Parc de Nos Ancêtres

Aug 11, 2016 | Culture & History

This park concept is the creation of la Société des Acadiens de la Région de Tor Baie, after a community request to have a unique physical community reminder of our cultural reality and history. In an attempt to integrate history and geography, through the story of our ancestors, the idea of using rocks, for which the area is well known, emerged. It was also decided that 10 paintings revealing our history from our departure from France to settlement at Port Royal, the development of Grand Pré, the Deportation, Re-settlement, and eventual move from Chezzetcook to Tor Bay.

All this was done in the shape of an anchor denoting our ancestors’ resolve when they reacted to Bishop Plessis’ 1815 request to move with our cousins on Île Madame. Their response to him was, “No, we have thrown our anchor-we are here to stay.” The concept led to the search for artists who felt they could meet the challenges of painting on stone and  willing to educate themselves to the Acadian saga.  Monika Deursch and Charlotte Pitts (Petitpas) accepted the conditions  and painting began in the spring of 2007. Local construction company owner, Raymond Delorey, did the land preparation, rock placements, and created a park monument. Chosen images were provided by our Société, and research, writing and translations was done by a variety of individuals who voluntarily pooled their resources to see this project through. Once the writings were completed and edited, they were professionally transferred to plaques created by Atlantex Creative Works, of Chezzetcook. Funding was provided by the province of Nova Scotia, the Municipalty of the District of Guysborough and our local community  fund-raising efforts. Today, we have hundreds of annual visitors to our park who share comments such as: “very unique with artistic brilliance; very well documented account and easy to follow; what a great find!; we didn’t know the story prior to this visit; we didn’t realise that Acadians settled this area”. To date our park sees annual visitors from every province and territory of Canada, around 40 States of the USA, and some 20 foreign countries. The Municipality of the District of Guysborough presently own and maintain this park.

Each of the 10 rock paintings represent a chapter in Acadian History and explained on an accompanying bilingual interpretive panel.

 

A Clear View of the Park Anchor Configuration

 

Tor Bay Acadien Society - A Clear View of the Park Anchor Configuration

Eileen Avery’s roots runEileen Avery’s roots run deep in Nova Scotia. She began researching her lineage in 1990. At that time, the Larry’s River connection wasn’t known, although her grandfather had been born there. Family stories provided both helpful clues and confusing misinformation. Findings, in parish and civil records, inspired Eileen to make a research trip Nova Scotia in 1992. That trip provided key insights to Tor Bay area connections. Eileen met cousins, Geneva (Avery) Fougere, Percy Pellerin, Gordon Pellerin, Jude Avery, and Marion (Hushard) Cerreto, who generously shared a wealth of genealogy research and family stories. The clues gathered on this trip, formed a foundation for further research. Over the next few years, Lloyd Boucher, also a cousin, opened the gateway to her family’s Acadian ancestry. In 1999, Stephen A. White’s Dictionnaire Génélogique des Familles Acadiennes added depth, breadth, and documentation to her Acadian roots. As Eileen’s research bore fruit, she shared the results through genealogy presentations about: the Petitpas family; the Charpentier family; the failed French settlement of îles Malouines [Falkland Islands] and the Acadians who were part of that; the use of mtDNA to trace and verify Acadian ancestral lines; Acadians held prisoner in Nova Scotia during the Seven Years War; filles de roi & filles de marier of Quebec. Eileen’s research continues to grow as she helps others connect their lineage and discovers new cousins deep in Nova Scotia. She began researching her lineage in 1990. At that time, the Larry’s River connection wasn’t known, although her grandfather had been born there. Family stories provided both helpful clues and confusing misinformation. Findings, in parish and civil records, inspired Eileen to make a research trip Nova Scotia in 1992. That trip provided key insights to Tor Bay area connections. Eileen met cousins, Geneva (Avery) Fougere, Percy Pellerin, Gordon Pellerin, Jude Avery, and Marion (Hushard) Cerreto, who generously shared a wealth of genealogy research and family stories. The clues gathered on this trip, formed a foundation for further research. Over the next few years, Lloyd Boucher, also a cousin, opened the gateway to her family’s Acadian ancestry. In 1999, Stephen A. White’s Dictionnaire Génélogique des Familles Acadiennes added depth, breadth, and documentation to her Acadian roots. As Eileen’s research bore fruit, she shared the results through genealogy presentations about: the Petitpas family; the Charpentier family; the failed French settlement of îles Malouines [Falkland Islands] and the Acadians who were part of that; the use of mtDNA to trace and verify Acadian ancestral lines; Acadians held prisoner in Nova Scotia during the Seven Years War; filles de roi & filles de marier of Quebec.