Six days from today we will be in Moncton. We leave early on Wednesday morning August 19th. When we arrive in Moncton, we will go directly to the Centre d'études acadiennes located at Université de Moncton, to meet up with Stephen White. I'm hoping there will be some Acadian cousins doing research at the center whom I've not yet met... and perhaps some I met last CMA.
Originally there was no LeBlanc reunion planned for this CMA. I could not believe it given that there were 5,000 cousins who attended the LeBlanc reunion that was held in Nova Scotia during CMA 2004!
About two months ago, Rachelle Dugas who has been working in Louisiana in the hopes of bringing CMA 2014 to Louisiana, decided to organize a Bourq(Bourque)/LeBlanc/Melanson reunion that is scheduled for Friday, August 21st. Up until Rachelle decided to do this, many of us were disconcerted that our families would not be represented at the CMA 2009 and we lived too far away to do anything about it.
Did you know that the LeBlanc family was the largest family in Acadia and to come out of Acadia? - I kept asking myself how this could be happening and who had missed the boat?!? Well now it will happen and I am so looking forward to participating as a LeBlanc representing New England Acadians. At least, that is how I look at it.
Now some may question the validity of what I say that the LeBlanc was the largest family in Acadia and so on. Well consider this: Daniel LeBlanc and Françoise Gaudet had seven children. Six sons and one daughter. Five sons married and among them had 37 sons. Realistically, how could we miss? *smile*
I will never forget the first time I went to Moncton and looked in the phone book to see how many LeBlancs were listed - oh my gosh! I'd never seen so many LeBlanc names in my entire life. Pages and pages of LeBlanc in that phone book. I just could not believe it and when to the motel manager's office to ask if I could keep take the phone book home! She said yes and I was thrilled.
It did not take long to understand that in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the surname LeBlanc is like Smith in the U.S. When we would visit an historic site and I was asked what my family name was and I would say "je suis une LeBlanc"/I am a LeBlanc, the reaction was always the same - that we were a very large family and I would find LeBlanc cousins everywhere.
Because of the late planning for this CMA's Bourq/LeBlanc/Melanson reunion, I'm sure nobody has any idea as to how many people will attend but I want to encourage anyone who has not yet made plans to attend to do so - plenty of rooms are still available. Quite a few people will head home after August 15th, when in the past, CMA has ended but that is not the case this year. However, given that many people did plan around August 15th as an end date, even more rooms will be available in the local motels.
The Bourq/LeBlanc/Melason reunion will take place at Tracadie-Sheila in northern New Brunswick. It would seem to be ideal for Acadian cousins from Quebec to the north as well as New England or Nova Scotia cousins to the south, to attend! So let's really make a good effort to participate in our family reunions.
My family also descends from the Bourque and Melanson families so this should really be a whole lot of fun to celebrate together as one big Acadian family.
If would want to join us and need to find a place to stay, just type Motels Tracadie-Sheila into GOOGLE and a list of motels will come up on your computer. I really hope to see many of you there! Anything you find in Néguac, Caraquet, Pokemouche and the like is not far at all from Tracadie-Sheila.
I've just received a message from a cousin in Nova Scotia that all they could find this week was a room in Bathurst - so you might try there first but you can still try areas around as well.
Of course I am prepared mentally and emotionally to go to CMA 2009 but I have to prepare my presentation and start to decide on what I'm packing. Pack for a week or pack for a month sometimes there isn't a whole lot of difference ;o)
What makes this trip to CMA all the more interesting is that we will also get a bit of time at CEA, we will visit with Stephen White, we have a follow-up interview with Radio-Canada Television, we will visit some historic sites and tour many of the villages of northern New Brunswick. The latter is something I've not yet done so I am really looking forward to doing that - and as stated in a previous blog, I have my new Jazz camcorder. I want to video some of the villages and will upload to YouTube for everyone to enjoy.
Then there is the talk I will be giving: mtDNA of the Founding Mothers of Acadia
So come an join us! If you do, you will meet many cousins, eat lots of Acadian and Cajun food and dance/or listen to the music of Acadian and Cajun bands!
I really hope to see you there!
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