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Image - Picture
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Farmers' Bank of Rustico
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Nom de l'objet : Picture
Type de l'objet : Picture
Catégorie de l'objet : Communication Artefact
Sous-catégorie de l'objet : Art
Matériaux : Wood, metal, glass, paper
Numéro de catalogue : FB.
Numéro d'accession : FB.
Date de début de production : 1850
Date de fin de production : 1870
Description : A large oval photographic portrait enhanced with charcoal of Father George Antoine Belcourt (1803-1874) with a glass window and gold painted wooden frame.
Commentaires : George Antoine Belcourt was born April 22, 1803, at La Baie du Febvre, Yamaska County, in the Province of Quebec, Canada, of a family that came to that county in March, 1738. Under the French Catholic Church he received his first Communion in 1814 and was confirmed by the Bishop of Quebec. From the local school he passed to the Petit Séminaire at Nicolet, then in the Diocese of Quebec. He entered it at the age of thirteen and, at the end of his philosophical course in 1823, was enrolled in the theological department where he completed his studies for the priesthood and was ordained March 10, 1827, by Archbishop Panet of Quebec, in the seminary chapel. He was appointed pastor of Ste. Martine, Chateauguay County, in October 2, 1830, and stayed there for a year. As a young Levite he had dreamed of becoming a missionary and shortly after he was ordained he offered himself to become a missionary at the Red River colony (Manitoba). In March of 1859, the Right Reverend Bernard D. McDonald, Bishop of Charlottetown, P.E.I. wrote Archbishop Turgeon of Quebec requesting the services of a French-speaking priest to take charge of the parish of Rustico with the mission of Hope River, and Father Belcourt was selected for that purpose. He arrived in Rustico November 1, 1859, a few weeks before Bishop McDonald, who had resided in that parish since his consecration in 1837, transferred his residence to Charlottetown where he died on December 30. Father Belcourt was deacon at the Bishop's funeral on January 4, 1860. The Church of St. Augustine, built under the direction of the Bishop, served as the Cathedral of the diocese for more than twenty years. Also while he lived in Rustico Father Belcourt opened a school and the Farmer's Bank of Rustico for local famers and their families. The Farmers' Bank of Rustico is a building of national importance, important monument of Prince Edward Island architecture as well as a symbol of Acadian survival. The Bank was an important link in the establishment of "Les Caisses populaires" in Quebec and "Credit Unions" in the rest of Canada. (1) The building is a legacy to Reverend Georges-Antoine Belcourt as he noted the lack of education and the extreme economic hardships of the inhabitants. He went on to organize the "Catholic Institute" with over 250 members. Meetings and study clubs resulted in the establishment of the Bank which provided loans to farmers at reasonable rates of interest. The Bank operated for thirty years but was forced to close its doors as a result of the passage of the Bank Act in 1871. Father Belcourt and his parishioners constructed a building sixty by forty feet in dimensions. The building was of frame construction covered on all sides with sandstone. It was a very imposing structure and built to denote the strength and solidity deserving of a bank. It served as a Parish Hall for many years and is now used as a Museum to commemorate the work accomplished by Father Belcourt during his stay in Rustico, Prince Edward Island. Father Belcourt died in August, 1874. REFERENCE:
Hauteur : 63.5
Largeur : 47
Profondeur : 1.5
Établissement : Farmers' Bank of Rustico
Ville de l'établissement : Hunter River
Province de l'établissement : Prince Edward Island
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