Matane honours a Red Cross pioneer

Topics: Quebec, Volunteer
September 06, 2012

(Matane, Quebec) September 6, 2012 – On its 75 anniversary, the City of Matane is naming one of its main parks after Mélanie Joncas, a Red Cross pioneer in the region. The announcement will be made official at a large picnic on September 8.
Matane plans to pay tribute to its women in a big way. The six parks that surround the city will be renamed in honour of women who have left their mark on the history of this Gaspé city. One of these parks will henceforth carry the name of Mélanie Joncas (1863-1955), who founded the Canadian Red Cross branch in Matane at the dawn of the First World War in 1914.
Red Cross representative in Matane Gilles Blondeau isn’t surprised, saying “Mélanie Joncas was an innovative woman of action who was heavily involved in the community. Not only did she establish the Red Cross office in Matane, but also a number of other organizations. Mélanie was a true community builder. She established the foundation of a humanitarian organization that has grown and is still very active in the region. We are here to bear witness to it.”

Picnic in Mélanie-Joncas Park

To celebrate this important announcement, the Quebec Division of the Canadian Red Cross invites all volunteers in the region, as well as their family and friends, to a picnic in Mélanie-Joncas Park on Saturday, September 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Mélanie Joncas’ granddaughter (Pauline Beauchemin, 87) and grandson (Paul Beauchemin, 75) will be in attendance. People are invited to bring their chairs, blankets, balloons, and food. Cake, water and juice will be provided. There is no need to confirm your attendance; simply come to the park and take part in the celebration. In the event of rain, the event will take place the following day, on Sunday, September 9.
The event will be an opportunity to share stories with Red Cross representatives, descendants of the Joncas family, and the people of Matane. City Councillor Anick Fortin will introduce Mélanie Joncas’ family members and share some of the remarkable events in the life of this exceptional woman. Gilles Blondeau will discuss the growth of the Red Cross and its programs in the region.
The inauguration of the park will follow an official ceremony (by invitation only), which will include the signing of a guest book. The ceremony will take place in the morning at City Hall. Mélanie-Joncas Park is the old “de la Ronde” park, which is located between rue de la Ronde and rue Goyer, close to rue Joncas.
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