ABRAM-VILLAGE – Oct. 31, 2016 – Many Evangeline area co-operators agree that Angèle Arsenault of Wellington should have received the Co-op Order of Merit many years ago because of her exceptional devotion to the co-operative movement.
But she was president of the Conseil de développement coopératif de l’Î.-P.-É. (CDC), the organization that hands out this prestigious distinction, for 16 years and would never have accepted the nomination for the award. Finally, her mandates on the CDC wound up so her name could finally come up as a possible candidate. The selection committee didn’t have to deliberate very long to choose her; their choice was unanimous.
During the recent 2016 Co-op Forum in Abram-Village, Arsenault was completely surprised and overwhelmed when she realized she was getting the award. Committee members had told her a little white lie when she had inquired about this year’s winner a few days earlier.
The former employee of the CDC, Velma Robichaud, started the presentation speech by saying, « We’ve often heard that the winner of this year’s Co-op Order of Merit has the co-operative movement in her blood. That’s not surprising since her father (Leo J.T. Arsenault) was also a great co-operator, so she grew up with co-ops under her nose and in her heart. »
Robichaud said Arsenault represented the Wellington Co-op on the CDC board. She also represented the CDC on the Canadian Council of Co-operation and Mutuality for about 10 years.
Before getting hired on as a Wellington Co-op employee, Arsenault served on the board of that co-op for seven years, three of them as chairperson. Several years prior to that, she also worked for a while at the former Evangeline Credit Union.
She volunteered for several years at the Evangeline Funeral Co-op. She also served on the boards of both the Abram’s Village Handcraft Co-op and La Maisonnée Co-op and served on the committee that built the first community rink for the Evangeline area.
She chaired the board of directors of the Baie Acadienne Development Corporation for several years and represented co-ops on the RDÉE Prince Edward Island board. She has served on numerous other committees over the years, including Evangeline Pre-School Centre, Evangeline Home and School, Evangeline School Board, Learning Disabilities Association of Evangeline, the PEI Federation of Parents, the Learning Disabilities Association of PEI and the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada.
She has worked in accounting for over 30 years. She has been the bookkeeper at the Wellington Co-op since 2004. In addition, she runs her own small scrapbooking business and makes handmade cards and metal art.
She considers her greatest achievement the establishment of the Tutoring Club at Evangeline School, which continues to thrive.
Not only is she known in her community as a highly respected volunteer, but also as the loving wife to Yvon and the devoted mother of Chris, Jonathan, Ryan and Kathleen. Over the past few years, she has also become a super-grandmother who doesn’t hesitate to travel from one end of the country to the other to tend to her sick grandchildren.
CUTLINE: Velma Robichaud, right, former executive director of the Conseil de développement coopératif de l’Î.-P.-É., presents the 2016 Co-op Order of Merit to former CDC president Angèle Arsenault, who has the co-op spirit in her veins and in her heart.
For more details:
Former executive director
Conseil de développement coopératif de l’Î.-P.-É.
(902) 854-3439, Ext. 228