CMA 2014 TERRIOT REUNION: Unbelievable but it’s history!

Couleur PantoneFor the past two years, many of us have been very preoccupied with planning, writing and organizing for the CMA 2014 Reunion of the Terriot family. And now, it is over… history!  I can’t believe it. But what we have are some very sweet memories, many new friends and a few more cousins than we thought we had.


J. Ralph Theriault (left) and George Michaud (facing away standing next to J. Ralph) teaming up to tell the story of John Baker and his mill, as well as the very interesting story of the three ton water turbine found in the vicinity of the old Don Fraser mill by the Société historique et culturelle de Baker Brook. The conferencees are standing where the old Timiscouata railway once was. On the left is the beautiful St John River.

Many people go for the parades, the partying and the various cultural events that the CMA organizes so well. And those are alot of fun but I get a giant kick from meeting new cousins and friends and connecting with them. That is huge fun and those connections last for years.

During the ‘Retrouvailles’ in New Brunswick in 1994, in an interview by Barbara Leblanc, Director of Grand-Pré, Clive Doucet, author of ‘Notes from Exile, On Being Acadian‘ said:

“To me, connections are what these academic meetings and family reunions are all about. We’re trying to expand the heart and soul of Acadie, back in time and also forward. Back to the places where we have come from and forward to the times to come. That’s why we’re here, to make connections with each other that we need to take with us into the future, not just as individuals, but as a people. The speeches (will be forgotten) but the connections between people that are happening now, between you and me, between people from the States, from Ontario, from Québec, at family reunions in Shediac, Richibucto, Cocogne and so on, they will endure. They will make a difference.” 


J. Ralph Theriault telling the story of the first mill in the Madawaska territory built by Nathan Baker in 1817. Unfortunately, Nathan died at an early age so his brother John who had settled in St Francois du Madawaska, moved to the Baker Brook settlement and continued the operation of Nathan’s mill. Recently, the Société H&C de Baker Brook commissioned the metal sculpture and monument to focus on John Baker and the very interesting role he played in Baker Brook history.

In any case, it was fun guys. I’m already looking forward to CMA 2019 wherever it will take place.

But back to reality, I am making an appeal to any who attended the conference at Baker Brook and at Fort Kent. If you took photos, please send copies to me at TERRIOT@TERRIAU.ORG.  I would immensely appreciate your generosity.

Also, for those who were not able to attend the Terriot Reunion Conferences, we just posted the text and handouts from the conferences both for Guy Theriault’s presentation and mine. You will find them in ‘Our Document Library‘ of our website.


Just a short note to talk about the upcoming Theriault Reunion activities.

We just finished a brochure that we will pass out to all who join us in Baker Brook and Fort Kent for the conference. (I thought you might appreciate downloading a copy here.) As a reminder, the Baker Brook Conference will be in French and Fort Kent will be in English. Please note the slight changes in the schedule of activities.

I am especially looking forward to the Baker Brook Conference on the morning of Saturday, 16 August at 10am (Atlantic Time). When you think about it, we will be sitting in the church of Saint Coeur de Marie which was built from the very wood that our grandfather, Joachim fabricated with his mill in 1925. And of course, that was his church… this is where he, Grandmère and their children would go on Sunday mornings for Holy Mass. For many years, he was a member of the Choir and of course they sang in Latin!  Now remember that this was a man, who could neither read nor write. He was a phenomenal man… when you consider that building and operating mills requires the expertise of a physicist and certainly someone who understands geometry and the physics of pulleys, wheels, the horsepower of water wheels, turbines and all of that. For sure Joachim and his father, Joseph were special men.

So, this is a great honor for us to spend time together to talk about Joachim and his father Joseph, about those wonderful Religieuses Hospitalières de St Joseph who were responsible for bringing health care to Madawaska and to talk about some of the other Theriault’s who made things happen.

In addition to the Conference, there are also the Tours of our heritage villages:  St Basile, St Jacques, Baker Brook and Ste Luce.  Of course, the Tour of St Jacques will focus on our branch with Charles, Dolphis, Joseph and Joachim.  We’ll first gather in St Jacque to talk about Charles’ arrival there in 1823 and about the 170 acres he was granted (almost all of present-day St Jacques). Then, we’ll go to Moulin Morneault and talk about how the Theriault’s and the Morneault’s came to develop the milling industry and the lumber mills of the area. We’ll see where Grandpère Joseph and his bride, Théogenie raised their family.

