(Translated by Johanne Boucher, trad. A., Montréal)
Another year is about to end, and it is my pleasure to come to you with this last 2018 message. I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in my name and on behalf of the other members of the Board of directors.
This holiday season allows us time to think back on the year that is ending and to prepare for the coming year. Last June, when we held our summer activity, we realized how difficult it is to attract new members and that lead to changes in our way of managing the association. Therefore, we decided to maximize our use of new communications technologies. We understand some members may not be so enthusiastic about this change, but it really helped the team that writes the newsletter be more efficient.
As we are always looking for ways to foster interest in our association, to maintain our current membership and to attract new members, we are hoping that you will contact us, the Board members, with your ideas and suggestions. We see that social networking tools such as Facebook are very helpful in communicating with Robitaille relatives all over North America and Europe. We wish to continue to feature current Robitaille’s accomplishments as well as historical facts and data. Our Facebook page allows is to reach those of you who live outside Québec and those of you who may not speak French. And to keep the conversation going, we are now providing an English version of the Robitailleries newsletter.
We would like to host events in various regions in order to talk about the association’s goals and provide some genealogical facts on this great family. We would need two or three volunteers to setup a regional event knowing that the Board members are here to help you as well. Please contact us and we will work with you to make this happen. We await your invitation.
The Board members, and I, thank you for your support and hope that we can count on you throughout 2019!
Your president for 2018-2019,
(Translated by David Robitaille, Vancouver)
Greetings Fellow Members
2017 – A Year Focusing on Change and Cohesion
Winter may not be over yet, but it has made its mark; whether through the loss of relatives or friends who were unable to make it to spring, or by the emergence of health problems for some of us following an interminable winter. But, to honor our ancestors, we must continue on our journey and set an example for those who follow us.
Over the past several months, your Association has put considerable energy into planning for the coming years. To this end, changes to our by-laws and regulations will be presented at our next general meeting. Out Association is active and alive despite a small but continuing decrease in our membership. All our projects are carried out by volunteers. We need your support through concrete actions, whether it be the renewal of your annual membership or suggestions for activities and topics of interest to all. We invite you to become proactive and in that way help create vitality in our Association and encourage others to act like you.
Closer to home, the Federation of Quebec Family Associations has suffered a 50 percent cut in government funding in the past two years, and has suspended its operations while seeking funding to resume operations. The Federation acts as the spokesperson and supporter for associations like ours and provides visibility and support for them.
Despite talks and promises of grants, no payments were made in 2016. I attended the annual general meeting of the Federation with René on March 25 to learn how the Federation plans to operate in the future, as many of us are wondering if we should leave the organization or not.
The Board of Directors of the Federation had to make many difficult decisions before it was too late. They let all their employees go, except one, and paid everyone what they were owed. The files were assigned to volunteers, and agreements were made with sub-contractors to continue offering the same services as before.
The Federation is aware that it must review its mission statement and that a new Board of Directors will be responsible for setting objectives, clarifying the financial situation, and finding new funding sources.
On the other hand, we learned that the Federation has contacts and relationships with some twenty active partners including government agencies, archives, libraries, history and genealogy societies, as well as the francophone Canadian, Franco-American, French, and Belgian communities which could be very useful to associations like ours, if they were better known and better used. A strong Federation needs strong associations,
I wish to thank all the generous people who, for many years have contributed to making the Robitaille Family Association both credible and well known. This recognition is shared by all those who engage actively in our Association as active members by participating in our activities and by offering their opinions on how the Association can improve.
May the light and warmth of spring be with us as we strive to realize our fondest hopes!