L'Association des Hebert du Monde
[The Association of Heberts of the World]
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La Gazette HEBERT

Volume 1999 - Issue 14                Abbeville, Louisiana                  September 1999
        Here we are again after a few weeks’ break from that fantastic Hébert “homecoming.”  WOW! What a way to peak after almost three years of hard and persistent planning.  So many, many people to thank for such dedication to one family name: Hébert—as honorable and delightful as any other Acadian name.

        We wish we had been able to record the many compliments and praises made during the two-day reunion.   Even members of other reunion families were congratulating us for “a job well done.”  The overall opinion of those who worked so hard to bring Héberts from all parts of the world together in Abbeville is simply this: 

        We never guessed the response would be so great!  A “grand merci” to all who came—you really made us look good.

        Since the reunion, we have received more “good job” remarks:

         Abbeville Main Street would like to congratulate all the members of the Hébert family for organizing such a successful reunion.
        Your goal was to gather and unite with Héberts from around the world and promote our City with all its different cultures.  It was great to see everyone touring, walking, shopping and eating in our fine restaurants.
        Although I am not a cousin, I did enjoy participating and meeting all the interesting Héberts, of course, my favorite was Bobby Hébert.
        Judging from the crowd and the smiles on everyone’s face, I know ya’ll passed a good time.

       Charlene Beckett, Abbeville Main Street Directress
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        The Hébert Reunion in Abbeville was great.  The effort involved was obvious.  Thanks for a great time.
       Roy Neal Hébert, New Iberia, Louisiana 
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        Just wanted to thank you (the committee) for all the work  put into the Hébert Reunion.  I really enjoyed it and thought it was the best one of the several I was able to attend.       There were lots of events of interest and lots of friendly cousins.  It always amazes me how complete strangers who have a family connection are so comfortable and connect so well with each other.  This was certainly evident at the reunion.  I am very excited about going to Canada in 2004 .
                     Virginia Pruett, Katy, Texas 
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I want to thank you (the committee) for all of your hard work.  My sister and I attended most of the events and had a great time.  Even though our closest Hébert relation is seven generations back, everyone made us feel very welcome.  We met people from all over the U. S. and Canada, and all were enjoying the reunion.  We hope to see all of you in 2004 . 
Helen Schneidau, New Orleans, Louisiana 
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        Just a few words to say “thank you” to you and your wonderful committee for the beautiful and well-organized Hébert Family Reunion held in Abbeville, LA, August 6-7.  My wife and I had a great time meeting different people (all those Héberts) and sharing in the festivities which you and the committee provided.  It was an event that all of you can be proud to have accomplished.  I know that a lot of hard work and dedication went into this, and all of you deserve the credit.  Thank you again and again for a memorable occasion.  We look forward to a return visit to Abbeville. 
Eddie Hébert, Thibodaux, LA

Russell’s Reflections on the Highlights of the Reunion
1)  The opening ceremonies and dance on Friday.
        Turnout for both events was much more than expected.  Over 500 happy people attended the dance.  It was family-oriented, so even the children joined in the “fais-do-do”—just like our Acadian ancestors did.  You had to be there to see how contagious the bonding among the Hébert cousins was.  Of course, the music from the band added to the merriment.
2)  The unveiling of our reunion memorial. 
        It seems that everyone at the opening walked to Magdalen Square to witness the unveiling by Warren Perrin, President of CODOFIL, and Mayor Brady Broussard.  The monument, donated by the Lovelis Hébert Family,  is a beautiful tribute to the celebraton of the Hébert Family Reunion in Abbeville.  The “Walk of Names” surely does add to the beauty of our memorial.
3)  The Giant Egg Omelette Parade.
        Approximately 250 people walked in procession, with their colorful banners, to the location of the omelette cooking, where approximately  900-1200 people watched the cooking demonstration.  Low and behold, who pops up to the delight of the crowd—NFL Quarterback Bobby Hébert, his wife Teresa, his four delightful children, and of course, Papa and Momma “bears”:  Bobby, Sr., and Paula—great folks from Cut Off, Louisiana.  It was gratifying to see how the “Cajun Cannon” mingled with the crowd and graicously signed autographs.  Thanks, Bobby, you made us (young and old) proud to be Héberts and added much excitement to our Saturday activities.
4)   The Mass and Closing Ceremonies.
        Whereas the church seats appoximately 600, people were standing three deep in the rear areas of St. Mary Magdalen to join in the Mass of Thanksgiving for this memorable and warm occasion.  The French Mass was beautifully celebrated by Msgr. Glenn Provost and enriched by Nancy Tabb Marcantel’s rendition of several hymns in French.

As we said our “good-bye’s” after the closing ceremony,
we felt our hearts yearn for the time when we will met again.



