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Go to the Hébert Reunion Wrap-Up page 
for a summary of the events and photographs.

     The Hébert held one of the largest reunions of Congres Mondial Acadien from August 6-8, 1999 in Abbeville & Lafayette, Louisiana. The agenda and speaker bios are found below. 
 
HÉBERT REUNION AGENDA
August 6 & 7, 1999 --- Abbeville, Louisiana
Friday, August 6 --- Abbeville, Louisiana
9:00 A.M. Welcome Center Opens:  Magdalen Place 
  (Downtown at Magdalen Square)-Location for registration, genealogy, coffee, information, memorabilia sales (t-shirts, pins, auto licenses), & just a great place for home town talk
9-10 A.M. Video Presentation of the Acadian Despora: Abbeville Cultural Center Theater
9-5 P.M. Genealogy Research:  Magdalen Place 
9-5 P.M. Special Exhibits:  Abbeville Cultural Center
10-11A.M. Walking tour:  Historic Abbeville begins at the Abbeville Cultural Center; directed by Barbara Hébert & Byron Hébert, Abbeville Tour Guides
10-11A.M. Children Stories:  City Council Meeting Room, City Hall; Geri LeBlanc,* Storyteller
10-12 A.M. Music & Dancing:  Magdalen Square, Kira Viator and The Liquid Lace Band*
10-6 P.M. Food Court:  Magdalen Square
11-12N Video Presentation:  Abbeville Cultural Center
1-2 P.M. Walking Tour:  Abbeville Cultural Center
1-2:30 P.M. Genealogy Seminar & Workshop:  Second Floor 
  Courtroom, Courthouse; Tim Hebert* and Joe Hebert,*   Moderators
1-3 P.M. Music & Dancing:  Magdalen Square, Kira Viator and The Liquid Lace Band
2:30 P.M. Last Walking Tour:  Historic Abbeville begins at the Abbeville Cultural Center; directed by Barbara Hébert & Byron Hébert, Abbeville Tour Guides
2:30 P.M. Children Stories:  City Council meeting room, City Hall; Sheila  H. Collins,* Storyteller
5 P.M. Welcome Center Closes:  On-your-own dining at one of Abbeville's great restaurants. There will be no  food served during the Opening Ceremonies and Dance.
7-8 P.M. Reunion Opening Ceremonies:  Magdalen Place;  Barbara Hébert Hébert,* Mistress of Ceremonies; Warren Perrin, Guest Speaker 
(Immediately after ceremonies we set up chairs for the dance; therefore, the crowd will have to  leave the main building while the room is being set up.)
8-8:30 P.M. Dedication of Family Memorial Marker:
  Magdalen Square; Warren Perrin,* President of CODOFIL, Guest Speaker.
8:30 -11:30 P.M. Dance:  Magdalen Place-Music by Second Time Around* of Lafayette
  Admission:  Covered by Membership-badge identification will be necessary. 
  Non-members pay a fee of $5.00 per adult (18+) to attend. 
  No charge for Children & Teens accompanied by a member. 
    $$Cash Bar$$
Saturday, August 7 --- Abbeville, Louisiana
8:30 A.M. Giant Egg Omelet Parade:  Line up at 8:00 a. m. on the KC Council 2281 Parking Lot. Family groups who want to march in the    parade  should contact the Association at P. O. Box 375, Abbeville, LA  70511.  We encourage special marching banners be prepared to use in the parade  by the familygroups (such as the "Family of Sosthene Hébert," or  " Family of François dit Pépin  Hébert," etc.)
9 A.M. Welcome Center Opens:  Magdalen Place
9 A.M. Egg Omelet Cooking:  A 5000-egg omelet will be cooked. The crowd will be fed  omelet and    French bread for breakfast. Cajun Music will be provided by The Fatras Show Band.*
9-3 P.M. Genealogy Research:  Magdalen Place
9-3 P.M. Special Exhibit:  Abbeville Cultural Center
11 A.M. Food Court:   Magdalen Square
12-3 P.M. Music & dancing:  Magdalen Square; Ronney Mayard and The Riverfront Revue*
3:30 P.M. Art Exhibit :  "Esprit de la Louisiane" by Artist Chestee Harrington.* 
  This exhibit is enhanced by a small group of live musicians-Sac-à-Lait* and The Landrys,*
  once members of the Renaissance Cadien dance  group. 
5:30 P.M. Anticipated French Mass:  St. Mary Magdalen   Catholic Church-Mass celebrated by 
  Monsignor Glenn Provost;* singing by Nancy Tabb Marcantel;* 
  Appropriate dress suggested
6:30 P.M. Closing ceremonies:  St. Mary Magdalen  Catholic Church; Janice McNeil,* Mistress of 
  Ceremonies;  Guest speaker, Brian Comeaux,* President, Congrès Mondial Acadien-Louisiane 
Sunday, August 8 --- Acadian Village, Lafayette, Louisiana
     Activities for this day will convene at the Acadian Village, located off of Ridge Road in Lafayette.  The families Hébert, Richard, Duhon, and Maillet will hold a joint congé (holiday) for the entire day with food, music (DANCE), and fellowship.  This should be a great opportunity to meet other Acadian cousins.
.
 

