Media Advisory - Provincial plaque memorializes francophone teacher Jeanne Lajoie

    PEMBROKE, ON, Oct. 22 /CNW/ -

    Date:              Tuesday, October 28, 2008, at 4 p.m.
    Location:          Centre culturel francophone de Pembroke 303 James
                       Street, Pembroke
    Directions:        From Highway 17, turn north onto County Road 58 (Round
                       Lake Road). Turn left at Boundary Road East,
                       continuing to follow County Road 58. Turn right at
                       Isabella Street, then take a second right at James
    Photo opportunity: Unveiling of a provincial plaque
    Contact:           Catrina Colme
                       Marketing and Communications Coordinator
                       Telephone: 416-325-5074

    Join the Ontario Heritage Trust, the City of Pembroke and the Centre
culturel francophone de Pembroke for the unveiling of a provincial plaque
commemorating Jeanne Lajoie (1899-1930).
    A dedicated teacher, Jeanne Lajoie figured prominently in the
Franco-Ontarian struggle against Regulation 17, which from 1912 to 1927
prohibited instruction in French after Grade 2. To ensure that francophone
students could be educated in their own language, Lajoie helped a group of
parents to establish the first independent French school in Pembroke, L'Ecole
libre de Sainte-Jeanne-d'Arc.
    Sadly, a few years after Regulation 17 was rescinded, Lajoie, who had
been plagued by poor health her entire life, succumbed to tuberculosis at the
age of 31. Today, she is remembered as the "Pucelle de Pembroke" (the "Maid of
Pembroke"), in reference to Joan of Arc, for her commitment to providing
education in French and preserving francophone culture in Ontario. The public
Ecole élémentaire Jeanne Lajoie in Toronto and the Roman Catholic Ecole
intermédiaire Jeanne-Lajoie in Pembroke are both named in her honour.
    The Ontario Heritage Trust's Provincial Plaque Program commemorates
significant people, places and events in Ontario's history. Since 1953, over
1,200 provincial plaques have been unveiled.
    The Trust gratefully acknowledges the Ontario Office of Francophone
Affairs for its assistance and the Department of Canadian Heritage for its
financial contribution to this provincial plaque through the Canada-Ontario
Agreement on French-Language Services.

    Aussi disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Catrina Colme, Marketing and Communications
Coordinator, Telephone: (416) 325-5074, E-mail:

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