Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Commemorating the Founders of Montreal

Paul de Chomedy de Maisonneuve, Jeanne Mance, and Marguerite Bourgoys are considered to be the co-founders of Montreal.
  • Maisonneuve was given a mission by the Société Notre-Dame de Montréal to found a missionary colony consecrated to the Holy Virgin in New France. The group he commanded arrived in Montreal in May, 1642, and called the colony Ville Marie.Maisonneuve, governor from 1642 to 1665, was a skilful organizer and tireless defender of the settlement. In 1895, a statue of Maisonneuve was erected in Montreal:

  • Jeanne Mance was a lay nurse whose aim was to serve the "poor Indian and French sick people in the settlement. She founded and ran the hospital Hôtel-Dieu, and was the treasurer and manager of the Montreal colony. The Jeanne Mance commemorative stamp was issued on April 18, 1973 :

  • Marguerite Bourgeoys, a deeply religious person, arrived at Montreal in 1653, having been invited by Maisonneuve to teach school and religion classes. Bourgeoys occupied herself with works of charity and of social service, founding the religious order the Congrégation de Notre-Dame. Referred to as "Mother of the Colony" by the settlers, Marguerite Bourgeoys was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1982, becoming Canada'sfirst woman saint. Canada Post issued a stamp honouring Marguerite Bourgeoys on May 30, 1985 :

Although the Canadian post office has issued stamps honouring Jeanne Mance and Marguerite Bourgeoys, a Canadian Maisonneuve commemorative stamp has yet to be released. This lack of philatelic recognition is surprising given the fact that France issued a Maisonneuve stamp in 1972:

The 400th anniversary of Maisonneuve's birth will be celebrated in 2012. It would be appropriate at that time for Canada Post to issue a stamp honouring Paul de Chomedy de Maisonneuve.