1)  Afghans
        25 on hand left from initial order of 150.  Once the initial order of afghans is sold, we will order by lots of 50, but only after that quantity is requested.  Joyce Hébert Lege and her committee did a superb job with their choices of scenes and colors.  The afghan would make a great gift for Christmas.
2)  Memorial Bricks
        275 left of 450 available to be sandblasted (stenciled) on the “Walk of Names.”  This will be a lasting memorial to our members, their families, and their friends.
3)  License Plates
        This item was on special at reunion for $10.  The Memorabilia Committee has decided to offer them as a super special:  Both license plates for the  price of $5 or the Logo Plate at $3.  The framed license (limited number left) is also on special for $23,  which includes postage. 
4)  T-Shirts
        We have re-ordered for the 3rd time.  This is all the inventory we have left: Adult sizes: S (6) @ $10 each,  L (3) @ $12 each,  XL (8) @ $12 each, and XXL (5) @ $14 each..  Please add $1.50 per t-shirt for postage. 
        T-shirts and license plates can be ordered through the Association address:  Hebert Family Assn., P. O. Box 375, Abbeville, LA  70511.  The afghan and bricks have a special order blank enclosed with the postal mail version of the  newsletter.

Sadly Missed
        One week before the reunion, we received a call from Vice-President Charles Hébert that member Stephanie Broussard Hébert, his wife, had been diagnosed with cancer of the breast and that she was to undergo Chemotherapy on Friday, August 6. On Thursday, August 5, Stephanie died unexpectedly.
        Stephanie had been a pillar in the Hébert reunion movement. She and Charles traveled from Houston for most of our board meetings and were instrumental in the planning from the very beginning.
        The closing mass and ceremonies on Saturday, August 7, were dedicated to her memory.
        On Sunday, August 8, five members of our Association drove to Houston to pay their respects to Stephanie’s family.
        Remember Stephanie and her family in your prayers.

