Marie-Louise began her talk by welcoming Rotarians in 5 different languages! She is a true Canadian as her history goes back a few hundred years to 1660 when her ancestors first arrived in Canada. Mary-Louise’s French-Canadian personal history began when she was born in Blind River in 1950. Her father came from a family of 13 children and her mother a family of 10 which translates into her having over 100 first cousins. Growing up in a large family provided Marie-Louise with strong family bonds and this is why family is a very important part of her life.

Marie-Louise’s adult life began when she attended Laurentian University to major in languages which up until that point was a big part of her life having grown up in a town that was a blend of both English and French. It was at Laurentian where she met her husband David. Marie-Louise began teaching in Toronto which was really too big a city at that time for someone from Blind River. From this teaching position, an opportunity opened up in Ottawa where she enjoyed a slower pace than she experienced in Toronto. From there, her path finally found her building a life in Hamilton. For many years, Marie-Louise taught at Académie catholique Mère-Teresa (French language school). She was quite taken by the school. It was not a very affluent school but she loved it. The school served a refugee population that included those from Africa. Marie-Louise found this teaching position a very enriching experience. Upon retirement, she recalls being affectionately called “Mama Africa” by the African parents….this was very emotional for her and she describes it as the best part of her career.

Jumping forward to 2015, Marie-Louise was skeptical about joining Rotary but after several months of being part of the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club, she now feels privileged to be here. Says Marie-Louise, “My father in-law would be tickled to see me here today as he was also a Rotarian in Dundas!” Marie-Louise ended her presentation with a thank you in multiple languages. She was formally thanked by Jessica Brennan.