The Congrès Mondial Acadien; Louisiane 1999, set for August 1 through August 15, 1999 throughout south Louisiana announced today that many of the Acadian families scheduled to have reunions during the 1999 event, have begun the planning and organizing process. Brian Gabriel Comeaux, Executive Director, of the Congrès Mondial Acadien; Louisiane 1999 said, “we are very excited to see the enthusiasm with which the Acadian families of south Louisiana are beginning the process of organizing for August 1999. As much as anything else, this enthusiasm indicates that the 1999-CMA will be as big a success as the 1994 event that was held in southeastern New Brunswick, Canada.”
The Congrès Mondial Acadien held in August 1994 in New Brunswick, was the largest regroupment of the Acadian people since the forced deportation of 1755. Over three hundred thousand people participated in sixty-nine family reunions, academic conferences, a theatre and film festival, concerts, and other cultural activities. The 1999 event being planned for Acadiana is expected to rival the 1994 event in size and scope.
Brian Gabriel Comeaux, Executive Director, said, “These twenty-two families are a great start to our family reunion efforts. They represent some of the biggest Acadian families, but we are still recruiting coordinating committees for at least another fifty families. Sixty-nine families had reunions in 1994, and we would like to see at least that many in 1999. Already, we have assured reunions of some families, like Breaux, that were unable to hold a reunion in 1994. If anyone would like to assist these efforts, they can call us at (318) 234-6166. We have prepared a family reunion manual to assist the families’ efforts in planning and organizing, and we will have a reunion seminar in April, to further assist the families.”
Comeaux also praised the efforts of Family Reunion coordinators, Sheryl Collins and Eddie Richard. “These two people, Sheryl Collins in the east and Eddie Richard in the west, have been really beating the bushes to make this project work. They are assuring not only that each family gets its committee in place, but also that a good geographical distribution of reunions throughout Acadiana is assured”, said Comeaux.
Interested persons can contact Sheryl Collins at (504) 879-2000 and Eddie Richard at (318) 235-0538.
The Congrès Mondial Acadien; Louisiane 1999 is sponsored by “Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, Acadian Ambulance and Armed Services, Fondation Codofil and the Lafayette Parish Consolidated Government.
Note: ‘Directeur de programmation et de communication’ Jean-Robert Frigault and Executive Director Brian Comeaux may be contacted via at (318) 234-6166.
LE CONGRÈS MONDIAL ACADIEN; Louisiana 1999
The following newspaper article, provided by Jack Coffee, appeared in section 2B, The Advocate, Bâton Rouge, Louisiana, Tuesday, December 24, 1996 and is re-printed, with thanks, to The Advocate.
LAFAYETTE – Organizational meetings for several Acadian family reunions are scheduled for January and February in connection with Congrès Mondial Acadien-Louisiana 1999, the world Acadian congress that will be held in Louisiana.
More than 300,000 people gathered at New Brunswick, Canada for the congress in 1994, which was the first reunion of Acadians since their deportation from Nova Scotia in 1755.
“The 1999 reunion will be held throughout 22 Acadiana parishes of south Louisiana from July 31-Aug. 15,” organizers said.
“A feature of the congress is that family reunions are being planned through the south Louisiana area,” said Brian Gabriel Comeaux, president of Congres Mondial Acadien Louisiane 1999.
“We have quite a few families organizing, but we’re still looking for 30 or 40 more families,” Comeaux said. “Anybody interested in helping us can just give us a all at (318) 234-6166. We have a family reunion instruction manual, and we’ll be happy to send them out.”
The reunions are broken into two regions, east and west of the Atchafalaya Basin, according to James Bourque, a publicity committee member for the reunions.