||June 26, 2009
Mattawa Celebrates Its Heritage
On Saturday June 13th 2009, a 1956 Ford RCMP Highway Patrol Interceptor car
cruised Mattawas Main Street with lights flashing and sirens whaling and stopped
at the Mattawa Museum. Maurice Nadon former Commissioner of the RCMP, who grew
up across the street from the Museum for the first 12 years of his life, stepped
out of the cruiser and was met with many red-coated officers and a number of
guests who greeted him enthusiastically.
||Marice Nadon in full dress waiting for
unveiling. D Mackey photos
He was there with a large gathering of Nadons and other guests to unveil a
permanent display on his life and times a few minutes later in the Museum. Asst.
RCMP Commissioner Mike McDonnell did the honours. It was also the 25th
anniversary of the Museumís founding and the 100th anniversary of the OPP and
the 125th anniversary of the town. A large crowd was there to share the event.
After the unveiling of the display, prepared by Curator Jane Lennard, the guests
moved outside to the main stage in front of a large crowd gathered for the
Jack Whalen Chair of the Museum Board acted as the M.C. for the event and
introduced Danielle Perrault who sang the National Anthem.Wayne Reid the Town
Crier read a proclamation about the event.
M.P. Anthony Rota and M.P.P. Monique Smith presented citations recognizing
Maurice Nadonís former Deputy Paul Drapeau spoke about Nadonís long and
outstanding career as the first French Canadian Commissioner of the RCMP from
1974 to 1977 and the man instrumental in bringing women into the force, among
many other achievements.
Mr. Nadon was presented with a copy of the special photograph in his display,
created by Claremont Duval, showing his original family in front of the house
that remains today across from the museum. Dean Backer announced that the
street, First Street, is now called Maurice Nadon Way and the signs were shown
to the large crowd who cheered the honour. Mr. Nadon spoke about his connection
to Mattawa. Rene Lamarche brought on stage two Mattawa residents, Maurice Nadon
and his wife Madeline , with identical names to Commisioner Nadon and his late
wife Madeline , to everyoneís delight . The Nadon family met at the Moon Cafť
later in the day for a reunion of Nadon guests from far and wide.
The OPP 100th
The OPP had several displays and many officers present including Chief Supt.
Scott Todd and Supt. Joffre Dupuis a former Mattawa resident,both of whom spoke,
bringing greetings celebrating the 100th anniversary of the OPP.
||The OPP 100th Anniversary Cake presented by OPP
The OPP provided a large birthday cake which was cut by 100 year old Mattawa
resident Mrs. Aurore Lafreniere.
The Museumís 25th.
Jack Whalen recognized the Museumís successful 25 year evolution by
displaying the newly framed original document establishing the museum. Museum
board member Claudette Desroches then presented plaques to four original board
members Noella and Vic Tremblay, Barry Walters and Marie (Colborne) Aubertin.
||100 year old Aurore Lafreniere leaves the
stage with companion Pauline Backer after cutting the OPP cake. Maurice
Nadon is seated on her left.
Other Explorer Point Activities
The Mattawa Lions Club provided free hotdogs and pop to the guests and the
wonderful Royal Canadian Legion Branch 23 Pipe Band played a variety of tunes.
The various police displays were also popular and there was free admission to
||The North Bay Royal Canadian Legion Branch 23
Pipe Band with the Belanger Outdoor Adventure Store in background on right
where Commissioner Nadon grew up.
All in all a remarkable four tier inter-related series of
events that came together in a memorable and fitting celebration.
Congratulations to all concerned.
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