Tor Bay Acadians’ Honour Roll Inductions
This initiative was begun as an attempt to share the profiles of individuals with roots in the Tor Bay Acadian communities and who have provided outstanding service and accomplishments here, or in the world at large. It is our desire to have all public domains represented as entries are made. Examples–sports, business, community service, military, religion, politics, medicine, education, the arts, etc. Each year since 2011, we have accumulated stories of 2 or 3 individuals who have made outstanding contributions in these previously named domains. A public presentation is made of these profiled people at a featured event during the opening night of our Festival Savalette held on the first Thursday of August. When possible, we have the inductees present, or someone connected to them participate in this ceremony. Each story is then carefully documented and added to a binder for public exposure and sharing. Someday, perhaps we can put these together in a book form.
We encourage suggestions of worthy stories and potential candidates and ask anyone to send these suggestions to us for consideration and future inductions. The main prerequisite, is that the individual either has roots to this Acadian region (not necessarily born here), served the area at some point, or has made major contributions to our/their communities, country or world.
Ernest was the son of Dan and Mary (Richard) Avery and born in Larry’s River in 1923. He enlisted in the Canadian Army in May 1942 at age 18. Private Avery was trained in Canada and England as an Infantry Signaller and was posted with the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa.
In June 1944, he took part in the Invasion of Normandy and landed on Juno Beach. His brigade moved inland through northwestern Europe–France, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany. On February 25, 1945, he was severely wounded and returned to Canada in September of that year. Ernest was awarded: 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence Medal; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Clasp, and War Medal 1939-45. After a lengthy convalescence from serious war injuries, he served on several research ships with Department of Oceanography and later as Postmaster in Larry’s River. Ernest passed away December 26, 2000.
William D. Gerrior
Bill was inducted in 2014 for his outstanding contributions in the fields of education, genealogy and history research and author of Acadian Awakenings, Routes and Roots, International Links, book series. His parents were the late Sylvester Gerrior of Larry’s River and Beatrice Fougère/Gerrior, of Poulamon, Ile Madame
He is a retired Educator/Administrator having spent 30 years serving several schools in the Halifax area. He was also a member of the Board of Governors for Congrès Mondial Acadien 2004 in Nova Scotia. Bill has had, and continues to have, an avid interest in Acadian affairs and especially the celebrations of the Tor Bay Acadians- his father’s ancestral home. His musical talents are synonymous with our annual celebrations as he willingly and graciously participates in all events. Bill’s writings and depth of research has made us more informed and interested in our history and family connections. He is often requested to provide information and stories about our families, especially the Gerriors which he does selflessly. Bill resides in Halifax and Zephyrhills Florida with his wife Audrey. Their two children, Suzanne, North Carolina, and Steve, Milford, Nova Scotia are also very proud of their Acadian roots.
Sandra (Pettipas) Perro
Sandra was born in Tracadie, Nova Scotia and daughter of Elmer and Sadie Fougère/Pettipas. In her youth, she spent much time with her Fougère grandparents in Larry’s River and became “one of us” as she enjoyed her days “by the shore”.
Sandra is a retired Educator of the Deaf, with a lifetime involvement in Acadian Genealogy. Her research of the Petitpas and Fougère families have led her to writing a 300 page book entitled “Getting to the Roots of My Family Tree”. She facilitated workshops in our area during the 2004 Congrès Mondial Acadien and again in 2013. Much information and support continues to come from her pool of knowledge and personal archives. Sandra is well known in Acadian circles whether it is Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Louisiana or elsewhere. She and her retired military husband, Robert, are global travelers who now spend their winters in British Columbia and summers exploring all areas of our continent. A very talented musician, she is always ready to participate in music jams whenever possible.
Suzanne (Gerrior) Williams
Suzanne left home to study at North Carolina State University on a full four year Soccer Scholarship after a very impressive academic life and junior soccer career in Halifax and at the national and international levels.
