After 10 years of research into the Robitaille family, Lorraine Robitaille Samson dreamed of bringing all the Robitailles together in a single organization. Here is how she describes the beginnings of our Association.
I realized that the history of our origins was of great interest to the members of my immediate family: cousins, and so on. On several occasions I asked Mr. Sylvio Héroux, the director of the Federation of Founding Families of Quebec Inc. for information about setting up an association. But before making a decision, I spoke to my brother, René, who lives in Cap Rouge about this, and he told me, “Go ahead, get started. I will be there to help you.” I also spoke to my other brother and my three sisters, and they all told me the same thing.
I would never have begun this adventure without their support.
The first step was to call together a group of 8 to 10 people. I therefore invited René from Cap Rouge, Sylvio Héroux from the Federation, Richard and Christian who live on the ancestral family farm in Ancienne Lorette, Michel who was the director of the Québec-France Association, and Sylvio and his wife, Cecile Rhéaume, both of whom were retired and have since died. My brother, René, invited another René Robitaille, a retired engineer from Québec. We had, as a result, 8 persons for our first founding meeting on September 12, 1988.
The first chairperson of the assembly to establish the Association was Sylvio Robitaille from Beauport. Lorraine was appointed secretary. The Association was established with the name Association of Robitaille Families Inc. The assembly then proceeded to appoint a provisional Board of Directors made up of the following members:
- René Robitaille from Québec, president
- Christian Robitaille, vice president
- Michel Robitaille, treasurer
- Lorraine Robitaille Samson, secretary
- Richard Robitaille, director
- René Robitaille of Cap Rouge, director
We began recruiting members from within our own families. We printed membership application forms and membership card. The membership fee was set at $15 for one year, and $25 for two. In January 1989, we mailed letters of invitation to the Genealogical Society of Québec; to all the Robitailles listed in the telephone directories of Québec, Montréal, Sherbrooke, Joliette, Three Rivers, and the county of Portneuf. As a result of these initiatives we enrolled 62 members.
The Association was founded and rested on solid footings.
Lorraine Robitaille Samson is the true foundress of the Association. It was she who obtained the information from the Federation and called together a core group of Robitailles for the founding meeting. She served as secretary of the Association during the early years from 1989 to 1991. Previously she had authored a book entitled, The Family of Pierre Robitaille from Father to Son in the Seigneury of Gaudarville.
Photo : © Daniel Létourneau