ABRAM-VILLAGE – Oct. 26, 2021 – Although Father Eddie Cormier, the recipient of the 2021 Co-op Order of Merit, has not necessarily been involved at a high level in the co-operative movement in the Evangeline region, “he still holds the values and concepts of co-operation and social justice very close to his heart; this is evident in virtually all of his actions.”
Edmond Gallant, president of the Coopérative de développement culturel et patrimonial de Mont-Carmel, made that powerful proclamation in the award speech, presented to representatives of eight local cooperatives at the Co-op Forum Oct. 21 in Abram-Village.
Gallant said Father Cormier is always willing to lend his support at general meetings of the Wellington Co-op, the Evangeline Funeral Co-op and the former Évangéline-Central Credit Union (now the Provincial Credit Union).
“He is best known for his great generosity for the poor and his compassion for the marginalized. He has worked with countless organizations, always putting social justice first. Being a very intelligent person, he has shown wisdom both by consulting others and by offering advice,” said the presenter. “He has always been dedicated to the welfare of the families and people of his parish, to justice and peace. It is very important for him to try to build a world that is fairer and to try to improve the situation, the community, our Island society. Also, in times of mourning, he always knows how to talk to someone who is suffering from the death of a family member.”
Father Cormier has always been a proud member of the Société Saint-Thomas d’Aquin, now the Société acadienne et francophone de l’ÎPÉ, and has served as president of its board of directors on two occasions. He was also involved with the Acadian Museum of PEI in Miscouche, serving as its president for several years. He has also always been a supporter of La Voix acadienne. In 2020, he provided the newspaper with 31 items that were published in the column “Les mots acadiens, une fierté”. He was also a member of the former RDÉE Prince Edward Island advisory board.
MISSION TO DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
In the 1980s, this priest participated in a mission to the Dominican Republic with the Latin American Mission Program (LAMP) of the Diocese of Charlottetown to help the poorest people of that country. Since the 1980s, he has been involved with the Cooper Institute, a research and education center that focuses on poverty, justice and social inclusion.
In 2004, he was awarded the title of Acadian of the Year by the Evangeline Region’s Agricultural Exhibition and Acadian Festival in recognition of his community involvement.
Father Cormier initiated the project to welcome a family of refugees in the Evangeline region. In the fall of 2005, Immigration Canada and the Association for Newcomers to Canada presented him and the refugee reception committee with a Canada’s Citizenship Award.
As a priest, Father Cormier has served in the parishes of Summerside, Tignish, Wellington, Egmont Bay, Palmer Road and Mont-Carmel. He still celebrates mass on weekdays at the Chez-Nous Co-operative from time to time. He continues to replace the priests for weekend masses when the need arises. When he headed parishes, he was often responsible for setting up committees to support families in case of an emergency or for teaching the Gospel.
Father Cormier was unable to attend the Co-op Forum, so some representatives of area co-ops met him at his home Oct. 26 to present him with his award.
He said he was “truly touched…honored…privileged” to receive this recognition. He said he was able to do his part because he had received the support of many people. He thanked and congratulated the co-operators for all the volunteer work they do to develop their communities and encouraged them to continue their good work.
PHOTO: Father Eddie Cormier, center, receives his 2021 Co-op Order of Merit from Edmond Gallant and Zita Arsenault, representatives of the Coopérative de développement culturel et patrimonial de Mont-Carmel, the organization that submitted Cormier’s name for recognition.
For more information, contact
Coopérative de développement culturel et patrimonial de Mont-Carmel