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Cradled between hills and rivers

Support groups and citizens groups

Maude-Emmanuelle Lambert

 

Throughout its history, the Municipality of Pontiac has seen several citizens groups within its territory thrive. Committed to improving infrastructures, to offering sports and leisure activities for the youth, or simply to the well-being of fellow citizens, these groups significantly contribute to the development of the municipality.

 

The Quyon Family Centre

Founded in 1995 through the initiative of a group of citizens and the CLSC of Quyon, the Family Centre offered a meeting place, for discussion and educational activities for young and old[1]. In the Spring of 1995, the Family Centre moved into the former convent of the Sisters of St-Mary’s on John Street. The organization offered a community kitchen program, clothing exchange, gaming workshops for preschoolers and parties for the teenagers (12 to 18 years of age)[2]. The following year, the first salaried director Andrée Gaudet was hired[3]. Several other programs were implemented, such as the « Homework Club » (help with homework) for children aged 6 to 12, the “Youth Action” project for children between 9 and 12 years of age (drug prevention and the development of social skills), and Women’s Night (activities and support)[4].

Since 2002, the Quyon Family Centre has been located in the establishment on Clarendon Street which also houses a clothing counter. It offers various training sessions and prevention activities: babysitting course, CPR training, the “Two thumbs up” program, Mother-baby workshop, collective kitchen, “The little rainbows” and “The little grasshoppers” playgroups for preschoolers. In addition to these activities for parents and children, coffee meetings for the elderly are also organized since the 2010s. These “meetings”, and later the “Meet and Greet”, are a great opportunity for the elderly to exchange ideas, socialize and break out of isolation[5]. In 2014, the Quyon Family Centre was awarded the Jury favourite prize by the Outaouais United Way organization[6]. A video made in the Spring of 2015 depicts the organizations various activities, and testimonies of employees and participants[7].

Directors : Andrée Gaudet, Diane Lemire, Christine Poirier, Brigitte Deziel, Nancy Provost, Catherine Beaudet (currently).

 

Saint-Vincent-de-Paul (Luskville counter)

Located in the Luskville presbytery, aside from collecting goods that are then distributed in Christmas baskets, this organization also offers a clothing counter. For the Holidays, donations received are used to purchase fresh produce and gifts for children.

 

Kogaluk Centre

Founded by Father Jean-Louis Morin, the Kogaluk Centre’s mission is to provide social housing offering support to homeless individuals or families struggling with mental health problems, alcoholism, drug abuse and social disorganization. On the premises, the Director is supported by an intervenor for the service to residents and by a psychosocial counsellor. The Centre offers various services, including the accompaniment to appointments, weekly transportation, recovery support, intervention plan, help with returning to school or on the job market, etc.[8]

 

The Luskville « Cercle socio-culturel » (socio-cultural group)

Previously known as the Saint-Dominic Inc. socio-cultural group (registered in 1998, but active since at least the early 1980’s[9]), this non-profit organization organizes various activities for the community, including an annual bazaar (craft sale) that is held just before Christmas at the Luskville Community Centre[10].  In 1999, the Centre also published a parish story by Michel Pourbaix, (The story of a Christian community), to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Saint-Dominic Parish (1896).

 

Groupe Action Jeunesse

Active since the 2000s, this organization’s objective is to « plan and organize recreational, cultural, and sports activities for the community, particularly for the youth. To encourage the development of new activities which meet the needs and aspirations of the young people, and the population in general. To promote the development of social skills among the youth in the community. Regroup the community’s residents who are interested in the activities and services offered to the Luskville population»[11].

Luskville’s Groupe Action Jeunesse has taken over the task of organizing the winter carnival. It also organizes a day camp for the March break and for several years, has also held a summer day camp in partnership with the Municipality of Pontiac. They also offer classes (archery) and sports activities for school-aged children during fall and winter sessions. The board of directors consists of Lise Cyr, Diane Daigle, Sharon Hobbs, Marc-André Maurier, Éric Renaud, Mélanie Touchette and Sophie Voisin.

 

Quyon C Kidz Can

Established in 2007 by Shawn Findlay, Donna Hickey, Elizabeth Kluke and Paul Desjardins, this group organizes various activities for young children and teenagers. They offer regular movie viewings at the Bert Kennedy hall (Women’s Institute), organize teen dances and various festivities, for example on Canada Day. On occasion, they also organize group outings (Calypso water slides) and a “Junkyard symphony” concert for the children. As for fundraising activities, the organization holds suppers and stand-up comedy nights, as in 2012, at the Lions Club community hall. This organization’s long-term objective is to establish a centre, or youth club where teenagers can meet[12].

 

The Golden Age Clubs

Two Golden Age Clubs exist in the municipality which have been active for several decades, they are the Luskville “Blés d’Or” and the Quyon Senior Citizen Club. They respectively hold card games and bingo tournaments at the Luskville Community Centre and the Bert Kennedy Centre in Quyon. The Quyon group on occasion offers a community supper and the Luskville group have a Christmas dinner each year. At the end of the 1980s, the administration under Marcel Lavigne, in collaboration with the Blés d’Or, launched a building project of 12 units to accommodate the elderly[13].



[1] Sylvia Bakker, « Quyon Library will move », The Equity, December 13, 1995.

[2] Sylvia Bakker, « Quyon residents hooked on family centre », The Equity, September 27, 1995.

[3] « Family house hires coordinator », The Equity, September 18, 1996.

[4] « Donation from the Caisse populaire to the Family Centre », Pontiac Journal, May 7, 1997.

[5] Danielle Sachs, The Equity, May 5, 2011; Louise St. Laurent, « First Rendezvous for Maison Quyon », Pontiac Journal, May 18, 2011; Julielee Stitt, « Early Christmas with family », The Equity, December 19, 2012.

[6] « Coup de coeur 2014 : The Quyon Family Centre », Outaouais United Way blog, September 24, 2014.

[7] The Quyon Family Centre, on viméo.

[8] For additional information, visit the Kogaluk website.

[9] The mention of an annual meeting of the St-Dominic socio-cultural group and the election of various members of the board of directors is found in the weekly chronicle « Luskville Leader » of the Equity, July 2, 1980.

[11] For additional information, visit the Groupe action jeunesse website.

[12] Kate Aley, « A little something for the kids », Journal du Pontiac, February 11, 2009; Adrienne Taylor, « C Kidz Kan host an Absolute Comedy night in Quyon », The Equity, March 3, 2012.

[13] Denise Belec, “Senior apartments in Luskville”, The Equity, February 8, 1989.