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FAMILLE TRAHAN
By Mitch Conover, Editor  
email:  whiskey6@cox.net    

Vol. VII                                                               Ensemble Encore                                               Winter        -       2005

 
Loubert Trahan reads the Merit Award presented by Mitch Conover to he and his wife,
Anna Claire Camel Trahan for their long and devoted service to Famille Trahan Assoc.
Anna Claire was unable to attend due to recent surgery.


President's Corner

By Ray Trahan
Nearly 50 years ago Louisiana was devastated by Hurricane Audrey, a storm that took a heavy toll of human lives and livestock, destroyed homes and businesses, and devastated roads and bridges. Truly a once in a lifetime storm that most never expected to witness again. This year, to our dismay, we have experienced not one, but two hurricanes, each of which created more damage than Audrey.

Again our world was turned upside down, and yet again we are being forced to regroup, rebuild or relocate our families, and in some cases our businesses. Once again reliance upon that pioneer spirit immortalized by our ancestors in 1764-1785. We are challenged again to demonstrate the character of our heritage, and we will prevail. Now, as then, the task will not be easy, and many hard times will stare us in the face, many hard decisions remain to be faced; again, now as then, we will overcome the obstacles and move on with our lives.

I applaud all those who have been able to assist others in need, and those who are still assisting the survivors. I recall driving by Loubert's home and seeing the numerous RV's camped near his home and his Red Barn: I thank God for people like Loubert, Anna Claire, Edith Henry, and all others who participated in these type endeavors.

I would encourage all to help make the birthday of Jesus special for those still in need. Remember, it isn't what you give, or how you give, it is the fact that you find a way to share of yourselves to those in need.
May God bless.
 

NEXT MEETING

The Board of Directors is currently working to obtain a date for our next Family Gathering; additionally,
we are looking into asking two or three other families to join in the next event, to make it more

family oriented.

We are considering a menu as well, and we have thought of having boiled crawfish as a possibility.
We will send out our Spring Issue of Newsletter in time to advise you of date, menu, and attendees.

 

Bits and pieces

By Loubert Trahan

 

As we approach the Christmas season, we often forget about what occurred during year, and
start looking ahead; I thought maybe a reminder about some of our cousins would be noteworthy,
and attached an article that appeared in the Beaumont newspaper:

CAMERON, LA. - The Trahan family's roots in the marshy wetlands of southwest Louisiana run
more than seven generations deep.

Thirty-three times in the past 134 years, they have braced themselves as mighty storms took aim at their vulnerable city. Thirty-three times, they have picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, rebuilt what was destroyed and gone on with their lives.

Hurricane Audrey nearly did them in, back in 1957, when it killed 600 people and destroyed half of the town. But even then, the Trahan clan came back and started over.

This time, that might not be possible. This time, after taking a direct hit from Hurricane Rita, there is not much left of Cameron. This time, like the toppled, 100-year-old live oaks, deep roots may not be enough.

"I feel like crying," 58-year-old Hilary Trahan said last week as he and his son Brian, looking shell-shocked, surveyed what little was left of their lives. "I went through Audrey and I came back, but this is much worse."

A mere five weeks ago, the Trahans and other residents of Cameron Parish watched in disbelief as New Orleans and other communities on the state's southeastern flank were virtually ruined by Hurricane Katrina.

And then, in the early hours of Sept. 24, Rita finished the job, almost wiping out the southwestern flank and essentially erasing the few hardy communities Cameron, Creole, Holly Beach, Grand Chenier, Johnson's Bayou, Oak Grove that cling to the high ground.

"There is no part of the Louisiana coast that hasn't been impacted," Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, the commander of U.S. military relief operations in the state, said during a visit to southwest Louisiana last week. "It's pretty sad."

None more so than Cameron Parish. The tale of the tape tells part of the story: At least 70 percent of the houses destroyed; almost 5,000 people homeless in the parish's southern reaches; thousands of head of cattle lost. But it is on the ground that the true scope of the devastation becomes obvious.

A tidal surge of 20 feet swept like a tsunami over the city of Cameron, which is 8 feet above sea level, leveling virtually everything in its path except the courthouse. For block after block all that is left are the concrete slabs or pilings of houses swept into the swamps. Large shrimp boats were marooned on their sides.