I need your help to pass the word around… let’s get all those youngsters who may not have heard much about our family.  To make sure that a place will be reserved for you, please make sure that you register. It’s quick and it’s easy.





Let me know if you have any problems or questions.  I appreciate your help.


On a fun visit recently, I snapped this interesting shot.

Claude Theriault, tells us that our guys in the photo below are (left to right)  “Ti-Mer, one of Ino’s neighbours, Théo and Ino at Don Robinson and Guy Thériault’s camp at the Summit in la Riviere Verte. It was Théo’s moose license.”  Thanks, Claude!

To explain where this photo came from:  Last fall (October 2012), I was visiting with Ino in their hunting lodge on their land in Grand Isle, Maine. He took me for a little tour of the lodge where I saw this photo hung on the wall upstairs. It caught my eye right away. So, I took a photo of it.

(To get a closer look, click on photo.)



[Traduction française suit]

For those living in the Madawaska region whether Maine or New Brunswick;  if you would like to make your home available to CMA guests… like a ‘down home Bed & Breakfast’, the CMA organization would like to hear from you. If you would prefer to open your home only to our Terriot/Theriault cousins, the Terriots of Louisiana, California, Alaska and other states and provinces, please send me your information and I will list it on this website.

This is an opportunity for you to meet other members of the family and also an opportunity to make some serious money. The motels in the area are becoming fully booked and this would also be a good way to offer some hospitality to our distant cousins. And also, it will be many years before the CMA returns to the Madawaska region.

For the last CMA which was held in Caraquet, Rosemary and I rented a bedroom in a three bedroom home. The owners were very charming and the wife was good with food. Typically, a small breakfast is offered as part of the arrangement and they made their living room open to their guests. It is as though you were putting up members of your own family… same sort of arrangement.

The CMA opens on 8 August and runs for 3 weeks. Go to this CMA website to register with the CMA. Once they list you, people will call to make their arrangements with you.  If you would prefer to list only with our website, send me an e-mail by clicking on this link.

As with the CMA, we will list your name and contact information on our main Terriot website.


Pour ceux qui vivent dans la région du Madawaska si Maine ou du Nouveau-Brunswick , si vous aimerais metre votre maison disponible à nos cousins et visiteurs CMA … comme une «Bed & Breakfast » , l’organisation CMA aimerait vous entendre. Si vous préférez ouvrir votre maison seulement pour nos TERRIOT / Theriault cousines, les Terriots de la Louisiane , en Californie , en Alaska et dans d’autres états et provinces , s’il vous plaît envoyez-moi vos coordonnées et je vais énumérer sur ce site .

C’est une bonne occasion pour vous de rencontrer d’autres membres de la famille et aussi une occasion de faire un petit peu d’argent. Les motels de la région sont de plus en plus complets et ce serait également un bon moyen d’offrir l’hospitalité à nos lointains cousins ​​. Et aussi , il faudra de nombreuses années avant le Congrès revient à la région du Madawaska.

Pour le dernier CMA qui a eu lieu à Caraquet, Rosemary et moi avons loué une chambre dans une maison de trois chambres . Les propriétaires étaient très charmant et la femme était bonne avec de la nourriture . Typiquement, un petit déjeuner est offert dans le cadre de l’arrangement et ils ont fait leur salon ouvert à leurs invités. C’est comme si vous mettiez en place les membres de votre propre famille … même genre d’ arrangement.

Le CMA ouvre le 8 Août et dure 3 semaines. Allez sur ce site web du CMA pour vous inscrire auprès de la CMA . Une fois qu’ils vous énumérer , les gens vont appeler pour prendre leurs dispositions avec vous . Si vous préférez à la liste uniquement avec notre site Web , envoyez moi un courriel en cliquant sur ce lien .

Comme avec le CMA , nous allons inscrire votre nom et vos coordonnées sur notre grande site web Terriot.


I was pleasantly surprised two nights ago, to hear from our cousin, Jacques Martin, son of ‘mon oncle’ Gérard and ‘ma tante’ Thérèse Thériault Martin.  We spent the better part of an hour on the phone catching up on each other’s lives. Jacques lives in the state of Washington with his lovely wife, Kim. They have two children, a daughter, Michelle Nicole, who is married and a college graduate; and a son, André Jacques, who is in his last year of college studies. Jacques is a Navy man through and through. After serving in the Navy for a number of years, he went back to work for the Navy as a civil servant. Today, he enjoys a pretty lofty position with the local Navy command. Both he and Kim are in good health and enjoying life in the northwest.