Biographies of Speakers and Entertainers

Kira Ophelia Viator
1997 Governor's Arts Award Recipient
(Folk Artist Category)

   Twelve-year-old accordionist/singer Kira Viator is the latest in a long line of musicians dedicated to keeping alive the traditional style of Cajun music exemplified by such greats as Nathan Abshire and Ira LeJeune.  Since developing a keen interest in the accordion at age seven, the musical prodigy has performed at all kinds of contests, festivals, schools, and public events throughout Acadiana .  The seventh grader has become a well-known ambassador for the preservation of Cajun music and an inspiration to the younger people of this state to appreciate Cajun music, heritage, and tradition.  The daughter of Jody and Roxie Viator, and grand-daughter of L. J. Viator, Kira also plays drums, fiddle, piano, and flute.  The Liquid Lace Band got its name from someone who once commented that "seeing Tira play  was like (watching) liquid lace flow from one generation to another."  Kira, on a scholarship, is currently in her sixth  semester at the Acadian Symphony Conservatory of Music.

The Liquid Lace Band

Kira Viator - Accordion & Vocals
Jody Viator - (Kira's Father) - Bass
Ann Viator Bell - (Kira's Aunt) - Guitar & Vocals
Robert Sonnier - Steel Guitar, Electric Guitar, & Vocals
Barry Cormier - Drums & Vocals
Travis Matte - Fiddle

Chestee Harrington, Artist
Louisiana Native

   Chestee Harrington recently returned to her family home with renewed inspiration to present the prairie families and southern culture of Louisiana through her unique visual style. She is known for her interpretations in polychromatic bas relief (painted wood carved pictures), oil, and sculpture. Chestee's latest exhibition, Esprit de la Louisiane (which personifies the culture and heritage of the Acadian people), will premiere and tour throughout Louisiana during 1999. 
   Many fine art collectors will remember the Chestee Harrington Gallery on Royal Street in New Orleans or perhaps her historic home gallery in St. Francisville, Louisiana.  Her collections have been seen in New York, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, California, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Paris, France.  Her collectors span the globe from across the United States into Argentina and Japan. 
   Chestee has studied with such masters as Michael Pelletieri- lithography; David Hardy, from the Art Institute of Chicago-  temperature of color;  Harry Worthman (yes, the same Worthman whose paintings of Vermilion Parish hang in the Courthouse main hall)-painting; Marshall Glazier-drawing from life; Sidney Simon-sculpture from life; Michael McDonald-landscape painting; and Tommy Hicks-bronze casting.
   Chestee has been a professional artist for nearly thirty years.  She and her teenage daughter currently reside in New Iberia.

