LOUIS CHARBONNEAU,
EDUCATOR, COMMUNITY LEADER, ADMINISTRATOR AND TRANSLATOR
 
Born on 10 August 1891 in Lefaivre, Ontario, Louis Charbonneau studied theology at the Grand Séminaire de Saint-Sulpice in Montréal from 1912 to 1915. He graduated from the Saskatoon Normal School (1916) and obtained a Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Ottawa in 1936. He taught primary school in Saskatchewan (1919-1923) before becoming professor of pedagogy at the University of Ottawa Normal School (1923-1927), school principal in Prescott and Russell (1925-1927) and school inspector in Russell (1927-1932), where he instituted a bilingual teaching program. Appointed professor at the Normal School of the University of Ottawa in 1932, he edited French textbooks for the bilingual schools under the Ontario Ministry of Education from 1938 to 1940. After serving as inspector in the Sudbury area from 1940 to 1942, he left the world of education to start a second career in translation with various federal departments (1942-1970): Munitions and Supply, Veterans Affairs, Citizenship and Immigration, Secretary of State. Very active in cultural and educational associations, he served as vice-president (1936) and president (1937-1940) of La Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste d’Ottawa, as well as president of La Fédération des Sociétés Saint-Jean-Baptiste de l’Ontario (1939-1948). He started the youth sections of La Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de l’Ontario. He was a member of the Board of Directors of L’Association canadienne-française d’éducation de l’Ontario (ACFEO) from 1944 to 1948, and its vice-president in 1949 and again in 1951. He was also president of L’Association canadienne des éducateurs de langue française (1948-1949), and chair of the Ottawa Separate School Board in 1951. In addition, he was successively president of the Historical Society of Ottawa, the Société de généalogie d'Ottawa-Hull, La Chambre de commerce française d’Ottawa and the Association des commissaires d'écoles bilingues de l'Ontario(Ontario Bilingual School Boards Association). He was the author of the report entitled Les progrès de l’enseignement bilingue en Ontario de 1900 à 1950. In 1947, he received the Ordre du mérite scolaire franco-ontarien (very meritorious), and in 1950 the papal decoration Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice. He and his wife, Rachel Ménard, had six children. He died in Ottawa on 30 August 1984 at the age of 93.