Commemorative plaque unveiling and Franco-Ontarian flag-raising
On Monday, September 25, 2017, in collaboration with the ACFO du grand Sudbury and Ontario Heritage Trust, a special Franco-Ontarian flag-raising was held, as this year, a commemorative plaque was also unveiled.
September 25th is an important date in the history of the University of Sudbury, and this is especially true this year. To recognize the fact that the Franco-Ontarian flag was raised for the first time in Ontario on September 25, 1975 at the University of Sudbury, a plaque from Ontario Heritage Trust was unveiled at the University of Sudbury.
Many Francophones and Francophiles were present and heard remarks and inspiring words in which the theme of vitality was recurring. In addition to touching on the history and the past, speakers touched on the progress, the current reality of the francophone community and its bright future.
“We are so very proud of the fact that the Franco-Ontarian flag, a unifying symbol, was raised for the first time ever here, at the University of Sudbury. We are truly honoured to receive this plaque and to share another historic moment with the Franco-Ontarian community on this site,” states Dr. Sophie Bouffard, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sudbury. “Our francophone roots are deep and our commitment towards the Francophone community is continuous.”
The provincial plaque is bilingual, and reads in English as follows:
The Franco-Ontarian Flag was first raised at the University of Sudbury on September 25, 1975, at a time when Sudbury was experiencing unprecedented growth in Franco-Ontarian arts and culture. Conceived by Gaétan Gervais, historian at Laurentian University, and student Michel Dupuis, the first flag was made by Jacline England, a student and staff member at the university. Refusing to take sole credit for the flag, its creators hoped that the Franco-Ontarian community would claim it as their own and a committee was formed to promote it. The flag was adopted as a unifying symbol during times of struggle and resistance, such as the Penetanguishene school crisis of 1979 and the SOS Montfort campaign in Ottawa in 1997. In 2001, the Ontario Legislature officially recognized the flag as the emblem of the Ontario French-speaking community. Since 2010, Franco-Ontarian Day has been celebrated annually on September 25. Today, the green and white flag with the French lily and the Ontario trillium endures as the most prominent symbol of the province's diverse francophone community and represents more than 400 years of the French presence in Ontario.
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