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Memorable Manitobans: Jeanne Lemaire Perreault (1918-2008)

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Jeanne Lemaire Perreault
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Educator, community activist.

Born in the Rural Municipality of Macdonald on 12 October 1918, daughter of Antoinette Lamoureux and Paul Lemaire, she was a teacher at St. John's Ravenscourt School for 35 years.

She served on the national, provincial, and parish councils of the Catholic Women's League, was a trustee of the Seine River School Division in the mid-1970s, and served on the board for the Fort Garry Library. She was active in the Liberal Party and was made a life member. She was a volunteer with Pregnancy Distress and collected articles for its thrift shop where she also worked as a volunteer.

One of her most enduring accomplishments was the founding of Heritage St. Norbert in collaboration with William H. Loewen and Jim Cameron in 1980. She served as its President until her death. Among the organization's accomplishments that benefitted from her leadership was the retention of the Oblate property for community use under the management of the St. Norbert Foundation. On this property existed:

  • the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market
  • a heritage house which was once the St. Norbert butcher shop (La Boucherie) and is now a day care facility
  • a Métis log house dating from the late1800s (the MacDougall House) that serves as a museum for early St. Norbert history
  • a timber frame structure which houses the stuffed ox known as ‘Napoleon’ pulling a Red River cart in which sits an effigy of Jeanne
  • a gate for ‘Place St. Norbert’ which defines the commemorative area
  • the Métis monument to La Barriere, one of the defining moments in the events leading up to Manitoba’s entry into Confederation

In recognition of her community service, she received Le Prix Riel (1989) and a Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002). On 6 July 1939, she married Leo C. Perreault (1910-1974) in the RM of Macdonald.

She died at Winnipeg on 5 April 2008 and was buried in the St. Norbert Roman Catholic Cemetery.

Sources:

Birth registration [Marie Marguerite Jeanne Lemaire], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Marriage registration [Jeanne Lemaire, Leo Perreault], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary [Leo C. Perreault], Winnipeg Free Press, 3 April 1974, page 44.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 10 April 2008.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by William H. Loewen and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 6 August 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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