A COVID Canada Day for St. Francis Manor

By Gordon Lambie

Compton-Stanstead MP Marie Claude Bibeau and singer Tim Brink teamed up for a physically distanced take on Canada Day on Wednesday. Gathered in the parking lot of the St. Francis Manor in Lennoxville, Bibeau, Brink, and several invited guests did the best they could to keep the spirit of the day alive for residents who gathered on their balconies to watch.
“Canada Day is very different this year, but the festive spirit is still very present,” Bibeau said. “this is an opportunity to celebrate our pride in being Canadian and to be part of a country where your background, your origins and your past have contributed to the development of our collective identity.”
The core of Wednesday’s ceremony was focused around honouring a collection of local citizens.
“As part of the Canada Day celebrations, we have some very special guests,” the MP said, “citizens of our region who have distinguished ­themselves by their exemplary involvement during COVID-19.”
Those honoured included Corporals Katherine Dubois and Sean Smith of the 52e ambulance de campagne reserve unit, who were among the first to be deployed to the province’s long term care homes; Sheldon Coleman of Bury, who works at the Cookshire-Eaton IGA and studies at Champlain College; Michel Moine, Chef for the meals on wheels program at the Coaticook Volunteer centre who has prepared more than 5,500 meals since the start of the pandemic working with limited support in a small kitchen; Michelle Dubois and Donna Rolfe, accompanied by Bobo the Chihuahua, who were among the 13 employees of the Manoir Stanstead who moved into that home full time at the peak of the pandemic to reduce the risk to their residents; and Sylvie Bouffard who was present on behalf of the Bouffard family, owners of the Face de Boeuf Butcher shops, whom Bibeau recognized for their contributions and donations to local food drives, as well as their dedication to highlighting the importance of local businesses.
The entire event was streamed live on the MP’s Facebook page, but was also watched by a large group of the residents of the building who either stepped out onto their balconies to watch or into the parking lot itself.
At the end of the presentation period Brink sang two songs for the crowd, after which he led those gathered in a version of the national anthem, joined by Bibeau and members of her staff.

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