MONT-CARMEL – May 10, 2023 – Many people attended the official launch of the fundraising campaign to restore and enhance the stone monuments of Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel Parish on Wednesday, May 10. The partners in the initiative, the Mont-Carmel Parish, and the Sister Antoinette Desroches Historical Committee, hosted the event.
Speaking on behalf of the parish, Henri Gallant pointed out that these historic monuments are showing their age and greatly need to be repaired. « We would like to be able to raise $20,000 to repair our monuments and also to erect an interpretive panel to tell their story.”
These moments, erected in the 1920s, include three arches and a mausoleum, the latter built in memory of the dynamic Acadian priest and patriot, Father Pierre-Paul Arsenault. The most imposing of the arches, inaugurated in 1923, serves as a cenotaph in honor of the soldiers of Mont-Carmel who died during the two World Wars.
These remarkable stone monuments are the work of the Mont-Carmel mason, Cajétan Arsenault, two of whose sons died in the First World War. The restoration work will be done by expert mason Dean MacArthur of DinoMac Masonry Ltd. of Bonshaw.
Historian Georges Arsenault, president of the Sister Antoinette DesRoches Historical Committee, underlined the heritage value of these memorials, which greatly impress the thousands of visitors who pass through Mont-Carmel each summer. « These monuments are part of the Acadian heritage, not only of the Parish of Mont-Carmel, but of the entire Island and even of all of Acadie, » he said.
It was also mentioned during the launch that the church and its monuments are of considerable importance to tourism in the Evangeline Region and the province. Countless visitors stop by each year to visit the site and particularly to photograph the monuments. In fact, the church is a registered member of the national tourism network, Salut Canada. The campaign is also fully supported by l’Association touristique Acadie ÎPÉ (the provincial Acadian tourism association).
The campaign organizers hope that people everywhere who have some attachment to the Parish of Mont-Carmel or who are simply friends of heritage will be happy to contribute to this project.
Donations can be made at the Provincial Credit Union in Wellington in person to the account « Monuments Mont-Carmel » or by e-transfer to: email@example.com. Donations can also be sent directly to Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel Parish at the following address: Campaign for the Restoration of Mont-Carmel Monuments, 486 Panneau Road, Saint-Timothée, PEI, C0B 2E0.
Lastly, the campaign is also taking place online on GoFundMe (Restaurons nos monuments de Mont-Carmel).
Official tax receipts will be issued by the parish of Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel to those who request them.
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PHOTO 1: At the official launch of the “Restoring Our Mont-Carmel Monuments” campaign, in front of the arch that serves as a cenotaph, are, from left, Aubrey Cormier, president of the AcadieÎPÉ Tourism Association; Dean MacArthur from DinoMac Masonry Ltd., who will carry out the restoration work; Robert Gallant, member of the Mont-Carmel Parish Finance Committee; Mario Couture, member of the Wellington Royal Canadian Legion executive, seen presenting a $7,500 cheque to help kick off the campaign in style; Sandy Arsenault, who is from the family of Cajétan Arsenault, who built the original monuments; and Father Chris Sherran, the priest responsible for the parish.
PHOTO 2: From left, Robert Gallant and Henri Gallant, members of the Mont-Carmel Parish Finance Committee, graciously accept a generous donation of $7,500 from Wellington Royal Canadian Legion, represented by executive member Mario Couture and past president Gilles Painchaud.
For more information, please contact:
Henri Gallant, 902-888-7512
Georges Arsenault, 902-393-9067