Being completely surrounded by her author and Acadian researcher dad, Bill Gerrior, and secretary mom, Audrey, her life was always immersed in Acadian stories, folklore and music. Her North Carolina campus life created a meeting place for her future (and present) husband, Steven Williams. After several years of Church Ministry in Florida, Suzanne and her husband, Pastor Steven Williams, are back in North Carolina in charge of Calvary Chapel Raleigh. They are balancing a very busy life being parents of 5 children, business owners, coaching many community teams and social development groups.
Dale was born in Halifax and is the son of Barbara Boudreau/Levandier and the late Douglas Levandier, both from Port Felix. His early education path began in Port Felix and he finished grade school in Dartmouth.
His early education path began in Port Felix and he finished grade school in Dartmouth. After studies at several universities, and armed with a variety of “Lettered” degrees, he moved to the United States where he embarked on a career in science research. Today, Dale serves as a Senior Research Scientist at Boston College Institute for Scientific Research. He has several dozen scientific journal publications and two US Patents to his credit. In the photo, Dale is shown working as he prefers- doing “hands on science”, here modifying an “ion beam instrument” to do another “space simulation” experiment in work sponsored by the US Air Force. To access more information about Dale, you may visit:
Ian Daniel Pellerin
Ian was born to Grayce Boyd/Pellerin and the late Basil Pellerin in September 1974. He quickly developed a charisma that radiated to everyone who came in contact with him. A very loving and generous person, Ian has become synonymous with all the caring traits one could find in a true friend. His kind demeanour and readiness to help others have been his trademarks since his early years.
He holds the record for years of continuous and dependable service as Altar Server, a task he sees as important and worthy of doing well. His assistance on the Altar has been so appreciated by priests who served here, that he received a personal phone call from the late Father Jonathan Nweke from Nigeria, on the occasion of his birthday. His nightly calls to his list of friends have become as regular as the chimes of Town Clocks checking in on their day and wishing all a good night’s rest. In times of pain and challenges, Ian is the first to offer prayers and words of support. His unwavering loyalties to the Montreal Canadiens, the annual Stanfest, Festival Savalette and his affiliations with Cape Breton and close friend, David Cashin, are not to be challenged. Ian is a proud Acadian who never forgets to attend Acadian meetings and wears his colours with conviction and love.
Père Charles Forêt
Son of Charles and Philomène Forêt, he was born in Tracadie, N.S., in 1889. His father was a labourer and as such accepted employment in Arichat and moved his family there when his children were very young. Young Charles became a very good student and successfully completed his high school in Arichat.
After finishing his secondary education he went to work for a few years then decided to further his studies at Collège Ste. Anne, Pointe de l’Église, where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1914. He felt a pull towards the priesthood and went on to study Theology at Holy Heart Seminary in Halifax.
He completed his Religious Studies in 1918, and two months later he came to serve in the Parish of St. Pierre, in Larry’s River and mission parish St. Joseph in Charlos Cove. Seeing the poverty and hardships of these Acadian cousins moved him to seek solutions. He convinced his parishioners of the need for improved schooling and was able to guide them through the construction of a new school in 1920. He also convinced a number of locals to become teachers, thus providing staff for this new educational facility. As a result of his push for adult education in the field of Cooperatives, he was able to see the construction of The Tor Bay Canning Industry (a coop fish plant and cannery), a Coop Store and Credit Union.
This empowered the people to gain control of their communities and their economic situations. As a result of his guidance and tireless work, Père Forêt is credited with bringing the Tor Bay coastal communities to a new era of improved economic stability. He left here to go to Petit de Grat in 1953, much to the chagrin of the locals and amid great sadness and worries about the future of our area. Père Forêt died in 1960.
Born in 1946 in Cambridge Massachusetts, to Daniel and Mary Delorey/Pelrine. His father was born in Port Felix and all 4 grandparents are from Port Felix, Larry’s River and East Tracadie. He attended Blessed Sacrament School in Cambridge and then Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury, MA. John went on to study at Providence College between 1964-68 where he completed a BA History.