Sac-à-Lait

   Sac-à-Lait, a musical trio,  focuses on reproducing the sound and spirit of Cajun music as presented in the earliest recordings of the late 20's and 30's.  This band has been greatly influenced by the music of such greats as Amédé Ardoin, Moise Robin, Leo Soileau, and many other Cajun artists of this era.  From these influences, the group has generated several original recordings in that old style.
   The trio, made up of Phil Allemond, Kevin Courville, and Bobby Michot, was formed in 1989 under the direction of Phil Allemond.
   Phil plays the accordion and does vocals; Kevin, violin and cajun fiddle; and Bobby, guitar and  vocals.
   All three  musicians have many years of experience with other bands and have played with many prestigious Cajun musicians.  In addition, they have several recordings to their credit.
   Sac-à-Lait- a very popular pan fish of the South Louisiana Angler.  The word sac-à-lait, literally translated in French, means "sack of milk," which refers to the whitish color of the fish.  Commonly known to the Anglo-American as crappie or white perch, it is a favorite fish of the anglers of the bayous, lakes, and swamps of Louisiana.

The Riverfront Revue

  The Riverfront Revue is an Abbeville-based professional band which actively performs throughout Acadiana for private and public functions.  The quartet specializes in adult-oriented music, primarily from the 40's and 50's.
   The members of the group are all long-time musicians; and their repertoire covers several styles including  Jazz, Standards, Country, and Rhythm & Blues. 
     Ronney Mayard - Sax & Clarinet, Abbeville
     Gordon Wiltz - Keyboard & Vocals, New Iberia
     Chet Blakiston - Guitar, Ukelele, Washington, D. C.
     Tonio Cutrera - Drums, Lafayette 

Second Time Around

   Second Time Around plays club dates and private parties.  They perform a variety of music.   They have played on several occasions at the Petroleum Club in Lafayette.
     Bob Hebert, Band Leader - Saxophone
     Ronnie Prejean - Piano
     Tim Babineaux - Lead Guitar
     Billy Babineaux - Drums

Nancy Tabb Marcantel

   Nancy Tabb Marcantel is an exciting performer and recording artist from South Louisiana.    She has released nine albums of country and Cajun music in English and French, including three Christmas albums, a Cajun lullabies album, and a bilingual album of contemporary Christian music.  Nancy Tabb (Tabb is her middle name) has toured France and has appeared on national French radio and television.
   Nancy Tabb has shared the stage with such celebrities as Conway Twitty and Marty Robbins; and she has performed with the all-time music great Lawrence Welk.
   Ms. Marcantel's Christmas album, "Noel en Louisiane," was awarded the Special Recognition for Excellence by the Cajun French Music Association of Louisiana. 
  Nancy holds a Master of Science degree in Mass Communications and a magna cum laude Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and English Education.

The Fa-Tras Cajun Show Band

   This band plays mostly Cajun music, but has on  occasions  played Country and some Rock & Roll.
   The group began playing for their own enjoyment in 1982.They entertained at small backyard gatherings; and later, as they improved, at festivals and conventions.  They very seldom play in night clubs.  They have played for large Cajun gatherings in San Antonio, Mobile, Biloxi, Jackson, and Houston.  Their most memorable gig was in Memphis for  St. Jude's  Hospital.
   Two of the regulars are Minos Hardy who plays rhythm guitar and does vocals, and Russell Gary who plays the T-fer (tri-angle), does vocals, and  wears cowboy boots while wearing short pants (hence the show part of the band).  Other members of the group  are pick-ups from other bands.  None of the members are professionals; they simply play as a hobby.  Normally the band will include a lead guitar, a base guitar, a drummer, a fiddle, and a French accordion.
   The Fa-Tras Show Band has played with  Jerry Lee Lewis, Becky Hobbs, Jimmy Newman, Charley Daniels, Carl Perkins, Doug Kershaw, Roddy Romero, and Wayne Toups. 
     Mais, sha, you gonna pass a good time with this band! 

