Before there was an Avalon, or a Bradley Estates, or a Cardinal Creek Village, there was an Orléans that was small in stature but had a number of residents who enthusiastically rolled up their sleeves and contributed countless hours to help make the community what it is today. People like Roger Senechal, André Lacroix, Al Tweedle and Gerry Poulin.
Not all those original community builders are around any more and there’s fewer and fewer around every year. Roch Chatelain, who could count himself among those original community builders, recently passed away at the age of 84.
Among other things he was an entrepreneur, a president, an advisor, a volunteer, an athlete and an exemplary citizen for which he earned the Citizen of the Year Award in 1980. But above all, he was an exceptional and caring husband and father.
Chatelain helped start the Orléans Minor Hockey League and the first softball/slow pitch league in the community. He was instrumental in making sure the 1976 Olympic Torch Relay went through Orléans which at that time was less than 25,000 people and he planned and managed the local Winter Carnival during the 1970s. He also played a key role in getting the Orléans Recreation Centre built on Youville Drive.
For years and years and right up until Ottawa amalgamated in 2002, Chatelain fought tooth and nail to somehow eliminate the border between the former municipalities of Gloucester and Cumberland which divided Orléans in half. The dividing line was especially detrimental when it came to sports, separating neighbour from neighbour.
Chatelain moved to Orléans in 1960 and started out as a plumber before eventually getting his real estate license. For years, he worked as a real estate agent for Century 21 and he was a member of both the Gloucester Chamber of Commerce and the Business Club d’Orléans.
In passing, Roch Chatelain leaves behind his beloved wife Gilberte of 62 years, his children: Lucie (Michel), Frank, Jacinthe (Emmanuel), and Roxanne (Brian) as well as grand-children Julie (Mitch), Amélie (JP), Patrick (Britt), Joshua, Jacob, Rébecca, Zacharie and great grandchildren Loic, Arielle, Justin, Acacia, Philémon and Mila.
His family also wanted to acknowl-edge and thank his caregivers Joanne and Maria who were a godsend during the later years of his life.
The family will receive relatives and friends on Sunday, Oct. 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Héritage Funeral Complex 1250 Trim Rd. for those who wish to offer their condolences. The memorial service will be held at 12 noon the same day followed by a reception.