As part of his Degree at Providence, he did his Junior Year at University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland. After graduation, he spent much of his professional career in television with WGBH, beginning as a weekend gardener for Public Television’s Crocket Victory Garden in 1976, which became The Victory Garden after Jim Crocket’s death. He worked for WGBH-TV in Boston until 1996 as Series Producer of a nationally broadcast series for Victory Garden. Other directorial credits include Better Homes and Garden Television, Animal Planet, and WGHB, Boston.
John also spent 4 years, including 2 as a Vista Volunteer working with migrant farm workers in western Colorado where he met his wife, Marilyn. John and Marilyn have 4 children Sara, Matthew, Anna and Daniel (now deceased) Their family always enjoy annual visits to the Tor Bay shores as Festival Savalette regulars and ready to lend a hand wherever/whenever needed.
Geneviève (Petitpas) Pellerin
Geneviève was born March 14, 1889 to Peter and Sophie (Linden) Petitpas and married Augustus (Justin) Pellerin February 5, 1907, by Père d’Auteuil. Her kind motherly ways earned her the nickname “Mémie” (grandma), a name reserved for special caring and loving ladies in a community.
Known for her cooking skills and generosity, visitors could not leave her kitchen without samples of her delicious creations. Her mother, Sophie, was a mid-wife and taught her daughter the skills of this profession. Geneviève’s career as mid-wife spanned 40 years and is credited in assisting in the births of 247 babies during that time. After the death of her husband in 1948, and the departure of her sons for employment reasons, she became dependent on her neighbour, Clarence Avery, to taxi her do her home visits. This was done by horse and wagon or sleigh. During the winter months, men would shovel snow when required to allow her to provide her skilled and loving service to an expecting mother. Her loving nature and self confidence brought a sense of calmness to all who anxiously awaited her arrival.
Father Hughie D. MacDonald
Father Hughie was born in Springfield, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia. He received his early education in the Antigonish public schools and went on to do an Arts degree at St. Francis Xavier University. During his summer vacation he worked on the railroad as a labourer and quickly became known for his strength and jovial personality.
He then felt his calling, and enrolled at Holy Heart Seminary where he studied and was Ordained to the priesthood in 1952. In 1957, at the early age of 30, he was given the responsibility of administering the Parishes of St. Peter’s in Larry’s River and St. Joseph, Charlos Cove. He arrived here to discover major issues with Parish properties. He quickly gained support in seeing the construction of a new Parish House and renovating St. Peter’s Church. Adopting a “hands-on” approach, our youthful Pastor could be found carrying out huge stones from under the church, and was very involved in fund-raising. Although his determination was always evident, it was his jovial demeanour and caring ways that are his lasting legacy. Father Hughie D. will always be remembered for his love of people and a fearlessness in confronting any challenge that presented itself.
He administered to all with love and kindness that can never be surpassed. Now into his 9th decade of life, Father Hughie D. continues to serve as Parish Priest of Stella Maris Parish, Creignish, Cape Breton.
Regina (Avery) Richard
Regina, commonly known as Jean, was born in Larry’s River to George A. Avery and Mable (Richard) Avery in 1925. After the death of her mother, and at a young age, she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts to live with her older brother, Dave. Here she attended Blessed Sacrament School where she was taught by Nuns who saw, not only academic abilities in her, but musical talent as well.
Both were encouraged and fostered and she soon was a regular singer and guitar player at a variety of venues in the Cambridge area. Jean then attended Cambridge High and Latin where she received her high school diploma. With soldiers returning from war duty, a radio show on WHDH was instituted to show gratitude to these heroes by having music played for them to enjoy. By this time she had been given the stage name of “Tiny Jean”, and she became a regular on this broadcast being heard singing her Country Ballads and helping the country emerge from a dark era in world history.
