Soeur Henriette Raymond

henrietteHenriette Raymond was born on February 17, 1931 in Sainte-Rose-du-Dégelé (Dégelis) in the County of Témiscouata, Province of Quebec. At the age of thirteen, she enrolled at the Académie de l'Hôtel-Dieu in Saint-Basile, run by the Religious Hospitallers of Saint-Joseph. An artist at heart, she steadfastly promoted and supported culture in the northwest region of New Brunswick over several decades.

After graduating from the Fredericton Teachers College in 1950, she requested her accession to the Congregation of the Hospitallers of Saint-Joseph, and, in 1956, she took her perpetual vows. During the same year, she received her Teacher's License (First Class) followed by a Degree in Gregorian Studies (1963) and a Bachelor of Arts (1972).

In 1953, Sister Henriette began teaching the fifth grade, girls' class at the Académie de l'Hôtel-Dieu. During this period, she also began to teach folklore. In 1956, she became the director of the church choir for the nuns and female students of the college. She also started assisting Father Camille Albert with the Chœur du Madawaska, a mixed choir composed of male students from Saint-Louis and female students from Maillet.

With the construction of the new building that housed the Collège Maillet in 1963, the performing arts expanded. Sister Henriette became involved in theatre and collaborated with mister Gilles-Claude Thériault, professor of theatre and stage director (1962-1974). The plays presented were a success! Notably, many professional troups also performed at the Collège Maillet, among which were le Tétreau de Paris (L'Annonce faite à Marie by Paul Claudel) and la troupe de Jean Duceppe (La Mort d'un commis voyageur by Arthur Miller). High-calibre shows were presented. Les Compagnons de la chanson, Bécaud, Adamo, Mouskouri, Léveillée, Edith Butler, Calixte Duguay, all performed on the Collège Maillet stage.

In 1965, in recognition of her efforts, the superiors of the religious community appointed her Director of Artistic and Cultural Activities at the Collège Maillet. Every year, the dancers presented a show on the college stage, and 1969 became a turning point for the group when it became officially registered under the name Troupe folklorique du Madawaska and was recognized by the Secretary of State of Canada. From that point on, they became increasingly successful. In 1975, the group represented Canada at the XIIIe Festival des Pyrénées in Jaca, Spain and in the southwest of France. The following year, it figured among the representatives of Eastern Canada at the OCOG, for the XXth Olympic Games in Montreal. In 1978, the troupe performs at the XIth Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Alberta.

Sister Raymond's contribution to culture has received public recognition. In 1977, she received the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal. In 1993, she was the recipient of the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada. The Foire Brayonne, during its 10th anniversary, paid tribute to her as one of their pioneers. Collectively, she is acknowledged for her exceptional contribution to the promotion and presentation of arts and culture in the region.

Sister Henriette Raymond died on August 2, 2013 in Bathurst, NB at the age of 82 from Alzheimer's disease. Her funeral was held in the chapel of the Hôtel-Dieu in Saint-Basile and she was laid to rest in the community cemetery.