Filing cabinets disgorged their contents onto the main street. A vacuum cleaner stood upright in the mud. An orange life vest hung from the branches of a stately live oak. Sandbags were still stacked at the non-existent door of a non-existent building. A sign at the site of a demolished gas station signaled that normal life ended at $2.59 a gallon.

Soldiers, relief workers and parish officials labored in the mud and stifling heat to clear the courthouse, set up generators and build a tent city on a playing field so that some semblance of government, of order, could be restored.

Until then, the parish was being run out of the visitors' center of a national wildlife refuge more than 30 miles away, where the peace was constantly shattered by the roar of Black Hawk helicopters coming and going.

Tom Hess, a biologist with the Louisiana Fish and Wildlife Department, climbed into one for an aerial look at a nearby state wildlife refuge he manages. But with his house damaged, his son's Grand Chenier home destroyed and the state he works for hurting beyond anything in its history, he had more than professional concerns on his mind.

"It's pretty catastrophic," Hess said. "This is a huge setback for the state. We live an alternative lifestyle out here, so we will stay. We are taking positive steps every day. On Sunday, it looked pretty grim. Today it looks a little better. We're going to take it day by day, that's what we're going to do."

Ironically, the self-reliance of these denizens of the marshes may have delayed somewhat the response to their plight after Rita struck, said Honore, the cigar-chomping general who has won wide acclaim for his no-nonsense command of the disaster zone.

He was eager last week to get the word out about the destruction in Cameron and Vermillion parishes to a world that was focused on New Orleans and Beaumont.

"It (the lack of attention) is a case of unintended consequences," Honore said. "First, no deaths. Second, these people take pride in being able to take care of themselves. You ask them how they did and they say, 'We're alive, we've still got some animals, we'll manage.' "

Virtually everyone in Cameron Parish evacuated before Rita's arrival, and thus far no storm-related deaths have been reported.

Tens of thousands of head of cattle were left behind, however, and as many as 4,000 head may have perished. Rounding them up and getting food or water to those that cannot be reached was one of the immediate tasks.

"A priority here is to try to save the cattle," he said. "The cattle are isolated, scared and spook very easily. We will do whatever it takes to try to save the animals."

Another important task is to collect hundreds of caskets, which floated out of the ground of several small cemeteries and were drifting in the swamps.

Brig. Gen. Michael Terry, commanding officer of the 13th Corps Support Command at Fort Hood, directed his men in a reconnaissance of 12 cemeteries and gained a firsthand look at the destruction.

"I've never seen anything like this in my life," Terry said. "We were working in Johnson's Bayou, and some of the locals who had lost everything stopped by to give us water. We had water, and they didn't have anything, and they're helping us. That's amazing."

Farther north, in Calcasieu Parish, most areas escaped Rita's surge but were battered by the storm's winds, which reached 120 mph. Roofs were ripped off houses, pine trees snapped like twigs, light poles toppled in a tangle of wires.

Very few buildings in Lake Charles appeared to have escaped damage, and the few high-rises downtown all were scarred.

In nearby Sulphur, Charlie Polak sat under an awning outside his convenience store last week, pumping gas out of his 5,000-gallon tank with an electric pump connected to a car battery, selling it to desperate motorists for $3 a gallon.

"They delivered it before the storm, and they're going to want to get paid for it after the storm," he said.

A little farther down the road, Jerry Winters swept water out of his business and worried about the future, about whether his state will survive being slapped up both sides of its head in one month.

"It's not good," he said. "I look for it to just about bankrupt the state.

                                   Dues for 2006 now being accepted
                                       Click for:  
 Membership   Form

                            Send your renewals in early and save postage!

Membership is $10 per family per year (note: this includes unmarried children under age 18 years; married children, regardless of age are a separate family).

Mail completed form and entry fee to:                          Trahan Family Assoc. Inc.

