Former teacher releases new book

Centre La Picasse hosted Gabriel LeBlanc who spoke about his new book to a big crowd last weekend in Petit de Grat.

ISLE MADAME: A new book offers insight into the history of a local community.

Local author Gabriel LeBlanc launched his new book, Mon Isle Madame, at Centre La Picasse in Petit de Grat on January 17.

LeBlanc, who describes himself as an amateur historian, worked as a teacher and also consulted with Parks Canada for around 27 years.

During those years, he compiled a lot of information about Isle Madame.

“When my grandchild got sick, she motivated me to write the book so that whatever profits we would make would go into a fund to help her defray medical costs,” said LeBlanc.

“My granddaughter was really the motivating factor behind my writing of the book.”

LeBlanc’s granddaughter, nine-year-old Catherine LeBlanc, has juvenile arthritis, as well as autoimmune anaemia, caused by an underlying immune dysregulation disorder known as CVID (common variable immune deficiency).

Gabriel LeBlanc signed copies of his new book Mon Isle Madame on Sunday afternoon at Centre La Picasse in Petit de Grat.

Les Editions de la Francophonie, out of Levis, Quebec, published the book, which he said was a “work of a love of history.”

The book, LeBlanc said, demonstrates the historical resilience of Acadians over the years.

“Finally, it dawned on me that there was never an Acadian that told our story, the story about Isle Madame and our presence there from the beginning,” he said.

“We were always told what our history was supposed to be. So I did a lot of archival work and finally came up with this book, giving you a real picture of the Acadians on Isle Madame from the beginning until now.”

He said compiling the book took about three years, noting the Premium Group helped in bringing the project to fruition. LeBlanc also offered credit to Justin Mury, with La Societe National de L’Acadie and president of La Societe Promotion Grand Pre.

LeBlanc then thanked Rena Boudreau for her help with the book.

“Her work, patience and devotion in realizing the project will never be forgotten,” LeBlanc added.