occasion of the 1995 rally to render homage to the contribution of Robitailles for 325 years of living in this community by unveiling a monument in Chaumonot Park only a few minutes away from the steps of the church in L'Ancienne-Lorette. The bronze plaque bears the following message:

1670 - 1995
In memory of the first Robitailles who arrived in America and established the city of L'Ancienne-Lorette in 1670