Jacques is the third child and third son of ‘mon oncle’ Gérard Martin and ‘ma tante’ Thérèse.  ‘Mon oncle’ and ‘ma tante’ married on 28 May 1946 in Edmundston and had five children, Roger (1948), Guy (1949), Jacques (1950), Diane (1957) and Jean (1959).  We lost ‘ma tante’ Thérèse in 1979 and most recently, ‘mon oncle’ passed away in Madawaska, Maine. A burial service is planned for May 28th in Fort Fairfield, Maine. Our cousin, Gilmay Theriault Michaud has the details.

I met Jacques and Kim in California while Rosemary and I were on assignment on the Air Force Space Shuttle Program at Vandenberg AFB in 1978. We had taken a weekend to visit with Oneil and his family in Orange County when Jacques dropped in for a brief visit. They lived not too far away in Santee in the suburbs of San Diego. I recognized him immediately because of his very strong Theriault features and good looks. 🙂  We hit it off very well and for the 10 years that we were in California, we visited each other quite frequently but after we moved back to New England… well, it was a little tough contacting Jacques. He was a very busy man.

Anyway, talking to Jacques, I remembered that I had planned to publish a recording that ‘mon oncle’ Remi and ‘tante’ Georgette made available to me a couple of years ago. So, I thought I would write up a short article to tell you about the recording and also to make the recording available to you. Hope you enjoy it.

(Note:  I divided the recording into sixteen (16) files which I am making available in this posting. You may download each file and save all files onto a CD if you wish, or simply keep it on a hard drive on your computer.  Scroll to the very end of this posting for the 16 links that will allow you to download each file.)


It was spring of 1959 and ‘ma tante’ Thérèse gave birth to her last child, a boy who they baptized ‘Joseph Jean Martin’. He was named ‘Jean’ after his godfather. The family later called him ‘Johnny’. He was born at the Hotel-Dieu hospital in Edmundston, New Brunswick on 3 April and was baptized Sunday, 5 April. According to Sister Marie Ange Thériault, Doctor Sormany attended to ‘ma tante’ Thérèse and delivered  infant Jean.  (At that time, the Religieuses Hospitalières de St Joseph still owned the two hospitals in the area, the one in St. Basile of course and the new one in Edmundston that was built by Soeur Morneault, daughter of Charles Morneault and our grand-aunt Pélagie Thériault.)

Later in the week (probably Sunday evening, 12th April), the Joachim Thériault family organized a ‘soirée’ in one of the halls in the Sanitorium for Thérèse, celebrating her new baby boy. The Sisters of St Joseph had accepted Thérèse into their hospital in Edmundston. After Jean was born, the Sisters kept the baby at the hospital for 10 days and brought Thérèse to a room in the Sanitorium where she stayed during that time. Afterward, she went to live with Georgette and Rémi to recuperate.

The whole family came and gathered at the Sanitorium in St. Basile where Sister Marie-Ange Thériault worked as a nurse in the Tuberculosis wing of the hospital.  There they had a hall large enough to accommodate the family and a good piano. Mémére Theriault was not feeling well at that time. I believe that she was actually in the hospital there at the Hotel Dieu at the time of this soirée because she died three months later on 9 July 1959.

20000004aThe members of the family who were present included: Leanne and Martin Marquis, Denie and Yvette Theriault, Theo and Anne ‘Mimi’ Theriault who were still newly-wed the year before. I think that Simone Theriault was there although she lost ‘mon oncle’ Thaddée earlier in January. Irma was there to represent ‘ma tante’ Annette’s family. Félix ‘Fattie’ and Gabbie Theriault were there along with Rita Theriault Bonsant. ‘Mon oncle’ Fred had died just a few months before in September 1958. George and Yvette Theriault were there along with Georgette and Rémi Cyr, Sister Marie-Ange Theriault, Joe and Thérèse Theriault and Jeannine and Bea Levesque. (Note: Please let me know if I missed anyone. I have conflicting notes that Grace might also have been there playing piano. This was four years before she and John Cole married.)

The entire program was recorded by ‘mon oncle’ Remi Cyr who kept the recording safe over the many years since then. It was our cousin Nelson Theriault who made me aware of the recording and well, long story short, ‘mon oncle’ and ‘ma tante’ let me borrow the tape so that I could digitize it and share it with the family. And so, here we are 54 years later!

