WELLINGTON – Oct. 29, 2014 – Even though he’s primarily known as the brother-accompanist of the late, legendary Acadian fiddler Eddie Arsenault, Amand Arsenault of St. Chrysostome has been extremely devoted to the Evangeline region’s co-op movement all of his life, often working humbly behind the scenes and never looking for any glory.
Because of his vast contribution to the development and survival of this movement over several decades, the Conseil de développement coopératif (CDC) de l’Î.-P.-É. awarded Arsenault its 2014 Co-op Order of Merit on Oct. 25 in Wellington. The presentation took place during a benefit casino night for the Summerside food bank.
CDC president Angèle Arsenault noted the winner inherited his co-op devotion from his father Arcade, one of the founders of the Acadian Fishermen’s Co-op in 1955. As a fisherman himself, Amand was also a member of this co-op throughout his career and served on its board of directors for six years.
He also served on the boards of directors of the Wellington Co-op for six years, Le Chez-nous Co-op for three years and the Evangeline Credit Union for six years.
In addition to all of that, he was greatly involved in the development and survival of the Evangeline Funeral Co-op. He served on its board for six years and even went door to door to recruit members. For many years, he served as a doorman.
Several years back, the association of private funeral homes started exerting a lot of pressure on the Island’s funeral co-ops, trying to discredit them in the hope that they would shut down and disappear. Amand was one of the main people from the community who fought the false accusations; he even went court to make sure the truth was told. Because of hard-core believers like Amand, the funeral co-ops survived the smear-campaign and are today thriving throughout the province.
Arsenault is so convinced of the value of the movement that he doesn’t understand why some people can’t see the huge contribution that co-ops make to the prosperity and the comfortable way of life of their community.
The CDC president noted that it’s because of contributions of people like Amand Arsenault that the Evangeline area has become what it is today.
CUTLINE: Angèle Arsenault, president of the Conseil de développement coopératif, presents the Co-op Order of Merit Award to Amand Arsenault of St. Chrysostome for his decades of devotion and service to the co-op movement.
For more information:
Conseil de développement coopératif