                                                                                        % Loubert Trahan

                                                                                         9515 Hwy 92

                                                                                         Maurice, La. 70555
 

Hurricane Rita Floods the Acadian Museum and Annex at Lake Peigneur
Bv Warren Perrin

The Acadian Museum of Erath was flooded by waters from Hurricane Rita. On Sunday September 25, 2005, museum directors Warren Perrin, Mary Perrin and Jean Ouellet, along with the Erath Fire Department, and Chief of Police Steve Peltier, as well as a number of Good Samaritans
  including the U.S. Marines (who provided the manpower and use of a truck to enter Erath)  successfully "rescued" the priceless Queen's Royal Proclamation, whereby Queen Elizabeth II for the first time in history acknowledged the wrongs done to the Acadian people during the Acadian Deportation in 1755. Along with the Proclamation, the rescue effort also saved many museum artifacts, including irreplaceable photographs, vintage clothing, and historics from the Acadian Museum.

The artifacts and materials were safely stored in the Lafayette home of Warren and Mary Perrin, where they were dehumidified under the direction of Dr. Florent Hardy and Doug Harrison of the Louisiana Archives and Joyce Penn of the art museum at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Sadly, the museum lost over 2000 books, letters, scrapbooks, photos, maps, genealogy and research files. Also severely damaged was the Acadian Museum Annex on Lake Peigneur which had over four feet of water inside. Although efforts will be made to restore it, the house may be totally destroyed. Thanks to Ron Miguez, many original photos were saved, but many of the exhibits have been lost.

The American Association for State and Local History sent four conservators to assist in the clean up and restoration of the Acadian Museum facility and materials. Experts who contributed to the effort included: Chris Graham, North Carolina State Museum, Catherine Anderson, Colonial Williamsburg Historical Site, J. Claire Dean, Dean and Associates Conservation Services of Portland, Oregon, and Vince Murray, Historian, Arizona Historical Research, Tempe, Arizona. Also, Dr. Robert Carriker, head of the History Department, UL at Lafayette, is assisting the museum in seeking grants. News stories (Advocate, Daily Advertiser and The Boston Globe) and photographs can be found on the Acadian Museum website.

Thanks to Marty Schmidt of the Stanley Steamer Company that donated its services to help clean the Acadian Museum floor.

ACADIAN MUSEUM NEEDS DONATIONS

Donations are being accepted and are fully tax deductible because the Acadian Heritage & Culture Foundation, Inc., which operates the Acadian Museum, is a state recognized non-profit corporation and has further been granted a 501(c)(3) status by the U. S. Department of Revenue. The federal tax identification number is 72-1326678. All individuals making donations to the Acadian Museum will become a member and will enjoy all member rights including receiving the news letter and invitations for all social events including inductions into the "Order of Living Legends."

Books
by Mitch Conover
whiskey6@cox.net


I am aware of a number of wonderful sources for obtaining Acadian Books and would like to share these with you [Please Note: None of these books are available directly from myself (nor do I make any commission from the sale of same). They can be obtained from the sources shown on the following web pages]:

1. Gooselane Distributors: Connect to  http://www.acadian.org/gooselane.html  for specific details.

2. Acadian Cultural Exchange of Northern Maine: Connect to http://www.acadian.org/acadbook.html for specific details.

3. Amazon.com: Connect to http://www.acadian.org/amazon.html for specific details.

4. "Acadian Awakenings" series of books by Bill Gerrior: Connect to http://www.acadian.org/gerrior.html for specific details.

5. Dictionaires des families acadiennes by Stephen White: Connect to http://www.acadian.org/swhite.html for specific details.

6. Jean Hache & Helene Boudreau Book by Gaby Vienneau: Connect to http://www.acadian.org/gaby.html for specific details.

7. From Nantes to Louisiana (English version) by Gerard-Marc Braud can be ordered from Mitch Conover, while supplies last, for $25, which includes shipping and handling within the United States. Send check or money orders to: Mitch Conover, 300 Strasbourg Drive, Lafayette, La. 70506.

8. Trahan Descendants CD available from Mitch Conover, address same as #7 above, at $75, which includes shipping and handling charge within the United States.

9. Famille Trahan also has a few remaining t-shirts,caps, mugs, and pins available; please call or e-mail Ray Trahan to order those items at: beaufile@bellsouth.net.

Welcome home and congratulations:

We extend our welcome home to the members of Louisiana National Guard Unit recently returning home from Iraq. We also extend congratulations to Tim Trahan and wife for their expected arrival, as well as to Charles and Mona.

Famille Trahan condolences:
With much sadness we offer our profound sympathy to those families and loved ones whose loved one who made the ultimate sacrifice.

CMA 2009 Official Website:  www.CMA2009.ca

 

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