Lawrence Remembers and Celebrates Its French-Canadian Population

Lawrence Remembers and Celebrates Its French-Canadian Population


Canada celebrates every June 24 as St. John the Baptist Day. In that country, it originated in the province of Quebec as a regional holiday, before it transitioned to a national holiday to celebrate the saint.


Since 2018, City Council President Marc Laplante has sponsored the raising of Quebec on the holiday.

This year featured an opening prayer by Central Catholic’s Brother Rene Roy who also told a story about his father who owned a liquor store immediately after prohibition was repealed and who later became a city alderman.


The principal speaker was Attorney Paul Lambert. Mr. Lambert spoke of some of the French Canadian traditions and food that were part of his growing up in Lawrence. In doing some research, he came across some criticisms of the recent immigrants to Lawrence from Canada because the


y sent money back to their homeland rather than keeping it in this country. Regardless, there was pride in being part of French Canadian ancestry and the importance of the French language to the recent immigrants. The French social clubs in the city were also important to assimilate the new immigrants into American life.

City pin

s were provided to Brother Rene and Attorney Lambert by Council President Laplante and the mayor’s representative, Julio Mejia. Mr. Mejia also provided a proclamation by Mayor Brian A. DePeña, which was received with great appreciation by Attorney Lambert.


While the speaking part of the program was held inside City Hall because of inclement weather, Brother Rene and Attorney Lambert concluded the program with the playing of the National Anthem, followed by the Canadian National Anthem and the raising of the Quebec flag outside City Hall.

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