Joseph P. Hébert, Jr., and Barbara Hébert Hébert 

   Joe & Barbara Hébert are Louisiana Cajuns who left Abbeville over 45 years ago to pursue Joe's career as an Air Force weather officer.  In his military career he toured overseas in Japan, Greenland, France and Germany.  As a weather office, he served in roles of forecaster, instructor, commander, and environmental consultant.  He initially retired in Kansas, after a tour at Kansas State University as Professor and Head of the Department of Aerospace Studies.  He had a second career as director of the Adult Education Program of the Manhattan Technical College and as an Adjunct Professor at KSU before returning to Abbeville. 
   Barbara is the former Head of the Department of Foreign Languages at Manhattan High School, and was a French and German teacher.  She is now teaching a course for adults in speaking and reading French.  She also utilizes her French-speaking skills to provide tours for international visitors to Vermilion Parish.
   Since their return to Louisiana, they have taken advantage of membership in the Confrérie de l'Omelette Géante to travel to French-speaking countries, where they visited areas that hosted exiled Acadians in France and Canada:  St. Malo, Belle-Ile-en-Mer, La Rochelle, Chatellerault, La Chaussée and Aulnay in France; and Québec, Grand Pré, and Caraquet in Canada.  Joe and Barbara are both Chevaliers in the Confrérie.  They are also active in the Hébert Family Association.  Joe's interest is in Acadian history and genealogy.  Barbara deals with bilingual matters for the Confrérie, the Hébert Association, and the Abbeville Cultural and Historical Alliance.

Timothy "Tim" Hébert

   Tim Hébert was born in 1961 in Houma, Louisiana.  He and his wife, Martha McCorkel Hébert, have 3 children:  Jonathon, Katie, and Chrissy.  Having received a degree in Mechanical Engineering (LSU) and and MBA (NSU), he decided against relocating and stayed in Cajun Country to become a high school teacher.
   While many people wait until their children are grown before looking up their family tree, Mr. Hébert started finding his ancestors before his first child was born.  Since most of his ancestry is Acadian, he soon became quite proficient in the history and genealogy of the culture.  In 1990, he compiled the Acadian-Cajun Genealogical Periodical Article Index, which lists over 5000 publications in the field.  Taking what he had learned, he wrote a book in 1993 to help others with this particular field of genealogy.  Acadian-Cajun Genealogy: Step by Step was published by the Center for Louisiana Studies at USL and is currently in its 3rd printing.
   Mr. Hebert is also very involved in the United Methodist Church of Louisiana, holding several district and state-wide positions.  One of his current projects is collecting and publishing a Historical Register of  all 555 United Methodist churches in the state.  He also maintains the Conference website and is President of the Louisiana United Methodist Historical Society.
   Much of his work can be found online.  His website, Acadian-Cajun Genealogy & History (www.acadian-cajun.com) is one of the most comprehensive sites to be found on the subject.  It also contains subsites on several related areas, such as the Hébert Family and CMA.

Sheila Hébert-Collins

   Sheila Hébert Collins was born in Abbeville in 1948,  the fifth child and only daughter of Irby and Lillian Mouton Hébert.  She is married to Dennis Collins and has two children: son Cooper and daughter Cody. 
   Sheila's love for children's literature, combined with her Cajun  love and pride, motivated her to write Cajun Fairy Tales.  These Cajun Fairy Tales were designed to teach young children French as well as develop Cajun pride.  Sheila's excellent rapport with children makes her a perfect storyteller, and all children are entranced immediately when she begins her stories.  She is listed on the Louisiana State Artist Roster as an author and Cajun storyteller.
   Some of her  Cajun Fairy Tale Books are  Petite Rouge (Little Red Riding Hood), Les Trois Cochons (the Three Little Pigs), and Jolie Blonde and et le Trois Hébert (Goldilocks and the Three Bears).  Her colorbook and/or storybook Jean-Paul Hébert Ètait Là (Jean-Paul Hébert Was There) is a hit with youngster of all ages.  She will be releasing her new book Cajun Cinderella (A Cajun Twist to an Old Tale) soon.
   Sheila encourages creative writing skills and includes samples of children's works.  Included in her presentation is Cajun music and a demonstration of the Cajun Two-Step.