First, the Master of Ceremonies (MC) for the program was ‘mon oncle’ Remi and the pianist was Cecile Thériault, of the Theriault’s of St. Basile… distant relatives of our Theriault family which originated in St- Jacques in 1821.

A brief note:  if you know the name of a song in the program that I did not identify, please let me know in a comment below. Or, if you have any knowledge of some of the events in this program, please let me know. I would be delighted to add those details to our notes here for everyone to enjoy.


(Click on the track links to start the audio. A new window will open with the audio player. You may minimize that window and continue reading here.)

Track 1:  Introduction and Opening Piece.  ‘Mon Oncle’ Remi opens the program and introduces Cecile Thériault of St. Basile who plays the first piece of piano music:

“Bonsoir, tout le monde. Je commence par un fait qui est assez bonne de nous donnez l’occasion  de nous réunir pour pouvoir fête Thérèse, madame Gérard Martin qui a eu le bonheur de donner naissance a un gros garçon, le 3 de avril passe.  Ce petit bonhomme a été baptisé dimanche passe sur le nom de joseph jean et ont le donne ce nom en honneur de son parrain. Donc, ont a assez parlez et maintenant, tous le monde s’arrive. Toute la famille Theriault est ici. Ils sont assez nombreux pour emplir le rouleau. Le temps est ici. Cécile va jouer.”

“Good evening, everyone. I start with an event that is good enough to give us the opportunity to come together in order to feast Therese, Mrs. Gerard Martin who had the honor of giving birth to a big boy, on 3 April. This little guy was baptized last  Sunday with the name of ‘Joseph Jean’. His name is in honor of his godfather.  So, we have talked enough. Everyone is coming. The entire Theriault family is here. They are enough to fill the entire attendance list. So, the time is here. Cecile will play.”

Track 2:  Ave Maria. Soeur Marie Ange Thériault.   Remi:

“Maintenant Soeur Thériault va nous chanter quelque chose. Je penses que c’est ‘Ave Maria’.

“And now, Sister Thériault will sing a song. I think it is ‘Ave Maria’.

Track 3:  Georgette Thériault Cyr and Cécile Thériault at the piano.  (Does anyone recognize the song?) Remi:

“Madame Cyr et Mademoiselle Thériault vont nous jouer quelque chose.”

“Mrs Cyr and Miss Thériault will play something for us.”

Track 4:  Remi Cyr and Cécile Thériault at the piano “Sur La Route de Berthier”.

“La c’est mon tour pour chanter la. Je va faire ma part.”

“Now, it’s my turn to sing. I will do my part.”

Track 5:  Thériault Family and Cécile Thériault at the piano “Le Vieux Sapin”.

Track 6:  Thériault Family and Cécile Thériault at the piano lead by Theo Thériault “Alouette”.

Track 7:  Rémi Cyr singing “Le Cordonnier”.

Remi says “Durant que c’est chaud la, on va chanter du Cordonnier.”

“While everyone is warmed up, we will sing ‘Le Cordonnier (The Shoemaker)’

Track 8:  Georgette Thériault Cyr, Sister Marie-Ange Thériault and Cécile Thériault at the piano, “Partons, La Mer est Belle!”

Track 9: Rémi Cyr singing “Souvenir d’un Viellard /Memories of an Elder”

Track 10:  Cécile Thériault on the piano. Song is unknown.

Track 11:  Thérèse Thériault Martin addresses her family.

“Je profit de l’occasion pour remercier spécialement la Sœur Supérieure et Sœur Thériault qui ont été si bonne pour moi et toute ma famille. Quesqu’ils ont faite pour moi. Je suis très heureuse.  Je va me bien souvenir pour longtemps. Merci.  Et je va dire un mot spécialement à Bea. Il a venue me chercher dans le fond à Kilburn. Jeannine voulait s’en allez et elle a vu que Bea avait defoncer le plancher avec sa chaise berceuse!”

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank especially the Mother Superior and Sister Thériault who has been so good to me and my family. What they have done for me. I am very happy and I will remember well for a long time. Thank you. And I will say a special word to Bee. He came to pick me up down in Kilburn. Jeannine started leaving and saw that Bea had fallen through the floor in his rocking chair! ” (Kilburn, NB is across the river from Presque Isle.)

