Last April, I received – as did all the former Sisters of the convent - an invitation from Mr. Georges Locas, Mayor of the Municipality of Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan, to attend the “Official Inauguration of the Old Convent”.
On Sunday, May 6, 2012, at 11:30 a.m., we were welcomed by the elected officials and dignitaries. What an extraordinary occasion it was to see this place, so dear to the people, come back to life on this 225th anniversary of the Municipality (1787-2012). Let us look back at a little bit of history.
In 1857, the SNJM’s arrived in Saint-Roch as teachers. They lived in the current building which was built in 1881 until they left in 1969. In 1970, the convent became a residence for the elderly and remained as such until early 2000. For a few years, it served as a detoxification center.
In 2003, the convent was classified as a historic building and the Municipality acquired it on July 8, 2009. Since November 21, 2011, after being renovated, it has housed the municipal offices.
In a speech marked by straightforwardness and emotion, the Mayor underlined the collaboration of the previous council as well as the different levels of government which brought this impressive project to a successful outcome. Mr. Georges Locas said he was very happy with the collaboration of all, which allowed the work to be completed within the time allotted so as to receive the grants.
As guests, we were invited to a cocktail dinner. After the formal speeches, the day continued with an open-house for the people. Each elected official welcomed the visitors to his/her office. The open-house was interspersed with concerts and shows in the chapel.
It is wonderful to “take pleasure in the restoration of this building, a treasure of our heritage”.
Sr. Françoise Lafortune S.N.J.M.