A Tribute to Mr. Lévesque

Dear Mr. Lévesque, how can I say this? How can I tell you that we have decided to honour you? There, it’s said! Of course, you nod your head, tilt it slightly, raise your eyes to the sky with a contrite air, “Really, it isn’t necessary!” Somewhat touched, a quick tense smile, a raised shoulder, and your butterfly hands complete the picture. However, it’s decided and, for once, let yourself be pampered.

In 2006, while efforts were underway to preserve your childhood house, the idea of paying tribute to you was born. In 2014, the table is finally set for the realization of L’Espace René-Lévesque. Walking through it, some will remember you and your great achievements, others will revisit that vigorous and exciting time nostalgically, and the young will enjoy a lesson in history.

First, modest as usual, you murmur, “You know, for the achievements, I wasn’t alone.” But curiosity takes over, “Tell me, where will this Memorial be?” In your paradise lost, Mr. Lévesque, on the Gaspé Peninsula, in New Carlisle, in a wide-open site on the Baie-des-Chaleurs. Yes, in the village of your carefree childhood, on the edge of that bay of which you so finely painted the shimmer of the evening light in August. Shortly after that, you were putting behind you forty-five years of your life, years that were dedicated first to the understanding of the world, then to the blossoming of Québec.

Hélène Leclère, member of the Fondation de la Maison René-Lévesque, January 2014.