Garde Sacre Coeur, local semi-military organization connected with Notre Dame de Lourdes parish, celebrated the 25th anniversary of its founding yesterday with a solemn high mass in Notre Dame de Lourdes church, followed by a military contest in the afternoon at Washington park. The day's celebration ended with a banquet in C. M. A. C. hall last evening at which were present guests from all parts of New England.
Rev. Arthur St. Cyr, O. M. I., pastor of the parish, was the celebrant of the military high mass at 11 o'clock. He was assisted by Rev. D. Dalphee, O. M. I., as deacon and Rev. Eugene Labrie, O. M. I., as sub-deacon. The choir, under the direction of Alberic Ducharme and Miss Bella LaVigne as organist, sang Vito Carnevali's "Rosa Mystica" mass. The sanctuary was decorated with streamers of blue and white, with a shield suspended in the center with the letters G. S. C., and the numerals 25 in silver. American flags and the emblems of the various organizations present were placed on each side of the altar. At the elevation all the guards stood at attention and presented arms. Rev. Joseph Bolduc, O. M. I., extended the parish's congratulations and best wishes to the Garde Sacre Coeur and presented preacher Rev. Antoine Barrette, O. M. I., of St. Jean d'Arc church and a former chaplain of the guard. Rev. Fr. Barrettte chose at his subject, "Take Courage, Arm Yourself With Great Will Power in Order to Obey All the Laws." He charged that modern materialism, due by the lack of conscience in modern people had caused the crime wave and the financial disaster and that the lack of respect by young people for their elders and lack of love for the mother had culminated in an indifference towards law in general. He pointed out the such organizations as the guard had a strong influence on young people and filled a need now existing in many centers. He invited the members to continue their efforts in order to make better citizens.
The following guards were present at the mass; Garde Independente of New Bedford (women), Miss Valentine Labossiere, captain; Garde d'Honneur of Brocton, Capt. Raymond Mandeville; Company A, Garde Franco Americaine of Worcester, Lieut Col. Renaud in command; Garde St. Joseph of Fitchburg, Capt. Lionel Mandler; the girls guard, Garde d'Honneur of Worcester, Capt. Marie Renault; Garde Rochambeau, Nashua, Maj. R. A. Bonnette; Garde Marquette, Nashua, Capt. C. H. Desmaris; Garde St. Louis, Lowell, Capt. George Menard, and Garde Sacre Coeur, Lowell, Capt. Brule. The following represented the French-American War Veterans association: Frank Fournier, Joseph Breton, Valmore Savard, Louis Renaud, Andre Laverriere, Alfred Hall. The auxiliary of the same organization was represented by Mrs. Exilda Breton, Mrs. Fabiola Fournier, Mrs. Yvonne Renaud. Police Officer Jeremiah Dooley handled the traffic before and after the mass.
At 2:30 o'clock in the afternoon, a large crowd witnessed a series of military drills in which the various guards contested for four beautiful cups offered by the Garde Sacre Coeur. Those taking part were Garde d'Honneur of Brockton, Garde St. Joseph, Fitchburg; Garde Rochambeau, Nashua, with Capt Armand Nepveu in command; Garde Marquette, Nashua; Garde d'Honneur, Worcester; Garde Independente, New Bedford, and Co. A, Garde Franco-Americaine, Worcester. Frank Rock of Worcester was the drummer. First prize for the best women's guard was won by Garde Independente, New Bedford with a percentage of 81.7. Second prize for the women guards went to Garde d'Honneur, Worcester, with a percentage of 73.3. First prize for the best using both the fancy and military movements went to Co. A., Garde Franco-Americaine, Worcester, with a percentage of 80.8, while first prize for strictly military drill was won by Garde St. Joseph of Fitchburg with a percentage of 76.2. Immediately after the competition of the contest and exhibition was put on by the Four Horsemen from the Garde Independente of Worcester. These men executed more than 172 movements with out a command. The judges for the drill were all officers from the 182 Infantry, Lowell, Capt. George Crowell, Medford; Lieut. John F. Fitzgerald, Lowell, and Lieut. Stanley W. Hirtle, Malden.
At the banquet in the C. M. A. C. hall, Lieut. Joseph Belanger was master of ceremonies. The speakers were Rev. Antoine Barrette, O. M. I., Dewey G. Archambault, Albert Bergeron, Louis Renaud and Eiphege Phaneuf. In his remarks, Mr. Archambault praised the semi-military guards in this country. The cultivate love for our country. European countries have compulsory military training to help develop this love, while the United States do not have this compulsory training and the only outlet that citizens have for this inborn urge for fighting is through the militia and various organizations, such as the guard. Military training, said Mr. Archambault, makes better citizens, teaching submission to discipline. President Eiphege Pahneuf of the C. M. A> C. brought the best wishes of his organization and asked for greater unity between various Franco-American organizations. He urged the formation of the federation of clubs in order to assure this unity of purpose. The musical program under the direction of Armand Boisvert was as follows: Solos by Jeannette Guilbault, Arthur Malo, Roland Dozois; duets by Jeannette Guilbault and Arthur Malo; the Dalphond sisters; violin solor by Armand Boisvert. Miss Isabelle Boisvert accompanied Mr. Dozois at the piano while Mrs. Anita Patenaude played for Miss Guilbault and Mr. Malo. The banquet ended with the singing of "O Canada" and the "Star Spangled Banner." The committe in charge was 1st Lieut. Joseph Belanger, Joseph Lavalle, Omer Moreau, Armand Boisvert.
To find out more about Franco-American Gardes of Lowell and New England please visit Dennis Taylor's website, FRANCO-AMERICAN & OTHER GARDES OF NEW ENGLAND, NEW YORK & QUEBEC.