1855: The Centennial of the Deportation

Celebrations of the centennial of the Deportation were not as lavish as those that took place in 1955 and 2005. The socio-political context was not yet ready for that type of celebration: the Acadians who had resettled in Atlantic Canada – on new land mostly outside the population centers – were trying to stabilize their existence. It was Halifax's first archbishop, Mgr. William Walsh, who publicly recalled the Grand Dérangement of the Acadians in his pastoral letter in 1855. He remarked on their survival and their resilience, since many Acadians of the Atlantic Provinces had kept their language and, especially, their religion. Mgr. Jean-Charles Prince, the bishop of St-Hyacinthe, Québec, himself of Acadian descent, answered Mgr. Walsh to express his shared sympathy for the Acadians. This pastoral letter, along with the correspondence that followed, were later published in the newspapers during the 1955 celebrations.
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