She married Edward Richard and moved to Rhode Island where she began a lifetime of volunteer work while holding fulltime employment and raising their son, Rich junior. For her tireless efforts in bringing comfort and love to many needy souls, Jean became recognized by her city of Warwick and the State of Rhode Island. She was even a White House guest of American First Lady, Nancy Reagan, where she again was recognized for her charitable work. This past year the city of Warwick did an interview with Jean recalling her White House visit. At her present youthful age, Jean still sees fit to bring loving support to many people in her “Parish Family” and to neighbourhood friends.
Father Douglas Murphy
Father Doug is the son of the late John Murphy and Clara (Pellerin) Murphy. As a young boy growing up in Larry’s River in the 1940s and 1950s, Doug became a 2nd generation of “academics” to grow up in this community. Father Forest’s push for education, had taken effect, and Doug and several others of his age group were beneficiaries of this effort. His teacher-mother’s musical talents and interest in education were inherited by him and became a cornerstone of his development.
He completed high school in the early 1950s and went on to St. Francis Xavier University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1956. Another cornerstone of his youthful development learnt at home and community was his Catholic Faith. This followed him throughout his life and led him to the Holy Heart Seminary where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1960. Upon graduation, his first assignment was in Petit de Grat where he was made Assistant to none other than, Père Charles Forêt. Since then, Father Doug has served as Parish Priest in numerous Cape Breton, Pictou and Antigonish parishes. He studied Sacred Music at Manhattanville College in New York and has always been a strong proponent of Sacred music being a meaningful part of liturgical celebrations. Father Doug is presently Parish Priest at Holy Rosary Parish, Westmount, Cape Breton.
Cory is a great athlete and son of Wayne and Sandra Avery of Larry’s River. He was born in Fort MacMurray, Alberta, in 1987, but his family returned home to Larry’s River, shortly afterwards, where Cory grew up. Under the guidance and encouragement of his ball player and sports minded dad, Wayne, and sports-loving mother, Sandra, Cory began emulating his dad and other players he came to watch and admire. His playing career began in Guysborough and his talents became very evident as he progressed through the various levels of competition.
His early playing career saw him compete in the; 1) Eastern Canadian Bantam Championships in Placentia, Nfld in 2002; 2) Canadian Midget Championships, Summerside, P.E.I., 2003 and 2004; 3)Under 19 World Championships, Summerside (Bronze Medal winners), Canadian Midget Championships, Mirimachi, New Brunswick (Silver Medal and top pitcher, and Canada Games, Regina, Saskatchewan–all in 2005; Canadian Junior National Championships, St. Leonard, Quebec, 2006; Canadian Junior Championships, Summerside, 2007; Canadian Junior National Championships, Owen Sound, Ontario, Silver Medal–2008; Canadian Junior National Championships, Owen Sound, Silver Medal and Tournament MVP, ISC World Tournament, Quad City, Iowa, Senior Men’s Canadian Nationals, St. Thomas, Ontario- 2009; Canadian Junior Nationals, St. Croix, N.S., ISC World Tournament, Midland Michigan, Senior Men’s Canadian Nationals, Summerside–2010. Moved to, and played for Green Bay Wisconsin in 2009, and from there played in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Illinois. Moved to Simi Valley, California, and while playing got to visit such places as Las Vegas, Palm Springs, San Antonio, Oregon, Utah and Arizona. Great accomplishments for a young lad from our community, and his dedication and determination make us very proud.
Daughter of Karen (Marsh) Delorey and the late Raymond Delorey, Larry’s River, Karey-Beth began skating in Canso at 2 years of age. She was a competitive skater for 10 years and began coaching after high school. Missing being on the ice herself, she applied for a position with Disney on Ice. Her application and video were impressive enough to have her hired in 2012 as cast member for a new show, “Rockin Ever After”, and flown to Lakeland, Florida, where rehearsals began with a producer and choreographer of Disney On Ice.