Le Coin Français
Barbara Hébert Hébert

        Quels jours inoubliable!!  Le Congrès Mondial des Acadiens a eu un grand succès.  La Réunion de l’Association des Hébert du Monde pour laquelle nous avons travaillé si diligemment pendant trois ans et qui a eu lieu le 6 et 7 Août à Abbeville a eu aussi beaucoup de succès.  Environ, 900 a 1200 personnes sont venus pour les deux jours de célébration.  Malgré la chaleur de ces jours d’été, les participants avaient l’air de bien s’amuser.  Ils sont venus de Québec, de la Nouvelle Ecosse, de Martinique, de Nouveau Brunswick, de la Belgique, et de beaucoup d’états des États-Unis.
        Le Centre d’Accueil a été ouvert à 9 h du matin le 6 où participants pouvaient faire des recherches de généalogie et peut-être rencontrer de nouveaux cousins.  Il s’y trouvait aussi beaucoup de souvenirs à achetér comme les pins, les T-shirts, des livres sur la généalogie.  Pendant la journée on a montré un film sur le “Grand Derangement,” et au Centre Culturel et Historique il y avait unexposition d’art de Chestee Harrington, qui raconte dans ses oeuvres la vie et l’histoire des Cajuns de Louisiane.  Et chaque correspond à une chanson de la musique des Cajuns, comme “Jolie Blonde” et “Allons Danser, Colinda.”  Pour ceux qui s’interéssaint à mieux connaitre notre  ville, il y avait des visites guidées par les guides de la ville d’Abbeville.  Pendant la journée il y avait de la musique à la Place Madeleine, le “square” où on pouvait aussi danser.
        La Ceremonie d’Ouverture a eu lieu à 7 heures.  “Les Amies Louisianaises” ont chanté Hymne National en français, et après, Les Petits Chanteurs Acadiens ont chanté plusieurs chansons.  M. Warren Perrin, le président de CODOFIL, nous a addressé la parole.  M. Perrin est bien connu pour ses efforts en la préservation de la culture et la langue des Cajuns.  Après l’Ouverture, dans le “Square” M. Warren Perrin et le Maire Brady Broussard ont dédi le Memorial qi commemore le Congrès Mondial Acadien-Louisiane 1999 et la Réunion de la famille Hébert. 
        Après il y avait une danse dans la belle “Madeleine Place” où tout le monde avait l’air de bien s’amuser.
        Le Samedi matin les Chevaliers de la Confrérie de l’Omelette Géante ont fait cuire une Omelette de 5,000 oeufs et l’ont servi à la fouel.  La présence de Bobby Hébert, le célèbre joueur de football américain, a été très appreciée par ses jeunes “fans.”  Enfin, par tout le monde!  Et c’etait un honneur pour nous que Mme. Kathleen Babineaux-Blanco (Lieutenant-Gouverneur de la Louisiane) est venue nous addresser la parole. 
        La journée s’est terminée avec une belle Messe en français à l’Eglise Marie Madeleine célébré par Monseigneur Glenn Provost.
        J’ai trouvé ces 15 jours du Congrés très émouvant, et je me sentais très fière d’être Acadienne.
        Pendant les 15 jours du Congrès, il y avait des Conférences intéressantes comme celle de M. Gerard-Marc Braud qui a parlé des Acadiens à Nantes, en France, et de ceux qui sont venus en Louisiane de Nantes dans les années après 1765.  M. Braud etait le représentant de “Racines et Rameaux” de Nantes et Belle-Isle-en-Mer.  M. Stephen White, généalogiste au Centre d’Etudes Acadiennes, Universite de Moncton, Nouveau Brunswick, a aussi donné une conférence très intéressante et amusante à la fois à St. Martinville.  Un chef du tribu indien Mic-Mac, qui ont beaucoup aidé les Acadiens pendant la  dispersion, a donné un discours très emouvant en explicant les liens entre les Mic-Mac et les Acadiens.  Nous avons appris 
comment ils ont souffert aux mains des Anglais pour avoir aidé et caché les Acadiens.  Après son discours tout le monde avait les larmes aux yeux.  M. Roger Hébert, président de l’Association des Hébert d’Acadie, est venu à Abbeville pour notre réunion.
        Deux évenements pendant le Congrès m’ont vraiment touché.  La Messe, qui a eu lieu à St. Martinville à L’Eglise de St. Martin de Tours, etait la Messe officiele de fermeture le 14 Août, avec l’Archevêque Ernest Leger de Moncton, Nouveau Brunswick.  C’etait très emouvant de voir les bannières apportés par les quarantaine familles qui ont eu des réunion.  L’autre évenement c’était “Le Cri du Bayou” au Cajundome à Lafayette, la fermeture du Congrès le 15 Août.  Zachary Richard et beaucoup d’autres chanteurs et groupes Cajun et Zydeco, et deux groupes venus de la Nouvelle Ecosse ont chanté pendant plus de deux heures à une auditoire très fière de se sentir Acadiens.  Quand Zachary Richard a chanté sa belle chanson “Reveille,” j’ai pense à nos ancêtres, chassées de leur beau pays, leurs terres et maisons brulées par les Anglais, dispersés aux quatre vents dans un effort de détruire la culture et le langage d’un peuple sans défense au dix-huitième siécle.  J’ai pensé aussi à un T-s!
hirt que j’ai vu sur un des participants “J’ai survécu la déportation de 1755.”  En effet, on a tous survécu.  Nos ancêtres seraient si contente de savoir que les Anglais n’ont pas réussi à les anéantir.  L’esprit de l‘Acadie vit; elle devient de plus en plus forte.  Les Acadiens de la Nouvelle Ecosse, de Nouveau Brunswick, de Belle-Isle-en-Mer, partout dans le Monde où il y a encore des Acadiens, à la Louisiane où nous les Cajuns commencent à se réunir et de reclamer notre heritage, cet esprit continue à se réaliser.  On a bien survécu.  On a, comme dit la belle chanson du Congrès, “le coeur en Acadie et les pieds en Louisiane.”  On est bien “réveillé” et comme dit le poème de Jean Arceneaux dans “L’Acadie Tropicale”: 
                “Enfants du silence
                  Levons nos voix ensembles,
                  Chantons du coeur en choeur
                  Ils commencent à nous entendre.”

what's in the future

The year 2000:  A one-day reunion.  Where?  Are you and a group of your co-hearts interested in  hosting the 2000 Reunion?   If so, submit a no cost bid to the Association for consideration.  Include in your “bid”: where (town), when (fall preferably), and what housing is available for out-of-town guest.  The Association will provide assistance ($) for registration and food for members. Non-members would have to pay a small registration fee. The Association will also lend its expertise in planning and will help in some of the work involved.  Deadline for “bid” submission:  January 15, 2000.  (we would be happy to provide you with names and address of members in your locale)

The year 2001:  A two-day Reunion.  Where?  We received an invitation from Roger Hébert, a member from the Province of New Brunswick, Canada, to join in with L’Association des Hébert d’Acadie and possibly the Hébert Association of New England (USA).  Roger attended the CMA Hébert Reunion in Abbeville.  We met with him while he was here and discussed the possibilities for co-hosting such a reunion  somewhere in New Brunswick.

While in New Brunswick, we would have an opportunity to discuss the CMA Hébert Reunion of Nova Soctia-2004 with our counterparts of Acadie. 

Many of our members have expressed  a desire to visit New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Cape Briton, and Nova Scotia before the year 2004.  Such a tour (by bus and one or two fly-in connections) is now being explored for early summer (June) of 2001.  We would like to hear from you if you are interested in joining us for this  tour.  There is a possibility that we could have pick-up locations while in route from Abbeville.  Cost for such a tour has not been determined as of yet.  We should have a ball-park figure by press time for La Gazette #15 (December, 1999).

La Gazette HÉBERT
Official Newsletter of The Association of Héberts of the World
c/o Russell Gaspard, Editor P. O. Box 375 Abbeville, LA 70511-0375 Fax: 318-893-4119

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