The Franco-American Collection recently received a donation of artifacts from the Lewiston chapter of Richelieu International, following its closure in 2010. The donation includes dozens of photographs and documents from the club's fifty-year history, as well as the official symbols of the organization, such as the club banner, collection bowl and chairman's gavel.
Image: (Front:) Roger Mailhot, Jean-Robert Maheu and (Back) Mario Gendron with Coordinator James Myall
The donation will augment the Collection's existing holdings of Richelieu material donated by past members. In addition, the Collection already holds material on other local social clubs, including the Association Canado-Américaine and the Institut Jacques Cartier. "Fraternal organizations like the Richelieu played a vital role in supporting Franco-American culture in Lewiston-Auburn" says Collection Coordinator James Myall. "They also counted many prominent locals as members, and both of these properties make them interesting to researchers. We're very pleased to add the Richelieu material to the Collection."
The donation was made by some of the last members of the Richelieu before its disbandment - Mario Gendron, Roger Mailhot and Jean-Rober Maheu of Lewiston. The late Daniel Isabel, who was the final president of the club, and the late Vincent Leblanc, who served as secretary and treasurer, were also instrumental in bringing the donation to the Collection. Richelieu International began in Ottawa, Canada, in 1945 and now has organizations in most French-speaking areas worldwide. The Lewiston chapter opened in 1960, and for fifty years supported local children and families, encouraging the French language and appreciation of French culture.
The Franco-American Collection would like to invite anyone with artifacts or memorabilia from the Club Richelieu to consider donating them to the Collection. Call 207-753-6545 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.