The cast worked closely with the owners of Feld Entertainment, the largest entertainment company in the world. Since her entry with this professional group, Karey-Beth has done tours in Florida, Rhode Island, Georgia, Virginia, Michigan, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, Missouri, Texas, and Louisiana as well as Ontario and Quebec in 2012-2013. In 2013-2014, she was cast member of the Disney On Ice “Dare to Dream” tours of western Europe including, Scotland, Ireland, England, France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Spain. During 2014-2015, she was part of the same show with performances in Japan, China, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Jakarta, Australia, and New Zealand. While Disney On Ice has a total of 8 touring shows at one time, Karey-Beth has performed on 4 of these throughout her career and brought to life over 10 beloved characters in 15 countries. Quite an accomplishment for a young lady from our rural village of Larry’s River who continues to make us very proud of what she has been able to attain through dedication and perseverance.
Eileen 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.
Sister Theresa Delorey
Born in 1937 in Larry’s River, Sister Theresa is the daughter of late Frank Delorey and Mamie (Gerrior) Delorey. She attended school in Larry’s River until the completion of Grade 10, when she transferred to Mabou to complete her High School. She then attended Normal College, Truro, for her Teacher Certification and taught grades 3 and 4 at Guysborough Academy for 4 years. Her “calling”, however, did not permit her to remain here in that roll.
t led her in a search for Missionary involvement with the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa. Her formation training was done in Quebec, Pennsylvania and London England, after which she was sent to Zambia, Africa, in 1969. Here, Sister Theresa became teacher, deputy head mistress, and headmistress for 15 years in a rural boarding school. She was then appointed Assistant Provincial of the province of Malawi, Zambia. After 6 years in that position, she became Provincial Treasurer of the American Province in Washington, DC, for 3 years. Sister Theresa then returned to Zambia in an administrative role at a time when the AIDS epidemic was critical. She became very involved in caring and supportive roles in an attempt to bring comfort to the dying and to those who served them. She and her community also worked hard to find books and educational materials for schools and her native village of Larry’s River supported their efforts with financial contributions. Sister Theresa left Africa in 2011 for a new roll in Ottawa where she presently lives. At the time of her departure, all schools, hospitals and health centers were in the hands of Africans where her community was faithful to the guiding message of their founder; “You are initiators– the lasting work will be done by Africans themselves when they are ready.”
Dr. Krista Richard
Krista was born in Larry’s River, on October 28, 1976, and daughter of Brian and Mary Richard. She received her early education in Port Felix, Riverview Consolidated, New Harbour and graduated from Guysborough Municipal High School with Honours. She then studied at St. Francis Xavier University and graduated from there with an Honours’ Degree in Psychology. Upon graduation, she accepted a position in the field of Social Work and Child Protection, in Maine, U.S.A. After 2 years in this role, Krista returned to the world of Academia, where she enrolled in the Masters of Arts program specializing in Forensic Psychology in Vermont.
She transferred to Carleton University, Ottawa, the following year and completed her Masters in Forensic Psychology in 2004. She followed this with enrollment into the Doctorate in Forensic Psychology program at Carleton where she studied while accumulating valuable experience working with young offenders in our federal prison institutions as well as working with Health Canada with high-risk populations involved in alcohol and drug abuse. In 2011, she worked with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and found her niche. Here she worked as a Forensic Psychologist and helped that organization understand the complexities of human behaviour. She also helped guide others on how to help those who fell into conflicts with the law and provide guidance to those who made bad life choices. In this capacity, Krista has travelled much of the world in her quest for further understanding and effecting positive change in people’s lives. Krista has enrolled in a full-time French Education program where she will develop a greater fluency in the French language and will thus be able to accept new challenges in our bilingual country.
Krista loves visiting her native community and is proud of her cultural roots and we are honoured to call Doctor Krista, “one of ours”. She is a testament of her parental and Acadian DNA in her perseverence and desire to make our world a better place.
