Jubilee on 2009 - Montreal - 70 years
Sister Gertrude Audette
In the book of Jubilees, we honor Sister Gertrude Audette who celebrates her 70th anniversary of religious life. Many things come back to our memory as we see her celebrating this year: her early aspirations to religious life, her walking in the footsteps of her sister Alice up until now, her continuing to offer her missionary life in all serenity in the suffering of inaction.
Adolescent, Gertrude left her hometown in Saskatchewan to go to the Juniorate of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, in Rigaud, Quebec, where, while continuing her education, she received a spiritual preparation for her vocation. Always affable, gracious, beautiful, with a heavenly demeanour, she personified the Virgin Mary, in choreography events. Better still, the Marian devotion her mother communicated to her deepened in the Quebec Novitiate and accompanied her all through her life. At last her dream of a vocation to Adoration and Missionary Life had come true!
Her first mission sending was to meet an urgent need for bilingual teachers. She was assigned to teaching the Slovaks in Montreal, where she served for 10 years. Among other things she formed a church choir, but suddenly an urgent appeal from the Saint-Laurent, Manitoba School emerged. Clearly, a career as a teacher had come to light for S. Gertrude. She returned to studies, enjoyed great success at the Pedagogical Institute of Montreal, and then answered the call for Manitoba. First she was a teacher, and then principal of Simonet School; later she was assigned to the same functions for the St. Laurent School.
She always had the confidence of the Métis people. As evidence, there is nothing better than an extract from the tribute delivered by the President of the Association of Teachers, Mrs. Linda Beaudin: "I am very happy and honored to have the opportunity to talk to you about a person who dedicated herself for 34 years in the teaching profession. Sr. Gertrude retires this year, and although it is impossible not to regret the loss of such a professional, of a highly qualified teacher, and the loss of a very dear friend, I ask you to join me in paying tribute to Sister Gertrude, and mark the culmination of high achievement and a wonderful success. Her vocational choice has proved a blessing for us as for her students. By her personal inspiration, she influenced the lives of those who knew her. She leaves a legacy of love, dedication, and strong standards of perfection in her professional duties. Colleagues also remember her debut at Simonet School where, courageously, in every season and temperature, she went with her colleague, in a "buggy" drawn by the reliable horse Roch .... Homage to you, Woman of happiness, peace, kindness, nice manners, genuine pleasure in your relationships with students and staff ... "
Jubilee on 2009