As shown by her laughs, ‘ma tante’ Thérèse had alot of fun with that…which demonstrates a little of that sadistic Theriault sense of humor. 🙂

Track 12:  Sister Marie-Ange Thériault and Cécile Thériault at the piano “Le Vieux Sapin”

Track 13:  Duet Sister Marie-Ange Thériault and Georgette Thériault Cyr singing “L’Hirondelle” accompanied by Cécile Thériault on the piano.

Track 14:  Cécile Thériault with an (unknown) piano piece.

Track 15:  Final comments by individual members of the family.

Tell us in a comment below who you think each speaker is. Number each and the name of the speaker.

Track 16:  Entire Thériault Family joins in singing “Ave Marie Stella”.

SOME THOUGHTS…   Listening to these voices of these loving uncles and aunts in the process of caring and expressing their love for their sister, Thérèse, reminds me of how fortunate I am to be part of this family and to have had the benefit of being on the receiving end of the huge generosity of our big family. The memory of every single one of these uncles and aunts will live on forever in my heart.


DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY.  To download your copy of each track, move your cursor on the track and then right click and select ‘Save Link As’. A window will open that will allow you to choose where you want to save your file. Repeat for each track.

Track 1:  Introduction and Opening Piece.

Track 2:  Ave Maria. Soeur Marie Ange Thériault.

Track 3:  Georgette Thériault Cyr and Cécile Thériault at the piano.

Track 4:  Remi Cyr and Cécile Thériault at the piano “Sur La Route de Berthier”.

Track 5:  Thériault Family and Cécile Thériault at the piano “Le Vieux Sapin”.

Track 6:  Thériault Family and Cécile Thériault at the piano lead by Theo Thériault “Alouette”.

Track 7:  Rémi Cyr singing “Le Cordonnier”.

Track 8:  Georgette Thériault Cyr, Sister Marie-Ange Thériault and Cécile Thériault at the piano, “Partons, La Mer est Belle!”

Track 9: Rémi Cyr singing “Souvenir d’un Viellard /Memories of an Elder”

Track 10:  Cécile Thériault on the piano. Song is unknown.

Track 11:  Thérèse Thériault Martin addresses her family.

Track 12:  Sister Marie-Ange Thériault and Cécile Thériault at the piano “Le Vieux Sapin”

Track 13:  Duet Sister Marie-Ange Thériault and Georgette Thériault Cyr singing “L’Hirondelle” accompanied by Cécile Thériault on the piano.

Track 14:  Cécile Thériault with an (unknown) piano piece.

Track 15:  Final comments by individual members of the family.

Track 16:  Entire Thériault Family joins in singing “Ave Marie Stella”.


Just puttering around the Terriot family website ( this morning and I was reminded of a gem of a slide presentation that I received from a cousin in Québec.  For those among you who enjoy good music, here are some of the words from the music section of the Terriot website “Acadian, Cajun Music” and the words that introduce the video presentation:

A Most Beautiful Memory of our parents and grandparents

This beautiful video presentation created by ‘Creations TONYM’ with the music by Jean Lapointe. Take a few moments to view the presentation. You will most certainly enjoy it. If you are familiar with our great French Canadian and Acadian custom for music at home, this presentation will bring back fond memories. If you are not familiar with the custom, the presentation makes a good lesson in the history of our culture.

Click here to start the presentation


Lise Pelletier

Lise Pelletier, Director of the Acadian Archives of the University of Maine at Fort Kent

I received a brief message from my friend Ghislain Savoie this morning who is relaying an important radio program from Radio Canada on the ‘Acadians of Maine’. The program is in French but would be interesting to all people of northern Maine. Lise Pelletier, Director of the Acadian Archives of the University of Maine at Fort Kent, is interviewed by Stephane Coté. Here is a summary:

For over a century, the French-speaking people of Maine have been confronted by various policies of assimilation which ranged from intimidation to discrimination. Despite this, French is still spoken in the state. That was the message delivered last week at the University of Moncton, Edmundston, by the director of Acadian Archives at the University of Maine in Fort Kent, Lise Pelletier.

Depuis plus d’un siècle, les francophones du Maine ont du faire face à des politiques d’assimilation, à de l’intimidation et à de la discrimination. Malgré cela, le français est toujours parlé dans l’état. C’est le message qu’a livré la semaine dernière à l’Université de Moncton d’Edmundston, la directrice des Archives acadiennes de l’Université du Maine au Kent, Lise Pelletier.

Here is the Radio Canada program “L’Histoire des Acadiens du Maine… Story of the Maine Acadians“.