By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – The legacy of a former city councillor was forged in stone at 'Le Monument de la francophonie de Cornwall' in front of a fervent crowd.
Every year, the monument celebrates the contribution of a local francophone for their courage, special achievement and leadership in the development and well-being of the francophone community of Cornwall.
Huguette Burroughs' name was etched on a granite plaque, which will then be installed in the interlock pavement around the monument, as a part of the 'Promenade d’honneur.'
"We are celebrating Huguette Burroughs, who was a journalist and contributed an amazing number of things to all of our community and unfortunately in the very short life that she had," said Le club Richelieu de Cornwall member Wayne Gosselin.
Burroughs passed away at the age of 55.
The former community activist faced a variety of health challenges that left her blind. Her medical condition never stopped her vision of a city with a thriving francophone community.
Before her name was announced, her accomplishments were listed off. It took a matter of moments before a crowd of 100 began whispering her name. That gave way to a thunderous ovation as the newest inductee to the Promenade d’honneur was revealed.
Burroughs worked in several papers before becoming the main staple of the 'Journal de Cornwall' for over 20 years. Then she served as a city councillor.
Her niece Line Burroughs-Richer, was presented with an award, certificate and jewelry (from Pommier Jewellers) in honour of her aunt.
"She was an advocate for the French language throughout the region, she's done many things and has received many honours. So, I'm happy to be here to receive this on her behalf," said Burroughs-Richer. "She was chosen for her implication in so many francophone organizations. Her heart was everywhere the French language was, and I think she was picked because of it."
Burroughs was a recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal and a member of the Order of Ontario.
"I think her heart is what pushed her forward on every project she got her hands on," said Burroughs-Richer. "She did so many things, with so little."
The francophone heritage site was spearheaded by the club Richelieu de Cornwall and built in 2010. Since 2011, in partnership with the Centre culturel de Cornwall, a francophone has been recognized for their contributions. Burroughs' name is joining Jeannine Séguin and Gérald G. Samson on the monument.