Warren Andrew Perrin

   Attorney Warren Perrin was born in the rural area of Henry, just south of the Town of Erath, in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana. He is married to the former Mary Lenoise Broussard.  They are the parents of Mary Rebecca, Andrew Edmond, and Bruce Henry Perrin. 
   Warren is a graduate of Henry High School,  The University of Southwestern Louisiana, and Louisiana State University School of Law.
   Among his many  accomplishments, he is best noted for his untiring devotion to the development of the French language in Louisiana.  He now serves as President of CODOFIL (Council for the Development of French in Louisiana).
   Mr. Perrin has authored articles that have appeared in many publications.  He has been interviewed by CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation); Falaise-Acadie-Quebéc; Radio Canada; German Radio and Television; Radio France; The Guardian/Observer (London, England); and BBC Radio International  (London, England), to  mention a few.
   Among his many awards and honors: Cajun of the Year, CODOFIL; Newsmaker of the Year, The Times of Acadiana; Outstanding Contribution to French/Acadian Law, University of Moncton School of Law; Outstanding Businessman of Acadiana, The Times of Acadiana; and Representative, State of Louisiana, World Francophone Summit, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Janice Marie Hébert McNeil

   Janice Marie Hébert McNeil of Lafayette was born one of seven children to Mr. & Mrs. Didier Joseph Hébert in 1935 and is a descendant of Jean Louis Hébert II and Marie Rose Richard, who migrated to Louisiana in the mid 1700's from Acadie.
   Wife of the late Van Teryl McNeil, she is the mother of one son, Van Teryl McNeil, Jr. and four daughters: Bonnie Smith, Beth Stoelzel, Julie McNeil and Janice LeBlanc.  Twelve grandchildren know her as "Mamaw."
   Jan received a BA in Education in 1959 from USL and began her teaching career at St. Genevieve School for 7 years and for  the Lafayette Parish School System for 25 years.  During that time she was elected "Teacher of the Year" in 1986 and again in 1990.  She also taught at USL with the Gifted and Talented Program and was active in NEA, LACT and LPACT organizations and Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority.
   Upon retirement she has devoted a life-long interest in church history and the Acadian culture and is currently the Cathedral Museum Curator at the Cathedral of St. John The Evangelist in Lafayette.

(Rev. Msgr.) Glen J. Provost

   Monsignor Glen J. Provost was born August 9, 1949, to Cyrus and Sadie Marie Blanchet Provost. 
   Msgr. Provost received his education at the Immaculata Seminary in Lafayette, at St. Joseph Seminary in St. Bendict, Louisiana, and  at the North American College (Angelicum, STB) in Rome.   On June 29, 1975, he  was ordained by Pope John Paul II.
   Monsignor has had several assignments during his career:  Associate Pastor at O. L. Queen of Heaven in Lake Charles and  at St. Mary Magdalen, in Abbeville; then Pastor at St. Leo in Roberts Cove and later (1985-98) at St. John Cathedral, in Lafayette.    He was appointed Monsignor in 1987 and to his present assignment, Our Lady of Fatima, Lafayette, in 1998. 
   The Diocese moved out of the Chancery building in 1992 and designated the building as the Cathedral Center. The Center houses parish offices and meeting rooms.  During his assignment at St. John Cathedral, Msgr. Provost established a museum featuring pre-Vatican II liturgical items and memorabilia of former  bishops and pastors of the Cathedral.  A gift shop offers reasonably priced souvenirs to the numerous tourists who visit the church and cemetery.  In addition, Msgr. Provost organized a team of docents, church guides, to offer tours, in French and English of the church and grounds. 

Brian Gabriel Comeaux 

     Brian Comeaux was born in Lafayette in 1961.  He is a graduate of LSU and of the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at LSU.  He was in private practice of law from 1987-1996.
     Brian is married to the former Catherine Rosalie Dragna.  They are the parents of one daughter, Madeleine Rose, born July 24, 1996.
     In 1998, Mr. Comeaux was appointed President of Congres Mondial Acadien - Louisiane, 1999.

Geri Picard LeBlanc

     Gerry has been in the education system for 31 years.  During this period she has been a classroom teacher, Title I Supervisor, and is presently the Coordinating Supervisor of Federal Programs for the Vermilion Parish School System.
     The entire focus of her life has been on children and reading.  Mrs. LeBlanc has been instrumental in bringing new and innovative programs to Vermilion Parish to enhance children's love for reading.
     One a personal note, Gerry enjoys reading books on Cajun culture and folklore.  At any time of the year she may be found in a classroom reading these exciting Cajun stories to children and sharing fascinating Cajun experiences.

 

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