My name is André Robitaille.
Mine is Marc Robitaille.
And I am Patrice Robitaille.
Here is the story of our family!
There are 9,700 Robitaille in the province of Quebec.
[André Robitaille]: “Four brothers from Pas-de-Calais in France brought our family name to New France: Jean, Pierre, Philippe and Nicolas. But we’re all descendants of Jean or Pierre.”
In 1670, they landed in Quebec City and settled in l’Ancienne-Lorette.
[Florent Robitaille]: “It is here that they raised their families, right here where we’ve installed this monument in their honour.”
In the 1800s, Charles-Napoléon Robitaille was a travelling salesman and he attempted to cross the Saguenay river in winter on the ice cover. The ice broke and he fell in the water with his horse and all his goods.
[Marc Robitaille]: “That is when my great-grandfather implored the Virgin Mary and is saved! To show his gratitude, he had a huge statue erected.”
The wooden statue towers over Notre-Dame-du-Saguenay since 1881, overlooking the fjord.
As early as 1847, Olivier Robitaille worked as a doctor at the hospital for the navy and the immigrants (Hôpital de la marine et des émigrés), in Quebec City.
[Lorraine Robitaille]: “My great-great-grandfather fought against the typhus and cholera epidemics, in particular.”
Being also a businessman, he was one of the founders of the National Bank in 1858, first banking institution dedicated to the promotion of the interests of the French Canadians.
His grandson, Ludger, is the architect who designed the Palais Montcalm, first grand theatre in Quebec City.
And it is in this very theatre that the first internationally acclaimed star from Quebec, Alys Robi, née Robitaille, sings in her 1945 show entitled “Ça Atomique t’y”.
[Martin Latulippe]: “Her success is legendary and her fame went beyond our frontiers. New York, London, the whole world applauded my great-aunt!”
Let’s not forget Luc, the best left-winger in the history of hockey, in terms of points, Damien, a Franco-Ontarian singer, and Pierrette, a comedian who received the 2014 Jutra award for best actress.
There it is, the story of the Robitaille family!