Thomas Clarence Richard was born June 17, 1921, in Charlos Cove. His parents were Benjamin B. and Margaret (Avery) Richard. Thomas married Mary Theresa Grover, daughter of Edward William and Annie (David) Grover, on January 17, 1950, in Charlos Cove. They had one child, Loretta, who married Havelock (Sonny) Munroe of Cole Harbour. Loretta and Sonny have three children, Lauchie, Chastity, and Theresa Nacita, who died of a car accident at age 24.
Before the war years, Tom worked in the Allan Shaft Mine in Trenton for 7 months. When the war started, Tom went for his basic training in Aldershot, Nova Scotia, after which he moved to Halifax where he joined the Princess Fusiliers. He was deployed for European duty shortly afterwards and served in the United Kingdom, Central Mediterranean and Continental Europe. He received the Star Medal for his service during World War 2, the Italy Star, France Star, and Germany Star. To add to his list of merited awards, Thomas was also given the Defence Medal, Volunteer Service Medal and the Clasp Medal. He was also recipient a Thank You Medal for his efforts in the liberation of Holland. He received his honourable discharge in December, 1946.
After the war, the local veterans wanted to build a Royal Canadian Legion branch in the area, and Thomas donated the land that Branch #117 was built on in Charlos Cove. Thomas served in various positions with the Legion over the years and represented all Legion members at the Acadian Reunions and always marched proudly through his community. This year (2016) marks his 69th year as a standing member of the Tor Bay Branch #117.
Thomas began a new career after the War when he joined the workforce of the Canadian Hydrographic Survey and served 15 years on the ship, Hudson, and another 23 on the CGS Acadia. Here he served as 1 of 4 Coxswains and developed a reputation as a tireless, dependable and friendly crew member who could be counted on for any task assigned to him.
After his retirement in 1985, his comradery with both his Legion brothers and Ship mates continued. Although he now resides in Northumberland Veteran’s Wing of a Pictou Nursing Home, he continues to love visitors and share his many life stories and love of Charlos Cove.
Jude Francis Avery
Jude Francis Avery was born August 28, 1946, to Frank and Evangeline (Pellerin) Avery. He attended Larry’s River School until the completion of grade 9 when students were bused to Guysborough Municipal High School. Jude never completed high school, but moved to Toronto, Ontario, to live with his old brother Carman and his wife Sara Anne. Here he did his grade 11 at Alderwood Collegiate Institute and then went on to Radio College of Canada for a Diploma in Television and General Electronics.
Upon graduation Jude moved to Halifax where he worked in the field of electronics with a small repair firm, then with Northern Electric. It was at this time that he met his future wife, Vaughnie MacNeil, and decided to further his education in an effort to secure a better future for his family. After writing Mature Students’ Entry Exams at Saint Francis Xavier University, Jude enrolled in an Arts Degree program with emphasis in French and Political Science. He completed degrees in Arts and Education at St. F. X. and began a career in teaching at Pomquet Consolidated School in 1973. He was an elementary teacher here for 2 years and during this time was instrumental in organizing the 1st Pomquet Winter Carnaval that continues to this day. He also completed a 4 year French Language Block Program at l’Université Sainte Anne.
Jude served as member of the Conseil d’Administration of la Fédération Acadienne de la Nouvelle Ecosse for 7 years during which he saw his interest in Acadian affairs develop and grow. His teaching career spanned another 28 years as a Junior and Senior High school French teacher in the Guysborough, and Strait Regional School systems, and always spent much time promoting Acadian history and culture. He was involved in the organizing of the Festival du Tamarin that was celebrated in Larry’s River from the mid 1980s, to 1990. However, it was the first Congrès Mondial Acadien in 1994 in Moncton, and the 2004 version of the same that was staged in Nova Scotia, that really piqued Jude’s Acadian interests. Since then, he has been very committed to learning, promoting and maintaining the rich stories of our past, encouraging others to discover the same, and sharing this with the world at large. He has been President of la Société des Acadiens de la Région de Tor Baie since 2002 and continues to play an active role in all facets of Acadian development in the Tor Bay region of Guysborough County. His resolve is to learn as much as possible about our history and culture and help others discover and appreciate the same.